Saturday, August 18, 2012

Book 44: The Unexpected


The Summary
After a series of nonsensical events, Cassie winds up trapped in the luggage storage area of an airplane bound for God-knows-where. Instead of morphing to something that can fly, she runs around evading Controllers until it becomes clear that she needs to jump out of the plane. Luckily, she lands in a desert and is found by a boy named Yami.

It quickly becomes apparent that Cassie is in the middle of nowhere, Australia. Visser Three isn't far behind, and threatens to blow up the whole town if she doesn't surrender. Cassie morphs to kangaroo and bounces away, the entire staff of the Blade Ship in pursuit. She leads them to a herd of wild kangaroos, who beat up the Yeerks.

Lourdes, the Chee from the crackhouse, shows up and tells Cassie the book is over. She takes her home in an unspecified way and everyone lives happily ever after.

The Review
Ifi: Ok let's do this stupid thing


Adam: So
Adam: It's one of those road trip books.
Ifi: Let's talk about the cover, since the only reason this book was written was so Mattingly could draw a kangaroo
Adam: What is there to say?
Adam: It's a kangaroo.
Ifi: Yep.
Adam: It's not a particularly interesting pose either.
Adam: Just kinda…standing there.
Ifi: "Yeah I'm a kangaroo. Wanna make something of it?"


Adam: Yep.
Adam: So
Ifi: So we open with the Animorphs doing something stupid and incomprehensible
Adam: They have somehow gotten themselves caught in a shootout between a bunch of Controllers and the CIA at an airport.
Ifi: Ok so apparently someone lost part of a Bug Fighter. The Yeerks don't want it to get to the government because if it does, the government will know that there is an alien invasion.
Ifi: But the Animorphs want the government to get the Bug Fighter because they will know about the invasion and presumably start fighting the Yeerks.
Ifi: The Animorphs need the Bug Fighter for proof of an alien invasion.
Ifi: As they have
Ifi: NOTHING
Ifi: to prove it currently
Ifi: They don't have alien technology
Ifi: or living aliens from more than one species on hand
Ifi: or even magical ancient dog-robots
Ifi: So as you can see the Bug Fighter is very important
Adam: You forgot the talking bird.
Ifi: That's just a gimmick
Adam: Admittedly, they don't really have any way to get to DC.
Adam: But its not like the dog-robots have a spaceship or anything.
Ifi: Are you saying that six sufficiently determined teenagers with the ability to shapeshift could not make it from LA to DC?
Adam: How would they get food? They wouldn't be able to carry wallets in bird-form.
Ifi: They could pack backpacks and take a goddamn bus.
Adam: That also requires money
Ifi: Assuming they have no allowances, they could steal it from any number of places.
Ifi: When you're setting off to tell the government about an alien invasion, it's okay to think big.
Adam: I would have just tried to steal a bug fighter again
Adam: Seems the easiest route to me.
Ifi: The Yeerks really need to keep a better eye on them.
Adam: If you had Visser Three as a boss, you'd probably drink on the job as well.
Ifi: I do that anyway.
Adam: Let's get Ifi a Taxxon host body, stat.

Ifi: So Cassie watches some military people be stupid for a while
Adam: She calls them names to try to get them to fight each other.

I needed a diversion. Had to buy some time. <Marines are wimps.>

The guards glanced sideways at one another.

"Did you say something, sir?" the corporal called out.

Bald Spot turned. "You talking to me?"

"Yes, I am. I believe you called us wimps, sir."

Bald Spot frowned and turned away again. "You're hearing things, son."

The Marines shook their heads.

<Gutless weasels,> I said. <They act tough standing around an airport, but they'd run at the first sign of trouble.>

The Marines rolled their eyes.

<If the Pentagon wanted real men, they'd have called the Air Force.>

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Adam: …Really?
Ifi: As they are trained officers and not sixth-grade boys, this does not work.
Adam: After having worked with small children for the past two months, I have to say, people maintain the level of maturity they have at age eight for the rest of their lives.

I scanned the scene. Below: two pumped-up Marines, four alien-infested CIA guys, and at least six guns between them. Above: an unarmed seagull.

Well, maybe not completely unarmed.

I flapped my wings to gain altitude. Bald Spot flipped open his cell phone. I zeroed in on my target. He punched some numbers. I dove. He pushed SEND, and I dropped my bomb.

Bird poop splattered over the phone and down one side of Bald Spot's head.

"Aagghhhhhh!" He wiped at his face, then glared up into the sky. "Andalite!" he hissed as he hurled the phone to the pavement and pulled a pistol from his jacket.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: These Marines must be having a hell of a day.
Adam: Really?
Adam: What is with these books and pooing on people?
Ifi: I think that's almost overshadowed by the fact a CIA officer randomly opened fire on a pigeon
Adam: You mean that isn't your default reaction to being shat upon?
Ifi: I don't know. I've never had the experience.
Adam: It is unpleasant, but it never occurred to me to pull out a rifle.
Adam: Seagulls, man, seagulls.

Ifi: So anyway
Ifi: Stupidity ensues
Ifi: Also this:

Ax cornered a third Controller between two cargo bins. Whipped his tail. Flicked air. Let out a sound that wasn't even close to "meow."

<This appendage works well to balance the cheetah when it runs, but it is useless as a weapon.>

<You'll have to settle for teeth and claws, Ax-man,> Jake called. <Too many people. We don't need your blue-furred, four-eyed self on the cover of the National Enquirer.>

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: I'm sorry but
Ifi: isn't the entire point of this mission
Ifi: to reveal the invasion to the world?
Adam: I
Adam: Er
Adam: Um


Ifi: Anyway so Cassie
Adam: Gets shot.
Ifi: After a long and complicated chase scene that I did not bother to read, she winds up in an airplane
Adam: Cassie gets trapped in the luggage compartment.
Adam: ...Somehow
Adam: For whatever reason, she does not immediately leave, and the plane takes off.

I was in the cargo hold of a plane, nearly frozen, dying of thirst, and starving. MAN was I starving, jetting off to…where?

I checked the tag on the golf bag: SYD. Grabbed the suitcase next to it: SYD. Rummaged through the pile of bags. SYD. SYD. They all said SYD.

"SYD? What does that stand for?" I mumbled. "South Something Dakota?"

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Adam: Bravo Cassie, bravo.
Ifi: and then we get to my favorite part of this entire idiotic book

I felt warmer already. My head even quit throbbing.

And then I realized why.

The droning had stopped. The engines were silent. I waited for the plane to plummet toward Earth.

But it didn't. It was perfectly still. Motionless.

Then—

ZZZZzzzzzzzzttttttttt!

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Adam: So, the Yeerks apparently have the technology to spontaneously halt all biological functions
Adam: WHY ON EARTH DO THEY NOT USE THIS ALL THE TIME?

A blinding green light flashed through the cargo hold! For a split second I could see the plane's steel bones through its metal skin. The green light penetrated suitcases and bags. Metal crates were suddenly transparent, showing huge engine parts inside.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: And that's how Cassie got a brain tumor
Adam: Why do they not just fly over the white house, do this to everyone inside, infest them, then make membership to the sharing a legal requirement or something?

I thumped sideways into one of the crates. My legs were dead. Not just stiff from the cold. Completely lifeless from the knees down.

The green light. But why did it only affect my legs?

I leaned against the crate.

The crate. Of course. My legs had been sticking out into the open cargo hold, but the rest of my body had been shielded by the engine parts inside the crate. Pure dumb luck had saved me.

So far.

I dragged myself back into my nest of luggage. Above me the passengers and crew were probably frozen in place. They didn't have huge turbofans protecting them from the green light. But they'd be okay. The Yeerks weren't interested in them.

