Saturday, September 8, 2012

Book 47: The Resistance


The Summary
The date is December 23, 1864. The American Civil War. Lieutenant Isaiah Fitzhenry is charged with defending the town of Sinkler's Ridge, Tennessee from General Forrest and his Confederate forces. Fitzhenry's men are vastly outnumbered, outgunned, and dying by the day from the cold. In short, things don't look good.

A band of escaped slaves, led by a man named Jacob offer their assistance to Fitzhenry's ranks, but they are turned down, because racism. Fitzhenry realizes that he needs their help, but worries if his soldiers will willingly cooperate, again, because racism. Ultimately he is backed into a corner and takes Jacob up on his offer, training them into a top shape fighting force in about twenty minutes or so.

The battle comes and they all fight valiently, but both Jacob and Fitzhenry are shot in the crossfire. Fitzhenry dies, hoping he made the right choice.

Oh, and Jake and co help stop the Yeerks from invading the Hork-Bajir valley. That's important too, I guess.

The Review
Adam: This cover is ridiculous looking.
Ifi: This is the most underwhelming cover in the history of covers that I remember
Adam: The third stage of the morph, Jake has become some sort of strange wombat-man.
Ifi: "This book features the first traditional open battle between the Animorphs and the Yeerks soooo...better make it a beaver."
Adam: *insert innuendo here*
Adam: I am mature.
Ifi: *sigh*
Ifi: Thing is, this cover would have worked really well for one of the earlier, lighter books.
Adam: On the other hand, not every cover is going to be some big alien monster battle morph
Adam: and part of the appeal of turning into animals is that you can do something a bit more subtle then tear everyone apart with big nasty teeth and claws.
Adam: That said
Adam: This cover doesn't look like a Dave Mattingly cover.
Adam: Jake is all brushstroky looking.
Ifi: He also looks incredibly young
Adam: Really bizarre, since they switch back to the previous model in the next Jake book.

Adam: So Jake is feeling tired an unappreciated and his mom is making him clean out the basement.
Ifi: Isn't that what the Chee are for?
Ifi: Really I mean they built the pyramids
Ifi: I don't think they'd mind sorting through Christmas ornaments
Adam: If he was able to, Erek would probably smack you upside the head.
Ifi: Oh I'm soooo sorry for asking him to take time away from throwing tennis balls.
Adam: Those squeaky toys aren't just going to squeak themselves, you know.
Ifi: 15,000 years you'd think his shoulder joint would have worn out.

Adam: So fiddling around down there, Jake finds the old journal of his ancestor, who was apparently a lieutenant in the Civil War

It was an old-fashioned chest covered in dark, moldy leather. Decorative tooling and metal trim made it look kind of fancy. The slightly curved lid displayed the name Fitzhenry in raised leather letters.

[...]

CRAAASSSSHHHH!

I crept through darkness toward the source of the sound. Just enough light seeped in from outside for me to see the large, fallen tree branch that had smashed the glass in the basement window. Wind and rain tunneled inside.

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: Shit Jake maybe you should do something about that
Adam: Eh, he puts some duct tape over it and then forgets about it.
Adam: Oh wow, this is just reminding me.
Adam: We put up this blog right in the middle of hurricane Irene last year.
Ifi: I have no recollection of that. Was it outside?
Ifi: You know how I feel about outside.
Adam: That is usually how the weather works, yes.
Ifi: What does that have to do with this?
Adam: I am comparing real life events to book events.
Adam: Which is thematically appropriate to this specific book.
Adam: But really I was just being nostalgic.
Adam: But look!
Adam: Shiny!


Ifi: ooooo

Adam: So, just like us, Jake decides to procrastinate on his various chores, so he goes and reads a book instead.

We know General Forrest and his cavalry are out there. But will he come? Will he ever come?
And if he does, shall we be ready?

