The Return of Talking Time

Go Back   The Return of Talking Time > Talking about media > Talking about books

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #121  
Old 10-05-2017, 01:06 PM
spineshark's Avatar
spineshark spineshark is offline
forbidden noise
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: cube hell
Posts: 11,665
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BEAT View Post
Can you tell us what the message was or would that be a spoiler?

Wait why am i asking about spoilers in this thread is this thread a let's play now?

THIS THREAD IS A LET'S PLAY NOW.
pretty big spoilers mentioned, but that letter is here if you want to see it

the second half, which is at worst mostly vague about what happens (with a bit that i cut out), is the more relevant part, i guess
Quote:
Here's what doesn't happen in war: there are no wondrous, climactic battles that leave the good guys standing tall and the bad guys lying in the dirt. Life isn't a World Wrestling Federation Smackdown. Even the people who win a war, who survive and come out the other side with the conviction that they have done something brave and necessary, don't do a lot of celebrating. There's very little chanting of 'we're number one' among people who've personally experienced war.

I'm just a writer, and my main goal was always to entertain. But I've never let Animorphs turn into just another painless video game version of war, and I wasn't going to do it at the end. I've spent 60 books telling a strange, fanciful war story, sometimes very seriously, sometimes more tongue-in-cheek. I've written a lot of action and a lot of humor and a lot of sheer nonsense. But I have also, again and again, challenged readers to think about what they were reading. To think about the right and wrong, not just the who-beat-who. And to tell you the truth I'm a little shocked that so many readers seemed to believe I'd wrap it all up with a lot of high-fiving and backslapping. Wars very often end, sad to say, just as ours did: with a nearly seamless transition to another war.

So, you don't like the way our little fictional war came out? [i cut out a couple sentences here.] Fine. Pretty soon you'll all be of voting age, and of draft age. So when someone proposes a war, remember that even the most necessary wars, even the rare wars where the lines of good and evil are clear and clean, end with a lot of people dead, a lot of people crippled, and a lot of orphans, widows and grieving parents.
Reply With Quote
  #122  
Old 10-05-2017, 01:27 PM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
Crabjörn
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,081
Default

BACK 2 BIZNIZ

Book 23: The Pretender is a Tobias book, which means more about his dual nature and all that. Except this time, we have to remember his human history, too! See, Tobias as a human was kind of an unwanted kid. When his parents died, he was shuttled back and forth between a drunken uncle and an uncaring aunt. After he became a nothlit, the two were told that he was staying with the other. And it's only now in Book 23 that anyone's actually said "hey, where did that Tobias kid go anyway"?

That someone is Aria, a nature photographer cousin of his. Up until recently, she's been in Africa, and if that doesn't sound like a nice convenient thing for you, then you haven't been starving due to other red-tails making moves into your territory and sudden swaps of perspective whenever you try to hunt rabbits. And let me tell you, when your crush walks up to you right as you start eating roadkill? That's like a top 3 for awkward things to be caught doing.

Anyway, the lawyer who brought up Aria also mentioned that Tobias would be allowed to read the last will of his real father on his birthday (which Marco has to hack into the school records to find out because Tobias forgot his own birthday). Given about three days to figure things out, Tobias decides to drop by the Hork-Bajir grove, which usually helps him feel better. This time, though, Toby drops some more bad news on him: one of the new kids, Bek, has wandered off without a trace. Better go find him!

The book is basically halfway split between Tobias trying to confirm if Aria is legit and with trying to find Bek and free more Hork-Bajir. And for the most part, Aria seems to check out. The episode that really clinches this for Tobias, driving home that he can actually have a family and a human life again, is when a little girl nearly gets hit by a bus, but Aria risks her life to save the girl.

As for Bek, they've been seized by none other than the nefarious villains of Frank's Safari Land and Putt-Putt Golf. Y'know, one of those roadside places that don't know the meaning of the word "animal abuse"? Bek's caged up and advertised as an alien, which has both the spying Animorphs and a visiting Aria quite disgusted. Unfortunately, when they come in for a ransacking party, the Animorphs are beaten to the punch by Visser Three, who soundly drives them off with his acid-seahorse-spider morph and captures Bek.