They'd thaw out, never knowing time had elapsed, never knowing they'd been paralyzed and unconscious.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: Um excuse me Cassie, but how the hell do you know this?
Adam: She read the book.
Ifi: She beats up two Hork-Bajir when they come to investigate

I reared up and pulled the lever. It turned. I nudged the hatch with one paw. It inched up. Light streamed through the crack around it. I could hear the sound of voices and clinking cups. Passengers.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: Um I thought they were all frozen?
Adam: Actually, they were just pretending.
Ifi: In retaliation for their deception, Cassie goes through their luggage
Adam: She steals an old man's diarrhetic.

I pried open an ancient square-cornered suitcase. Inside was a sweater. A man's cardigan. The elbows were threadbare, and the whole thing reeked of mothballs, but it was a sweater. Packed under two bottles of prune juice. Ick.

I rolled the bottles aside. The juice sloshed, wet and cold. I was thirsty. Too thirsty to be choosy. I picked up the juice bottles and put them in a little pile with the sweater. I felt kind of bad. Somewhere on this plane was an old man who'd probably end up cold and constipated before long.

But thirst was stronger than guilt.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: Damn Cassie.
Ifi: You're a bitch.
Adam: And now you know what happens when the airline loses your luggage.

Ifi: So naturally the Yeerks come back and Cassie has the not-horrible idea of disguising herself as one of the frozen passengers
Adam: Wait, that is a totally horrible idea
Adam: Have you ever tried to sit perfectly still for 15 minutes straight?
Adam: It is impossible
Adam: Your nose will itch, or you will get an eyelash in your eye, or your leg will fall asleep

"The Andalite bandit could be under our very noses." She gazed from passenger to passenger. "Set your beams on low and see if anybody jumps. Remember—capture, don't kill."

She stepped into the cockpit. The two Hork-Bajir adjusted their Dracon beams then each started down an aisle.

Tsseew.

The Hork-Bajir in my aisle zapped a businessman in the front row. The businessman didn't move.

Tsseew.

The woman next to him.

No reaction.

The Hork-Bajir worked his way toward the back of the plane, blasting each passenger's arm.

Tsseew! Tsseew!

The stench of charred flesh burned my nostrils.

The passengers sat motionless. They couldn't feel the jolt. The burn. The pain that knifed through their bodies.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: Jeez Yeerks, this is sort of an asshole thing to do


Adam: They could have just poked them in the side or something.

The Hork-Bajir leaned over me. His elbow blade whipped past my face. He aimed his Dracon beam at the guy next to the window.

I raised my hand behind him, slowly, steadily, holding my eyes straight ahead, the rest of my body motionless.

Tsseew!

As the Hork-Bajir fired, I pushed my hand against his back.

He jerked at the touch, then slumped forward, as lifeless as the passengers around us.
I was acquiring him, absorbing his DNA, and he had fallen into the acquiring trance. He wouldn't stay that way long, but if I were quick and quiet, it might be long enough for me to escape.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: Well that's not really how it works but fine whatever.
Adam: 1: The other one should have noticed this
Adam: 2: They have already established that it is possible to resist the morphing trance
Adam: 3: How does he not notice what happened afterwards?
Adam: Does acquiring someone cause short-term amnesia or something?

I aimed.

TSEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWW!

The Hork-Bajir vaporized in a cloud of black smoke.

I stared at the Dracon beam in horror. I'd only meant to stun him! The weapon must have knocked to full power when it hit the floor.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: Oh Cassie, you card.
Adam: Oops!
Adam: Oh well, these things happen.
Ifi: Cassie actually manages to do more damage with this dracon beam than Rachel did with hers in the oatmeal book
Ifi: Just to put this in perspective
Adam: The dracon beams are specifically designed to cause damage inversely proportional to the amount of damage you want to cause with it.
Adam: Yeerk engineers have a weird sense of humor.

"What's going on out here?" The human-Controller stepped from the cockpit. "Did you find the—"

I stopped dead.

She stopped dead.

I glanced toward the passenger door. It was halfway between us.

"How very clever." The Controller raised her rifle. "Morphing a child to throw off suspicion."

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected


Ifi: "Bruce Wayne? Why are you dressed up like Batman?"
Adam: "Sorry, I should have told you. I'm actually Green Arrow."
Ifi: Then she jumps out of the airplane
Adam: Why did she not do this as soon as the plane took off?

I judged the distance between him and me and between me and the solid earth that was rushing up toward us. I could finish the morph and dive, maybe losing him near the ground.

But he'd see me. He'd see me morph directly to osprey, and he'd know I was human.

That little news flash would probably get him promoted to Visser Four. And get my friends sentenced to death.

I shuddered. Those were my choices: Die. Or kill my friends.

Or—

There was another way to eliminate the problem. I slid my finger onto the Dracon beam's trigger. And that was to…eliminate the problem. I pulled my hands together above my head, gripped the weapon, and aimed.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected


Ifi: Of all the Cassie books, this one is the Cassiest
Adam: And yeah, Cassie blows up a spaceship.
Adam: As per tradition, she does not face the explosion.



Adam: So, she lands, and finally the plot of this damned book starts.
Ifi: This was incredibly tedious, they could not have gotten her here faster?
Ifi: I mean obviously the whole point is to get her here
Adam: We're nearly halfway through the book already.
Adam: If I was forced to go through this book, I would have started it in medias res with Cassie already in Australia or something, and then given some sort of explanation for how she got there later on.

Ifi: So Cassie morphs a flea and burrows into the sand and feels sorry for herself for a while

If I'd made even one good decision, one smart move, in the last twelve or fourteen or however many hours, none of this would have happened.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: She has a sudden moment of clarity.
Adam: That is actually the ghostwriter thinking about her decision to write this book.

Ifi: And she meets a boy and his dog!
Adam: Wait, didn't we do this plot already?
Ifi: Yes. Yes we did.

"It's okay, Tjala." The kid reached out to scratch the dog's neck. He glanced up at me, then lowered his eyes. "He won't bite you," he said.

The kid was about my age, maybe older. It was hard to tell in the moonlight. He'd been sitting between a big rock and a clump of bushes, and I'd practically landed in his lap when I'd climbed out of the ravine. His skin was dark, darker than mine. He dissolved into the night shadows.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Adam: It is pretty much the same character, they just switched his nationality from Inuit to Aborigines, and turned his polar bear into a dog.
Adam: And yeah, he has seen Cassie morph.
Adam: And isn't particularly phased for similar religious reasons.
Ifi: He is literally the exact same character. Even his reaction to the morphing is completely the same.
Ifi: From this we can conclude that he is also stoned.
Adam: At the very least, he gets more exposure in this book, so they have time to give him a bit more characterization than the Alaska one.
Ifi: Yeah. And he's not a bad guy. It's nice to have someone laid-back in this series every once in a while.
Adam: So, on the plus side, Cassie now has someone to give her a place to stay.
Adam: On the negative side, Yami lives quite literally in the middle of nowhere.
Ifi: Oh and Cassie finally realizes where she is

I followed his gaze. The moonlight fell on a herd of large animals grazing in the grass along the water's edge. Some were hunched over, eating. Some stood upright on their huge back legs, almost like humans, their long ears twitching. One of the smaller ones, a baby, turned and leaped into its mother's pouch.

"Okay," I said. "This is not South Dakota."

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Adam: I think we owe Cassie another round of applause.
Ifi: Anyway, I didn't know that kangaroos were so big
Adam: There are a lot of different species of kangaroos.
Adam: The one on the cover is the Red Kangaroo, which is the largest.
Ifi: Will they fuck you up, or is that artistic license?
Adam: Oh heavens yes they can.