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: Cool Jake, he narrates just like you

Ifi: So this book isn't one book, it's two half-books with identical storylines
Adam: With the genre shifted from science fiction to historical fiction.
Adam: Yay?
Ifi: Not gonna lie I sort of skimmed the flashbacks
Ifi: And by "sort of" I mean "almost completely"
Adam: It's the same plot
Ifi: It's sort of hard to care about a war that happened over a hundred years ago when there's an alien invasion happening in the present day.
Adam: I'm just trying to think about the fact that the book has suddenly shifted into realistic fiction, even though aliens exist in this universe.
Adam: So you have the Battle of Atlanta going on and there are presumably Chee running around and Mercora exoskeletons buried somewhere.
Ifi: I don't want to dwell too much on the flashback story thing, because it's sort of meh and like you said, virtually identical to the main storyline except it's black people instead of Hork-Bajir and Confederates instead of Yeerks and mud instead of outer space and nobody morphs anything and also Jake's stand-in makes googly eyes at some racist dude's wife.
Adam: I thought the Trekkies were the stand-ins for the escaped slaves.
Ifi: I thought the Trekkies were more like the townspeople, who came in at the end.
Adam: Fair enough.
Adam: It's never a perfect metaphor.

Ifi: Anyway the confederates have chopped down a telephone line or whatever so the good guys can't contact the Andalites
Ifi: Not important
Adam: It took me three tries to spell Isaiah Fitzhenry properly.
Ifi: Turns out being angsty is genetic.
Adam: Also, it is weird having a narrator with a last name.

Ifi: Anyway, back in the present day, Jake gets a phone call

"Hello?"

"Oh, hi, Jake." Cassie.

I groaned. The clock said 4:55 A.M.

"Sorry. I must have hit the wrong speed dial. But while I have you, I've been meaning to tell you that Toby asked me to thank you for loaning her your history notes. I think she likes you."

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: Soooo off to the Hork-Bajir valley we go
Adam: And now, somewhere out there, someone is shipping Jake/Toby
Ifi: She's not even two years old.
Adam: This is the internet. Is that really going to stop some people?
Ifi: Ugh

"We raided a Yeerk facility yesterday, Jake," she said. "A day's journey from here. We rescued four of our people." She paused and looked down at the stream. "But one of our warriors was captured."

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Adam: Yeah, you really should be a bit more careful about that sort of thing.
Ifi: Shit. This is bad. Now the Yeerks will find out that the Hork-Bajir are being aided by humans who can morph
Adam: Which they were bound to figure out soon anyway, but whatevs yo.
Ifi: They will also find out that one of the humans is Edriss's old host's son and the others are his classmates
Ifi: Oh wait
Ifi: No they don't
Ifi: because this book
Ifi: MAKES NO SENSE
Adam: But there's going to be a big fight, so who cares.

Ifi: For some reason the Yeerks are going to literally walk to the valley, instead of just incinerating it from the air like Edriss tried to do.
Adam: Esplin is fully in charge now, remember?
Ifi: <WE ARE ALL GOING TO TAKE A WALK. SHUT UP I'M TALKING. WE ARE ALL GOING TO WALK...TO THE HORK-BAJIR. AND THEN WHEN WE FIND THEM WE WILL KILL THEM BUT UNTIL THEN LETS JUST APPRECIATE THE MAJESTY OF NATURE.>
Ifi: <LOOK THERE'S A CRANE. DAMN IT FLEW OFF. GUYS YOU ARE SO LOUD WE WILL NEVER SEE ANYTHING COOL IF YOU DON'T SHUT UP.>
Ifi: <LETS ALL SING A WAR SONG.>


Adam: Pretend it's in thought-speak.

Ifi: What the Animorphs should have done was just run on ahead, found the invading force (200 Hork-Bajir and Taxxon warriors crashing around in the brush would not have been hard to locate) and sniped the tattletale Hork-Bajir.
Ifi: It's implied the Yeerks would not be able to find the valley without a firsthand guide.
Adam: 1: That's kind of horrible.
Adam: 2: Sniped with what?
Ifi: A gun.
Adam: Or they could just steal another plane and bomb the Yeerk invading force
Ifi: That would work too, the Animorphs have gotten pretty good at stealing planes...
Adam: A tank would probably be handy too.
Ifi: I don't know, history shows that Marco would probably be the one driving it and I just don't feel like that would end well
Adam: Have Ax drive.
Adam: Or can he only do that with things that fly?
Ifi: Yeah I think so
Adam: Ah, that makes absolutely perfect sense.