The good news is that Visser Three's ego is, as always, his weakness. Not only do the Animorphs, with Toby's help, track down the trapped Bek (I say "trapped" but they designed the trap so badly that even a Hork-Bajir wouldn't fall for it) but the timespan involved is so tight that Visser Three has to turn up to stop things... but he's still there morphed as Aria! HAHA JOKE'S ON YOU TOBIAS YOU DON'T HAVE A FAMILY AFTER ALL

Tobias spends about a solid chapter feeling completely bloody miserable, but then realizes he has to go to the will reading anyway, because if he didn't turn up it would be too suspicious. He also has to maintain a straight face and treat it like NBD when the will reveals that Elfangor was actually his father. This is made easier by him being out of practice with human facial expressions (hawks really only have one expression, and that is scowling) but Tobias plays the part of a street punk well enough that Visser Three writes him off as useless.

One curious thing that happens there is that as Tobias leaves, Visser Three (in Aria's form, of course) makes a small statement in a kind of approval of Elfangor. This is building off of the character established in the Hork-Bajir Chronicles: sure, he's a maniacal sadist hellbent on controlling the strongest bodies, but you can only study the culture of an enemy for so long, and see that enemy doing good (recalling Alloran's memories of Elfangor sparing the Yeerks on the Taxxon homeworld) before you start to respect them.

The book's ending is kind of weird (Tobias kills the mother rabbit despite saying that in nature eating the babies is more merciful, then morphs her to defend the babies from the rival hawk, then goes to Rachel's house for a birthday cake) but for the most part this one's pretty solid, and it does a bit to develop more backstory for characters who don't get much opportunity to do so due to current events. It also starts bringing Toby in as a Hork-Bajir leader, and she'll keep showing up about as often as Erek does.
Reply With Quote
  #123  
Old 10-05-2017, 04:30 PM
liquid's Avatar
liquid liquid is offline
d.o_o.b
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: WA
Posts: 4,828
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
One curious thing that happens there is that as Tobias leaves, Visser Three (in Aria's form, of course) makes a small statement in a kind of approval of Elfangor. This is building off of the character established in the Hork-Bajir Chronicles: sure, he's a maniacal sadist hellbent on controlling the strongest bodies, but you can only study the culture of an enemy for so long, and see that enemy doing good (recalling Alloran's memories of Elfangor sparing the Yeerks on the Taxxon homeworld) before you start to respect them.
I mean, he showed respect for Fluffer (before immediately ordering Chapman to kill it).
Reply With Quote
  #124  
Old 10-06-2017, 05:32 AM
BEAT's Avatar
BEAT BEAT is offline
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SKELETON HELL.
Posts: 21,863
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
HAHA JOKE'S ON YOU TOBIAS YOU DON'T HAVE A FAMILY AFTER ALL.
AHAHAHAH OWNED NERRRRRRRD.
Reply With Quote
  #125  
Old 10-06-2017, 12:51 PM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
Crabjörn
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,081
Default

Book 24: The Suspicion introduces another alien race into the invasion of Earth, but they play a fairly small part in the scheme of things. This book is absolutely one of the more monster-of-the-week types. See, Cassie ends up finding a weird toy spaceship attached to the water pump where she hid the Escafil Device as she's moving stuff out to the Goodwill. But it's not actually a toy spaceship after all: it's the ship Galaxy Blaster, one of two dreaded Helmacron ships in their vast interstellar empire!

The Galaxy Blaster and the Planet Crusher show up and attack the Animorphs, although the bristling weapons of their ship are toy-sized, and don't do anything worse than pinpricks. That all changes in a flash once the Helmacrons get access to the Escafil Device, and re-engineer it to develop a shrinking ray, reducing Marco, Cassie, and Tobias to their own ant-like size. Welcome to the gimmick of the book, enjoy your stay.

As for the Helmacrons themselves, this book gives a lot of info about their culture, and while the threat they pose is fairly goofy, their culture is really neat. They have far more swagger and ferocity than their size might indicate, and speak about pretty much everything as though they are the undisputed masters of everything in the universe. They hold the belief that mistakes in their society can't be allowed, and that dead people make no mistakes, ergo their captains are ceremonially killed before they take command.

