Saturday, January 14, 2012

Book 19: The Departure

GET! THAT! BUTTERFLY!
The Summary
After losing control during a battle and needlessly killing a Hork-Bajir, Cassie decides she wants to quit the Animorphs. The others are angry, but Cassie is stubborn.

A day or so later, Cassie is riding a horse when she sees a little girl running from a bear. She saves the girl, but is forced to jump into a river to get away. She loses consciousness and wakes up downstream, completely lost. The little girl, named Karen, has twisted her ankle but is otherwise okay.

Well, sort of. It becomes evident in about two minutes that Karen is a Controller. Her Yeerk, Aftran, followed Cassie home after the battle because the Hork-Bajir Cassie killed was Aftran's brother's host.  Cassie pretends to have no idea what Karen/Aftran is talking about and focuses on getting them some shelter. When an escaped leopard attacks Karen, though, Cassie is forced to morph to save her. Aftran is just happy they can stop pretending now.

Cassie and Aftran discuss some interesting aspects of Yeerk life, though the conversation ends in a fight. But Aftran is beginning to crumble, and says that she won't leave her host and spend eternity as a blind slug unless Cassie agrees to do the same. So Cassie traps herself in caterpillar morph before the other Animorphs can stop her.

The others want to rip Karen's head off, but Aftran convinces them that she and Cassie had a deal. So, heartbroken, the Animorphs take Cassie home. She spins a cocoon and emerges as a butterfly a few days later. At which point Ax says that the morphing process should have reset, since she switched forms, and she has two hours to demorph.

The Review
Adam: I honestly like this cover.
Adam: It is a nice color scheme.
Ifi: It has always stood out to me. It just seems so different, not sure why
Adam: The black on yellow with little patches of blue honestly looks rather lovely.
Adam: Mhm
Adam: And its one of the few covers that actually manages to make the morphing process seem elegant somehow.
Ifi: So of course it's a Cassie cover
Adam: Appropriate.
Adam: Although.
Adam: If you look closely, you see that her face is turning into one of the compound eyes.
Adam: Which is just a tad horrifying.
Ifi: Oh dear
Adam: Mwahaha
Adam: You can't unsee it now.

Ifi: Ok let's just talk about this horrific plot
Adam: I was in tears the whole time.
Ifi: The worst part is that everything Cassie realizes in this book is true and there's not really anything they can do about it.
Adam: Well, let's get into it, so that we can elaborate

Ifi: We open in the middle of a mission-gone-wrong, which turns into a battle.
Ifi: The Yeerks are starting to say "screw this" and running away
Ifi: So Jake calls a retreat
Adam: But instead, Cassie decides to take this opportunity to have a nice picnic
Ifi: Cassie, what is up with you?
Adam: This is the second time that this sort of thing has happened.
Adam: Specifically with Cassie.
Ifi: Second time in two books.
Adam: Yup
Adam: Girl has some issssueees
Ifi: Well, she feels really really guilty about it afterwards, even though nobody even noticed it.

And I said, <I'm never doing that again.>
<Yeah, it was not a smart fight. But hey, we won,> Rachel said.
<No. I mean I am never doing that again,> I said. <Never. I quit. I quit this stupid war. I quit the Animorphs.>
I turned and walked away from the others.
I felt their eyes following me.

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Adam: The End.
Ifi: Get back here we have forty more books to get through
Adam: Aw

Ifi: So Cassie walks home under a cloud of angst
Ifi: And it's being implied that someone is following her, though she doesn't do anything about it
Adam: Eh, it is probably just her mind playing tricks on her
Adam: And more lovely stuff happens!
Ifi: Oh right, and some leopard escaped from its owners house, which is why you DO NOT KEEP LEOPARDS AS PETS

My mother was peering closely at me, looking bothered. "Um…honey, you have something in your teeth. Right there." She pointed to her own teeth.
I felt with my finger. I pulled out a small shred of something green and gray.
Somehow, while morphing from wolf back to human, it had become lodged between my shrinking teeth.
A small sliver of Hork-Bajir flesh.

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: AHHHH
Adam: brb, vomiting forever
Ifi: WHYYYY
Adam: Applegate, you are sick
Adam: Sick

Ifi: Also, Wildlife Rehab has lost its financing
Ifi: So there is more angst
Adam: Karma is a bastard to Cassie in this book.
Ifi: I don't see why the animals should suffer!
Adam: The world is cruel.
Ifi: Cassie's dad is going to beg for some money from some big company or another tomorrow, but Cassie is still very upset that she is losing the Animorphs and her animals at the same time.
Adam: Let's all go write about it on our livejournals.

I've met a couple of free Hork-Bajir. The Hork-Bajir are a ferocious-looking race. Seven feet tall, with razor-sharp blades at their wrists, elbows, even on their legs and tail. But sometimes looks are deceiving. The Hork-Bajir use the blades to peel bark from trees back on their home planet. It's what they eat. They are peaceful herbivores.
It wasn't the fault of the Hork-Bajir. He never did anything to me. It wasn't him trying to cut me up with his blades. It was the Yeerk in his head. That poor Hork-Bajir had no control of anything.
But he felt the pain. He suffered. He suffered because of what I did to him. And now, whatever hopes he might have had of someday being free, well, those hopes were gone.
Because of me.

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: Goddamn.
Ifi: This is horrible. :(
Adam: Ah, kids literature.
Adam: Shaping my childhood.

I just kept thinking: It's all gone. Everything that was big and important in my life. All of it gone. My best friend. The guy I…that I liked. The animals I loved.

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Adam: Cassie is known for her well established priorities.
Ifi: It's easier to admit you love your animals than your boyfriend
Ifi: This is actually true.
Adam: Oh wait, that is a good point.
Ifi: Yeah, that was my reaction at first
Ifi: But then I realized
Ifi: Yeah I love my cats more than anyone else so
Ifi: Guilty
Adam: I think this is why I don't usually bother with human emotions.
Adam: They are simple fleshy creatures.