"This valley is our home," she said loudly. "We will not give it up. We'll stay and fight."

Marco threw up his hands in exasperation. "Let me understand what I'm hearing, here. You all want to die, is that it?" He looked around at the other Hork-Bajir who remained politely withdrawn from our discussion. "Don't be insane! Mom, Dad? You're with them?"

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: Dude, these are the people who trademarked Free or Dead, why are you surprised.
Ifi: Though personally I am torn. I don't feel like it's a good idea to give up land that the Ellimist may or may not have conjured out of nothing. But at the same time, common sense says to get the hell out of there.
Adam: It's pretty much the same issue for the characters in-universe.
Adam: I would also like to point out that this has basically turned into the Battle of Thermopylae.


Adam: So they're undersupplied, stuck in a mud pit and with no decent morphs, and the Yeerlfederates could attack at any time.
Ifi: Then some runaway slaves turn up and they want to help fight but Jake Sr. is like "lol no"
Adam: See, this is kinda where the analogy falls apart.
Adam: With the Animorphs, deciding to help the Hork-Bajir fight is potentially suicide.
Adam: But with Fitz, not letting Jacob and co help is potentially suicide.
Ifi: Also the Hork-Bajir are made of knives and the runaway slaves are hungry shoesless unskilled runaway slaves
Adam: Yes, but everyone is getting sick, and an extra set of hands is an extra set of hands.
Adam: Jake and Fitz debate and angst even though we all know what they'll end up doing.

Ifi: Also it turns out the Hork-Bajir are pretty good at building traps and weapons and stuff
Ifi: Though I am not really sure what bows and arrows are going to do when the other side has laser beams
Adam: What, didn't you ever see Return of the Jedi?
Ifi: Ok fine.
Ifi: I defer to George Lucas on the grounds that he was not insane yet.
Adam: I do want to know how the Hork-Bajir picked all this stuff up, though.
Adam: I mean, I know they all probably had grandparents who took part in the war on their homeworld, and even with their whole storytelling aspect, when do you get the chance to teach this sort of thing?
Ifi: God only knows what they get up to when the Animorphs aren't around to keep an eye on them.
Ifi: Toby's probably checking books out of the library.
Adam: If Toby ever snaps, i suspect they'll probably end up conquering half the continent.
Ifi: Take it.

Adam: So the Animorphs spot some beavers and get the idea to build a huge dam so they can open it at the right moment and flood all the Yeerks, hence the cover.
Adam: Which in all honesty is a pretty clever idea.

Tobias laughed. <You know, this mission is seriously important. I'm thinking the morph should be a little more, I don't know, glamorous. I mean, going beaver to save an entire colony of aliens is like putting James Bond behind the wheel of a minivan. With a bumper sticker that says, "World's Greatest Mom." No offense.>

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: <I mean what if the editors get the wrong idea and decide to make it the cover art? Talk about lame.>
Adam: Are you suggesting they all go back in time and get Utahraptor morphs or something just so they can have more exciting cover art?
Ifi: How would that not be awesome?
Adam: Okay, how about this for an alternate ending for the book.
Adam: They go dig up the Time Matrix again, go get permanent dinosaur morphs, rescue Jake's ancestor, stop Lincoln from being assassinated, and beat Esplin in a basketball game for the fate of the Earth.
Ifi: I have no issue with any of this.


Adam: If it makes you happy, that's really what's most important.

I put Ax in charge of the "dam expansion." He had a clear sense of the mechanics of the whole thing. Said something about how the natural curve of the beaver's dam was actually the most efficient shape to hold back the water.

"Fluid mechanics was one of my specialties as an aristh," Ax said.

Marco sighed. "What haven't you done?"

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: Seriously. What hasn't he done?
Adam: He has yet to beat any of the main cast in arm wrestling.
Adam: Though honestly, it is good to know that there was a subject that Ax actually did well in back at school.

Ifi: Also there are some campers
Adam: Okay
Adam: So these campers
Ifi: These fucking campers.
Adam: I am going to have a big rant about them soon.
Ifi: These. Goddamn. Campers.
Adam: This book
Adam: It is the only thing in the series that has gotten me really legitimately upset.
Adam: This book, which is otherwise pretty good by all counts, contains easily the most offensive thing in the whole franchise.
Ifi: The idea that Trekkies willingly go camping?
Adam: ...
Adam: Let's just get this over with.

