Saturday, March 3, 2012

Book 25: The Extreme

The Summary
The Chee have found out that the Yeerks are implementing some sort of plan to do something with satellites that will turn all bodies of water into Yeerk Pools. So the Animorphs have to put a stop to it. They sneak aboard the Blade ship, not knowing what their destination is, and find themselves freezing to death in the Arctic.

The only slightly useful morphs they have are wolves, so the Animorphs wander around for a while. They are also chased by new creatures that Ax identifies as Venber, which are very strong but cannot survive temperatures above zero. The Yeerks engineered them to do construction in the ice.

Eventually the Animorphs meet an Inuit boy named Derek and his polar bear friend Nanook. They acquire Nanook and attack the Yeerk facility. The Venber are unable to follow them inside where it is warm without melting, and the Animorphs easily steal a bug fighter and use it to blow everything up.

The Review
Adam: So, now we have our first ghostwritten book.
Adam: Please excuse my error the other week.
Ifi: Yeah Adam is a liar.
Adam: ...Thanks

Adam: Anycase, this book is courtesy of Mr. Jeffrey Zuehlke.
Ifi: Mr. Z decided the Animorphs needed to spend 3/4 of the text wandering around in the snow.
Adam: Yeah, this is another one of those road trip books.
Adam: This is the third one so far, as I recall?
Ifi: Well there was Leera and ummm
Adam: Amazon rainforest
Ifi: Right

Adam: So, the cover.
Ifi: Yep it's a polar bear.
Adam: It's a bit bland, honestly.
Adam: The pose isn't terribly exciting.
Ifi: This book isn't terribly exciting
Adam: Alas, this is true.
Adam: Though the color scheme is at least thematically appropriate.

Adam: So, we begin with Marco's love life.
Ifi: Marco actually got a date!
Ifi: With some throwaway character who will never be mentioned again
Adam: Oh throwaway love interest, you are always my favorite.
Adam: So, this girl who apparently has "Dreamweaver" playing in the background whenever she walks by ends up asking Marco to the opera.
Adam: This will obviously end well.
Ifi: What kind of middle schooler goes to see a live orchestra?
Adam: That is a very good question

"So then what happened?" Cassie asked me in study hall the day after what had come to be called The Big Date.
Study hall was being held in the school gym this week. They'd closed our usual classroom. Something about asbestos and lawsuits.
So instead of studying silently for an hour, a bunch of kids were playing basketball and volleyball while the rest of us, me and Cassie included, sat on the bleachers and talked. It was a big improvement.
"Well, after I failed in a bold attempt to escape during intermission, we went back in and the orchestra started to play. Again. And they played. And played. And I considered yelling 'Fire!' just to get outta the place. And when I woke up everybody was gone, including Marian."

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Ifi: -slow clap-
Adam: Marco, you have such a way with the ladies.
Ifi: Whatever, I prefer this sort of opening to stupid and dangerous cover-blowing antics
Adam: It still comes off as more than a bit pointless
Adam: And doesn't really add anything to the plot.
Ifi: The openings never do.
Adam: True enough

Adam: So anywho, Marco and Cassie are derping around in the gym, when who should show up, but our buddy Erek.
Ifi: Erek has an assignment for them!

"Our sources tell us the Yeerks have been trying to develop a way to broadcast Kandrona rays using human satellite technology," Erek told us. "They seem to have found some place on this planet isolated enough to allow them to erect a satellite station without interference. If they're successful, they could turn every backyard swimming pool in the world into a Yeerk pool."

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Ifi: I don't think that's how it works.
Adam: And therefor giving everyone on earth horrible cancer
Ifi: Well so I guess now we have to stop them.
Ifi: Whatever, it's a few days off from school
Ifi: I think this is the first time the Chee stand in for the whole team
Adam: I am honestly surprised that they didn't come up with this earlier.
Adam: When I was reading earlier books, I am always surprised when their parents yell at them for getting back late.
Adam: Particularly in book 19, where Cassie goes missing for a week
Adam: They really could have asked Erek to get a cover for her.
Ifi: Well that time I think they thought she was legitimately lost
Adam: Fair point.

<So, no problem, right?> Tobias said. <We fly out to Visser Three's feeding place and when the Bug fighter arrives, we hitch a ride.>
"That appears to be our only option."
"Shun. Shunn," Ax confirmed.