This is later expanded upon when it's revealed that any Helmacrons who die "upload" their minds to other Helmacrons. Also there's something in there about how males are slave caste but that feels secondary to the rest of their culture's complete lunacy. They legit go into a swordfight in the presence of the captured Marco and Cassie over a minor tactical disagreement. They reveal that they want the Escafil Device for themselves, although the three full-size Animorphs warded them off with their fearsome brick-throwing weaponry. When they reveal that they can track anyone who is morph-capable, Cassie makes the reasonable choice and says "oh you want that other guy Visser Three, he's the one with the box".

Basically this entire book is shenanigans about the Helmacrons and about being ant-sized. They're pretty silly and lighthearted shenanigans for the most part, and given the books we've been dealing with so far, a little light-heartedness is well in order. It culminates with Cassie realizing that she can acquire an anteater and then morph into it at full-size, and the Animorphs coming to a truce with Visser Three for this fight because the Helmacrons are that annoying. Also Marco causes a gender war to break out with the Helmacrons because why not.

Tiny quixotic jackasses! They're all right.

Last edited by Kalir; 10-07-2017 at 10:02 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #126  
Old 10-06-2017, 01:17 PM
BEAT's Avatar
BEAT BEAT is offline
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SKELETON HELL.
Posts: 21,863
Default

I appreciate tiny society of aliens the size of ants all screaming I'M A BIG DEAL.
Reply With Quote
  #127  
Old 10-06-2017, 04:24 PM
fanboymaster's Avatar
fanboymaster fanboymaster is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,842
Default

I've made a diagram of how I assume this series ends

Reply With Quote
  #128  
Old 10-06-2017, 06:59 PM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
Crabjörn
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,081
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BEAT View Post
I appreciate tiny society of aliens the size of ants all screaming I'M A BIG DEAL.
There's a stark split between the fandom of people who think the Helmacrons are a terrible addition to the lore and absolutely insufferable, and the people who appreciate that when faced with a bunch of miniature conquistadors, Rachel decided that the best anti-ship weapon they had was a thrown brick.

I think it's obvious which side has the better view.
Reply With Quote
  #129  
Old 10-06-2017, 10:59 PM
muteKi's Avatar
muteKi muteKi is offline
HOW HIGH CAN YOU GET?
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Green chile cheeseburger capital of the world
Posts: 9,280
Default

i love that they made an entire book out of a throwaway gag from the hitchhiker's guide series
Reply With Quote
  #130  
Old 10-07-2017, 10:01 AM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
Crabjörn
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,081
Default

So before I go into this book, a clerical note. Y'know how the Hulk always keeps his pants on despite tripling in size when he goes berserk? Well, that's been a factor in the Animorphs books for ages, but they handwaved the problem pretty early, saying that it's possible to incorporate skintight clothing like bike uniforms and leotards into your humanoid morphs. If the Animorphs are expecting to go somewhere where those outfits would stand out, someone (usually Rachel) brings a backup outfit.

Also THIS is the first ghostwritten book.

I mention this because outfit type matters a lot for the setting of Book 25: The Extreme. Erek's latest intel is that the Yeerks, who are already champs at turning stolen tech to their personal needs, have a plan to combine human satellite tech with Kandrona technology, allowing them to broadcast Kandrona rays all over the planet. Effectively, they could turn any body of water a satellite could aim at into a Yeerk pool. So obviously, the Animorphs have to go destroy the satellite base. Problem is: intel couldn't nail down an exact location. Better sneak onto Visser Three's Blade ship, just to be sure.

The crew manages to hide out for a while, but eventually they are discovered and have to bail about a couple dozen miles from the satellite base, somewhere in the Arctic. This is not a great situation for basically anyone: the best morphs they have for cold weather are their wolf morphs and Rachel's grizzly. Tobias and Ax, lacking either of these, morph to flea and hide in Rachel's coat. Most of the book is them wandering the frozen wastes, prolonging their morph time as long as possible...

Oh, and fleeing from the latest addition to the Yeerk army: the Venber. There's an entire chapter dedicated to their sad history: they're an alien race built to survive conditions like the Arctic, but they went extinct before Andalites began to travel in space. Another alien race known only as the Five (which Ax implies the Andalites wiped out) realized that Venber exposed to more conventional temperature ranges melt into a strange chemical useful as a superconductor. So the Venber already died off to overclock the Five's CPUs. The present-day Venber hunting them are implied to be genetic hybrids, using humans as a template and Venber genetic material preserved on their planet.