"Look," said binocular guy, "you boys need to learn a thing or two about hikers' etiquette. People need to trust one another in the wilderness. You don't make up stories just to get someone else's campsite."

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: Dude go home go home go home go go go go
Adam: So eventually, Jake just figures, "screw it" and morphs in front of them.

“Sometime before tomorrow noon," I said solemnly, "an army of aliens is going to march up this valley. If you're still here, they'll kill every single one of you."

Ifi: So uh
Ifi: ...
Adam: "Hey! We can help! It's not like we have a bunch of young, potentially vulnerable children with us or anything!"
Ifi: This would be a terrible idea even if they weren't the stupidest troupe of humans in the entire franchise.
Adam: Jake, just go and roar at them until they go away. We'd all be better off.
Ifi: Really, isn't that your usual plan for getting rid of muggles?
Ifi: Why stop now?
Adam: It's worked pretty well so far.

"I've waited my entire life to make contact," he said suddenly. "My name is Richard Carpenter.
What do you call yourselves? What system do you call home?"

"What system?"

"What solar system are you from? Are you with the Federation? Is your ship in orbit or on land?"

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: So Mr. C and his friends are a little confused.
Adam: Okay this.
Ifi: They seem to feel that the Animorphs have come from the Star Trek verse, despite the fact that the Star Trek verse is 1) completely fictional and 2) set in the future of earth
Adam: This is absolutely terrible.
Adam: I think the worst part of this is that Miss Ghostwriter lady was not even trying to be offensive here.
Adam: In the rare, off-chance that she happens to be reading this review, let me explain.
Adam: Trekkies, scifi fans, really any fanboys of anything.
Adam: They are just people that really are fond of something.
Adam: That is it!
Adam: They don't think that the Federation or the Empire or the Andalites or whatever actually exist.
Adam: And whether you realize it or not, you've basically just massively insulted your own fanbase in one fell swoop here.
Adam: For comparison, we'll be doing the Ellimist Chronicles next, which is also a book about nerds.
Adam: But one which treats them with far more respect than this.
Ifi: Yeah, these guys are like those people on the internet who think they're married to that pretty boy from Final Fantasy. Not at all indicative of actual Star Trek fans.
Adam: Again, I just want to reiterate that it is in very poor taste to go insulting science fiction fans when you happen to be writing a popular, long-running science fiction series.
Ifi: Maybe the author knew someone who thought she was soulbonded to Spock and just assumed all fans were like that?
Ifi: I don't know the fail just...exists on so many levels.

We led the thirteen campers, ten kids and three adults, the mile or so back to the Hork-Bajir settlement.


Ifi: Holy terrible idea, Batman!
Adam: So now they not only have a bunch of lunatics to babysit, but now they are all huge security threats at that.
Adam: A human kid is going to be a heck of a lot easier to capture than a battlehardened Hork-Bajir, you realize
Ifi: Also there's this

"How did you know we were coming?" I asked Toby.

"The trees whispered something about new friends who would take up our cause. Human friends who would join our fight," she said. "I see things, Jake. Many things."

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: Ummmm
Ifi: Either the ghostwriter misunderstood the term "seer" as it is used in this series, or Toby is developing new powers.
Adam: Toby, you have been talking to the wrong kind of plants.
Ifi: That's usually my theory.
Adam: This book has brought me to your usual level of frustration.


A flash of light!

"This is the greatest day of my life!" Lewis said, sticking Justin's camera back into his bag.

Without a word, I reached into the bag. Retrieved the camera. Opened it. Ripped out the film. Placed the camera back in the bag.

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: I hate these guys so much.
Adam: Jake, could you kick him in the shins while you're at it?
Adam: For me? Please?
Ifi: And then there's another weird...whatever

The countdown has begun.
It will all be over very, very soon.

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Adam: Yeah, okay.
Ifi: The editor breaks the fourth wall to tell us that the franchise is ending.
Ifi: You know most books do that on the back cover or something.
Adam:: They do that too, eventually.

