Saturday, August 4, 2012

Book 42: The Journey


The Summary
The Helmacrons are back, and they still want the morphing cube. They crawl up Marco's nose and threaten to explode his heart if the others don't hand it over. The Animorphs shrink themselves and follow the Helmacrons. But they wind up too small, and the Helmacrons are much larger than them.

While this is going on, Marco follows some random kid who may or may not have taken a photograph of the Animorphs. As his friends brave the perils of his immune system, he tries to break into the kid's house to steal the camera back, but is bitten by a rabid dog. Under the influence of the inexplicably fast-acting rabies, he goes back and tries again that night. This time, his clouded judgement leads him to morph to cockroach while the others are still inside his body.

The other Animorphs are fine, but Marco is killed by the Helmacrons. Only not really because cockroaches are unkillable, so he's fine. The Helmacrons are sent home, and the camera is stolen and burned.

The Review
Adam: So, they finally remembered to do a cover with Rachel and her elephant morph.
Ifi: Certainly took them long enough.
Adam: This cover is interesting to me.
Adam: Overall, it isn't particularly exciting.
Ifi: rainbowriffic
Adam: But if you look up close, it actually has one of the smoothest morphing transitions of any of the covers.
Ifi: I can't look away from her nose
Ifi: it almost distracts from that dress
Adam: She has become some sort of horrifying tapir woman.


Ifi: Anyway she doesn't morph that many things today so
Ifi: I guess it works
Adam: As for the inside cover, it is suitably gooey.


Ifi: I like that Ax and Cassie are clearly panicking and Rachel is just like idgaf
Adam: Seems in character
Adam: Also, Helmacrons have oddly human-esque feet
Ifi: OHH that's what the black thing is
Ifi: it's a boot
Adam: *pats shoulder*

Ifi: Let's just get this over with
Adam: So:
Adam: Animorphs: The Helmacrons Strike Back
Adam: *cue opening narration*
Ifi: It's a Fantastic Voyage episode. I suppose we shouldn't be surprised. Any franchise that goes on for long enough has one.
Adam: I'm surprised that they never had a bodyswap episode
Adam: That's a staple of bad stock plots
Ifi: If the series had one more book, that would probably be it.
Adam: Anywho, so our intrepid heroes are fighting some guys, and then a Bad Thing happens.

<A small explosion of light,> Ax said. <I believe it is part of a primitive visual recording device called a camera.>

"WHAT?" Marco exploded. "Someone took a picture of me? Not cool. Do you see what I'm wearing? I'm Spandex-boy. Totally not cool."

I heard a garbage can tumbling over. Squeaky footsteps on the wet pavement. Someone was running away!

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Ifi: Creeper alert


Adam: For some reason, they don't all immediately tackle this kid and steal his camera, instead they just kind of stalk him for a bit.
Ifi: The kid goes home and...
Ifi: does nothing
Ifi: and the Animorphs watch him do nothing
Ifi: for almost 24 hours
Adam: I certainly can't think of a better plan!
Ifi: They even call the Chee to help them watch the kid do nothing
Ifi: God, it's a good thing digital cameras weren't a thing yet.
Adam: How come they were willing to go and break into David's house, but not this kid?
Adam: I severely doubt that they will run into a second guy with a pet cobra
Ifi: Well we will get to that particular bit of idiocy later...
Ifi: But yeah they should have just grabbed it. Jake explicitly states that he can see the camera on the kid's desk

Adam: So, on top of that bit of nonsense, guess who's back?!

The ship was three or four inches long, shaped like a baton with two big "engines" at the back and a death's head bridge in the front.

The ship looked way too familiar.

<Insignificant creatures! Give us the power source and learn to accept your fate as our eternal slaves! We will not crush and annihilate you as we will crush and annihilate all the inferior species of this planet!>

"Oh, man," I said. "You've got to be kidding. Not these guys again."

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Adam: Yaaaaaaay
Ifi: No.
Adam: Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay
Ifi: No.

Adam: So, now we have those deranged livejournal entries that the Helmacrons write.
Adam: But the look of things, they are currently in the middle of their suffrage movement, which is basically a civil war.
Adam: Or a not-so-very civil war.
Ifi: I just have no idea why they came back to earth to do it
Adam: They need the morphing cube to recharge their ship
Ifi: What were they doing on Earth in the first place?
Adam: I just said: to track down the morphing cube.
Ifi: But if they were out of energy how were they able to come to earth?
Adam: They were running low, so they used last bit of their power to get to earth so they could recharge.
Adam: I am assuming.
Ifi: YOU JUST MADE THAT UP
Adam: I just said

Adam: So, after an epic battle, Marco somehow conks his head and falls unconscious.