Adam: The whole "boxing kangaroo" thing is a cliche for a reason.

Ifi: Anyway, so these guys are total badasses

"It seems okay," I said. "I don't think Tjala hurt it."

"I wasn't worried about the ‘roo." Yami laughed and fell over backward as Tjala leaped up to lick his face. "I was worried about Tjala. That big boomer would have killed him."

"Really?"

Yami patted Tjala's back. "I have seen a big boomer drown two dingoes this way.
He led them into the deep water and held their heads under. Two wild dingoes at one time."

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Adam: I have no idea if the whole water trap thing is true or not.
Adam: But this is a creature capable of leaping 30 feet in a single bound.
Adam: So imagine how hard it can kick.
Ifi: Everything in Australia can kill you.
Adam: It is a science fact.
Ifi: Terrifying.
Adam: Yes.
Ifi: Friggen box jellyfish and funnel web spiders and blanket octopii


Adam: Not to mention the assorted crocodiles.
Ifi: I know we've got to have some Australian readers. Please share your horror stories and survival tips.
Adam: I am legitimately interested here.

Ifi: Also Cassie acquires one of the female kangaroos
Adam: "Well, it's on the cover. May as well get this over with."
Ifi: I'd say she should have tried to acquire more things but considering how the day has gone so far, I think we're lucky she managed to even get the kangaroo.
Adam: I would argue that wandering around in the Australian outback deliberately poking animals may not necessarily be the best idea in the world.

Ifi: So then she falls asleep on Yami's porch
Ifi: His family thinks she is like an ancestral spirit, so it's all cool I guess
Adam: Meanwhile Cassie is kinda cheating on her boyfriend this whole time.
Ifi: She totally is! And meanwhile he's ripping up the entire state of California trying to find her.
Adam: Cassie you shameless harlot, you.

He shrugged. "I told my grandfather about your great shape-shifting powers. And about how you calmed the ‘roo. And about how you hid in a creek bed that runs into the spring."

Oh. That.

Yami's grandfather nodded. "The spring of our ancestors. You chose it as your safe shelter. It is a sign."

Yeah. It was a sign all right. A sign that I shouldn't be set loose in the world unsupervised.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: Another moment of clarity.
Ifi: She needs the other five running after her, making sure she doesn't hurt herself.
Adam: And then Yami prepares lunch!

They nodded and fixed me breakfast, a big bowl of something that looked like miniature white Taxxons.

"Witchetty grub," said Yami.

"Ah." I stared into the bowl. It was filled with fat, white, segmented worms, longer than my hand. "Don't tell me," I said. "Tastes like chicken."

Yami frowned. "No." He popped a grub into his mouth and chewed. "More like butter. You try."

He picked the longest, plumpest grub from his bowl and held it out to me.

I stared at him, then at the grub. I'd eaten worse. Actually, I'd been worse, when I was in Yeerk morph. But right now I was Cassie, regular human Cassie, and there was no way I was biting into a wormy little Taxxon.

"You know, this desert heat is really getting to me." I swallowed. "I—I just don't have an appetite."

Yami blinked and nodded. His smile faded. I looked into his dark eyes, and a little pain stabbed through my heart.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: Cassie you bitch.
Adam: I have been wanting to try witchetty grubs for over a decade now, and she just turns them down!
Adam: Shame on you, Cassie, shame.
Ifi: In her defense, Americans don't know shit about hospitality.
Adam: Says you.
Adam: If someone offers me a bowl of severed heads, I'm trying one.
Adam: Common courtesy.

"I don't want you to think I don't appreciate everything, and I know I sound like E.T., but I have to phone home. It's a long-distance call." A really long distance. "But I can reverse the charges. I think."

He gave me a sad smile. "We don't have a telephone."

I stared at him.

"You could use the two-way radio." He looked down at his bowl. "But the explosion yesterday destroyed the aerial."

"The explosion?" I frowned. "Oh, no."

The Bug fighter. When I Draconed the Bug fighter, I'd fried their radio antenna. I couldn't call out. Yami's family couldn't call out. Not only had I led the Yeerks to their outstation, I'd destroyed their only means of communication.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: Whoops


Yami shrugged. "No worries. You'll ride with the postie. The postman."

I blinked. The mailman. Of course. I glanced over at my leotard, drying in the sun.

"What time does he come?"

"Tuesday."

"Tuesday. But that was…"

Yami nodded. "Yesterday. He delivered the post right before the explosion. Right before you came."

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected



Ifi: This has gone from rather inconvenient to a universal conspiracy
Adam: It is the author deliberately sabotaging her efforts in order to prolong this contractually obligated bad plot.

Yami's grandfather pushed away from the porch and stood upright. He held up a curved piece of dark wood. "For you," he told me. "You have given me a gift. And now I give a gift to you."

I took the wood. It was smooth and hard. "A boomerang," he said.

I opened my mouth. Nothing came out. I wanted to say I couldn't take it, that I didn't deserve it. I wanted to tell him the only things I'd given him were a broken radio antenna and exposure to an evil so absolute and terrifying that it had no place here in this untouched land.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: Oh man a boomerang. I hope she throws it at Visser Three and lops off one of his eyestalks.
Adam: Sadly, you need exotic weapon proficiency to use boomerangs without a penalty, and they only do 1d4 damage anyway.

The boomerang shot over the desert, a deadly, spinning blur. It sliced a little pink flower off the top of a scrubby bush and skidded into the sand. Yami ran to get it. Tjala bounded after him.

"It doesn't come back?" I said.

"Yes, it comes back. As soon as Yami brings it." Yami's grandfather laughed. "This boomerang doesn't come back without help. Returning boomerangs are for games. I would throw a returning boomerang much differently, over my shoulder, like a ball. This is a hunting boomerang. A weapon."

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: I learned a thing today.
Adam: You didn't know that returning boomerangs were purely a novelty thing?
Ifi: Nope
Adam: Well, every day is a day for learning.
Ifi: Wait...did Avatar lie to me?
Adam: fraid so.


Ifi: :(

I took a deep breath and tried to stand the way his grandfather had. I pulled the boomerang back to my waist.

"No!" Yami reached toward me. "You have it backward."

I looked up as he looked down. Our noses brushed together.

"Oh."

"Sorry."

I stepped back in embarrassed confusion.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: Cassie you shameless hussy
Adam: Jake is crying.
Adam: Crying!
Adam: Seriously though.
Adam: That is just very uncool.
Adam: Very uncool indeed.

Ifi: Oh and Grandpa is wounded

A deep gash ran down his calf, from just below his knee to the middle of his shin.
His leg was swollen and blistered, and the skin around the cut had turned purplish black.
I touched it. It was burning with fever. Pus oozed from the wound.

"You did this yesterday?" I said.

He nodded. "A new carving tool, sharper than anything." He dug into his pocket. "I found it in the desert. I saw it fall. It was a gift from the sky."

He held up a shard of metal, black and singed. My stomach jolted. It wasn't a gift. It was a piece of the Bug fighter I'd shot down.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: So now he has like space gangrine or something
Adam: At the night of the next full moon he'll end up turning into a Taxxon.
Ifi: Anyway Cassie decides that as soon as it gets dark, she is morphing to kangaroo and finding a doctor
Ifi: But the thing is getting worse every minute

"I will. I am." I squeezed his hand between both of mine. "I'm going to get help." I rubbed the back of his hand. He closed his eyes.

Then I glanced down at his wound.

"Oh, God."