Adam: Meanwhile, Jake Sr. is getting ambushed.
Adam: He pretty much has to get the escaped slaves trained and armed, or else they're going to die horribly.
Adam: Which we all knew to begin with.
Ifi: The slaves turn out to have unbelievably good aim
Adam: Yep.
Adam: Even Civil War-Era R. Lee Erney is impressed.

<You know my eyes aren't great at night. But I could make out at least one company of heavily armed Hork-Bajir. More than a hundred strong. And they have blue bands around their arms.>

My heart began to pound. The Blue Bands. Visser One's own elite guards.

"Tell me that's all you saw."

<Can't lie, Jake. There are almost as many Taxxons.>

My stomach knotted.

<Oh. And one Andalite.>

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: Fffffff
Ifi: Sure why not
Ifi: Nature walk. Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints and the charred remains of any who defy you.
Adam: Well, we all knew already that he was a nature lover, in his own way.
Ifi: Two hundred aliens crashing around in the woods, why the hell not
Ifi: And you KNOW Esplin is talking the entire time.
Adam: <Oh! I hope we get to see a ring-necked pheasant! They have such lovely plumage this time of year!>
Ifi: <DID ANYONE NOT GET TO SEE THIS PICTURE OF MY CAT?>
Adam: They probably have to humor him with this stuff even more since he got his promotion.

Richard walked over to me, still wearing his bright yellow vest, his face clean.

"When you say 'killed,'" he asked quietly, "you mean 'killed' as in 'stunned' or 'captured,' right?"

"Unfortunately, Mr. Carpenter, I mean killed as in dead."

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Adam: …Are you serious.
Ifi: Mr. C, being an incompetent failure and a coward as well as a complete loser, does not handle this well.
Adam: Jake
Adam: Jake
Adam: Tell him to go home.
Adam: Why did you not do this earlier.
Adam: I do not understand.

"Oh, my God," he whispered, voice harsh. Like he'd thought all along that my graphic warnings were just part of some game, some dialogue from a Deep Space Nine episode. "I didn't realize.
I've seen enough. We're going home. Lewis! Emily! Get down from there!"

I put a hand on his arm, tried to calm and silence him. "It's too late," I said. "You can't leave now."

"I'm not going anywhere!" Lewis shouted from the tree platform. "These guys need our help."

Richard shook off my hand. "Come down now or you lose all privileges for a month!" he shouted wildly.

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: Jake tells him to go sit behind some rocks or something
Adam: Richard, go sit in the corner and think about what you've done.
Ifi: Think about your -life-

I'd just spotted him, through the trees and mist, silently approaching as the Hork-Bajir and campers cheered.

Visser One. In a morph I hadn't seen since all of this first began. Eight fire-breathing heads.
Legs thick as trees. Serpentine necks. Eyes like gobs of molten lava.

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Adam: Oh wow, nostalgia again.
Ifi: Another fire morph. How are all these fire creatures evolving?
Adam: This isn't another fire morph. This is "the" fire morphs.
Adam: Anyway, some wizard bred them.
Adam: That's always how it works.
Adam: Space wizards.
Ifi: I guess the Ellimist has to pass the time somehow
Adam: Are you saying that if you became omnipotent, you wouldn't go around creating horrifying monsters for you to ride around on?
Ifi: I would be too busy inventing new mixed drinks.
Adam: What about a creature that secretes them?
Ifi: That does not sound sanitary
Adam: That's life

Everywhere, the free Hork-Bajir were falling. Dying.

<Out of the camp!> I yelled. <Everyone get into the hills. The water's coming!>

But how could I be sure? Why hadn't Tobias answered? Was he down? Would Ax get the message?

A Taxxon reared up behind me. I leaped into a turn. Sank my fangs into its miserable, bloated mass.

The battle was a mess and I was responsible.

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: Dude Jake that's not your fault, all battles are like that.
Ifi: This was gonna happen with or without you
Adam: You honestly prevented a heck of a lot of casualties that would have resulted otherwise.
Ifi: And the dam breaks just as Esplin is about to eat Jake


Ifi: The water washes the Yeerks all the way out of the book.
Ifi: I am not sure what prevents them from coming back tomorrow and vaping the entire place, but that's a story for another day I guess.
Adam: Super villains never try the same plan twice
Adam: It's in the rulebook.