Ifi: Then Cassie has a dream that references the last book, Megamorphs 2

I flexed the huge muscles in my tree trunk legs. I dug my massive bird-talons into the dirt. And I leaped!
Tons of muscle and bone soared through the air. I landed beside the Triceratops. I lowered my head, and opened my mouth and bit down into the exposed spine of the Triceratops. I sank my teeth into it and jerked back with all my might.
I felt the big dinosaur come up off the ground. Marco was safe. I knew that. But I was caught up now in the rage of battle.
I roared.
"HoooRRROOOOAAARRR!"
And the Triceratops screamed. "Rrrr-EEEE-EEEEEE! Rrrr-EEEEEEEEEE!"
I shook my Tyrannosaurus head, worrying the screaming Triceratops like a dog worrying a bone.
And then the Triceratops stopped making sounds. It hung limp. I dropped it and stood over the fallen creature. And I bellowed.

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: This is far less horrible than what actually happened when she morphed a T-rex
Adam: Well, at least we get a confirmation that the second Megamorphs is canon
Ifi: Which ones are and which ones aren't?
Adam: I see no evidence to consider any of them non-canon, honestly.
Ifi: Yeah that's sort of what I was thinking, but there seems to be the idea that they're not
Ifi: I mean Alternamorphs and those ridiculous choose your own adventure, sure
Ifi: But the Megamorphs fit in pretty well
Adam: Agreed.

Adam: Wait
Adam: I just thought of something.
Adam: Visser Three is basically Cassie if she had totally snapped.
Ifi: Oh man.
Ifi: I did not need to hear that.
Adam: When we get to the Hork Bajir chronicles, he is totally obsessed with different alien life
Adam: Which parallels Cassie's fascination with animals.
Adam: And he is still always hunting down all those strange morphs
Adam: Which implies that he is basically a big xenobiology expert.
Adam: Also he tends to eat people when he gets particularly upset.
Adam: So yeah, Visser Three and Cassie are totally foils to one another.

Ifi: The next day, Cassie does not go to school, so the Animorphs all corner her and Marco is a gigantic jerk.

Marco practically leaped at me. His eyes were blazing. "What's the deal with you, Cassie? Half the time you're giving us all crap over being too ruthless or whatever. It's always, 'Oh, is this right?" and 'Oh, should we do this?' I mean, you're Miss Morality, and then when you have a bad night you just bail on us?"

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: Why is Marco allowed to swear and I'm not, huh?
Adam: Language, Marco, language!
Adam: See, I criticize him too.
Adam: At the same time…he has a totally legitimate point here.
Ifi: I dunno. I kind of feel like if Cassie didn't get upset, she'd have been a gigantic hypocrite
Ifi: I don't think she should have gone as far as to quit
Adam: I kinda feel like she is being a gigantic hypocrite right now.
Ifi: Can you explain for me?
Adam: She wants to quit the war because she doesn't like the fact that she is basically becoming acclimated to it.
Adam: And she is upset that she can see someone get hurt and feel nothing about it.
Adam: Except that if she quits, a heck of a lot more people are going to get hurt.
Adam: So she can feel bad about it sure, but it is still her fault.
Adam: I mean, if she wanted to quit because she was scared, or simply didn't like being violent, that I totally understand.
Ifi: That is true. I think sitting around doing nothing when she is the only person who can protect the earth is far more 'wrong' than anything the Animorphs ever do
Adam: That was my thought process.

Rachel's blue eyes went cold and seemed to look past me. "It's a war. They started it. Of course you feel bad over—"
"No," I said. "I didn't feel bad. I heard Jake say to back off. And after he said that, after he said that, I did it."
I wasn't sure that was true. But I needed to say it. To make them understand.
No one had anything to say for a while. I started putting the new bandage on the goose.
"So you feel bad about it," Rachel said with a shrug.
"No. I feel bad because I felt nothing. I felt…nothing, Rachel. At that moment I felt like I was just doing my job, you know? And now they're shutting down the clinic, and my dad tells me and I feel…nothing. It's been going on for a long time. Each day, each battle, each mission, I just feel less and less."
[...] 
Marco laughed a short, brutal laugh. "Fine. You have your morals and your fine feelings and all that. We'll go off and risk our lives to save the world. You just sit here and feel righteous."

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: PTSD for everyone!
Ifi: Detachment is a classic combat PTSD symptom
Adam: I feel like pointing out that that is an attitude that they actually directly encourage in military training camps.
Ifi: Well damn. I did not know that.
Adam: Well, this conversation got rather dark.
Ifi: This review is going to be dark.
Adam: It is that sort of book.
Ifi: So everyone leaves in a huff and Jake tells Cassie to never morph again if she's never coming back.
Ifi: Which is good advice, I think.
Adam: It made enough sense to me.
Adam: Either she isn't willing to give up morphing, and she comes back to help them, or she doesn't morph, and doesn't put the rest of them at further risk.

Ifi: So Cassie goes horse riding
Ifi: And sees a little girl running from a bear.
Ifi: Anyway, it's never stated how old Karen is meant to be, but I was imagining her as being like eight or so.
Adam: That is what I figured.
Adam: And she is somehow just outrunning a mother bear defending its cubs.
Ifi: Well, Cassie does a very heroic horseback rescue, until the horse charges into the bear and Cassie and Karen fall into the river and get swept off to God-knows-where


Adam: Because I forgot to include this last week. 
Ifi: Wow that was way worse than I remembered.
Ifi: I distinctly recall there being NO BANJOS
Ifi: There's nostalgia for you
Adam: You're probably thinking of the remake
Ifi: Oh that makes sense.


Ifi: Ok yes
Ifi: This theme song was catchy
Adam: I will now be humming it all night.

"Karen, what were you doing there in the woods to begin with?"
She didn't answer. She just looked at me.
I felt a new kind of chill. "The other night, someone was behind the barn, looking up at my window. That was you, wasn't it?"
She said nothing.
I felt an awful dread begin to well up inside me. I felt like I couldn't breathe.
"Why were you following me? Why were you spying on me?" I demanded, trying not to panic, but already feeling the terror growing inside me, churning my stomach, squeezing my heart.
Karen sighed. Then she cocked her head and looked at me quizzically. Like I was some interesting specimen of insect and she was an entomologist.
"You interest me," she said.

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: She then proceeds to break out a big neon sign that said I AM A CONTROLLER with an arrow pointing to herself.
Adam: Way to give it away.
Adam: Geez
Ifi: Come on it was blindingly obvious
Adam: I was going to say that Cassie now has fangirls
Adam: Or something
Ifi: Well it's hardly giving it away, because two minutes later, Aftran is accusing Cassie of being an Andalite
Ifi: Deep cover Andalite I guess.
Ifi: Also Cassie, a Yeerk followed you home from a battle, you suck
Adam: Hey mom, she followed me home. Can I keep her?