His entire lower leg, from just under his knee to the top of his foot, was black and swollen like a basketball. A throbbing, putrified basketball, about to explode.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: AUGH
Adam: brb, vomiting.
Ifi: WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT BUG FIGHTER MADE OF?
Adam: Cancer.
Ifi: "All of our ships are constructed from a special blend of explodium and AIDS."
Adam: <Very good! Carry on!>

Ifi: So we have to amputate
Ifi: Luckily surgery is one of like three things that Cassie is actually good at.
Adam: I think I am going to be sick here.
Ifi: And I can't decide whether this is horrible or amazing, but she morphs Hork-Bajir to do it.
Adam: I think it is supposed to redeem her symbolically for killing that Hork-Bajir Controller earlier or some such.
Ifi: I think she's lucky grandpa didn't wake up and immediately die of a heart attack when he saw a dinosaur looming over him and cutting off his leg
Adam: He did, he was just too polite to say anything.

I needed to make one slice, clean and clear, straight through the muscle. A quick cut would cause the arteries to spasm and help control bleeding.

I positioned my blade over his leg. I slashed, down and around. The muscle fell neatly in half. Blood spurted from the vessel closest to the bone.

<There, Yami. That artery. Pinch it shut while I finish.>

Yami nodded. His lips went pale. He grabbed the artery with shaky fingers and squeezed. I pushed the muscle back to reveal the two leg bones. One slice severed them both.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected



Ifi: Not as badass as the brain surgery, but it's still cool when Cassie actually gets to do something that she's good at.
Adam: I am going to go and curl into a fetal position for the rest of the review.

As I stared at the metal, a shadow darkened the room. And I knew what it was before I looked out the window.

Visser Three's Blade ship hovered over the brush. A port on the bottom of the ship yawned open, and a Taxxon dropped out onto the red Australian plain.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: ...
Adam: Dude really is incapable of delegating.

<ANDALITE!> Visser Three's open thought-speak thundered through my head. Yami pressed his hands over his ears. Tjala yelped and flattened himself against the floor.

<You didn't think I'd forget you, did you?> Pure evil penetrated my skull. <Surrender now, or I will annihilate every living thing within a square mile. You have three minutes.>

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: <ASSUMING YOU ARE WITHIN HEARING DISTANCE OF THIS.>
Ifi: <ANY LOCALS WHO HAPPEN TO BE AROUND: DISREGARD THIS MESSAGE.>
Adam: He did this in about three other small towns before finding the right place.
Ifi: I choose to believe this

"They're here because of me."

"No." Yami's grandfather touched my arm. I looked down, startled. He drew a sharp breath. His face twisted in pain, but his eyes stayed bright and alert. "They're here because they're evil." His voice was a low rasp. "You fight these creatures, yes?"

I nodded. "Yes."

"If you did not fight them, do you think they would leave us alone? Do you think they would stay away from this place and never hurt us? No. They would come. They would take our land, destroy our home. Our life would be gone forever. This I know." He swallowed. "Do everything you can, and anything you must." He closed his eyes. "I only wish I could help."

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Adam: That's…actually a rather legitimate point.
Ifi: Really, Cassie. Hold on to that thought.
Adam: Can she bring Yami's grandpa back with her?
Ifi: "OMG I HATE FIGHTING I HATE WAR I QUIT."
Ifi: "Bitch you have a gift. Get out there and kick ass for everyone who can't."
Ifi: "...fine."
Adam: The team has had a severe lack of cool elderly people
Adam: …Okay, someone write a fanfiction where Elfangor crash-lands next to the house of the Golden Girls.

Ifi: Anyway Cassie morphs kangaroo

I spotted the boomerang lying on the bench. The boomerang Yami's grandfather had given me. I reached for it. The kangaroo's front paws were amazing, almost like hands, without a real thumb, but with five nimble, clawed fingers. I gripped the boomerang in one paw, held my pouch open with the other, and slipped the boomerang inside.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Adam: That is what the pouches are really for.
Ifi: Aren't they like, sticky inside?
Adam: I do not believe so.
Adam: Why would they be sticky?
Ifi: Idk I think I read it somewhere once
Ifi: Either way the whole thing sounds like a bad idea
Adam: Seems easier than just carrying it around.

<ANDALITE!>

TSEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWW!

The ground exploded at my feet.

I bolted. My legs were like coiled springs. Bummph. I landed on both feet.

I leaped again, soaring what felt like the length of an eighteen-wheeler, my tail curved out behind me for balance.

Taxxon and Hork-Bajir-Controllers crunched through the scrub behind me. I veered off, away from the settlement, away from the clump of gum trees and Yami's mother.

Bummmph. Bummmph. Bummmph.

The tendons at the backs of my legs were like rubber bands. I landed, and the rubber band shot me back into space. The faster I hopped, the more energy I had. I could leap forever.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: This is ridiculous.


Adam: Kangaroos are perpetual motion machines.

The massive muscles that had propelled me across the desert now released their force on the Taxxon. My back legs struck, again and again. I shredded him with my dagger claws. He sank back from me, Taxxon goo oozing onto the sand.

More Taxxons swarmed toward us. I turned and leaped away. The Taxxons let me go. Their rabid hunger zeroed in on their mangled comrade. The Yeerks inside their heads powerless to stop them. The Taxxons ripped into their fallen colleague. The wounded Taxxon himself turned and, with his last dying breath, slurped up his own guts.

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: AUGH
Adam: Omnomnom

Ifi: So Cassie stumbles into the mob of wild kangaroos with the entire Yeerk army in pursuit and the wild kangaroos....
Ifi: kick everyone's ass
Ifi: it's ridiculous
Adam: Don't go underestimating kangaroos
Adam: Things be nuts


Ifi: They are the most ridiculous creatures ever
Ifi: Look at them they are like bouncy rabbit deer
Adam: They will kill you.
Adam: Kill you dead.


Ifi: With the help of Yami's boomerang-throwing family and the kangaroos, Cassie manages to drive off the invaders.
Ifi: And then a Chee shows up to announce the book is over so let's go home

I collapsed behind the boulder.

"Cassie, you must demorph quickly."

<Aaah!>

I jerked my head around and rammed my nose into something hard. A leg. A canine-shaped leg of ivory and steel. I looked up. A Chee towered over me. A Chee I recognized.

<Lour—Lourdes?>

"Yes." A shimmer and her human hologram slipped into place. "I smuggled aboard the Blade ship. I'm here to get you home."

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Adam: How is she able to recognize the individual Chee when not in hologram?
Ifi: Well maybe she...
Ifi: Maybe…
Ifi: …
Ifi: I got nothing
Adam: Very good.

Adam: So, Cassie gets home…somehow.
Ifi: Don't worry about it.
Adam: I won't.
Adam: They go to The Gardens so she can get Yami a postcard.
Ifi: That is nice I guess?
Ifi: "Hey what's up it's me. I hope your grandpa isn't dead. Peace."
Adam: She also feels remarkably little guilt about running around flirting with another guy while everyone was going crazy looking for her.

"Talk?" Rachel rolled her eyes. "Puh-leez. He wants to give you a big, fat, sloppy kiss. You should've seen him. He was a total zombie the whole time you were gone."

I smiled at Jake. "A zombie? Really?"

Jake shot Rachel a dirty look, then stared down at his French fries. "Depends on your definition of a zombie."

"How's this for a definition?" Tobias said. "Somebody who can't eat, can't sleep, spends every minute of the night and day searching the airport and all other known Yeerk hangouts, and can only utter one intelligible sentence: 'I have to FIND HER.'"