Eventually, the group starts getting cold weather morphs. First they acquire seals, which works really well until the orcas notice them. They escape from the orcas and end up demorphing right in front of an Inuit guy named Derek, who is awesome. He just thinks these animal spirit guys are hilarious and he has a wonderfully dry sense of humor. Even helps the crew out by letting them acquire his pal Nanook, a polar bear he's been tracking since he was a kid. I would totally read an entire book about Derek making wisecracks about alien invasions.

Eventually, the group get to the satellite base and need to come up with a plan to destroy it. This is slightly hampered by the fact that Venber are apparently stronger than polar bears. Y'know what land predators we have that are stronger than polar bears? The answer is "nothing". However, the Venber don't attack until a human Controller gives the order to "program" them to attack quadrupeds. And when one of them ends up smashing a wall opening to the well-heated hangar, the other Venber heedlessly chase the Animorphs in, and end up melting pretty much immediately. And that's our quota of xenobiohorror for today!

The crew destroys the base and hitchhikes back to civilization over a two-day period, since they had to destroy the Bug fighters there to avoid Visser Three tracking them down in the Blade ship. And that's this book! Filler, sure, but not bad filler.
Reply With Quote
  #131  
Old 10-07-2017, 05:54 PM
BEAT's Avatar
BEAT BEAT is offline
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SKELETON HELL.
Posts: 21,863
Default

BOOKS 21-25

BOOK TWENTY ONE: THE NEWEST ANIMORPH HAS A SECRET. AND IT'S NOT GOOD....

COVER GRADE: C+

BOOK TWENTY TWO: A MISTAKE HAS BEEN MADE. HIS NAME IS DAVID....

COVER GRADE: C

BOOK TWENTY THREE: TOBIAS IS ABOUT TO DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF HIS PAST....

COVER GRADE: B

SIDE STORY: THE HORK BAJIR CHRONICLES


Oh god that's what they're supposed to look like Gross. Gross. And look at that smug Andalite motherfucker. Fuck you, asshole. You ain't shit. COVER GRADE: F

BOOK TWENTY FOUR: WHAT COUNTS IS ON THE INSIDE. MOST OF THE TIME....


Quote:
Originally Posted by @dril
COVER GRADE: A-

BOOK TWENTY FIVE: SO MANY YEERKS, SO LITTLE TIME....

COVER GRADE: B
Reply With Quote
  #132  
Old 10-08-2017, 10:57 PM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
Crabjörn
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,081
Default

So remember that one where Jake got a dang ol' Yeerk in his head? And how when the Yeerk died, he momentarily traded glances with some horrible biomechanical eyeball monster? Well, it's exactly twenty books later, and we're finally going to get into exactly what this means for everyone, as well as explore some of the metaphysics of the Animorphs universe. Welcome to Book 26: The Attack.

Right off the bat, we have the Ellimist making an appearance to give everyone their mission. See, he's hinted at facing some other cosmic power on par with his strength before, and that he is bound by certain rules and can't interfere with the lives of other species. This is because he stands in direct opposition to an entity known as Crayak, an exile from another reality who pretty much wants to wipe out all living things ever. However, because of their respective power levels, if they actually fought directly they would cause damage to each other, reality, and the fabric of the universe on levels unimaginable. They tried it once. Only caused the extinction of about a million different planets is all.

So instead, the Ellimist and Crayak have a set of rules they follow, and carry out smaller games. These games have stakes, of course, but they explicitly limit themselves and make agreements for the sake of their own ends. Their latest agreement is to have a 7v7 match to determine the fate of a distant alien race called the Iskoort. Crayak's seven candidates are seven of his personally-made species, the Howlers, aka the killers of the Pemalites. On the Ellimist's side, the Animorphs plus Erek, who obviously has a history with the Howlers.

Upon agreeing, the Animorphs and Erek are instantly warped to the Iskoort homeworld, which... well, y'know Ravnica in Magic: the Gathering? How it's a plane-wide city ruled by a bunch of guilds that are at least sixty-percent insane? The Iskoort came up with that idea first, but they don't stop at ten guilds. They have members of Shopping, Gossiping, Superstition, Warmaking, and Servant Guilds, and you can bet your bottom dollar that every single member of these guilds is hellbent on following their guild's tenets as far as possible. They start in the middle of a bunch of Trader Iskoort, who promptly start trying to buy stuff from them with a baseline of "the shirts on their backs".