"Oh, nothing on Earth," Karen said. "At least that's what everyone believes. Humans can't morph. Only Andalites can morph. Only an Andalite could become a wolf and rip the throat from my brother's host body and leave him dying."

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: Aftran/Karen is very very lucky it wasn't Rachel she followed
Ifi: This book would be over
Adam: Well, that is a nice cheery image.
Ifi: It is completely true.
Adam: Cassie does a decent enough job of keeping cool in this situation, and they go out and try to figure out where the heck they are.
Ifi: Karen's ankle is twisted so Cassie makes her a thing

"This will hurt," I said. I had found some sticks the right length. I had removed my belt. Fortunately, I never listen to Rachel on matters of fashion, so I had a good, strong, practical leather belt.
"Your pants will fall down," Karen said, sounding like a kid again.
"Yeah, right. I seem to have gained a little weight since I bought these pants. They're plenty tight. Or maybe they shrank. That could be it." I placed the sticks carefully around her lower leg and down over her ankle bone. Then I wrapped the belt loosely.
"Okay, I'm not going to tighten it a lot, because your ankle is going to swell up. But I have to tighten it some. I want to keep your ankle immobilized. On the count of five, okay? When I get to five, I'll yank it. One…"
I yanked the belt.
"Aaahhh! Hey! What happened to five?"
"You would have tensed up on five," I said. "This way I caught you while you were relaxed."

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: Cassie, only you could gain weight while fighting aliens in hand-to-hand combat on a regular basis.
Adam: I think it is just her being self-conscious.
Adam: Anywho, so now we have the whole The Lion and the Mouse scenario going on.
Ifi: Who is the lion and who is the mouse?
Adam: Hmm, I was going to say that Aftran is the lion and Cassie is the mouse, but in retrospect it applies both ways.
Ifi: Yeah
Ifi: Double metaphor!

I followed the direction of her gaze. There, lodged in a crook of an elm tree branch, was a crumpled, ripped body. The sweet face with the big eyes was lolled to the side.
"It's a young deer," I said.
"What's it doing up there?"
"The animal that killed it put it there for safekeeping."
"What kind of animal does that? A wolf? A bear?"
I shook my head. "No. But a leopard does."

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: Of course.
Ifi: Of course.
Adam: Well, it's not like they would have mentioned an escaped leopard and then not have it try to eat everyone.
Ifi: Chekov's leopard.

"Maybe we better build a fire," Karen said. "Wild animals are scared of fire."
"Yeah. Let’s get to some shelter, then build a fire," I agreed. There was no need to tell Karen that she was wrong: Fire doesn't frighten most predators. Certainly not leopards. In African villages, leopards come right into the village, right into the huts, right past the fires, and drag dogs and pigs…and children…away.

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: This book.
Ifi: What is wrong with this book
Adam: It is one of those books that makes you revel in the beauty of humanity and the world at large.


Ifi: Anyway so now it is raining and Cassie finds a cave for them to hide in.
Ifi: She goes in to check it out first, to make sure nobody is living in it
Ifi: She decides the best way to do this would be to morph a wolf, even though she promised she wouldn't.
Ifi: Aftran tries to spy on her, but luckily doesn't see anything goddamn it this is what happens when you don't listen to Jake
Adam: How dark is this cave, anyway?
Adam: And doesn't the morphing process make uncomfortable squishy noises?
Ifi: No idea.
Ifi: And then there is a scream!

I plowed back through the brush. I emerged, panting, scratched and muddy, in time to see the leopard leap from the tall rock down toward the helpless girl.
TSEEEWWW!
A Dracon beam sliced upward at the leopard.

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: Oh my god the child has a Dracon beam
Ifi: Where the hell was she keeping that hidden?


Ifi: So Cassie saves her, as an eight year old girl isn't very good at using a weapon designed for Hork-Bajir warriors.
Ifi: Why doesn't she have a human-sized Dracon beam? I mean really now.
Adam: Well, she was in a fairly low ranking position, and I guess they didn't want to waste one on her
Ifi: But to do this, Cassie has to morph, and Aftran realizes that she is human, not an Andalite.
Adam: Oh
Adam: Well, I guess they are all completely screwed now.
Ifi: Cassie makes a fire and then they just talk for a while. Aftran wants to know why Cassie hasn't killed her yet. Cassie says she isn't sure.
Adam: dot dot dot
Adam: Cassie scares me a little in this book

I jumped up. "Don't you compare what your people do with what we do. You can't compare the attacker and the victim. You people started this war. And it's you invading my planet, not the other way around."
Karen jumped up, wincing at the pain in her ankle. "We have a right to live!"
"This isn't about you living!" I yelled. "It's about you enslaving other people."
"It's what we are," she yelled back. "We're parasites, you humans are predators. How many pigs and cows and chickens and sheep do you kill each year to survive? You think being a predator is morally superior to being a parasite? At least the host bodies we take remain alive. We don't kill them, cut them into pieces, and grill them over a charcoal fire in our backyards."

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Adam: Um
Adam: Surely I was not the only one shouting this during the book
Adam: But why don't they actually infest pigs?
Ifi: No thumbs.
Adam: So graft arms onto them.
Ifi: Eating animals for survival = enslaving a sentient species
Adam: It really is one of those analogies that falls apart when you look to closely into it.
Adam: They were able to make hammerhead sharks semi-sapient with a mass produced implant.
Adam: Surely they could find a way to give some dumb farm animal fingers.
Ifi: I'd hold out for a Leeran body.
Adam: Somehow I feel as if you have missed the point here.

Ifi: The Dracon beam is lost in the rain. The next day, Aftran actually asks if Cassie will help her look for it. Cassie says "lol"
Adam: That's pretty much what I said.
Ifi: Cassie finds them some mushrooms and stuff to eat.
Ifi: Yeah Aftran is really, really lucky she followed Cassie. Anyone else and she would be dead ten times over.
Adam: They mention the book The Hatchet. Even without the shoutout, that's all I could think of throughout this whole thing.
Ifi: I never actually read that. Gary Paulsen always lulled me to sleep. idk why


Adam: I just remember the bit where he was eating strange plants in the wilderness.
Ifi: Bad idea.
Adam: I think that was what first got me interested in weird foods.
Adam: But they all sound so delicious!
Adam: Especially these


Ifi: That's a promising filename.