----Book Forty-Four, The Unexpected

Ifi: Cassie you are a horrible person
Adam: Someone go give Jake a hug.
Ifi: And yeah that's basically it

Adam: This book...
Adam: Well, it was better than the Alaska one.
Ifi: Does Cassie ever use the kangaroo morph again?
Adam: Nope
Ifi: This book was a gimmick
Adam: Yep.
Adam: Well, if it makes you feel better, next week we have a plot-heavy book.
Ifi: Hooray plot
Adam: To put it lightly,
Adam: Shit goes down.
Adam: Excuse my language.
Ifi: Oh man!
Ifi: It's that book!
Adam: Yep
Adam: The one where they change the color formatting on the title.

113 comments:

  1. At the night of the next full moon he'll end up turning into a Taxxon.

    I DEMAND FANFICTION!

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    Replies
    1. His leg was cut off, though.

      Only his leg would turn into a taxxon. That's an awfully small worm-monster...

      Delete
  2. Hilarious review. The last couple books have been the "I got nothing sort" so it seemed like you guys had to work to get something out of them, but this one seemed to come right into your strike zone. I'm going to put the crappy writing issues of this one down to it being the ghostwriter's first Animorph book. She writes two others that I recall being much better but with a lot of the insanity of this one. So I think we really have something to look forward to.

    I like how this book/review completely affirms my perspective of the Rachel-Cassie comparison. Psycho-violent girl at least understands the importance of "set for stun". Also, Rachel, despite supposedly being the most attractive girl in town, feels guilty whenever someone hits on her, despite having a boyfriend who treats her kind of crappy; whereas St Cassie spends her first solo trip out of town eye-fucking an Abo.

    Speaking of the Golden Girls (and by extension crossovers and character archetypes), I noticed that you can totally line up the Animorphs with the cast of the Avengers movie.

    You have your heroic leader, who, before getting his powers, failed in his attempts to join a group oriented around teamwork and heavy physical activity. Afterwards, he becomes a national hero, but is tormented by his failure to save his "big brother" figure.
    - You have the wannabe healer who affects a gentle persona, and is the best on the team at changing form, but often loses control when transformed and angsts about the destruction and loss of life that result.
    - You have the guy with a strong hawk motif, who's a natural at aiming things, despite being one of the less powerful team members.
    - You have the badass/kickass hot chick with extraordinary agility that does not result from any powers, who is the closest teammate to the hawk guy.
    - You have the smart-aleck, whose father is a sci-fi inventor, and who flirts with anything female, is the most technologically literate of the team (at least with human tech), and as an adult is an arrogant d-bag rich guy, who calls a minion by a stereotypical English butler's name.
    - Finally, there is the extra-terrestrial, who is arrogant, powerful, whose people's technology is so advanced as to resemble magic, including a powerful blue cube, and a renegade of whom is leading the alien invasion of Earth. This team member has issues about a sibling, likes a crazy scientist chick and embarasses his human friends in restaurants.

    I'm sure Adam or Trish or one of the other TV Trops afficionados would have a term for each comparable pairing, but I'm pretty sure the similarities explain the popularity of each intellectual property.

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    1. Yo man that's a racial slur. Not cool.

      Delete
    2. "eye-fucking an Abo" wow thats the grossest thing ive read today :|

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    3. I still haven't seen The Avengers, so I can't really comment too much on your comparison.

      But seriously though, watch it with the language. We're trying to maintain some semblance of family-friendliness on here.

      Delete
    4. Yeah... I'm guessing you're American? Maybe you didn't know, but yes, 'abo' is a racial slur.

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    5. Sorry, I heard it in a kid's song.

      What level of slur are we talking? N-word? Is it the Australian equivalent of Indian or of Redskin? Not that it makes a difference as far as using it goes, I admit, but just as a cultural issue, I'm sort of curious. You don't often see how curse words work in common usage.

      Delete
    6. It's pretty much the Australian N-word.

      Also I'm guessing that the song was 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport', which was written in 1957, when aboriginal people were thought of as slightly below dirt in the grand scheme of things.

      Delete
    7. Yeah I wasn't sure what to say, but... Not cool.
      1957, aboriginal people still weren't legally 'people' in Australia.

      Even 'aboriginal' is offensive sometimes- where i live, you say Koori, not aboriginal.

      Delete
    8. This comment thread has taken a turn for the educational, of which I approve.

      Delete
    9. The accepted polite term seems to be 'indigenous people', I think? Although 'Aboriginal' is still used.

      Delete
    10. I think its more of a condemnation on the users themselves that accurate terminology like oriental & aboriginal now is considered offensive. Or proper nouns like Negro or Indian. It all impedes the whole purpose of language which is accurate communication. Ludicrously inaccurate terms like Native American and Asian will eventually lead to inaccurate memes about history and geography, if they aren't already.

      What's more frustrating is it perverts a discussion into racial terminology in response to a post about the Animorphs being like the Avengers.

      Delete
    11. In regards to your Avengers comparison...yeah, I was cracking up the whole time. I'll never watch Avengers the same way again. That's hilarious.

      And wow, I learned a lot from this thread! Amazing, the stuff you learn when you're goofing off.

      Delete
    12. I don't know, Cannoli, I feel like describing two entirely different ethnicities from two entirely different cultures from two entirely different part of the world both as "Indian" will lead to more inaccuracy in geography and history than referring to one as Indian and the other as something else.

      Delete
    13. Really, Cannoli? You really think that using terms other than "Negro" is going to lead to inaccuracy in history and geography?

      And, what Dan Anix said.

      Delete
    14. I know I have trouble figuring out how different groups of people want to be referred. "Indian" can either mean "someone from India", or "Indigenous person". By that logic, calling an aboriginal person an Abo is like calling an Indian an Indi. I'm Canadian, and I'm sometimes referred to by non-Canadian friends as a Canuck. There's no negative connotation with that word, so I'm cool with it. And I STILL get flak from some people for saying someone is "Black" as opposed to "African-American" or some politically correct equivalent.

      Here's my general guideline. I will refer to you as the first logical term that comes to mind with the intent of being descriptive and non-offensive. If you're offended by whatever term I happen to use, I'll keep it in mind and go with something else. I wasn't aware Abo was even a term, let alone an offensive one, so I'll be sure not to whip that out in conversation. I think Cannoli's use of the term was akin to Randall's use of "Porch Monkey" in Clerks 2.

      Delete
    15. See, but I'd never call or refer to someone as a Porch Monkey, unless I had personal knowledge that that individual was a piece of human garbage who did absolutely nothing with his life, but hang around on the porch and live off of other people.

      Delete
    16. What if there was a capuchin sitting on my balcony? Then what would I call it?

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    17. On your Cassie/Rachel comparison, well, Cassie fired twice. The first time, she didn't know it wasn't on stun, and the second time, she had to get rid of the Bug Fighter.
      Rachel, on the other hand, shot about twelve people, though she only stunned them, on about five of them were killed by the Yeerks, as she eould yell stuff like HE'S AN ANDALITE and HE TRIED TO KILL ME! HE'S A TRAITOR!! The Bug Fighter only had two or three people on it, and she killed the other Hork Bajir by accident. Rachel's Dracon Beam party was much more deadly, and she walked into it. When Cassie does something horrible, it's usually because it of a freak incident or a plot pusher or some one else making a bad choice. Rachel's body count is more of her choice, while Cassie's are accidental or personal self defense.

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    18. I love how the USA has decided that the "politically correct" term for an entire race is "African-American". I've always wondered what the politically correct way to refer to a European of African descent is. My country can be so egocentric at times.

      Delete
  3. "Adam: …Okay, someone write a fanfiction where Elfangor crash-lands next to the house of the Golden Girls. "

    Someone should totally do it. Almost every work of narrative could use its share of cool elderly people.


    And about this book... It exists. I guess. But I prefer its prequel, where Cassie goes to Louisiana and fights an evil hag and her two pet alligators to save an orphaned girl.