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Ifi: Great idea guys
Adam: …How do they know that Visser Three intends to go straight there after eating?
Adam: What if he had some business meetings or such first?
Ifi: The Chee said so.
Adam: I mean, it is always possible for him to have some intermediary chores in between those two things.

Ifi: Anyway, check out what Visser Three has in his room

There were various things hanging from the walls, like art. Some were large and elaborate, made of steel or something like steel. Some had electrical probes. Some had teeth or spikes or saws. We had an idea they might be instruments of torture collected from around the galaxy.
We had that idea because I recognized one of the artworks: It's called an "iron maiden." Not the dinosaur rock band, the Middle-Ages cage with the spikes inside.

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Adam: …Really?
Adam: I would have appreciated an attempt to make him even just a little bit less of a Saturday morning cartoon villain.
Ifi: Yeah I dunno
Adam: Have him have some weird pets, or a photo of his brother or Evanescence posters or something.

Ifi: Anyway, the flight to the mystery location is pretty long and I think at one point a Taxxon eats itself or something idk
Adam: Also, there are these weird creatures in tubes onboard
Ifi: Oh right yes

Rising up behind her was a pillar of glass. A cylinder ten feet, twelve feet tall, and half as broad. Inside the cylinder was a vague shape, blood-red and midnight-blue slashes highlighting a glistening silver body.
Yes, body. Because despite the frosted glass and the mist that filled the cylinder, that ten-foot-tall tube contained something biological.
There was a row of the cylinders spaced across the cargo bay. Maybe ten in all.
"They look like creatures of some kind," Cassie said.
[…]
"An alien race from a frozen moon several dozen light-years from here," Ax explained. "We learned about them in school. They were among the earliest evidence we obtained of life beyond our own planet. But the Venber have been extinct for thousands of years."

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Adam: This is suddenly turning into one of those paranormal mystery shows.


Ifi: The Venber have a pretty horrible backstory. They were killed and melted down into microchips.
Adam: Well, semiconductors, but yes.
Adam: Poor guys.
Adam: I mean, treating them that was ways just cold.


Adam: I've got plenty more, folks!
Ifi: Ugh go away
Adam: You know you love my wit and eccentric charm.

Ifi: Anyway they get themselves caught eventually

Shwooof! To our left a door opened.
Shwooof! To our right a door opened.
Shwooof! The door opened right ahead of us.
Each door was big enough to frame a dozen Hork-Bajir. Peering over their shoulders were more Hork-Bajir.
And right then I realized why Visser Three had let the ship land: He'd located us. He knew he had us. And we were definitely dead.
I stopped breathing. Hork-Bajir were everywhere. Everywhere! This wouldn't be a fight. This would be a slaughter.
Then, at the center door, he appeared.
<Well, well, well. Here aboard my own ship. How nice of you to come around to see me. Can I offer you anything? Something to drink? To eat? Or maybe just a quick death?>

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Adam: Seriously.
Adam: Saturday morning cartoon villain.
Ifi: But they escape. And it turns out they are in somewhere cold.
Adam: So for some idiot reason, they all go into their battle morphs.
Adam: Which include a tiger and a gorilla.
Ifi: Everyone died.
Adam: I died.
Adam: Inside, at least.

<Could be Alaska,> Tobias said. <About a mile that way I see some kind of base or even a town. Lots of gray, corrugated metal buildings. One bigger than the rest. Big doors like those on plane hangars. There's like this giant bowl attached to the roof. And that's the hawk report, boys and girls. I am morphing before I end up in the frozen foods section next to the frozen chicken.>

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Ifi: The next sixty pages are spent wandering around in the snow.
Adam: As it turns out, Alaska is cold.
Adam: Who knew?


Ifi: Also boring.
Adam: So, they make it to the building, where they promptly get attacked by Venber wielding giant laser cannons.
Adam: In retrospect, they really should have tried to acquire them.
Ifi: I know right?
Ifi: Everyone is freezing to death and nobody even thinks to try and pin one down
Adam: Because certainly a morph that can withstand sub-zero temperatures would never come in handy.
Adam: Though to be fair, these things are stated to be monstrously strong.
Ifi: They didn't even tryyyyyyy
Adam: Yeah, they really should make an attempt to get more alien morphs, overall.