Shortly after Rachel agrees to sell some of her hair to get a guide (literally, the fella is named Guide) the group has a run-in with one of the Howlers scouting the area. Since they can already see the creature is bristling with weapons before they get close, they all instantly morph to their biggest, baddest forms... and promptly get their teeth collectively kicked in. They keep saying a fight of seven to one was a draw, but that's a generous guess. What actually happened is that single Howler nearly killed them all, and they only survived because Erek, unaffected by their signature howls, led them all to safety. And wouldn't you know it, Erek is also the only one who is programmed to not fight anyone, even if he could legitimately take on the Howlers solo.

Knowing they can't hope to win a fight against a single Howler, let alone seven at once, Jake tries to think on what the Ellimist wants them to do. Each time they've appeared, they did have a goal they wanted the Animorphs to do, obtuse and hidden though it seemed, and the Animorphs have always managed to pull it off by looking at the clues hard enough. The first clue they have is the Iskoort themselves: by all accounts they are largely a really annoying alien race that is hardly worth being the prize of a cosmic chess game. However, Guide reveals that they are actually a symbiotic race, with the Yoort basically being off-brand Yeerks that designed an artificial race, the Isk, and then merged with them to the point where neither can survive alone. In short, they provide another possibility for the Yeerks aside from intergalactic conquest.

That doesn't mean beans if they can't fight the Howlers, which they totally, absolutely cannot. One of the many things that they trade with Guide for (and despite his annoying attitude, Guide is a genuinely helpful character throughout the book) is Howler memories. Howlers have a shared memory, letting them replay battle tactics from all of their conflicts. They also reveal that no Howler recalls ever losing a single battle. Erek gets to carry these memories just for that extra bit of screw you.

All the while, they're fleeing from the Howlers, eking out every advantage they can get. They use insect morphs to hide, bird morphs to flee, Iskoort as cover (the Howlers are forbidden from attacking them due to the rules of engagement), and Erek's tactical knowledge, hologram tech, and general indestructibility, as much as his pacifistic programming permits, and they still almost all die. They only manage to kill one after Jake sends one falling off the side of an Iskoort tower, and if it wasn't for him catching it in freefall, acquiring it, and flying away, they would STILL lose.

Because upon doing this, Jake finds out more than the Howlers' memories: he finds out their instincts, too. And it turns out that there's no such thing as an adult Howler. They only live to three years, are artificially grown in a factory, and oh yeah: they don't treat the systematic slaughter of countless alien races as a war. They treat it as a game. Crayak has designed an entire species of perfect killers, and he did it by denying them the experience to discern right from wrong.

Thankfully, as we've already seen, the Iskoort absolutely deal with memories, and Crayak absolutely needs that shared memory to be a spotless record for his soldiers to work at all. That gives them enough of a weakness to work with that Jake can devise a plan: ambush a Howler (getting a bunch of them mortally wounded for like a third time) and upload his own set of memories, including the kiss he got from Cassie literally this book. Quoth Rachel: "Well it's about time." Crayak responds by instantly killing off all six remaining Howlers, resulting in a victory for the Ellimist.

And that ends their chess match. The Iskoort will live, with Guide making off like a bandit and becoming filthy rich with access to all those human memories, and centuries from now they may cross paths with the Yeerks and show them a new way to live. Despite Crayak's emergency maneuver, the memory of kissing Cassie got through to their shared memory, so their next encounter with an alien race ends with them trying to kiss them rather than slaughter them.

Again, not a whole lot to do with, y'know, the Animorphs themselves, or the Yeerk invasion, or the war with the Andalites. But it still gave us a peek at the metaphysics behind it all, and that's neat. Also the Iskoort are hilarious and it's a damn shame they're exclusive to this one book.
Reply With Quote
  #133  
Old 10-09-2017, 12:10 AM
dtsund's Avatar
dtsund dtsund is offline
Set phasers to hug
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 5,017
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
They only live to three years, are artificially grown in a factory, and oh yeah: they don't treat the systematic slaughter of countless alien races as a war. They treat it as a game. Crayak has designed an entire species of perfect killers, and he did it by denying them the experience to discern right from wrong.
Reply With Quote
  #134  
Old 10-10-2017, 10:50 AM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
Crabjörn
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,081
Default

So I have two books missing from my collection. One is the book I was to read today, Book 27: The Exposed. "No problem", says I, "I'll just go buy it on that Kindle I apparently own". Only thing is, my Kindle is apparently an ancient model that is broken. So it charged me the four bucks for the book but absolutely refuses to download it, or sync up and check for updates.