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  4. In reference to the whole freezing-the-people-on-the-plane, I believe that's biostasis, which showed up in #16, the one with Visser Three's evil twin who uses it to freeze Rachel and Ax. Anyways, that explains why Cassie knows about it, seeing as she was there, but it certainly doesn't explain why the Yeerks don't use the thing more frequently.

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    1. Oh, good point. I believe you're right. It still doesn't make sense why the Yeerks don't use it more often, though. Seriously.

      How to catch the "Andalite bandits" in 4 easy steps:
      1. Set a trap.
      2. Wait for them to show up.
      3. Put the entire room in biostasis.
      4. Kill/capture/infest the paralyzed Andalites.

      Delete
    2. Easy. Go into bio-froze room. Become bio-froze. In the plane, after all the people were put in biostatis, they stunned 'em, and boarded. Also, they are in morph. You often can't get a Yeerk around a brain too big. They are in morph. A Yeerk isn't big enough.

      Delete
    3. I wonder... if you're in bio-stasis, does that pause the morphing clock?

      Delete
    4. According to book 16, no.

      Delete
    5. Um according to book 16, yes it does pause it

      Delete
  5. I love when American books/movies reference Australia. It's like'so close, but soo far'.

    Witchety grubs are nice. When they are cooked they don't even look that bug-like. Why is Cassie squeamish about eating a bug, but fine with eating seal?

    Nothing horrific has ever happened to me but I know a girl who got her facd ripped up by a 'roo. They're nice animals, except for when they're not.
    My dad spent the afternoon on the bonnet of his car once, penned in by a wombat. He must have pissed it off or something and they are tough little tank animals.


    I actually didn't hate this book, which is weird, because, Cassie.

    As to the whole 'roo vs Yeerks' thing- a kangaroo could shred a taxxon... But unless the Hork Bajir were pretty incompetent fighters, *shrugs*


    Oh! I meant to say.... There's a line up there about witchetty grubs looking like little white Taxxons- I think this is where I got my mental picture of them from. Big, reddish, bug eyed witchetty grubs.

    This book is why I honestly had to pause and think 'WTF is that?' about the Taxxon book s cover.


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    1. "Bonnet of his car"? Is that like the top of the car? (We call it the "hood" of the car in America.) Also - that is a hilarious mental image. To me. I'm sure I wouldn't have thought it was so funny if I were in his shoes.

      Delete
    2. Wait, how big are wombats? I always thought they were relatively small, like a beagle or a corgi...small enough that you could punt them if they got aggressive. On the other hand, this is Australia, and everything is more dangerous in Australia.

      Delete
    3. Wombats are BIG. A small adult can crawl into a wombat den, for example. And they're strong enough to push cars around.

      Delete
  6. Wild kangaroos can indeed dispatch dIngos and other predators by holding them underwater until they drown. The Kratt brothers taught me that.

    And if modern kangaroos seem dangerous, at least one species of prehistoric kangaroo was giant and carnivorous. Imagine morphing that.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "And if modern kangaroos seem dangerous, at least one species of prehistoric kangaroo was giant and carnivorous."

      That is awesome. Tyrannosaurus Roo.

      Didn't Australia also have giant, man-eating birds in prehistoric times? Must have been a scary place to live.

      Delete
    2. You're thinking of Haast's eagle. Those were native to New Zealand, not Australia.

      Delete
    3. There were phourasucids in South America, which were a good simacrulum of what might have happened had H.R Geiger been commissioned to design Big Bird.

      In modern times, there are still emus, who can disembowel enemies by kicking them, so you can still fulfill your desire for giant murderous pseudo-dinosaurs.

      Delete
    4. I believe you mean Middle Earth. In more than one sense.

      Delete
    5. What's inaccurate about 'Native American'? They were the original population of the country, weren't they?

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    6. The Anasazi and other prehistoric people might have a different opinion.

      Delete
  7. WHO THE HECK ARE THE GOLDEN GIRLS?! When i read animorphs, i picture it as a tv show in my head (each book is a different episode). Then after i read the book i usually take one or more good scenes from the book and create bloopers or deleted scenes to show during the credits of that episode. My show is way better than the "real" one. By "real" i mean i didnt resemble the books at all. You should see the andalite toilet thing. It lasts less than 5 minutes and the plot change to another book, skipping a few books.

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    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiQzUEc_FmI

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    2. I'm Aussie =) But I don't have any horror stories.

      And yeah, I imagine kangaroo pouches would be pretty unpleasant. They keep joeys in there, after all.

      Delete
    3. Oops... that was not meant to be a reply. =(

      Delete
  8. The only Australian wildlife horror story I have is when I was in a caravan park in central Queensland and I found a small tick on my foot. It was almost like a freckle with legs, and as I've got a lot of freckles I nearly missed finding the tick entirely.

    I actually want to read this book just for the scene where the kangaroos thwart the Yeerk invasion. If a mob of kangaroos can do that, then all the Animorphs have to do is dump Australia on the Yeerks and sit back.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If Edriss and Essam had landed in Australia, none of this would have happened.

      Delete
    2. Kangaroos > Gulf War

      Delete
    3. Australia: Highest tourist body count of all contries.

      Delete
  9. One of our roo dogs had to be stitched up after a kangaroo tore its abdomen open. Roos have this trick where, when they're cornered, they wait for whatever's after them to dart in for the kill and they grab it around the neck with their forepaws. Then they use a huge, clawed back leg to disembowel it.

    Wombats are even tougher than roos but notoriously nonviolent. If you hit a wombat with your car, the car is totalled. The wombat just walks away. I am not exaggerating.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Poor baby. :( Dogs are stupid as hell when it comes to animals that can hurt them. This is the species that runs up to grizzly bears barking.

      *googles wombats*

      What no that's just a funny-looking groundhog. Does it have an adamantium skeleton or something?

      Delete
    2. Hope your dog's okay now. :-( Though, if it's anything like my old dog, it didn't learn a thing from the experience. My dog was sprayed by a skunk. On four separate occasions. You'd think by then he would know to stay away from furry black-and-white creatures.

      "Wombats are even tougher than roos but notoriously nonviolent. If you hit a wombat with your car, the car is totalled. The wombat just walks away. I am not exaggerating."

      What. No. No way. Something that small and cute and furry could not possibly total a car. Right?

      Delete
    3. Small? Wombats aren't small. They're pretty big and solid.

      Think of them like a badger.

      Delete
  10. My favorite part is when Cassie runs off to write a message to Yami on the postcard. It felt a lot like, "Oh no I don't want Jake to see this" and it was weird. And then we find out Jake couldn't function, and I just want to get him into a football pile-up of hugs.

    This was a dumb book. I am looking forward to the next book.
    Aaaah, we're almost done with the series! D:

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    Replies
    1. I've begged (BEGGED) for more Facebook status update pics, but Ifi's probably tired of it by now. Still, it would have been hilarious to have Cassie suddenly post from the Outback, and have Marco try to link Jake to it, but he's too busy tearing up LAX in Rhino morph.

      Delete
  11. My mum's best friend lives in Australia. I don't really have any horror stories, but I did learn from her that platypi hiss (on top of being fatally venomous). Also, for comparison, a couple of years ago, my family's cat decided that a garden snake was his friend and dragged it into the house. To get this snake out of the house, my dad had to fish it out from under a very big and heavy rocking chair with my little brother's toy sword as he kept trying to push the cat away (because the cat was still under the impression that the snake was a nice friend) as 4 people stood on top of couches in panic. When my mom told this story to her Australian friend, she said, "I cannot BELIEVE how calmly you people handle snakes up there!"

    And I swear I will write that Goldenmorphs fanfiction. It sounds amazing. I'll even start working on it right now!