"Where are they?" I demanded.

<Heading straight for Marco's nose!>

"What?" But I was already down on my knees, inches from Marco's face. Frantically, I scanned the hay and dirt.

<Move!> Tobias ordered. <Get away from him so I can see.>

Cassie and I scrambled back.

<Oh, no,> Tobias said. <This is bad. Very, very bad.>

"What?" Jake demanded.

<They went up his nose,> Tobias said.

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Adam: Annnnd we have our plot.
Ifi: So the Helmacrons are going to somehow find and stop Marco's heart if the Animorphs don't hand over the escafil device
Ifi: For some reason, it does not occur to the Animorphs to just have Marco morph randomly until the Helmacrons are killed or surrender
Adam: That is…actually a pretty clever ploy on their part.
Adam: The problem though is that if that fails to work, the Helmacrons will pretty much start shooting right away.
Ifi: Just setting aside the fact that the Helmacrons are able to find the heart in an alien body rather quickly (and they're lucky it's not an Andalite with three hearts), I find it odd that they would take hostages because they don't seem to have much of a concept of loyalty to one's friends.
Ifi: From a cultural perspective, it seems unlikely that the Helmacrons would have thought of this.
Adam: Well, we don't really know enough about Helmacron culture to really make that judgement.
Adam: Or they might have just dealt with enough with other aliens to figure such a plan out.
Adam: For all we know, this sort of attack might be commonplace for them.
Ifi: So Ax is going to fiddle with the helmacron shrinking device so the Animorphs can do their thing

Ifi: Also this happens

Cassie went to the freezer and started digging for the morphing cube. I followed her. Mostly because the sick look on Marco's face was making me uneasy.

"Why does your dad keep a freezer out here?" I asked her.

"We store stuff in it," Cassie said. She handed me an unidentifiable lump of something. It was frozen solid, so cold my fingers started to ache.

"Like what?"

"Frozen grubs," Cassie said, leaning back down into the freezer. "Certain, urn, bodily fluids from the animals. Oh, and Popsicles. Dad likes grape."

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Ifi: ...
Ifi: bodily
Ifi: fluids
Ifi: ...
Adam: Well, that seems sanitary.
Adam: But for the record, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for vets to take urine samples.
Ifi: Still did not need to be in this book
Adam: I really would not put that near the popsicles.

Ifi: So they get shrunk, but it gets messed up somehow

Cassie gripped my hand a bit tighter. "What just happened?"

<We are too small to hear sounds,> Ax said.

"That didn't happen before," Cassie said.

<Right,> Tobias agreed. <When the Helmacrons shrunk me and Cassie and Marco, we could still hear. You couldn't hear us. But we could hear you.>

Cassie looked at me. "Something's wrong."

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Adam: See? The Helmacrons have definitely done this before.

Ifi: And then the narration changes to Marco
Ifi: I guess the author realized that she was short a few thousand words so she had to toss in this
Ifi: the adventures of Marco
Ifi: he sticks hay up his nose and breaks into a house

Adam: So, the Animorphs catch up with the Helmacrons, some of which have gotten caught in Marco's mucus

<The Helmacrons look kind of…big,> Tobias said.

Kind of big. As in—enormous. Huge. Gargantuan. They were the size of giraffes. No—bigger. Twice as big. As big as air traffic control towers. I could morph elephant and still only come up to their calves.

[…]

<More likely, the Helmacrons guessed we'd try to use the shrinking ray,> I said.

<Guessed—and sabotaged it before they bailed out of their ship,> Jake said.

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Adam: Well, some of them do still have that giant anteater morph.
Adam: Though that would probably explode Marco's head
Ifi: Marco sneezes one of the Helmacrons out
Adam: Well, that's one down, I suppose
Ifi: Also, while the Animorphs are doing their plot thing, he tries to steal the camera back

I decided a direct approach would be best. Nothing was stopping me from climbing the fire escape, crawling in the kid's window, and taking what I wanted. Burglars do it all the time. How hard could it be?

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Adam: This would be a perfectly reasonable plan
Adam: If
Adam: And that is a big If
Adam: A: You had backup, and B: You didn't have a bunch of tiny friends fighting inside you at the time.

Ifi: Inside, Marco enounters an angry pit bull.