No book today, I guess. I might skip ahead to 28, but Book 27 remains elusive for now.
Reply With Quote
  #135  
Old 10-10-2017, 10:55 AM
Westerhof Westerhof is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 246
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
So I have two books missing from my collection. One is the book I was to read today, Book 27: The Exposed. "No problem", says I, "I'll just go buy it on that Kindle I apparently own". Only thing is, my Kindle is apparently an ancient model that is broken. So it charged me the four bucks for the book but absolutely refuses to download it, or sync up and check for updates.
Worst case scenario, there's a web reader for Kindle. So you'd have to sit at your computer instead of taking it with you, but at least the money isn't wasted.
Reply With Quote
  #136  
Old 10-10-2017, 10:57 AM
Mightyblue's Avatar
Mightyblue Mightyblue is offline
Are You Sure About That?
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Somewhere cold. And frosty.
Posts: 20,783
Default

There's also a Kindle app for smartphones.
Reply With Quote
  #137  
Old 10-10-2017, 12:51 PM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
Crabjörn
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,081
Default

Huh. Cool.

Crisis averted, see you with the writeup this evening then.
Reply With Quote
  #138  
Old 10-10-2017, 08:23 PM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
Crabjörn
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,081
Default

Hi, it's this evening.

This book actually covers a bit more of the metaphysics touched on in the last book. Book 27: The Exposed has a pretty straightforward setup: Chee technology everywhere is malfunctioning. Pretty badly, too: multiple Chee are paralyzed and have failing hologram projectors, i.e. the thing that let them survive in human society for as long as they did. So first things first: get Erek out of the mall! So Rachel and co. have to act fast to get him out of there without any Controllers noticing.

And after a few moments of trying to pass him off as a sci-fi collectible android, they get him disguised enough to take him home. And how fortunate that no Yeerks happened to see this happening. Back at home, they realize that what actually happened is that a crash-landed Pemalite ship is transmitting some kind of signal inhibiting the usual functions of the Chee. This isn't a huge problem to fix except for the ship's location, in an undersea valley. Which is to say: the kind of place only sperm whales and giant squids could get to. And nobody in the party has either of these (Cassie's whale is a humpback, not nearly as good at diving), so this looks like a very critical mission that they are absolutely going to fail.

Until a sperm whale just so happens to beach itself right in their city. After dealing with the Ellimist for so long, this puts everyone on edge with suspicion for what's going on... but at the same time, this casual endangerment of life is exactly unlike the Ellimist. So they get themselves a sperm whale in order to capture a giant squid (and you can imagine how exciting THAT must be for our landlubbing crew) but it's just a little too convenient, so they're all very on edge as they descend to search for the Pemalite ship.

Eventually they find it. And just to give you an idea of what Pemalite society might be like: the exterior looks like Snoopy, the ship accepts all visitors while accommodating their unique biology (six water bubbles for six giant squid), and the security code to access all ship functions is as follows: 6. It takes Ax all of three seconds to re-enable all disabled Chee functionality... but then something mysteriously goes awry, and the ship instead sets a self-destruct timer of 15 minutes on every Chee on Earth.

At this point, the Animorphs are like "okay screw this, who's jerking our chain?" and out comes this pruny T-rex looking fellow. Meet the Drode, aka the "wild card" who serves as the voice of Crayak. They didn't take Jake's sabotage of his race of killers lying down, see, and they wanted to talk to the entire group face to face, openly flaunting all of their weaknesses and insecurities as easily as you might joke about a friend's taste in music. Oh, and Visser Three is here too but who cares, we're SO over you, there's a new hotness in villain town.

Anyway, the Drode brought everyone down here to make a deal with Rachel (maybe some of the other Animorphs too, but Rachel's the narrator today). See, Crayak knows that Rachel's absolutely loving the combat of this war with the Yeerks, perhaps a little too unhealthily, and that delights him. So the Drode says that if Rachel proves her loyalty, then she can have a right-hand seat by Crayak and he will reward her with whatever she wants. Of course, the Drode's named price is Jake's life, so she tells him to stick it where the sun don't shine.