Ifi: They actually don't seem to do much of anything
Ifi: in this book
Ifi: They dig a hole in the snow at one point
Adam: Yeah, it's just everyone walking around slowly freezing to death.
Ifi: To keep warm, some of them morph fleas and burrow into Rachel's fur for warm

I turned to look over my shaggy gray shoulder. I couldn't see the Venber. Couldn't smell them, either, despite the wind blowing from behind us.
<No way they gave up,> Tobias said. <We have to keep moving.>
<So says the flea all nice and warm in his honey's back fur,> I muttered.
<What did you say?> Rachel demanded. I guess she was shocked that I'd dare to make any remark suggesting she and Tobias were more than just friends and Animorphs. Like that was some big secret.

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Ifi: Also the Venber are following them as apparently they have nothing better to do.
Ifi: And then they find a polar bear! But they don't try to acquire him.
Adam: Well, if you were stuck in a place like this all day, you'd probably want to find something new to do


Adam: And yeah, this book suddenly turns into a nature documentary.

The polar bear pulled his head out of the water, shook it, and lumbered further out on the ice. Finally, when he was about twenty yards from the water's edge, he dropped onto his stomach and slithered along a few feet at a time.
The polar bear stopped. He'd found something.
Suddenly he raised one of his giant paws and slammed it through the ice. I heard a desperate squealing and saw a pair of gray shapes scurry out of the hole his paw had made. The shapes scurried off and jumped back into the water a few yards away. The bear kept his paw in the hole, reaching around for the seal he'd trapped.
Then he stuck his head through the hole. He stood up on his powerful legs. He raised his head. The seal was in his jaws. But the seal was too fat to fit through the hole.
He pulled it out anyway. The process made for instant, shredded seal.

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Ifi: Nature is beautiful
Ifi: Oh but there are leftovers! Hooray!

<But you're waiting for me to give my approval? Is that it?> [Cassie] said.
<Look,> I began again. If I had to be the jerk in this situation, that was fine. I was used to it. I was usually the first one to state the obvious, no matter how ugly it was. Just call me Mr. Ruthless. <In case you haven't noticed, there doesn't seem to be a Mickey D's around here.>
<I noticed that,> Cassie said, a little annoyed. <It's obvious what we have to do. And not just to the bear's leftovers, but to any live seal we can find. What I don't understand is why you're asking me for permission. Do you guys think I'd put an animal's life over yours? Or mine, come to think of it?>
<I don't know,> I started to say.
<You don't know? When did you start thinking I was some kind of fanatic? We're freezing, we're starving, and I'm going to go all tree-hugging, never-eat-anything-with-a-face on you?>

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme



Adam: I think Cassie is just hungry.
Adam: Because honestly, all the things that they are semi-accusing her of seem perfectly in character.
Ifi: Yeah
Ifi: I mean it's easier to be a vegetarian when you live in suburban California
Ifi: as opposed to Alaska or wherever the hell they are
Adam: I'd like to point out that a traditional Inuit diet is pretty much all meat.
Adam: Because that's basically all you can get up there.
Ifi: om nom nom I love meat

Then my sensitive nose picked up the scent of seals, very close. Live seals. I spotted the two little gray balls floating in the water. They were the baby seals who'd escaped from the polar bear. Looking right at us with those big black eyes.
They had faces like puppy dogs. Little heads with big eyes and whiskers. No ears. I usually like to reserve the word cute for myself exclusively, but there was really no other way to describe them.
<They're looking for their mother,> Cassie said.
Their mother? Their mother was…
An unexpected wave of emotion swept over me. Dumb, I know, but for two years I thought my mom was dead. Not the same, though. Was it? Watching those little seals floating in the water, waiting for the mother who would never return, brought all the sadness back in a rush.
I moved between them and the horrible carcass on the ice. It wasn't our doing, killing their mother. But we'd profited from it.
<Our cold-weather morphs,> Rachel said. <Right there.>

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Ifi: x_X Great morph guys.
Ifi: Polar bears and orcas and Arctic foxes are lame. What we need is a completely defenseless baby seal.

 
Ifi: The Yeerks won't know what hit them
Adam: Well, perhaps they can scare predators away with adorable internet memes.
Ifi: Well at least they won't die of cold.
Ifi: They'll die of being eaten by the first thing that sees them
Adam: So they catch a seal, and Marco gets scratched on the nose for his trouble.
Ifi: But then the Venber see them morph! The Animorphs run away and make no attempt to stop the Venber from returning to their base!
Adam: Oh well, I guess it will all work out.