    "My name is Dororthy. . . "

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think platypus venom is fatal to a grown human. It's just really painful.

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    2. Was the snake dead or alive?

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    3. Platypus venom is not fatal, but it will leave in such terrible pain that even morphine won't be able to dull it. Oh, and it doesn't wear off for six months.

      Delete
    4. I heard that platypus venom CAN be dulled, but it requires you to cut off the nerve endings around the venom. But only male platypuses have poison barbs.

      Delete
    5. Platypus Facts:
      Male platypuses have ten Y chromosomes.
      A female platypus does sweat milk after giving birth.
      A male platypus has poison barbs on its hind legs.
      It can’t jump.
      Owls eat them.
      It's bill is rubbery and bendy.
      They swim with their ears, nos, and mouth shut.
      They are the only mammal without visible ears.
      Platypuses have thousands of electroreceptors so they can swim without using any other senses.
      Evolution enjoyed making this thing.

      Delete
    6. Seals, cetaceans, and sirenians also lack visible ears.

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    7. ten Y chromosomes.

      what the BALLS

      Delete
    8. WHO WOULD LIKE TO HEAR HOW THEY REPRODUCE?!?

      Delete
    9. Sorry. Only quadrapedal mammal.

      Delete
    10. Welll, actually, platypuses don't have Y chromozones. They have ten Z chromozones, which, is basically two Y chromosomes welded into one. So, really they have TWENTY Y chromosones.

      Delete
    11. The Animorphs should really have acquired platypus morphs somewhere in the series. I mean, I'd certainly morph one if I were ever to battle Hork-Bajir in a billabong.

      Also, aren't seals and sea lions technically quadrupedal?

      Delete
    12. Sea lions have external ears. Seals don't. But yes, they are technically quadrupeds.

      Delete
    13. @Ifi: Snake was very much alive. It was still alive when we eventually got it out of the house, too. My Mom actually thought it was fake until it started moving when she tried to scrape it off her foot with the floor. That's when she learned she could fly . . .

      Delete
    14. "Sea lions have external ears. Seals don't. But yes, they are technically quadrupeds."
      What. EVER.

      Delete
    15. Marine biology is serious business!

      Delete
    16. This is my final try. They are the only mammal who lives on the land who doesn't have external ears. HAPPY?!

      Delete
  12. As an Australian who lives in the outback, I have a story to tell.I once saw woma snake...That's it. They're not even poisonous, they're a type of python.

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  13. Oh, and I have this issue that's been bugging me every time I see it. Where exactly did the Chee get ivory from? These are ancient pacifist space robots. Ivory is formed from elephant tusks and rhino horns. Where are they getting it? How are they getting it? Because unless there is some dark backstory explaining why the Chee came about to be full blown pacifists, I don't see the Pemalites running around killing animals for it. Did they just wait for a space elephant to drop before taking it's space tusks? Is there some kind of space ivory that's derived from space trees, or something? I need answers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure they are just ivory-colored, not actually made from ivory.

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    2. Well, it always said "made of ivory and steel," so I just always thought they used ivory as a crafting material.

      Delete
    3. In addition to referring to tooth material, "ivory" can also be used as a synonym for "white."

      Delete
  14. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmis5WE7QFk

    That is all

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  15. I liked this book. Mainly because of Yami and his granddad (and Australia). They were cool people. (Even if Yami was a shameless rehash of the Alaskan kid.) I'm okay with a nonsensical plot if the characters are good.

    Speaking of things that don't make sense - why did Cassie land it the outback in the first place? Sydney's on the east coast. If the plane was flying from LA to Sydney, it never should have flown over the outback.

    Random side note: I totally adopted the phrase "No worries" from this book. Still using it to this day.

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    Replies
    1. ALL OF AUSTRALIA IS THE SAME PLACE!!! JUST LIKE ANY OTHER FOREIGN COUNTRY!!!! That' why 98% of grade school visual media assignments about Australia WILL feature Ayer's Rock & the Sydney Opera House in close proximity. When you think about it though, it would be much more sensible from a tourism perspective. Stupid foreigners, scattering all their attractions around the whole country! At least in the USA when you have to travel to see the Statue of Liberty and Mt Rushmore on the same trip, you get to go through America!

      Delete
    2. Also say no worries constantly, didn't even realize I got it from here. Over the years even have my friends saying it...

      Delete
  16. Oh, wow. When I was younger, I never noticed that the writer had Yami's grandfather make an allusion to white Australia in his screed against the Taxxons. Real classy, ghostwriter.

    I know of no horror stories about the wildlife generally. A spider the size of a dinner plate once infiltrated my bedroom, but it was shooed out. And when you're growing up, there are always the obligatory warnings about checking for redback spiders under seats. Assaboutit. But once, I did catch my hand inside an automatic winding car window. I had bruised fingers for... three days, at least. An inhospitable country, these suburbs.

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  17. I don't have any horror stories I have experienced myself, as I live in North America. But I had a pen pal in Australia in some area around Sydney. He told me that a koala attacked an idiotic tourist who got too close and, after scratching him up a bit, grabbed and ripped off his... certain place. I wasn't sure if he was yanking my chain or not, so I Googled it. It turns out, yes, koalas are famous for their opposable thumbs and claws, which they use to latch on to any thing that threatens them or to climb. When attacked by a human, they defend with grabbing arms, legs, necks, etc. So this particular koala grabbed the first grabb-able thing, which was... you know. The site decided to show a video of another koala who did this. Poor Owl Nutter was never the same again.

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    Replies
    1. Koalas have two thumbs on each hand. That just ain't right.

      Delete
    2. *hugs Owl Nutter*

      A friend of mine grew up in rural China. Her uncle was attacked and nearly killed by a panda. Seriously, what is up with all these cute, cuddly cartoon animals being so deadly?

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    3. I LIVE IN JORDAN AND I WAS KICKED IN THE CHEST BY A DONKEY! IT WAS FUCKING WEIRD!! AND IT HURT!

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    4. Koalas have eacalyptus leaf juice imbedded in their claws. Its poisonous, so what a koala eats gives him poison claws. Why don't we get poison claws? D:

      Delete
    5. KOALA used POISON CLAW!

      Critical hit! KANGAROO is POISONED!

      KANGAROO used DOUBLE KICK!

      It was super effective! KANGAROO is hurt by POISON!

      Delete
  18. I'm going to assume that Adam and Ifi are both unfamiliar with Yu-Gi-Oh, because I know I would not have been able to resist making a Yami joke. Or maybe you just didn't want to go with the low hanging fruit.

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  19. Today I found an interesting fan-fiction. In it, The Animorphs are derping around Ax's scoop on a shady day, and Ax is telling them about being Andalites or whatever, when suddenly, a beautiful women walks into the scoop. Before they could react, she ran up, and bit Ax on the neck. She then runs away. Ax is writhing in pain, so the Anis call the Chee and tell them to come and get Ax so they can hide him. The Anis go home, worrying. Three days later, Jake gets a call from Erek, who is freaking out, and says stay away from Ax, when there is a ripping sound and the line goes dead. So the Anis go over to Erek's, and into the park. They find in it a pile of ripped up metal and dead dogs. On top of it was Ax, his eyes black. Faster than they could see, he was in front of them. With his tail blade, he slashes Marco across the chest. Marco collapses, screaming. Ax places a hoof in the wound, draining him of blood. His eyes are now blood red. Rachel punches him, and, with an audible crack, her hand breaks. Ax is ice cold and hard as a rock.
    I'll spare you guys from the rest of the details, but Ax turns Rachel into a vampire, and they enter a romantic relationship and glitter together, Ax kills Edward Cullen, and the rest of the not-dead-or-vampire Animorphs become werewolves. That's all I read because I then punched clean through the monitor.
    So. Yeah.