Somehow, Erek gets down here during all of this, turning the stacked tide enough to enable the ship security, putting the Yeerk army into a temporary stasis and allowing the Animorphs to leave freely. I'm going to question how he went from "sitting in his house" to "bottom of the ocean" in the space of about a minute, but I won't get an answer.

Anyway this book is mostly just introducing the Drode as a "face" for Crayak, and making Visser Three look like even more of a chump. He's gonna look like that for a lot of books now. Sorry, Visser Three fans.
Reply With Quote
  #139  
Old 10-11-2017, 10:55 PM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
Crabjörn
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,081
Default

Okay Ax, time for you to get a stupid book.

Book 28: The Experiment has yet another mission from Erek (what was I thinking, saying Toby was equally vital? Erek's a regular dispenser of missions): The Yeerks have covertly bought out both an animal testing facility and a slaughterhouse! Why? Who knows! But they're being really shady about it and look just go okay.

The animal testing site has enough security that the Animorphs have to go in disguised as chimpanzees being sent in for testing. This requires them to hijack a shipment van with six chimps inside already, which they do as the van is driving over there. I'm sure if this was a movie sequence it would look really cool and dangerous and the stunt doubles would get lods of emone, but really it feels like the security is being stepped up in the books just a hair too much. I mean, it's warranted, but it's also highly impractical. This book gets even sillier on that though.

When Visser Three turns up for a surprise inspection at the site, the group has to think quick to prevent Cassie from being discovered as one of the Andalite bandits, and do so via improvised chimpanzee artillery. He then orders all the chimpanzees killed, which is both completely in character and basically just driving home who he is kind of needlessly, especially once the reason for these two sites comes into play.

Security around the slaughterhouse is even tighter: they're bringing back the Gleet BioFilter, which as a reminder kills off anything not keyed into its sensors. Which means the only way to sneak into the slaughterhouse is with beefy morphs. I'm a bit confused on why you wouldn't just install the BioFilter to kill off the cows anyway, since they pretty much just enter and die, but it buys barely enough time for the group to sneak in as flies hiding in the two cow-morphs nostrils, morph to combat forms, and bust them free. It also gives Ax a nice firsthand look at what kinds of cruelty the human race can get up to.

Eventually the intent of Project Obedience is discovered: a compound designed to remove free will from humans, and intended to be spread through meat intended for human consumption. While the computer informs everyone that the project has a 100% success rate, the scientist nearby who surrenders paints a different picture: knowing the project was doomed to failure from the start (erasing free will is, y'know, pretty conventionally impossible) but still having to appease an increasingly-angry Visser Three is not easy! He even has the computer spout glorifications of Visser Three's empire.

The Animorphs break out pretty much all the test subjects, including the humans, and nebulously spare the Yeerk scientist to do whatever (they plead to be brought with the Animorphs, as starvation beats reporting this failure to Visser Three by far, but their actual fate is unknown due to a segue into the non-sequitur ending). Anyway this book existed. At least it solidified TV as a profoundly bad influence on an impressionable young Andalite trying to study human culture: his favorite shows are trashy soap operas and "These Messages", i.e. commercials.

Last edited by Kalir; 10-12-2017 at 06:48 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #140  
Old 10-11-2017, 11:41 PM
Dawnswalker's Avatar
Dawnswalker Dawnswalker is offline
Love and Peace
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 5,758
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
... (erasing free will is, y'know, pretty conventionally impossible).
Not unless you have oatmeal.

I would guess that the book also functions very much like "Baby's First Upton Sinclair's The Jungle" through Ax's perspective.
Reply With Quote
  #141  
Old 10-12-2017, 01:55 AM
Octopus Prime's Avatar
Octopus Prime Octopus Prime is offline
Mystery Contraption
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: The Great White North
Posts: 42,230
Default

So... Presumably Erek got over that whole "is about to explode" thing from the last book?
Reply With Quote
  #142  
Old 10-12-2017, 06:50 AM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
Crabjörn
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,081
Default

Oh yeah that was fixed. No Chee exploded at all.
Reply With Quote
  #143  
Old 10-12-2017, 03:49 PM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
Crabjörn
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,081
Default

Buckle in, kids. When the cover has someone morphing into a Yeerk, you know it's gonna be a goodun.