Adam: Of course, then they demorph right in front of this Inuit kid who was out hunting.
Ifi: My God I cannot believe this happened.

He was sitting in a beat-up little fishing boat with a small outboard motor. It suddenly occurred to me that he'd probably scared the killer whales off with his engine.
I kept looking at him. He kept looking at me. I didn't know what to do. Or what to say.
So I waved and said, "Hi. How's it going?"
He didn't say anything for a minute. Just stared. Finally he said, "You some kind of spirit or something?"

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Adam: So everybody meet Derek.
Ifi: Derek is so laid-back that I think he might be high.
Adam: I like Derek, honestly.
Adam: Everything is always drugs with you, isn't it?

"Those crazy Star Trek men. Shooting seals with phasers and all. Like those people are using them for target practice or something. They show no respect. Makes me mad."
"Star Trek guys?" I said.
"Yeah," he replied. Then, "Oh, I guess you animal spirits don't watch TV, huh? You need to get a satellite dish, Spirit-boy."
"The name's Marco. That's Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Tobias…he's the one with the wings and Ax. Ax isn't from around here."

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Ifi: So Derek has seen the spaceships and the Venber and the construction and he is COMPLETELY UNFAZED by it and just goes on doing his thing apparently. 
Adam: Well, this is the place where Sarah Palin came from.
Adam: I'm sure he's seen worse.

"Hunting for sport. Like it's a game. Yeah, we get guys come up here for that. Up from New York and Detroit. Shoot bears and caribou from helicopters. No respect for nothing, those guys. Those guys at the station, though, they're the worst. They're just crazy for killing." He cocked his head. "That must make you animal spirits mad."

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Ifi: This book makes no sense.


Adam: Again, this is just another ordinary day for Derek.
Ifi: Also Derek is friends with the polar bear they saw before.
Adam: This is profoundly convenient.
Adam: So they ask him if they can go wrestle the bear.
Adam: Being the sensible human being that he is, Derek says yes.

We morphed back to seals, followed Derek's boat, and found the polar bear sprawled on the ice on his back, lounging in the sun. Like he was at the beach. Frankly, it annoyed me. How could any creature enjoy this place?
We crawled up onto the ice a few hundred yards away from the bear and demorphed to human.
"I wish I could do that," Derek said, watching with interest as human faces appeared on seal bodies.

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Ifi: Yeah. Derek is baked.
Adam: What, you don't wish that you could do that?
Ifi: The part that confused me was that the way Derek talked about the bear made it sound like he was tame, but he obviously was not and the Animorphs have to beat him into submission
Adam: I don't really think that you can tame polar bears.
Adam: I figured it was more that he has sort of been near the bear since he was little, and they have some sort of mutual respect thing
Ifi: So they finally get some polar bear DNA.
Ifi: I am sure they have polar bears at the Gardens, why did this have to be so difficult?
Adam: It's a retrospect thing.
Adam: When would they have figured that they would go to Alaska?
Adam: And it's not like you want to go and wrestle the largest terrestrial carnivore on a whim.
Ifi: Polar bears are badass and should be everyone's battle morphs.
Adam: They're strong, but they become sluggish in high temperatures.

Ifi: So now that we have the cover morph, we can get on with the plot.

The base came to within a hundred yards or so of the water at one point. It was a collection of corrugated steel buildings, an unattractive bunch of structures placed seemingly at random. There were vehicles—Sno-Cats and big trucks and motorized cranes. Nothing alien to the casual observer. Unless you happened to notice the big silver Venber, bending steel with their bare hands as they built the main satellite dish.

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Adam: For some reason, a human-Controller is suspicious about a group of bears suddenly sauntering into the facility.
Adam: So she sets the alarm, and we finally learn how the yeerks were controlling a species with a sub-zero body temperature.
Ifi: With remote controls!

"Andalites in morph!" someone yelled. He sounded in control. Not panicked. He sounded like a guy with a big stick to swing. "Program the Venber! Target: any quadruped. Override all security protocols. The Andalites must not escape."
Program the Venber?
[…]
To my left, a slight figure. Another woman? A kid? Stepped out, carrying what I would have sworn was a TV remote control. She was calmly punching keys on the thing.