"[...]How about this: Does it bother you when you hear Karen—the real Karen—crying inside your mind? Does it bother you when you're with her mother and Karen wants so badly to talk to her mom, just to tell her she loves her? Just to say, 'I love you, Mom,' and she can't even say that? Does it bother you then?"
Karen jerked like I'd slapped her. "You don't know what you're talking about!" she cried.
[...]
"She hates me, okay? Does that make you feel superior? She hates me. She wants me dead. She sits there in the back of my mind and imagines me being tortured, dying a slow, screaming death! That's what she feels. Hate! Hate! Hate!"
[...]

I smiled. "It works both ways, doesn't it? You can feel her emotions, but she can feel yours, as well. Is that it? She knows what's going on inside your mind. So what is it she really feels toward you? It's not hate."
"Shut up," Karen muttered again. She began to walk again, wincing with each step.
"It's pity, isn't it? She feels sorry for you."

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: Okay now this is something that was not explored nearly enough
Ifi: Everyone in the world can ignore bad things happening if they're not affected, or at least can't see it firsthand. But Yeerks have people screaming at them to get out 24/7. How do you live like that? Why would you want to?
Adam: Yeah, they bring it up, and it seems like it is going to be an important thing in this book, and then they pretty much never mention it again.
Ifi: I mean, I guess if they had advanced enough technology, they could make themselves robot bodies.
Ifi: Or just find voluntary controllers so nobody gets lonely.
Ifi: They wouldn't get too many, but it would probably be a larger number than you'd think
Ifi: Or just trap themselves in a morph that doesn't suck.
Ifi: If the Andalites would let them.
Adam: Find those cows from the restaurant at the end of the universe, and infest them.

For a while, Karen said nothing. Then, like it wasn't important, she said, "We have people like you, too."
"People like me?"
"Sure. Yeerks who oppose the wars, who feel it's wrong to take unwilling hosts."
I was so stunned I stopped walking. "What? There are Yeerks who are against all this?"
"Don't act so surprised. We aren't all the same." Her face took on a bitter, resentful expression. "See? You believe the Andalite propaganda about us. According to the Andalites, we're nothing but evil slugs. We don't deserve to be free, flying around the galaxy. We're just parasites."

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: Where.
Ifi: Where are they.
Ifi: Where?
Adam: We'll meet some a bit later on.
Ifi: Then we get a Yeerk bio lesson

"We are born with a hundred or more sisters and brothers. We don't hatch from eggs. And we aren't born the way mammals are born, either. Three Yeerks join together. They literally join together, with three bodies becoming one. Then that one body begins to fragment. It breaks up into smaller pieces, grubs they're called. Bit by bit the body disintegrates, and each grub that falls away becomes another Yeerk. Sometimes there are twins, two Yeerks from one grub. The parent-Yeerks die, of course."

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: So do Yeerks have three genders, or none at all?
Adam: I would assume none
Ifi: Yeah that makes sense
Adam: It's like snails.
Ifi: I did not realize snails worked like that.
Adam: Snails are hermaphroditic, but they require another snail to reproduce.
Adam: Both snails fertilize each other, and they both give birth.
Ifi: Also: Being a Yeerk just got about eight hundred times more lousy
Ifi: Seerow should have given them morphing technology.
Ifi: They'd be less inclined to steal other people's bodies.
Adam: The morphing technology was just recently invented at that point. He probably didn't have access to it.

Karen looked back at the meadow, "In our natural state, we have an excellent sense of smell. We have a good sense of touch. We can hear. We can communicate, using a language of ultrasonic squeaks. But we cannot see. We are blind, until we enter a host. Over the millennia we have moved up the evolutionary chain to more and more advanced hosts. Eventually, the Gedds became our basic host bodies.
"They are clumsy, slow creatures. But they have eyes. Oh, you can't imagine! You can't imagine the first time you enter a Gedd brain and seize control and suddenly, you are seeing! Seeing! Colors! Shapes! It's a miracle. To be blind and then to see!"
Suddenly she stooped down and snatched up a caterpillar from a leaf. "Do you see this? This is what I am, without a host body. Helpless! Weak! Blind!" She spun and pointed at the meadow. "Do you see those flowers? Do you see the sunlight? Do you see the birds flying? You hate me for wanting that? You hate me because I won't spend my life blind? You hate me because I won't spend my life swimming endlessly in a sea of sludge, while humans like you live in a world of indescribable beauty?"

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: Lots of words that basically amount to "earth is the specialest place in the universe"
Adam: Hmm, now if Gedds have a weaker sense of smell and hearing then Yeerks, wouldn't they be all upset that they would be giving up some of their other senses?
Adam: Why are Yeerks the only sentient species in the universe that doesn't use sight as its primary sense? You would figure that there would at least be some others.
Ifi: As far is earth being awesome goes—wouldn't she prefer her homeworld? I mean, it's horrible to humans and Andalites, but for a Yeerk it would be ideal.
Adam: Neverending hottubs!
Ifi: Realistically, the Yeerks wouldn't be all "aw man awesome planet gonna take over" they'd be like "I want to go home. I have the worst boss ever and this planet smells funny."
Adam: Not everyone is as agoraphobic as us.

Karen gave me a bleak, hard look. "There are those of us who wish it could be another way. That there was some middle choice between being slugs beneath the Andalite hooves, and being...and being..."
"Slave masters?" I suggested.
I expected her to yell at me. Instead she put her face close to mine. Her voice was low. Her green eyes so enormous I almost felt I could see through them to the Yeerk inside. "What would you do, Cassie? What would you do, if you were one of us? Would you live your life as a blind, helpless slug?"

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: DUN DUN DUN
Adam: Y'know what I would do?
Adam: I would go infest a horse.
Adam: Y'know, like they did in that other book.
Adam: Or, if I felt like swimming, I would infest a shark.
Adam: Like they did in that other book.
Ifi: You cannot use the internet if you are a horse.
Adam: Nonsense. I have a tongue, don't I?

Ifi: So then the leopard shows up. It really, really wants to eat Karen.
Adam: Also, Cassie does an eerily good job of guessing the leopard's thought process.

As soon as the leopard felt safe it would apply the killing bite: to the throat, to the back of the neck, or even to the head itself.
I was mostly wolf now. But would the leopard back down? The last time, I'd scared it away before it got to Karen. Now it would be defending its "kill."
And I had a bad feeling about fighting a leopard one-on-one.