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    1. A couple weeks ago, I found an Animorphs fanfiction where the Animorphs find the last descendants of the Pemalites (or something, it's not really explained), and one of them joins the team, and she's super smart and confident and perfect and has the power to morph into anything just by thinking about it and runs around solving everyone's problems while hitting on Marco and argh I can't go on anymore.

      There's also another author on Fanfiction.net who writes stories that involve nothing but various Animorphs characters breaking into Simple Plan songs for no adequately explained reason.

      On the plus side, go and read "The Earth Diary of Toby Hamee". It's probably the best Animorphs fanfiction on the Internet.

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    2. There are billions of bad fan-fictions, ranging from mediocre to bad to freaking awful. But crossovers are usually the worse. If they aren't good, they are the worst ever. But seriously, who writes a crossover about TWILIGHT and ANIMORPHS?!?!? It's unatural, and who ever wrote it SHIPPED RACHEL AND AX AND MADE THEM VAMPIRES AND THE REST OF THEM WEREWOLVES!?!? On the bright side, they killed Marco on page three, so that makes up for like, 2%. But still.

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    3. I once read a crossover fic between, of all things, Animorphs and Scrubs. Bizarrely enough, it was actually legitimately good.

      Also, how would Ax turn someone else into a vampire, anyway? He doesn't have any teeth. Does he kick them really hard or something?

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    4. A quick search of the Animorphs crossover category gives me this: http://www.fanfiction.net/Animorphs_and_Mary_Poppins_Crossovers/54/2006/

      I don't even know anymore.

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    5. I think I just lost feeling in my left arm from reading that, Serveaux. And possibly some more vision in my left eye. It was like it was written from a painfully bad fever dream.

      Anyway, I found a horribly written one where Tobias is The Master. http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5366405/1/The_Doc_And_The_Hawk

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    6. Also, Owl Nutter, I looked everywhere, what is that fanfiction called?

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    7. He had a venom coated tail instead of teeth.

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  20. "Ifi: Aren't they like, sticky inside?"
    Yes. This is because when kangaroos are born, they are not fully formed. They look like this:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=newborn+joey&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=ZTK&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&tbm
    See those little red things? That's it. When a joey is born, it has to crawl up to the mother's pouch by itself. If it goes the wrong way, or falls off, it dies. No help from the mother. Period. When inside the sticky pouch, the joey finishes developing. At least 65% of all joeys don't make it.

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  21. "Ifi: I'm sorry but
    Ifi: isn't the entire point of this mission
    Ifi: to reveal the invasion to the world?"
    Yes, but if people see Ax, aren't they going to think Andalites are the invaders? Which is people going to think are the hostile aliens, the centaur-scorpions or your neighbors?

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    1. Neighbors. Duh. Unmistakable aliens are new and interesting, but your neighbors are the assholes who commit all sorts of petty offenses. The Salem Witch Trials didn't go after strangers, it was people lynching their own neighbors. Aliens haven't done anything to piss people off, so they get a pass for a minute or two, but the jerks next door, or down the block, or who take the parking space at work... oh people will jump at any excuse to round THEM up and watch them writhe in agony as the slug in their brains starves to death.

      On a side note, I was reading a book today where a bunch of shapeshifters came to visit the PoV character, and got the following passage:

      "...three more birds soared into the big chamber; a golden eagle, a bald eagle and a red-tailed hawk."

      My first thought was "why would David being hanging out with Rachel & Tobias?"

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    2. Revision: Who would people think are the hostile aliens? The scorpion-centaurs, or the random people you meet on the street?

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  22. Tip for surviving Australia:

    If the six-inch hairy spider is skinny, mottled brown, and runs sideways ridiculously fast, it's a huntsman and as such has all the deadly venom of a honeybee. Therefore, do not have a heart attack when you find it sitting on your bedroom ceiling watching you sleep.

    My brother once kicked over an old stump in winter, and it turned out to be full of hibernating huntsmen. They swarmed out in a brown furry tide like the urban legend about the Mexican cactus. He ran faster.

    I live too far south for funnel-webs to be much of a problem, let alone crocodiles - only really nasty critters down here are the brown snakes and redbacks. However, I once went up the mountains on a family holiday. My father was reading one of the thicker hardcover Harry Potters when two long hairy legs came over the top of the book... followed by a few more... followed by...

    No, not a dear little huntsman. A full-on funnelweb.

    So Dad waited till it had climbed right down between the pages, and then he shut the book.

    I also once met a woman who'd been bitten by a white-tail spider and her foot kind of dissolved and they had to amputate it the next day. But she had badly controlled diabetes and terrible veins, so her foot wasn't too good to start with - with healthy people, they just cause horrible oozing ulcers that take months to heal.

    Oh, I should mention Gymnorhina tibicen, the Australian Magpie. No relation to actual magpies - you can tell it's not really a crow by its beautiful singing voice. They're notable for having almost no fear of humans - if you offer a wild magpie bits of meat occasionally, you can get it to sit on your wrist and let you pat it.

    The downside to the lack of fear is that not all magpies /like/ humans, and the alpha males will attack anything they think is threatening their babies. So if they get the idea that humans eat magpie eggs... well, we're talking about an animal the size and shape of a small crow, so they're not exactly The Deadly Terror From The Skies, but every few years someone loses an eye or gets knocked off their bike.

    Magpies Hate Bicycles. Science has not yet explained this.

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    1. So much for sleeping tonight . . .

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    2. Wait, our magpies aren't related to the magpies other countries get?

      What on earth ''are'' your magpies, then?

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    3. Real, Northern Hemisphere magpies, Pica pica - the kind famous for stealing shiny things - are a kind of tiny crow. They're all iridescent and they have long tails and they can't sing and they look nothing like Australian magpies.

      Australian magpie: vaguely related to crows and shrikes, but not actually a crow. Belongs to the family Cracticidae, which doesn't have a common name, and which also has currawongs, Australasian butcher-birds (which look and act just like shrikes, including impalement, but aren't...) and some weird things from New Guinea.

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    4. All this time, whenever a book said 'magpie' I've been picturing the big black and white bird that goes 'woodle woodle woodle'. Apparently I was way off. Huh. You learn something new every day.

      I think some places here even call butcher birds shrikes.

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  23. Oh and yes, the big kangaroo species will drown dogs as well as disembowel them, although it's usually sheepdogs or pets with no hunting experience - I think dingoes usually know not to chase roos into water.

    However, you Yanks might be disappointed to know that all cases of kangaroos attacking humans, to date, have involved the roo being in a cage, the human walking up and assaulting it, and the roo fighting back.

    :-) Don't know how any of those Americans dare to leave their houses. Aren't there, like, BEARS and COUGARS and WOLVES and lots of things that actually CHASE YOU WANTING TO EAT YOU, instead of having normal minor dangers like venomous crawly wildlife that can get slightly overenthusiastic about self-defence? :-)

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  24. Yeah we may have all the poisonous things, but on land, very few things actually want to eat us. Except drop bears, of course.

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  25. An emu pecked me at a zoo and a magpie dove to eat my ear in nesting season, does that count? When reading this book the first time I wanted Cassie to land in Sydney and the fight to happen at the Opera House that would have rocked...

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  26. this just now occurred to me, but I think the reason they never took the evidence of alien life to the government personally is because it associates them with the aliens. Any controllers in government will know about them. If the feds get a hold of proof of aliens themselves, Anis aren't risked.

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  27. I am Aussie and have never seen a deadly animal outside of a zoo. WTF? Also great sarcasm Ifi lol

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