Adam: I don't
Adam: like dogs
Ifi: He should have brought some Chee with him, I have a feeling they would have handled it for him
Adam: …Actually that makes a lot of sense
Adam: They probably would have gotten it the proper shots and everything.
Ifi: Also they could have made him invisible just in case
Ifi: but whatever this book is 100% devoid of common sense
Adam: It never is as common as they say.
Ifi: So Marco gets bitten. Really badly.

A neat semicircle of puncture holes marked my wrist. A little blood dripped toward my elbow. Bat under my injured arm, I grabbed an old T-shirt off the bed. Wrapped it around my wrist.

Crap. Yeah, I could morph and demorph to heal the injury—except for the fact that I couldn't! Wasn't allowed to. But the pain was pretty intense.

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Ifi: Is it weird that this part freaked me out more than the rest of the book?
Adam: …darn, I already used that King of the Hill gif.
Adam: I think
Adam: I will just go sit in the corner.
Adam: Forever.
Ifi: Dog bites are just terrible.

Ifi: Anyway have some stupid:

An ugly black Helmacron boot was right in front of us. Ax slashed at it with his tail. Tobias carved with his wrist and knee blades. I stood right on top of the boot.

No reaction.

<Hah-HAH! You think to crush the toe of a brave Helmacron warrior?> the foot's owner hollered in my head. <Your weight is not enough to bruise the hilna of a mighty Helmacron!>

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Ifi: random alien word ftw?
Adam: Wouldn't Tobias be comparatively larger as a Hork-Bajir?
Adam: because the shrink ray reduces them down to the same size
Ifi: This book is lame


Ifi: They land in Marco's stomach and start to get dissolved
Adam: D=
Adam: Dumb, and yet still horrifying.

I couldn't see my friends by the time they arrived. The acid had splashed into my eyes, eaten away at the vulnerable eyeball, painfully blinding me. But I heard a clumsy flap, flap way overhead.

Wings. Bat wings. The perfect morph for "seeing" in the dark.

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Ifi: AUGH
Adam: Acid in the eyes is always a beautiful image
Ifi: Cassie has to morph to whale in order to give them something to chill on

Now fully human, Jake crawled onto Cassie's still growing back. Then he leaned down and pulled me up, my raw skin screaming at his touch. I lay back, gasping. Tobias was back in hawk form. He took to the air, hovering over us.

Ax's hooves and weak Andalite arms weren't much use on the slippery back of the whale, so Jake held on to him.

<I am beginning to think this mission was foolish,> Ax said, glancing with stalk eyes at the patch of burned fur on his hindquarters. <Marco's body seems to be doing an excellent job of defending itself .>

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Adam: Going to have to agree with Ax here.
Ifi: Yeah that was my thing from the start.
Ifi: If this was your body, Adam, I'd be like, "pfft, let them try to get to your heart. there's a trillion ways to die in there, they will never make it."

Ifi: yeah this book is basically an episode of the magic schoolbus from here on
Ifi: Cassie really knows her biology, I will give her that
Adam: So then, we get another nice little share of body horror.
Adam: The Helmacrons cut open a slice in Marco's stomach, and step inside.

"Good." Jake sounded relieved. "Then we have nothing to worry about. The Helmacrons wouldn't go into a blood vessel. They're not fish. They'd drown."

<So they're stuck.> Tobias.

"Stuck unless we ask Marco to throw up," I said, gingerly running whole fingers up an intact arm.

Jake nodded. "Which means we'd be vomit, too. Maybe they'll surrender once they realize they're cornered."

<Surrender is better than drowning or frying.>

<Hang on!> Tobias shouted. <One just went into the blood vessel!>

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Ifi: Aliens.

"Neep! Neep! Neep!" <We will be victorious!> one of them shouted. <And when we rule the universe, we will not spare your lives! Not even so you may scrape our boots!>

The Helmacron stepped forward. He pulled apart the slice in Marco's stomach. Began to wiggle in through the flaps of skin. Then—SLLLLLUUUSSSH!

With an awful sucking sound, he disappeared.

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Ifi: AUGH
Ifi: Christ I have had enough of this book
Adam: My stomach hurts just reading this.
Adam: I mean, even Rachel feels bad for all this stuff that's happening to Marco.

Ifi: So the Animorphs bicker for a while, and realize that they have been stupid to hold the Helmacrons to human biological standards this whole time.
Ifi: Then there is a brilliant plan

"Dolphins?" I suggested.