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: Acquire it
Ifi: It's ten times more badass than a wolf.
Adam: Well, they tried during that first sario rip, but I guess that doesn't apply anymore.
Ifi: I thought that was a jaguar
Adam: Darn, you are right
Ifi: Yeah leopards live in Africa
Ifi: Very similar tho
Adam: This is a leopard:

 
Ifi: KITTY
Adam: And this is a panther:


Ifi: Hello kitty! Hi!
Ifi: Whosapretty cat yes?

Ifi: Anyway Marco shows up to even the odds, and the leopard decides it doesn't feel like fighting a gorilla.
Adam: Also, Marco exchanges one-liners with the leopard.
Ifi: There's Marco for you.
Ifi: He is pretty pissed off when he figures out what is going on.
Adam: A bit righteously so, I will admit.

"Cassie, we have no choice," Marco said. "She knows too much. We can't let her walk out of these woods alive."
"She's not just a Yeerk," I begged. "She's also a little girl."
"The little girl is gone," Marco said. "She's not in charge anymore. That Yeerk piece of crap is."
"That's a funny thing for you to say, Marco. You, of all people," I said.

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: Not cool Cassie.
Ifi: Not cool.


Adam: I am just going to back away slowly.
Ifi: Following that, Cassie and Marco murder each other.
Adam: Well no
Adam: They argue a lot.
Adam: And then Cassie gets the stupidest idea ever.

"I'll make it simple for you, Yeerk," Marco said. "You're going to die, that much we know. Now, you can leave that little girl and at least not take anyone else down with you, or... well, nothing personal, but you're not leaving this forest alive."
"No," Karen said simply. "You want to kill me? You have the power. But I'm not making it easy for you."
"Okay," Marco said. He said it casually, like it was all no big deal to him. I knew better. I knew he was feeling the awful violence-sickness inside of him. But I also knew he would do it.
The three of us seemed frozen in time, no one ready to make the first move. The three of us just stood and stared and waited...no! Not the three of us.
"Wait!" I cried. "There's another person here who should have a chance to speak."
Marco raised an eyebrow.
I looked at Karen. "I want to hear from the real Karen. The human little girl."
Karen laughed. "Don't be an idiot. You should know I can sound exactly like Karen if I want to. You'd never know for sure."
"I would if you weren't in her," I said. I began to morph, as fast as I could, back into the wolf.
"Yeah, that's what I'll do," the Controller jeered. "I'll just leave my host body and lie on the ground so your murderous predator friend here can—"
"Cassie, what are you doing?" Marco demanded. He'd noticed that I was morphing.
<I'm giving this Controller a place to go, so we can hear from Karen.>
With my half-hands, half-paws, I grabbed Karen's head and pulled it to me. I pressed her ear against mine.

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: What
Ifi: No
Ifi: What
Ifi: What
Ifi: What are you doing
Adam: I
Adam: I don't even know man.
Adam: I am trying to figure out what sort of universe it could be where this could be anywhere remotely close to a good idea.
Adam: So now Cassie is a controller.
Adam: Well, this seems promising!
Ifi: Luckily, Aftran is way less of a gigantic pompous jerk than the guy who snatched Jake's body

And then the Yeerk opened my memory. It was easy as any person reading a book. I felt my secrets, all my little shames and embarrassments, lying open for the Yeerk to inspect, to laugh at.
But at the same time, parts of her mind seemed to soak into my consciousness. I could see her. Not as well as she could see me, because I could not control which of her memories I looked at. But just the same, the Yeerk's mind seemed to blur into mine.
I was there, in the Yeerk pool, blind, swimming. I had a name and a designation: I was Aftran-Nine-Four-Two of the Hett Simplat pool.
I was there, in Aftran's memories, opening Gedd eyes for the first time and seeing color! Oh, the shock! Oh, the glory of it! Even secondhand, even from so long ago, the beauty of color seen for the first time was overwhelming.
I was there when the Yeerk first felt its Hork-Bajir host. Felt the grace and power that the Gedd would never have.
I was there when the new Hork-Bajir-Controller was in its first blade fight. The fear it had felt!
And after the battle, after the next battle, and the next, and the next, some other memory grew and grew. A memory of sadness. A memory of regret.

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Adam: Does this happen every time a Yeerk possesses someone?
Ifi: I don't know. I had the impression from later books that Yeerks can control what their hosts get from them.
Ifi: Maybe Aftran isn't trying though
Adam: Hmm, that does make a degree of sense.
Adam: Would a Yeerk be able to deliberately show its host specific memories if it wanted to?
Ifi: I'm sure it could
Adam: Peculiarsome.
Adam: So Aftran!Cassie does the sensible thing, and promptly flies away.

<Then let's put an end to the killing!> I cried. <Your side, my side. The Animorphs will be here soon. They've seen me. There will be a battle. Some of those Controllers down there on the ground will die! Some of my friends may die! Karen may die! You may die! For what? For what?>
She laughed bitterly. <You think we can make peace between human and Yeerk and Andalite? Don't be stupid.>
<No, I don't think we can make peace between all humans and all Yeerks and all Andalites. But you and I can have peace. One Yeerk, one human.>
Aftran said nothing. But I could hear echoes of her thought. Back to the Yeerk pool. To hide among the other Yeerks. To try and disappear in the mass of slugs. To leave her host and never return.
Never to see again. Never to see blue, green, red. Never again to see the sun. Any sun.
Why? So some little human girl with green eyes could be free?

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: This book is so friggen depressing.
Adam: Go
Adam: Infest
Adam: A
Adam: Horse!
Adam: Why is this such a difficult concept to grasp?
Ifi: Sounds like a Yeerk insult
Adam: Your mother infested a horse!
Ifi: And then tried to dial a phone!
Adam: Oh snap
Ifi: Ice burn.

Adam: So Aftran warns the Controllers searching for her that the Animorphs are out there, but doesn't give away that they are actually humans
Ifi: Then she takes back Karen's body
Adam: Only in a Cassie book would this sort of thing happen.