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Adam: You'd think they would have more elaborate controls.
Adam: I mean, they use a partially telepathic relay for their ships.
Ifi: Also if they were able to recreate the Venber, they can totally build themselves bodies.
Adam: Enough of you and your logic.
Adam: So they break into the room with the bug fighters, which is warmer.
Adam: And the Venber…melts.



Silent, ghastly, he writhed. The lower half of his body was already a spreading pool of viscous liquid. A powerful smell hit us. Like chlorine or something.
The top half of the Venber kept reaching for us. Trying to obey its programming. It was nothing but a biological computer. A hideous creation of the Yeerks. Even in its own death throes it could do nothing but obey its programming.
We splashed through the Venber's liquid body. There was no other way. I felt a chemical tingle on my paws. I tracked it onto the floor beyond.
[...]
Jake and Tobias came up behind, still running, bloodied, their white fur ripped away in chunks. Two big Venber were after them. The two Venber hit the warm air. They kept charging, even as their ski feet turned to glue.
Another, right behind them. Charging, deadly one second, then pitiful the next.
I froze there, staring. Watching the mindless suicide. They came at us, leaping through the gap, slowing, stumbling, falling, melting.
Ax was aboard the nearest Bug fighter. I snapped out of my horrified trance and realized they all were. All but Cassie and I. We waited till all eight of the Venber at the base had destroyed themselves. I don't know why. With all the danger, all the terror, someone still needed to be a witness. Someone needed to be able to tell the world someday about this Yeerk atrocity.

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Ifi: Trauma trauma is so fun
Ifi: Trauma is for EVERYONE!
Adam: This is certainly a series known for its cheery moments

Ifi: Then the Animorphs blow the entire place up with just a bug fighter.

Ax turned our ship till our two Dracon spikes were aimed point-blank at the other ship.
<Low power, please,> Ax suggested.
I fired. Even at low power the concussion from the disintegrating Bug fighter knocked us back against one of the corrugated steel walls.
We swiveled and blew the wall into atoms. Ax kicked the ship into gear and we were out in the night, circling above the base.
"The dish," Jake said.
I fired.
TSEEEEEEW!
The dish blew into atoms.
"That building over there."
TSEEEEEEW! Building gone.
We systematically destroyed the base, building by building, vehicle by vehicle. Each time, we allowed time for the human-Controllers to run like scared sheep. It was the base we wanted, not them.
Finally, Jake said, "The hangar."

----Book Twenty-Five, The Extreme

Ifi: And yeah that's basically it.
Ifi: Visser Three does not show up or morph anything silly.
Ifi: There is not much in the way of resistance.
Adam: Well, the blade ship shows up later and shoots them down.
Adam: But they have flown south enough that they are able to fly the rest of the way home in bird form.
Adam: And then Marco goes and uses up all of the hot water in the shower.
Adam: The End.

Ifi: Why was this a book.
Ifi: Why


Adam: I feel like the only reason this book exists is an excuse to give them polar bear morphs.
Ifi: That could have done in a billion better ways.
Adam: Agreed.

Ifi: As far as making all bodies of water into Yeerk pools, well, it's an interesting idea, but I thought the pools had to be filled with that sludge stuff?
Adam: Yeah, I assumed that they had to put certain nutrients in the pool, or so forth.
Adam: Also, is there any reason that the Yeerks don't try this plan again in a different location?
Ifi: Furthermore, the Yeerks have a SPACE FLEET they do not need some pathetic human satellite station to pull this off.
Adam: …That is a very good point.

Ifi: Are we done talking about this stupidity?
Adam: Seemingly.
Ifi: Good.

36 comments:

  1. Derek is probably my favourite "one scene wonder" (I mean, one book wonder) character of the series. He sees those guys morphing and he's like "Heh, who cares, I'm cool with that". He's a real bro.

    About the book as a whole... meh, who cares. Next week we'll have Howlers, who cares about this book!

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    Replies
    1. This book was teh dum but Howlers are osm.

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    2. I think Howlers are pretty cool guys. Tehy kill aleins and doesnt afraid of anything.

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    3. Oh you people and your memes.

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  2. "Do you guys think I'd put an animal's life over yours?"

    Yes.

    I remember absolutely hating this speech from Cassie because not giving a shit about humans when cute things are suffering has been all she has cared about to that point. ... I also remember not reading this book. It was the one book I just never got around to, and nothing else you've brought up here is even slightly familiar. Which means in the time between these two speeches, she STILL failed to convince her friends she wants them alive more than she wants one single animal to not die.