<Dolphins have to surface to breathe,> Cassie said. <And we won't be able to surface in a vein. The only possible morph is shark.>

"Will we be able to breathe in blood?" Jake asked.

<I think so,> Cassie said uneasily. <I vaguely remember hearing some scientist interviewed on NPR once. She said plasma evolved from seawater. Plasma and seawater have the same basic properties.>

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Ifi: Shark
Ifi: in blood
Ifi: they are going to morph to shark
Ifi: and swim in blood
Ifi: brilliant
Adam: They also have the giant squid morph
Adam: Actually, they would probably have the same problem with that one.

Ifi: So the Animorphs all try to eat each other, before calming down and continuing on their merry way
Ifi: Also we get to see Marco's immune system at work, which is pretty cool
Adam: Yay science!

Something seriously small passed in front of my eyes. To the sub-mini shark, it was about the size and shape of a pill bug. A pill bug with little spikes covering it. A 3-D millipede.

[...]

Again, I spotted the spiny thing. It wasn't just bumping along in the current. It seemed to have a purpose. A mind or a will. I watched as it brushed up against a red blood cell, probed it, then bounced away.

I'm not big on superstition or New Age crap. Don't read my horoscope. Never had my fortune told. But I had a feeling about that spiky thing. Some primitive, instinctual part of my human brain didn't like it.

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Ifi: Primal fear does not apply to viruses. Nice try though, author.
Adam: Yeah, this seemed like an enormous stretch.
Ifi: Failed foreshadowing right here, folks.

<Pay attention! Small spiky vitamin pills. I think they could be dangerous!>

<I see one,> Ax said. <Now it is gone.>

<What happened?>

<A large translucent blob surrounded and consumed it,> Ax explained.

<I saw it, too,> Jake said. <Blob ate it like Pac Man.>

Silence. Then Cassie began to laugh.

<What's so funny?> I said shakily.

<This is amazing,> Cassie said. <Ax and Jake just saw Marco's immune system fight off an invader. That Pac Man was a white blood cell.>

<So, the spiky thing?> I asked.

<A bacterium or a virus,> Cassie said.

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Ifi: That is really cool, I like it.
Ifi: The only part of this book I like
Adam: Hmm


Adam: I suppose that is an accurate enough description

Ifi: color version:


Adam: Mmm, delicious rabies.

Ifi: Meanwhile, Marco angsts around
Ifi: He decides to break into the apartment again because damn it, that camera will be his
Adam: He has rabies.
Adam: Granted, rabies takes longer than that to kick in, but the ghostwriter clearly doesn't know that.
Ifi: Months, author. Months.
Adam: Months, days, same difference.
Ifi: Did you not even take a cursory glance at some research materials, author?
Ifi: So Marco tosses the dog a steak and goes for the camera again
Ifi: Except this time the humans are home
Ifi: and they are about to walk in!!!!

Ifi: Meanwhile, Jake and his band of merry morons have reached the heart
Ifi: And the Helmacrons can't even stop fighting for ten seconds to kill him
Adam: Marco ends up morphing.
Adam: Despite this being a really, really Bad Idea.

<Aaaaahhhhhhhh!> someone yelled in my head.

<Marco is morphing!> Cassie shouted. Something must be wrong! Marco must be in trouble!>

Ah, so now I could hear them all. Must be in morph.

<We do not know how this will affect us,> Ax said unnecessarily. <It could be deadly.>

<Marco, cut it out, now!> Rachel screamed.

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey


Adam: Actually, I do think the description of him from the inside of the morphing process is really cool.

<Would you like to explain why you morphed?> Jake demanded. <Why you morphed when I told you it could kill us?>

<I plead the fifth.>

Jake, to us. <If I were a real general, I'd court martial his sorry…>

Then, from a jumble of alien parts, a Helmacron shouted. <Hah-HAH! No doubt you thought we were killed by the transforming of our pitiful hostage. But we are still alive! We shall rule the universe yet!>

And before any of us—Jake or Cassie, Ax or Tobias, before even I—could do anything to stop them…

The Helmacrons fired in unison.

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Ifi: Marco's dead
Adam: wa wa waaaa
Adam: Fortunately, the morph managed to not suck any of them into Z-space, so they manage to get out of Marco pretty easily.
Adam: Everyone is rather upset, but Cassie realizes that they are not going to kill off one of the main cast in a filler book, of all things.

"Roach," Jake said bitterly. "It's Marco's last joke. Roaches are, like, impossible to kill. Pretty ironic, huh?"