She bent down and raised a leaf so I could see it. Hanging from the bottom of the leaf was a caterpillar. It was maybe an inch and a half long. It hung from the bottom of the leaf and was busy writhing out of its old skin. The old skin was gathered around the caterpillar like a sock that has fallen down your leg.
"This is what I am," Karen said. "A slug. A worm. What this little creature experiences is what I would experience if I didn't have a host body."
"I...I'm sorry," I said. It was all I could think of to say.
"You ask me to become this worm again. You ask a lot of me, Cassie the Animorph. You say we can make peace between us, just you and me and Karen. You say we can make a start. And then you ask me to give up everything, while you go on about your life, living amidst splendor and magnificence."
All I could do was to shake my head. I didn't even know what it meant. Was I denying what she said? No. It was the truth.
"So I ask you, Cassie," Karen said in a silky voice. "What will you give up, if I give up everything?"
"I…what can I…"
Karen carefully, gently placed the half-cocooned caterpillar in my hand. "Let its DNA flow into you, Cassie."

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: Aftran that is such a dick thing to do.
Adam: Seriously.
Adam: There are so many better ways to get out of this.
Ifi: And she's been in Cassie's brain, so she has to know Cassie would agree.

To lose my parents. My friends. The entire world.
To save my parents. My friends. Maybe even the entire world.

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: How
Ifi: is this saving the world
Ifi: How will this save the world
Adam: Shhhh
Adam: Let her have her martyr complex.

Ifi: After this, the narration changes to Jake
Ifi: Which is sort of weird but I guess you can see why they had to do it that way
Adam: I wasn't expecting it, I will give that much credit.
Ifi: It is pretty jarring
Adam: Well, it is only switching between two characters instead of all of them, so I don't really mind it.
Ifi: The Animorphs have spent the last day or so searching for Cassie because they know if Cassie can't get herself out of the woods, something is seriously wrong.

Rachel called me. I called the others. Marco said something he didn't really mean about Cassie not being an Animorph anymore, so she wasn't our problem. Rachel knocked him on his butt.

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: I hope she kicked him down a flight of stairs.
Adam: Let's stay classy now.
Adam: In anycase, they get there slightly too late, and Cassie is now a caterpillar nothlit.

"Right at the end, right before the two hours were up, I told her to stop. I told her she'd proven herself to me. I begged her to stop, to demorph." Karen raised her green eyes to me. "But I'd forgotten. I don't think the caterpillar could hear. At least not speech. She didn't know that I had seen enough. And now…"

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: You are a horrible person.
Ifi: We weren't even testing for that.

"You said you had a deal with Cassie. Tell me about it."
"If she would suffer the same fate that awaits me—a life without sight, without pleasure, without freedom—then I would do what she asked me to do," Karen said simply.
"And what did Cassie ask you to do?"
"To make what small peace I could," Karen said. "To let this host body go free. And never to take another human host."

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: I still don't feel like being a Yeerk is equal to being a caterpillar
Adam: Seriously.
Adam: Also now Cassie has a year-long lifespan.
Ifi: So the Animorphs let Aftran go and bring Cassie home to, like, take care of her I guess. She spins a cocoon.
Adam: Ah, the miracle of life


<Jake! Jake! She's coming out!> Tobias said.
"I thought it was supposed to take at least ten days!" I said. The teacher stared at me. So did most of the class, those that were awake.
"Sorry," I said. "I...um...I'm not feeling too well. Permission to go to the nurse?"
"Wait till the end of class."
"But I have to hurl!" I cried, and ran for the door. No one argues when you say you have to hurl. They just get out of your way.
Seconds later, Rachel got sick, too. She also had to hurl.
Then Marco left the classroom he was in. Marco, being Marco, told his teacher he had to rush out to put on one of those Nicoderm patches. "I'm trying to break the smoking habit!" he yelled. "Don't stop me!"

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: This is why we put up with you, Marco
Adam: Remember kids, you smoke, you choke.
Ifi: It's only been three days since she trapped herself. The process was meant to take a few weeks but idk
Adam: She was given a fast metamorphosis by the Jesus-Whale or something
Ifi: The Animorphs agree that being a butterfly sucks slightly less than being a caterpillar
Ifi: And then Ax shows up


Adam: Oh dear 
Adam: And then we get
Adam: The biggest asspull I have ever seen.

"Naturally-occurring morphing?" Ax asked quizzically. "You didn't tell me."
"I guess it is natural morphing," I said. "And I guess it's better to live your life as a butterfly than as a caterpillar."
"Would Cassie prefer being this creature to being human again?" Ax asked. "Creee-cher. Cuh-ree-ture."
Rachel sighed. "No, Ax, of course not. We're just saying that this is better than her only other choice. Better to be a butterfly than a caterpillar."
"Ah. I see," Ax said. "But maybe she would like to demorph now."
"I'm sure she would," Marco said grimly.
"Then she should," Ax said.
Slowly, one by one, we all turned our eyes to stare at him. Rachel did a little more. She jumped up, grabbed him by the collar and said, "Are you jerking my chain, or do you have something to say?"
Ax seemed a little surprised, to put it mildly. But he said, "Oh, I see. You didn't realize. Zuh. Re-uh-liiii-zuh. A very complicated word, 'realize.' And the 'z' sound makes my human mouth-parts tickle."
"Ax! Are you saying Cassie can morph?!" I demanded.
"I believe so," he said. "This naturally-occurring morph should reset the morphing clock. She has two hours to demorph."
"GET! THAT! BUTTERFLY!" I yelled.

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Ifi: THIS! IS! SPARTA!
Adam: Why is he so nonchalant about this?
Ifi: There's nothing to eat, therefore, he is not really interested in the proceedings
Adam: This seems like the sort of thing which would only be theoretical in morphing theory.
Adam: So if it had occurred to Ax at all, I would figure it to be something that he would suggest hesitantly, as just a hypothesis.
Ifi: And yeah, it makes no sense. I mean, the DNA hasn't changed, has it?
Adam: It has not.
Ifi: It's a metaphor
Ifi: Someday the Yeerks will all turn into butterflies
Adam: Yeah okay, if you say so.

Ifi: Cassie's dad tells her that he magically got funding for the clinic, so the local wildlife can still go to rehab

"Yeah. It was weird. Suddenly this guy from UniBank calls up and says his daughter had heard about the clinic. He says she's been bugging him to contribute enough money to keep us open. The man actually said, 'So, tell me what you need so my little girl will be happy.' So I did. And he's sending the check over."

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Adam: This is how all millionaires make their business decisions.
Ifi: Naturally.

Adam: We cut to Cassie and Rachel at the mall.
Adam: And guess who Cassie spots over in the corner of the store with her mom?