I spotted Rachel, still in grizzly morph, climbing to her feet in the mud. Out from under her massive legs crawled the youngest free Hork-Bajir. Jara Hamee and Ket Helpek's newest child. Rachel had kept him alive.

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: Oh.
Ifi: Congratulations I guess?
Adam: Aw, Toby's a big sister.
Ifi: I feel like this should have been mentioned earlier
Adam: I don't think it ever comes up again, so whatevs yo.

I spotted Lewis and Emily, struggling to their feet. A few of the other campers, holding each other tight.

<Jake!>

I looked up. A hawk circled overhead.

"Tobias! You're alive!"

<Yeah. I morphed. Ax is okay, too. But Jake? There are a lot who didn't make it. Mr. Carpenter,
Jake. Richard. Emily and Lewis lost their dad.>

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: Too late, he's already reproduced.
Ifi: Sorry I just really hated him.
Adam: I don't wish to be mean-spirited, but yeah, he completely had it coming

Ifi: So the campers...go somewhere.
Ifi: And are never seen or heard from again.
Adam: And nobody cares.
Ifi: Maybe they go join Visser Two and Taylor in minor character limbo
Adam: Sure.

Adam: Meanwhile 130 years ago, everyone is getting shot.
Adam: Jacob finally gets to shoot people.
Adam: Fitz has that cliche thing happen where he gets shot but a locket or whatever blocks the bullet.
Adam: But then he gets shot later for real.
Adam: Everyone gets shot.

I flipped to the last page of Fitzhenry's journal.

"Hooves trampling the dirt all around…screams and wails of bloody, dying men...unending nightmare. Cannot get a full breath…numbness spreading down my arm. Vision blurring…growing narrow like a field glass, a darkening tunnel…"

[...]

I looked at the diary's last words, where blood and rain had smeared the ink.

"I fear I am killed. I hope I have done my best. I hope..."

----Book Forty-Seven, The Resistance

Ifi: "Perhaps he was dictating."


Adam: Maybe you would have fared better if you weren't writing in your diary in the middle of combat.
Ifi: Cheer up Jake, at least you're a better leader than this guy.
Adam: Fitz was older then Jake, too.
Adam: Meanwhile, we're older than both of them, and we're on the internet talking about children's books.
Ifi: I take pride in the fact that I am not fighting aliens or confederates in the mud currently.
Adam: Give it time.

Ifi: Anything else?
Adam: Well, next week we have a legitimately really good book to look forward to.
Adam: So I am pleased about that.
Ifi: Woot
Adam: Anywho, I probably would have rather liked this book if it weren't for those Trekkies, who just ruined the whole experience for me.
Ifi: Also the flashbacks.
Adam: Nah, it was an experiment, and I'm not going to fault them for trying something different.
Ifi: So yeah
Ifi: The end.

Adam: I'm going to go get some hot chocolate
Adam: With alcohol in it
Adam: I think I need it
Ifi: That is a good idea, I approve.
Adam: I think I may need to rethink my life

32 comments:

  1. Argh, I always hated this one. Everything about it just seemed so pointless. It also seemed like a wasted opportunity to focus properly on the freed hork-bajir and give us some insight into their culture and fight against the yeerks. The flashbacks and those ridiculous campers just detract from that.

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  2. Well, I liked this book quite a lot. I personally liked the flashbacks to the Civil War, perhaps even more than the main book. It was a cool change of genre for the series, and it did a pretty good job of not sugarcoating or needlessly romanticizing the Civil War. It's around this point that the series really starts to get into the "war is hell" theme that characterizes the last few books.

    As for an aerial bombardment of the valley, recall that the Ellimist placed some kind of magic spell or something so that it can only be reached by foot. Also recall that Toby and company had to pack up and leave after it was flooded.

    Believe it or not, beavers are actually fiercely territorial and will fight other beavers that aren't part of their family, so I don't know if Jake and company could actually work with them to build their dam.