"I think we should organize a search party," I said. "I'll go eagle. Tobias and I can try to determine if we really are in Marco's house."

"Jake's right," Cassie said suddenly. "I did an oral report on roaches in the fourth grade. Nothing kills them. Cutting off their heads doesn't kill them. Submerging them in water doesn't kill them—"

"Enough with the Animal Planet report," I said. "We're a fraction of an inch high and probably miles from home. It's time to focus."

"I'm not just babbling," Cassie argued. "Listen. I'm saying: Nothing kills a roach. Not even stopping its heart. They have some sort of backup system."

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Ifi: So once again the day is saved thanks to Cassie's incredibly specific skillset
Adam: I am researching now whether roaches can survive with a stopped heart
Adam: Yes! Apparently a roach's heart is so simple that it can survive with it having stopped.
Adam: Hurray for actually correct research!
Ifi: a christmas miracle
Adam: *throws confetti*

"I wonder what's on that film," I said.

Jake frowned. "We'll never know. Developing it is too risky. We'll burn it as soon as we get to the barn."

We did.

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Ifi: AW COME ON
Ifi: AFTER ALL THAT
Ifi: WE DON'T EVEN GET TO SEE THE PICTURE
Ifi: Ax could have totally developed it on his own.
Ifi: Or the Chee, even
Ifi: pleh
Adam: Here you go:


Ifi: Also check out this weaksauce ending

Rabies is not a pretty disease. Get it and you have two choices: Start a series of injections within three days. Or die. Die after going awfully, violently insane.

Bottom line: If Marco hadn't morphed, to roach or anything else, he'd be dying. He wouldn't have known he had rabies so he wouldn't have started the treatment in time. When he'd morphed in the kid's closet, almost twelve hours had already gone by.

Other bottom line: It was clear to me that Marco had morphed not to upset Jake or to save his own skinny butt. Not to betray us or because he valued his own life over ours.
He'd morphed because the disease had already begun to twist his mind and distort his judgment. He'd morphed against direct orders because he was slowly going insane.

----Book Forty-Two, The Journey

Ifi: ...
Ifi: nope.
Adam: The first rabies symptoms are basically the flu, and those don't start for over two months.
Ifi: Here's the real explaination. The author couldn't figure out a way to resolve the plot.
Adam: Maybe it was secretly another simulation, and Marco wakes up hearing strange alien voices?
Ifi: Maybe it was LSD
Adam: No.
Ifi: You can't know that
Adam: Yes.
Ifi: I'm done talking about this.
Adam: Yes.

63 comments:

  1. I always thought of this book as the magic school bus book, because I have never seen the fantastic journey.
    It was random, and dumb. The only part I liked is when they're sharks swimming the the bloodstream. I thought that was kind of cool. But still, you know, dumb.

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  2. So the first place the Helmacrons go to set their plan in motion is up someone's nose? Man, they really are an entire race of Me-Mows!

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  3. I agree. Delicious rabies.

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  4. I'm excited to be commenting--I've been working through the backlog for weeks now, and finally got to a new entry! You guys are the best. :)

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  5. They really don't use the Chee often enough. So what if they can't fight? They can be invisible, make other people invisible, hack any technology and have indestructible force fields! Why aren't there a pair of Chee going along on every mission, for Medevac if nothing else, and to hide them when they demorph in the middle of a battle?

    Oh, because that obviates the whole point about kids needing to morph animals to win the war, and eliminates any sense of danger. Sloppy writing, IMO. The sonic screwdriver Chee are invented with the non-violence thing, so they can't help with the fights, but their comfort level with violence seems to fluctuate as needed to provide weak excuses for why they can't perform more support missions.

    When you get right down to it, impersonating the Animorphs for extended periods of time should have been more problematic than they made it out to be. They're not going to have the knowledge necessary to pass themselves off long-term. It would be funny if the Animorphs got stuck on one of their away missions for a couple of years, and got home to find out that the Chee impersonating them had guessed wrong on their growth or aging, and they didn't actually look or sound like their impersonators anymore.

    So all in all, thanks to author issues, they use the Chee for things that could have been problematic, but fail to make the most important uses of their abilities.

    Though, in hindsight it occurs to me that the simplest solution to a long-term disappearance by the Animorphs would be for the Chee to fake their abductions after a couple of months, so that when they return everyone will be grateful and sympathetic and the Chee don't have to guess how they might be changing in the meantime. And the best part is, with no kidnapper for the authorities to catch, the excuse is reusable. Everytime the animorphs disappear, the kidnappers have come back.