And that's when I saw her, standing off by herself, just a little distance from the woman who must have been her mother.
I went over to her, leaving Rachel in the midst of some sweaters.
"Hi, Karen," I said.
"Hi, Cassie," she said.
"How are you?"
She looked at me with those familiar green eyes and said, "I'm free, Cassie. She kept her promise. I'm free."
I couldn't say anything. Words wouldn't come out. I just knelt down and gave the little girl a hug.
One small victory. One girl free. One connection made with one of our enemies.
A very small peace.
"She would be glad you escaped," Karen said. "She tried to stop you at the very end."

----Book Nineteen, The Departure

Adam: …I'm not crying right now.
Adam: It is just the rain.
Adam: Yes.
Ifi: If I was the author, the series would have gone in a completely different direction after this
Adam: Please enlighten me.
Ifi: The whole Yeerk Peace Movement! That had the potential to be epic!
Adam: Aftran would end up as some sort of Yeerk Ghandi?
Ifi: Yah
Ifi: Which makes sense
Adam: This is true.
Ifi: When you consider what happens to her in the end
Adam: The end of this book, or what ultimately happens to her later?
Ifi: Later
Adam: Ah, okay.
Adam: Hmm, so any other closing thoughts?
Ifi: The writing in this book seemed different than usual. I can't quite place it.
Ifi: It just seemed deeper.
Adam: It is one of those books that I didn't fully appreciate when I was little.
Adam: But rereading it now, I honestly found it to be really good.
Ifi: Yeah
Adam: It was one of those My Species Doth Protest Too Much plots.
Adam: Which honestly have the potential to be pulled off rather well
Ifi: I did like the fact that there was no ridiculous plot
Adam: It was a nice change, yes.
Adam: Actually, we're going to have a nice break from ridiculous plots for a while now.
Ifi: Oh right
Ifi: It's time for David, isn't it?
Adam: That it is.
Adam: Let's all give him a warm welcome.
Ifi: *throws a rock*
Adam: That works too

24 comments:

  1. This book was the calm before the storm that was the David books.

    I had kind of forgotten about this book until you guys mentioned it in the review for 18 or something.

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  2. this is a book that I disliked when I was younger because I didn't really understand it, and because I couldn't really wrap my mind around complicated ideas like the yeerks not really being all bad. Now, though, after reading this review, i think I'm going to go and re-read it.
    I missed the facebooks though :( I was looking forward to something after her experience, maybe about mushrooms...?
    David is next! "joins ifi in throwing rocks"

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  3. I really did want to do fb statuses for this one, but when I sat down to do them, it just didn't seem right for such a serious book. idk. Maybe I am just a sap. I guarantee them next time though!

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  4. Goddamn even the mention of David gives me some chills. Shame about what happened when he came back at the end of the series.


    So, is this book is a good example of the retcon that Cassie is an anomaly, "temporally grounded" I think the term was? Wasn't one characteristic of that being that she can unconsciously see dimly into the future and thus totally idiotic decisions, like giving Tom the morphing cube, end up being good decisions?

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  5. Another one of those slight differences : in the French version, the mention about Hatchet has been replaced by one to Robinson Crusoe. Makes sense since I'd never heard about Gary Paulsen before. Although apparently The Hatchet has been translated into French - but only very recently, in 2010 -, under the title "Crash en forêt", "Crash in a forest".

    Looking forward to the David reviews ! I know I shouldn't but I kind of like David. He makes a good antagonist.

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  6. I was the same as Tory when I was a kid, this book was really surreal and confusing to me as a kid. But I actually re-read it just before you guys did this review, and it's pretty complex for such a young reading level. Was this one ghostwritten? It would explain why Marco is suddenly a giant asshole.

    Also: http://tinyurl.com/76fxuzo

    p.s. Augh, David already?? I didn't realize he came in so early in the series. He can go eat a bowl of spicy dicks.

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  7. This is probably still one of my favourite books of the series. I always cry at the end.ç__ç
    (also, about the asspull: Cassie didn't spin a cocoon. She spun a TARDIS. I mean, according to Megamorphs 4 she's a Time Lord or something, right?)

    And, oh. David.
    You know, when I was thirteen and I discovered that there was gonna be a new Animorph and that his name was gonna be David I was all: "OMG THIS IS SO AMAZING HE IS GONNA HAVE MY NAME" (well, kinda).
    After I read book 20, I was: "Meh, he's kind of an asshole"
    After book 21, I was: "I hate this fu**er. I hate him SO MUCH"
    After book 22, I was seriously considering changing my name.

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  8. ^^Oh, that sucks so much, Davide.

    OK, comments galore!

    RE: the cover. I like it too. I think it feels different because it looks like what you'd see as the cover of a classical music album or a book entitled _Educating Elementary Students Through Movement and Dance_.

    So _Megamorphs 2_ is canon now. Huh. Sucks for my "obvious" theory. <:(

    Ba-haha, the 90's "Land of the Lost"! Bat-winged Pteronodons! And it's STILL better than "Terra Nova"!

    "Cassie, only you could gain weight while fighting aliens in hand-to-hand combat on a regular basis."

    Yeah, but doesn't that bring up yet more questions as to how, exactly, Morphing technology works? You're essentially being rebooted from your own DNA when you change back so aside from injuries, you should be essentially the same. Argh, time-travel! I mean, argh, shape-shifting!

    Oh wow, the "parasites are morally superior to carnivores" speech. But that's an excellent solution: find or specially breed a species with thumbs and big brains that WANT to have their minds controlled and their sustenance gradually leached away!

    "You cannot use the internet if you are a horse."

    Funny story. Shortly before I gave up on being an editor at TV Tropes, I got into an argument with a guy about Tobias and whether or not he qualifies as "Cursed With Awesome" (the correct answer is, yes). His main argument was that if he had been permanently transformed into a hawk, he would -I'm not kidding- miss being able to use the Internet. Because apparently reading a screen is way, way more entertaining than flying around all day. I think I inadvertently found the most jaded teen ever.

    Regarding "Naturally occurring morphs": Repeat: Argh, argh, argh, shape-shifting!

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  9. This one was not ghostwritten. I believe the books didn't start being ghostwritten until the book right after the David arc.

    Also, it's me, the insane anonymous animal-nut commenter.

    Fun fact: the word "panther" can refer to the leopard, the jaguar or the cougar/puma.

    Most big cats kill their prey with a bite to the throat, but jaguars are unique in the sense that they also commonly kill their prey by biting right through its skull. That's why they have such heavy jaws and huge teeth compared to other big cats.