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  3. I really need to read the howler book.

    Anyway, for this one, I think Derek made it all worth it. I bet he wrote a book after the war.

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  4. I remembered this book being a lot more awesome than you guys described it. Must be nostalgia talking...

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  5. I think the whole problem with them picking the defenseless seal morph instead of the fox or polar bear was that they couldn't afford to be injured while trying to acquire the bear since they were all freezing to death...they really just didn't want to risk it.

    On the other hand, about twenty pages later they decide to just say "screw it" and wrestle the polar bear into submission to acquire it.

    I know its kinda a boring book but I remember having fun with it. Marco had some kinda funny lines. Also there was Derek. Also I thought that, despite all the inconsistencies (like the plot making no sense), the author did a good job emphasizing the coldness of Alaska and how surviving was so hard there. I mean, he did end up over-emphasizing it, but I thought it was interesting how Marco says that though he's been on different planets and everything, he'd never felt as far from home as then.

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  6. I always thought the "Saturday morning cartoon villain" thing about Visser 3 was so interesting because he clearly is putting on an air. He is like those people who drop quotes from thinkers to show how "intellectual" and "cultured" they are, when really they couldn't care less what the quote means, they want to appear smart. Visser 3 is basically doing that with being a villain.

    "These? These are just my torture devices. Oh, you don't have torture devices? Hufufufufufu. And a Hork-Bajir host? Really? Earth Year 1970 sent a Z-space transmission, they want their host back. Might as well be wearing a Gedd if you are going to be so unfashionable. It's easy to see why you aren't a Visser. I took my first host when I was barely a grub, you know."

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    Replies
    1. XDDDDD That is the best possible interpretation.

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    2. That's...honestly kind of brilliant.

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    3. Funniest. Comment. Ever.

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    4. That's a very good point, especially if we're going with the "Visser 3 is a post-breakdown Cassie" theory. Also goes some way to explaining his... really odd obsession with eating sentient beings.

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    5. Maybe he's trying to act tough in order to cope with his insecurities about dating Visser 1...

      Mh, I'm afraid the boundary between the books and Ifi's fanfic is becoming increasingly blurred in my mind.

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  7. YES HOWLERS! The next book is the first one I read so...yeah.

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  8. I remember I was disappointed that they didn't acquire Venber, but I like to explain it to myself this way: it was said that Venber are not carbon-based, so they don't really have DNA, do they? So the morphing technology probably wouldn't work on them. (Although there is some stupid inconsistency about recreating Venber by adding their genetic material to the human genetic material, which shouldn't be possible).
    Well, who cares. Howlers are better aliens than some stupid Venber.

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    Replies
    1. Ax very specifically mentions that the Venber have DNA, and that apparently DNA happens to be the most common method for transmitting genetic information in the universe. (Who knew?)

      And yeah, the yeerks had used human DNA to patch up genetic damage that the cloned Venber had gained, which I agree, makes no damn sense.

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    2. I guess it's a KASU. Either they aren't carbon-based ord they have DNA, it can't be both. DNA is made of some kind of sugar, and sugar is made of carbon, so if you have DNA, you are carbon-based... There are few mistakes in the series that annoy me more than this one.

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    3. I find that a lot of people don't actually know what "Carbon Based" actually means, and just use it as a shorthand for "Very Strange Alien." Just my guess though.

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    4. I think people also forget that DNA is a specific chemical (or set of chemicals -- I dunno, I'm not great at this aspect of science). I think a lot of people tend to think of it as the shape it's in and the job it's done and sort of assume it can be made of anything. That's the impression I get from sci-fi anyway.

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  9. I actually liked this one. > > Shiftyface. I think I mostly liked the nature documentary bits, and Derek. He was excellent.

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  10. All right, now that you've overtaken him and he has no hope whatsoever of catching you up:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/poparena

    Excellent alternate takes on books one through twenty-four, check him out.

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    Replies
    1. Yep, I'm familiar with these. I generally try to only watch the ones about the tv episodes though, for fear of subconsciously stealing his ideas.

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    2. Oh man, that video was awesome, almost as good as this blog. Guess I have two things to check every time now...

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  11. That is one adorable seal slaughter.

    Also, my favorite minor characters (though technically not one-offs, I guess) are the team of handi-capable Beta Animorphs!