    Of course, they miss a lot of the possibilities of a highly mobile, invisible, force field & hologram generator, so who's to say they'd come up with a cover story that effective...

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  6. I am convinced that the fast-acting rabies are a side effect of morphing power. It doesn't make sense, but half the stuff in this series makes even less sense, so I figure it works.

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    1. I have a deranged theory. Perhaps when the Helmacrons entered the bloodstream, they secreted a chemical that are the Helmacron equivalent of sweat, which reacted to the rabies, and caused them to mutate into a new type of rabies, which affects how they affect the host.

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    2. Oh man, that's even better than my theory.

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    3. *applauds* I'm going with Owl Nutter on this one.

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    4. Sweat isn't really the right word for it. Since it's been specified that Helmacrons don't breathe through their mouths or noses, they most likely breathe through their skin. So like most creatures who do that, they will probably need to keep their skin moist, so they can draw in the stuff that they breathe (which might not be oxygen). Any of you sciencey types, if I'm wrong please shoot me down.

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    5. One wonders if it also would increase the size of the virus, making it clump together like a living hive of Pantless Disease... I know scale is hard, but Bacteria:Virus::Jesus Whale:Helmacron. But then I'm willing to give the Pac-Man bacteria the benefit of the doubt when the book's already running on a bare frizzle of logic.

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  7. Oh, and you know they never did a body-swap story? It would be easily overcome. It might be an interesting thing to happen while trying to foil a standard Yeerk plot, but if, say, Marco & Jake switched bodies, they'd just acquire one another, morph into their own appearances and have sleepovers until they work out a cure.

    The only real story issues with potential are having Ax swap with one of the humans, but they already mined the comic possibilities by his adventures morphing Jake. They could also swap the bodies of Rachel or Cassie with one of the guys, but that's too much gender-squick for a kids' series (though Ax flipping to one of the girls might offer a fresh kind of amusement, since he would be less familiar with the various issues of impersonating a female, and it would be doable because he'd probably not fuss as much over the new anatomy, whereas a teenaged boy would have nothing else on his mind). As far as character goes, having Tobias bodyswap with Jake or Marco would probably be the best way to go, as it would feature Tobias experiencing human life again from a different perspective (especially with loving parents like Jake & Marco have), while giving the other one a taste of Tobias's situation. I'd imagine that prior to the swap, the other character would be envying Tobias' freedom, and then coming away with a new appreciation for his own life.

    Another reason why they never did a body-swap is the single-PoV format, and such stories should have both characters' PoV. Unless they save this story for a Megamorphs book, in which case, what do you do with the other four characters? Maybe a three-book arc, with Jake & Tobias swapping in Jake's book, continuing their crisis through Rachel's and then finally getting fixed in Tobias' (the pattern of the series means that consecutive books are either different genders in which case, squick, or the least interesting swap, of Marco & Jake). Rachel makes the best interim character, because she's closest to both Jake and Tobias. Although doing human group activities would be a bit weird since Tobias-in-Jake could not acquire his human morph again.

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    1. Several books actually have two different narrators, so the PoV could be worked out.

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    2. Well, yeah, but those are just partial, ancillary PoV. You'd basically need to split the book to do justice to a body swap story.

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    3. "Although doing human group activities would be a bit weird since Tobias-in-Jake could not acquire his human morph again."

      A thought: Ax could teach Jake-as-Tobias to use the Frolis Maneuver so he could be with them in public. It'd be a good opportunity to delve into underused backstory.

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    4. Or this: one of the Animorphs gets separated while they're demorphing, screams, goes into a coma. They know something important happened but they don't know what it is so someone morphs Yeerk and goes into their head. Eventually they need to move him/her so they're trying to live their friend's life while trying to find their consciousness in their mind.

      Alternatively Jake suspects one of the Animorphs is betraying them so he has Marco morph Yeerk and infest them. That would be seriously dark, even for Animorphs.

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  8. So, THIS is where Marco contracted the pantsless disease!

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  9. Wait, I just realized that you guys haven't made Facebook posts in the longest time! Remedy this at once!

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    1. I SECOND THIS!!!

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    2. THIS MOTION HAS BEEN THIRDED. The last time we had Animorph Facebook was book 21. The last time we had Facebook at all was book 23. The last time we had MS Paint period was book 29. And, Ifi said she updated all their profile pictures after the David Trilogy, and we never saw them. But, on the other hand, Ifi's grandma is still sick, and Ifi's the one who puts that together, so we shouldn't expect anything right now.