    Leopards can be crossbred with pumas to make short-legged little spotty things that look like they should be made into footstools. Generally they resort to man-eating when they've been injured to the point where they can no longer hunt ordinary prey.

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    Replies
    1. I think the Applegate reddit interview talks about when the ghostwriting started and ended http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/gzhau/iam_ka_applegate_author_of_animorphs_and_many/

      but I'll be damned if I'm going to wade through it to check.

      I think you're right though, Anon- ghostwriting definitely started somewhere in the early 20s, and I don't think really completely stopped until the last few books

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    2. Okay, I just went through that reddit thread, and KA Applegate is now my favourite author... no scratch that. Person. She is now my favourite person ever.

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  10. According to Wikipedia, the non-ghostwritten books after #24 (the one with the Helmacrons) are #26 (The Attack), #32 (The Separation), #53 (The Answer), #54 (The Beginning), Megamorphs 3, Megamorphs 4 and the three remaining Chronicles.

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    1. Yeah, you can tell which books are ghostwritten because they'll have a "The author would like to thank whomever for their help in preparing this manuscript" in the tile page. #32 was weirdly good for a mid-series book with a goofy premise, so it doesn't surprise me K.A. Applegate actually wrote it.

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  11. I am relatively certain that this book is singlehandedly responsible for my dislike of Always Chaotic Evil as a trope.

    And I was also very disappointed that Cassie didn't acquire the damn leopard. That would have been cool. But it also gave the leopard this kind of narrative independence - it wasn't there so Cassie could get a new battle morph, it was there because it was a badass predator that wouldn't stop until it had its prey. And I feel that it became a stronger, more memorable presence in the book because of that independence.

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  12. Gah, the yeerk peace movement! SO MUCH WASTED POTENTIAL. They could've been far more useful. They could've infiltrated the higher military ranks of the empire. They could've starved out and replaced high-ranking yeerks if they had to. They could've pioneered biotechnology to allow the altering of nonsentient hosts, or even custom hosts built from scratch! (I refuse to believe that no yeerks who wanted something better ever possessed a biologist or biotechnologist; the conclusion from there is pretty damn easy to draw.) They could've pioneered a yeerk/human alliance that, given the yeerks' natural versatility and talents and humans' established incredible speed of technological progress, could've grown to engulf the other major sentient spacefaring species in the galaxy.

    THEY COULD HAVE BEEN GLORIOUS. They could have been instrumental in the final battle, a revolution with their human allies instead of a human conquest. Instead a bunch of teens had to save them.

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    1. My belief is that Yeerks LIKE possessing people. Aftran uses the carnivore analogy, and I think it is apt: Yeerks in her position are like vegetarians among us. Some might object on moral grounds, but the rest of us laugh at them and would push the cook into a BBQ grill before eating tofu substitutes.

      Ifi asks how you can listen to someone screaming and hating you in your head, and I think the answer is: they get off on it. Aftran and her ilk must be the Yeerk equivalent of a sadistic psychopath among humans - a rarity who is completely out of synch with the standard mental wiring of the rest of the species. They are probably viewed as some sort of pervert to the rest of the Yeerks. Again, Aftran goes to the prey analogy, and maybe for the Yeerks, host sympathy is not merely the equivalent of fraternizing with the enemy and thus forbidden under pain of death to protect the war effort, but is actually more akin to bestiality.

      For the general run of Yeerks, a substitute like a robot body, animal or non-sentient bio-engineered host might be the equivalent of asking a human to give up sex and reproduce by use of a milking machine & turkey baster, food for an IV drip, sunshine for a UV lamp, and movies for flip books. And asking us to do this, because a species of space alien that provides us with no tangible benefits is offended by our usual practices.

      Delete
  13. Actually that picture is of a jaguar - while jaguars or leopards can be called panthers, afaik that title is general reserved for black morphs (haha morph) of the cats in question, thus creating black panthers. WHICH ARE DOMINANT IN JAGUARS AND RECESSIVE IN LEOPARDS so if you see a black panther, especially in the wild, it is probably a jaguar and not a leopard! The melanistic gene in leopards is so rare that it's almost unheard of to see one outside of a zoo where it's been bred for that. I'm pretty sure. Just plain old 'panther,' on the other hand, I've almost always heard used to refer to the Mountain Lion/Cougar/Puma/Florida Wildcat/Catamount/Mexican Lion/etc I won't keep on listing 'em because it legit has close to 50 common names, one of which is panther. /shrug

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  14. It's funny, somehow I skipped this book as well as all but the last of the david books ( hated him anyway) Looking back.. somehow I managed to skip a lot of these kinds. That's really.. huh. ( Still hate the ending. will forever hate that ending.)

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  15. This book is great, but it has a really major plot hole that I'm surprised you guys didn't touch on:

    First of all, what did Aftran do, jump out of Karen's ear into the Yeerk pool and then just not reinfest her? Did they, like, put on an act so it would look like she was reinfested, or what? Does this mean that Karen has to return to the Yeerk pool every three days to keep up the act? I'm assuming that the Yeerks keep track of their personnel, and since she isn't on the run once she's free, wouldn't they know where she is and expect updates on her mission? In fact, in now occurs to me to wonder how an eight-year-old girl was getting back and forth to the Yeerk pool every three days in the first place.

    And, excluding all of those questions, are we not at all concerned about what might happen if Karen was to be reinfested, either for being discovered or just at any other point in her life, even years from now? At the very least she knows everything that was said out loud, and at most she knows everything that Cassie knows. So now there is just this little ticking time bomb of critical, secret information walking around in the world who could totally blow their cover. This isn't a problem?

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  16. that deus ex machina at the end completely screws with my time limit theory..... also it's bloody stupid

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  17. you know, they don't find out about the YPM til the 29 book.

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    1. I don't care. I'm one of the Animorphs who show up at the end after Cassie morphs, I straight up kill Aftran dead. Tie Karen up for three days, take her to the Chee, and have a couple of them pretend to be her parents for a while. Tough shit kid, but I wouldn't feel even a little bit guilty. One new Yeerk in her head and the last hope for the planet is lost, and the Animorphs are not the ones who put her in that position, so it's not their fault.

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  18. Guys. The person who funded the Clinic in the end was Karen's Dad.

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  19. im a chick likeabausMarch 29, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    dude. SKRITNA. there jjust big annoying alien butterflies!...ok but at last they meta- metamu- metamorfa- screw it u know what i mean.

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