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    Replies
    1. Well, they all acquired beavers from that group, so I suppose to the beavers it would have been something like, "Oh, I guess I have another couple sisters that I've never met before."

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    2. Or even more likely, since they're copying beavers from that group, the beaver would go: "Oh, there's my sister. And there she is again. And again. Shiela, I've been seeing you around a lot today!"

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  3. This... this is actually my favourite book of the series more or less. :< I legitimately loved the flashbacks. Though yes the trekkie thing was frustrating.

    Also... Adam has two colons after his name. Like Adam::

    Has he always? Am I insane?

    - That person with a Bunch of Character Sketches from art day 2 and who #15 gave a phobia of sharks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get an extra colon because I am special.

      Delete
    2. Well, that statement can be interpreted in a variety of ways.

      Delete
    3. ADAM IS SO COOL HE DESERVES ALL THE COLONS HE WANTS HE SHOULD HAVE A WHOLE WEBSITE JUST FOR HIS PUNCTUATION HE IS SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Delete
    4. Well, Ifi has crazed fans and Ash has crazed fans and Star Trek has crazed fans so I guess Adam deserves at least 1.

      Delete
    5. I DO DO YOU LOVE ME BACK!?!?

      Delete
    6. I AM STARTING A FANCLUB

      Delete
  4. I actually always really liked this one too, and I definitely preferred Fitz's half of the book to Jake's. I remember I used to skip the Jake parts and just read the Fitz parts. Also those campers are awful, but at the time I was ten or eleven and didn't realize how terrible they were. I just thought they were weird.

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  5. Yeah, these guys are like those people on the internet who think they're married to that pretty boy from Final Fantasy.

    I will have you know that me and Balthier's marriage is just as real and fulfilling as any other.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think anyone can be worse than some of those people.

      Check out this link (http://shii.org/knows/Sarah_Saga) for a grand adventure indeed.

      Delete
    2. Not to derail but

      "Well, if you’re a guy and you suck dick, you’re gay. If you’re a guy and you don’t suck dick, you’re not gay. If you’re a girl and you suck dick, you’re straight and if you’re a girl and you don’t suck dick you’re a bad date."

      Haha, wow yes these sound like totally reasonable fun people to live with!!!!!!!!

      Anyway, back on topic, I am super looking forward to Ellimist Chronicles as well! It was probably the last Animorphs book I read Back In The Day and I always loved it. I used to try to make up my own planets and species and things as a kid after reading that book but I was never very good at it.

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    3. Think he probably meant Cloud. Or possibly Sephiroth. Because any time people talk about "Final Fantasy" without specifying, they probably mean Final Fantasy VII, because that's all casuals really care about.

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  6. KAA should not let ignorant ghostwriters do historical stuff. She was a lot better in MM3 than this gal. While the attitudes and so on were not improbable for the times, I think Forrest got a raw deal there - he was surprisingly unracist for a slave trader (though to be fair, he was orphaned in his teens with a crapload of siblings to provide for and in those circumstance, you pretty much have to take up any job you can).

    My problem with this book was the BEAVER DAM! A handful of BEAVERS supposedly built a dam that was sufficient to wash away a Yeerk army? Seriously? Even if they were sentient beavers under the direction of an advanced intelligence with appropriate skills, there is only so much you can do with itty-bitty paws and sticks and mud. And how fast was this river flowing that enough water could accumulate so quickly? I think KAA or the editors had a checklist of animal skills they thought the kids should utilize over the course of the series, and in the home stretch here they realized they forgot to use beavers and their construction talents, so they were like "Oh, right, stick in a beaver book before shit gets REALLY dark." And then the ghostwriter complains about wanting to insert her Civil War fanfiction, and as a result, the cool animal thing happens pretty much offscreen, because this series has totally given up on the 'explore the wonderful world of animals' premise in favor of 'explore the horrors of war' at this point.

    But it isn't so bad, relatively speaking, and pretty much the last book where they were still kids leading a double life. After this it's a very weird book and then the one where things all go to hell.

    As far as Jake goes, it might have been better if his storyline had paralleled Isaiah's more closely, with him dying at the end. After this point, his leadership takes a distinct downward turn, with screw-up after screw-up, culminating in his epic fail on the last page of the series. The saddest part is, you can't really ask him to have done better, given his circumstances and the situation. It's just from here on out, things were definitely happening at a level beyond the poor guy's competence.