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  12. I never actually thought Cassie was a vegetarian (or against eating animals in general)?

    Which, I mostly assumed from that one time Ax? as Jake had gumbo at her house and Cassie's dad made it sound like he made gumbo for them regularly. WHICH IS A REALLY DUMB REASON TO ASSUME CASSIE'S NOT A VEGETARIAN NOW THAT I THINK OF IT since he could have made meatless gumbo or Cassie could have just not eaten it. But yeah.

    Either way, that's probably why when everyone was waiting for her "approval" I was kind of confused? And I personally think it was understandable she got mad at them for thinking she would rather die than eat meat, especially considering she's ripped throats out hundreds of times before this to save their lives.

    Oh Derek though. He's so chill. I always got him mixed up with the guy who had a crush on Cassie in Australia, because they're both just chill and totally cool with seeing animals turn to people.

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  13. I can't figure out why Jake's Siberian tiger, or the wolves were not doing okay in the arctic. I was under the impression that wolves are just fine in the winter, and stay active and kick deer or whatever. And Jake's tiger is from SIBERIA, which is why it is named that. Even if Siberia is not as cold as where they went, you'd think it would have been a better morph than Rachel's bear, which, if I'm not mistaken, should be more inclined to hibernate in the winter than anything else.

    And regarding the make "every swimming pool a Yeerk pool idea" I took that to mean that they COULD make them into Yeerk pools, not they automatically became Yeerk pools. I thought it said somewhere in the series that Yeerks don't like the chlorine anyway. I'd think they'd still have to treat the water and do whatever else they do, but with the help of this station, they'd be able to broadcast Kandrona rays to any pool, anywhere, instead of needing to keep a Kandrona source relatively close to the pool, where "Andalite bandits" can just push it out of a window. And maybe they have to move the ships around too much to serve as relays, or some other reason that could be pulled out of the authors' ass regarding their made up sci-fi tech.

    Loved the seal stuff and commentary on Derek.

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  14. Got nothing to add to this except *squee* "Brother Bear"! (Give me a break, I was staying at Wilderness Lodge all week.)

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  15. This blog is amazing. I found it a few days ago, and I am so hooked. (I am not as awesome as the people who read the entire thing in one day; I had homework.) I figured this was a sane place to finally comment, I only need one more review :> I want merchandise now.

    I didn't get to read this book, so I downloaded the PDF. I got really sick of Marco within a few pages. Is it me, or was his personality exaggerated in this one? He's just so uuuuugh. Whatever. I'll eventually finish reading it (I'm focusing my energies on 26).
    But the torture devices Visser Three collects make me wonder if he accidentally got some BDSM sex toy. Electrical probes and spikes... I wouldn't put it past Visser Three.
    And I like the choice of classical music. You know, since his dad was such a classical music nut, Marco would probably have tolerated it enough to not fall asleep... alas, bad date = funny.
    By the way, since this is around the middle of the series, shouldn't the Animorphs be in high school now? I remember it had been 3 years by the end, so I would think they were in 9th or 10th grade by now. Is 9th grade still middle school? I know schools like to mix it up.

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    1. The age thing is literally never touched upon, so all anyone can really do is guess. The way I figure it, they were about thirteen or fourteen when they met Elfangor, and at this point it has to have been at least a year. Middle school is usually 6-8th grade, high school is always 9-12th. Idk if they ever made it to high school. They sure as hell didn't graduate.

      Classical music is epic, and if you give some to a little kid, they will wind up enjoying it way more than they expect. Marco has no culture.

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    2. You could always take an even distribution idea about it and approximately every 18 books is a year. I'm not sure how well this would work, but if you place 1-2 just before summer and 3-7 as their first summer break, they were probably getting ready to leave tenth grade or enter eleventh grade when everything went to open war.

      That is, assuming they were thirteen at the start, and not fourteen. Or any of them had skipped grades.

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    3. According to Jake in The Beginning, they were sixteen at the war's end and the war had gone on for three years, meaning that they were around thirteen in The Invasion. I go with the even distribution theory, so that would put them at fourteen or fifteen here.

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  16. Saw this on Regretsy today. Made me think of this. ;P

    http://static.regretsy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/pb2.jpg

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  17. Proud Igloo WorshipperAugust 4, 2012 at 8:50 PM

    They were clearly in Canada, not Alaska.

    Most likely Nunavut or NWT.

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