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  10. I almost threw up about 10 times when i read this book in school. Also marco morphing randomly till helmacrons surrender is not a good plan. The helmacrons may get too close to an organ during the morph and merge into it. Sorry for disturbing you, in advance.

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  11. So does anyone else here imagine the Helmacrons all talking like Invader Zim? Something tells me that he and them would get along very well. and by "get along very well", I mean "make bombastic and grandiose speeches until one of them invades the other's body and damages their hilna/squeedlyspooch."

    I'd also love to see Adam and/or Ifi's version of The Helmacron Chronicles. Just putting that out there.

    As for the book itself... it was rather silly. But what can you expect from a book that features the Helmacrons and a sub-plot that features one of the characters going nuts after contracting rabies?

    As for disturbing content... well, next week is book 43, which is one of my personal favorites, and to me at least it's pretty much the darkest that the series gets.

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    1. Check out Ifi's fanfic blog. I've already in the planning stages of a Helmachronicles type story.

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    2. I've decided that Irkens evolved from Hemacrons, hence while they're both stupid, psychotic and buglike. It also explains why short Irkens are discriminated against---they're presumed to be "less evolved" than their taller brethren.

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  12. So are there any other books beyond the normal series left to review? If not, you'll be done in about four months. That's kind of sad...

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    1. There is one more chronicles book, plus a book about the cast of the tv series, which we have not decided whether we will read or not.

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    2. Read it.

      We must all savage the television show with all our might.

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    3. How many episodes of the TV series are available on the YouTubes anyway? Why not review them, of only to be completists?

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    4. Youtube has all the episodes. Season 1: 28(?) Episodes, season2: only 6 episodes. Maybe they realized the special effects of 1998-99 were no match for words on a page and imagination (k.a. said the used rubber andalite heads on sticks), while today they could ask syfy channel to use their CGI stuff. Ep.8 they replaced the scene in book 8, v3's feeding grounds with ax + v3 arm wrestling in a building and controllers all around them looking amazed when their really like 'this series sucks all u see is lightning, andalite shadow, us repeat

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  13. If I've learned anything from television, it's that it isn't a Fantastic Voyage story unless there's a woman with massive exposed cleavage, and I'm pretty sure Rachel isn't nearly old enough to pull that off in a way any of us would be comfortable with.

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  14. "Adam: How come they were willing to go and break into David's house, but not this kid?"

    Because that worked so well, didn't it?

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  15. you don't need to worry about sanitary conditions in the fridge. Urine is sterile. You can drink it.

    :)

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    1. You drink it first.

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    2. WHY ARE YOU SMILING AT THAT????

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    3. Only for about five minutes. I doubt Walter's that quick about labeling his samples and storing them.

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    4. Unless the containers he puts it in are really leaky then it is ok :)

      WHY NOT SMILE!!??!
      SURE ILL DRINK IT!!! ILL DRINK IT ALLL!!!

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    5. Note to those who care: Most soldiers who have been lost in Afghanistan have ingested urine, because USA emergancy rations can be rehydrated with urine. So. Who wants to be a soldier?

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    6. "Why are you smiling at that?"

      Because SINIZ is slightly insane ;-) Haven't you noticed? (She's also pretty cool.)

      Owl Nutter, your knowledge of random, disturbing facts never ceases to amaze me. That is all I have to say. Oh yeah, and also, you are awesome.

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    7. Owl Nutter, I would have no problem drinking urine (I actually have on a dare :/ ). But I would never want to be a soldier for the US for pretty much every other reason.

      BabelFish42, pretty cool? I AM SUPER COOL WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      btw... Diabetes mellitus got its name from urine being sweet.

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    8. ...Suddenly it all makes sense.

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    9. Babelfish42: In Athens, Greece a driver's license can be taken away if the driver is deemed poorly dressed or unbathed.
      The more intelligent you are, the more copper and zinc you have in your hair.
      In Potecello, Idaho, it is illegal to not smile.
      Happy birthday.

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    10. What? My birthday was months ago... *is confused*

      I definitely do not believe the second one, about copper and zinc. (There's no good way to quantify intelligence, so I don't believe whoever did that study.) The other two are hilarious. :-)

      In Baltimore, Maryland, it is illegal to take a lion to the movies. :-) Which is why I do not live in Baltimore.

      Adam, if things ever don't make sense, the answer is 42.

      And getting back to the original, Animorphs-related comment (what was that again?), we don't know it was urine. Could've been blood samples. Those would blend in better with Walter's grape flavored popsicles.