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  7. Poor Esplin. This promotion has taken away from his safari time and he's been going stir-crazy. Some bird watching was just the thing.

    I remember this being the last book I really liked as a kid, one of only a handful after 30 or so. The Ellimist Chronicles excepted yay can't wait till next week!

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  8. "Adam: What about a creature that secretes them?
    Ifi: That does not sound sanitary"

    Can't be any less sanitary than milk!

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  9. Esplin just wishes he could get away from it all for five minutes, but he's Visser One, so he just brings his entire army on a hike. Capturing that free Hork Bajir was just super convenient.

    As for the Trekkies, since IDK about Star Trek, I just thought they were those crazy alien believers. Because they do not sound like normal sci-fi fans at all.

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    1. That would be one thing. But they specifically ask if Jake is from the Federation. Which is from Star Trek. Which is run primarily by humans. And takes place in the future.

      And most importantly, is fictional.

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    2. I didn't know they were supposed to be Trekkies though, so that's what I thought at first. People in general are not like that. Even really young kids can tell fiction and reality apart.
      And then you guys say they are Trekkies, and I go WTF, because fiction-reality mix-ups are really offensive no matter what.

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    3. We're calling them Trekkies because they repeatedly mention the Federation, which is from Star Trek.

      "I didn't know they were supposed to be Trekkies though, so that's what I thought at first. People in general are not like that. Even really young kids can tell fiction and reality apart."

      Again, yes, this is what makes the part so offensive. It gives the impression that Trekkies, and by proxy fans of science fiction, and escapist media in general lack some sort of ability to distinguish fact from fiction, when obviously this is not the case.

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    4. Well, the notion of "obsessed Trek fans who think the show is real" was prevalent enough to get spoofed in GalaxyQuest, anyway.

      Brandon Wheeger: I just wanted to tell you that I thought a lot about what you said.
      Jason Nesmith: It's okay, now listen...
      Brandon Wheeger: But I want you to know that I'm not a complete brain case, okay? I understand completely that it's just a TV show. I know there's no beryllium sphere...
      Jason Nesmith: Hold it.
      Brandon Wheeger: no digital conveyor, no ship...
      Jason Nesmith: Stop for a second, stop. It's all real.
      Brandon Wheeger: Oh my God, I knew it. I knew it! I knew it!

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    5. I think we are being a bit harsh on the fans here. If you were minding your own business and suddenly you found out that alien slugs are taking over earth and people who turn into animals are your only survival, you might suddenly start questioning reality too. If you go from "Aliens are fiction" to "Aliens are literally on our doorstep and turn into animals", I think it is forgivable to have a bit of trouble with fact and fiction in the five minutes afterwards.

      I mean, people babble on about things that can't possibly be true and they know, in their rational mind, aren't true even in situations much more mundane.

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  10. Oh good, my favorite book in the series is coming up next!

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  11. Yay, Ellimist Chronicles are next! It's possibly my favorite book in the entire series (tied with H-B Chron).

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  12. I don't think they were trying to say this about all Star Trek fans, maybe the Carpenters were just the extreme kinds who do think it's real. In the poodle book they established Marco & Tobias as Trekkies, and aside from the angst, they are probably the two most reality-grounded Animorphs.

    I thought the Yeerks had to walk in, because a typical Hork Bajir is too dumb to know coordinates or operate a GPS. They have to go by landmarks. Also, it stands to reasons that the Ellimist's magic that protects the valley would divert flyovers. Maybe they had been sending Bug Fighters and the Blade Ship to strafe the valley all day while the Animorphs are messing around cleaning garages and building dams, and they never got close, so they got down on foot and hiked in.

    Probably an author who is so into military history that she could (or would) write the Fitzhenry parts, would take a simple tactical issue like the need to attack on foot, for granted, and not think she had to explain it to everyone.

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  13. I'm really disappointed that not a single person mentioned, or seems to care about, the fact that the animorphs can suddenly morph jeans and a t-shirt. Where as in later books, they can't.

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