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    11. "Certain, urn, bodily fluids from the animals."
      People are usually more disgusted from pee than blood for some reason. It makes more sense for it to be urine because even Cassie seemed hesitant about naming it.

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    12. Yeah, you're right. Though now I'm wondering how exactly Walter would manage to collect urine samples... no, never mind, I really don't want to think about that, um, puppies! I love puppies. I'm going to start thinking about puppies now.

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    13. Um...you just collect it when they pee. what is odd about that? Like how humans get samples. they pee in a cup. when an animal pees, stick a cup between their legs

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    14. Though if you want a really clean sample, you just get a bladder stick... good to have regularly eliminated and needle-drawn sample to compare if you really want to know what part of the urinary tract is infected.

      I just figured she was talking about semen - you can freeze a horse's longer than the creatures live and still have fertile swimmers.

      Of course, no matter what kind of samples Walter's got in there, OSHA would bust him for keeping popsicles in the same fridge, not that that always stops people from drinking a coke around the fecal floats in a real large/mixed animal practice...

      /TMI with a vet tech

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    15. My first thought was semen, too... vet student.

      What is wrong with me...

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    16. My first thought was semen, too ... And I'm NOT a vet student. I'm just weird like that

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  16. While I was reading this book (pdf), my laptop crashed and I raged for about five seconds. Then I forgot about it for two months. I was pretty amused by it though, so I'll give it that. I wouldn't go out of my way to read it again though.

    Book 43 next week, yay! Excited! I like that book.

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  17. How could you fail to mention this classic quote?

    Marco said.

    For shame.

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  18. Wow, apparently this commenting system doesn't like thought-speak. The quote was:

    "Even though I was dripping copious amounts of blood, I performed like a brave and stalwart knight and marched down the ladder of rattling steel!" Marco said. "Then I rode home on my trusty purple steed."

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  19. I remember this book because I made a shoebox diorama of it in fourth grade. Specifically of the scene in the inside cover art, complete with plastic animals and bits of string dipped in flour-and-water snot!

    By the way, this blog is incredible. Great work guys.

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    1. That is awesome. Coolest book diorama I've ever heard of :-)

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  20. The sharks in the bloodstream always bothered me. The free oxygen concentration in the blood just isn't going to be high enough, and the sharks shouldn't smell blood when the particles in it won't fit in their nose.

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    1. Pfft, logic. If logic was something this author cared about, then Marco should've died, or at least been in serious pain, from stomach acid spilling out into his body cavity after the Helmacrons sliced his stomach open. And the Helmacrons and Animorphs should've been attacked by Marco's immune system. And they shouldn't have been able to see the virus in the first place, or anything else for that matter - they're inside Marco's body! There's no light in there! AND THEY SHOULD'VE JUST TACKLED THE STUPID KID WITH THE CAMERA!!

      Yeah, logic just has no place in this book.

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    2. There was some cool stuff here (like the immune system in action, and the un-killable cockroach trivia), but nothing the Magic School Bus hasn’t already done. Oh well. There are worse books in this series.

      One other thing - I remember from when I read this a long time ago, there was a part when Ax was all, "what, you don't know where this artery goes after leaving the stomach, what is WRONG with you stupid humans?" I thought that was kinda funny/ironic, coming from the alien kid who was too distracted by a cute classmate to learn about Sario rips.

      Awesome review!! I don't know what exactly possessed you guys to create this blog, but I am really glad you did. I'm loving every minute of it. Thanks for making this!

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    3. 'Awesome review!! I don't know what exactly possessed you guys to create this blog, but I am really glad you did. I'm loving every minute of it. Thanks for making this!'
      YES! THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH!!! These reviews are seriously the highlight of my week :D

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  21. Here's the thing that bothers me... if morphing removed the rabies from Marco's body, then why doesn't it remove other organisms as well? How come the kids get to keep their gut flora every time they morph and demorph?

    Yet another reason the whole 'dna' handwave never makes sense to me. I'd prefer that we just said 'It's magic, OK' =P

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  22. I hated this book. Nothing will ever make me like it. It was the worst book I ever read. Well one of them... I tried to read twilight.

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  23. I just read this book and I have one question: while being inside Marco's stomach, Rachel mentions that she had been nearly digested before. Can somebody please remind of the issue in which this happened?

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    1. That was in Megamorphs #2 when Rachel and Tobias were swallowed by a Kronosaurus.

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    2. Metamorphic 2

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