Book 29: The Sickness begins effectively at a middle school dance, i.e. nobody really wants to be there but everyone feels obligated to do so anyway. Ax checks in as well on account of the whole "gotta get a handle on human civilization" thing, but he doesn't experience much before he starts uncontrollably demorphing and going delirious. Everyone manages to rush him out, but not before he manages to sideswipe Mr. Tidwell, the strictest teacher in school, with the blunt end of his spontaneously-appearing tail.

Mr. Tidwell responds to this by dragging Cassie off and saying "yeah that's an Andalite and you're extremely lucky it was me rather than Chapman that found you". Turns out his Yeerk, Illim, is one of the members of the Yeerk peace movement! And they need help: Aftran (you remember her from Book 19: The Separation, right? Spent some time in Cassie's head, agreed to never take another host, locked Cassie in caterpillar form?) has been outed as one of the YPM members, and Visser Three's personally coming down for some of his favorite pastime: torture and interrogation!

As for Ax, he's come down with a bad case of the yamphut, which is functionally appendicitis. Only problem is, the Tria gland in Andalites is in their braincase, and Ax himself is in no condition to explain more thoroughly. The Animorphs cash in a favor from Erek on account of all the help they've given the Chee of late, and he watches over Ax while he rests. So there are two very time-sensitive missions this time: figure out how to safely do brain surgery on their alien pal before his Tria gland fatally bursts, and rescue Aftran before Visser Three extracts all the info on the Animorphs she has.

The initial plan to sneak into the Yeerk pool to rescue her goes south (imagine five eels trying to Super Mario Bros their way to the Yeerk pool, but getting lost and ending up sprayed from a fire hose) as a third complication comes to light: Ax's disease is partially communicable to humans. While it's functionally no worse than a flu, it gradually puts members of the team out of the fight, eventually leaving Cassie on her own. And as her first book indicated, Cassie hates being the one in charge, especially when it's just her by herself.

Eventually, she goes to meet Mr. Tidwell/Illim at his home, and the two of them are collectively my favorite character I totally forgot existed in the series (even counting Derek the dry humorist Inuit and the entire Mercora species). Mr. Tidwell was at first an involuntary host, but Illim felt quite a bit of guilt and remorse for taking him hostage. Eventually, Illim learned of the Yeerk peace movement and decided to dedicate himself to the cause, and Mr. Tidwell actively supports this cause and now welcomes Illim's company, ever since his wife's death has left him with a sense of loneliness. That's one upside of having a Yeerk, I suppose: you'll never be alone. If you have the right kind of person in there, you might even be happier with them than alone.

Anyway, with Cassie forced to effectively go it alone, she concocts a plan that is pretty far out there: acquire and morph Illim, and sneak into the Yeerk pool directly using Mr. Tidwell's body. (Meanwhile, Ax loses one million and seven dollars to Erek for not understanding how paper beats rock.) She ends up in the Yeerk pool, where Aftran's being kept in a little crab cage. Visser Three picks this time to turn up, so Cassie ducks into the nearest human body she can find and bodychecks Visser Three from behind, knocking Aftran out of his hands and back into the pool. She switches to osprey form, grabs Aftran, and escapes in a scene that's probably like that first time you beat Andross' true form in Star Fox 64 where both your wings are totaled and everything is on fire.

Erek greets her with "nice work. Ax is in crisis and you have maybe five minutes before he dies." Going right from one impossible situation to another (and trying not to think too hard about how they're going to keep Aftran from starving to death) Cassie comes up with a genius solution to make the brain surgery not a death sentence for Ax: have Aftran enter his brain and locate the Tria gland for her. And wouldn't you know it, they pull it off with seconds to spare! Ax is understandably quite panicked at the whole "being a Controller" thing for a few seconds, but Aftran lets him go.

The book concludes with the group realizing there's a third option for Aftran, rather than returning to the Yeerks or starving to death: take on the morphing power, acquire a new form, and stay in it for more than two hours. Compared to her Yeerk body, her new form as a humpback whale is a welcome change of pace, far from the horrors of war.

Wait, hold on. More lore on allies and Yeerk culture, solid writing throughout with only a few silly points, AND a legitimately happy ending? The hell's going on here?
Reply With Quote
  #144  
Old 10-12-2017, 04:17 PM
Octopus Prime's Avatar
Octopus Prime Octopus Prime is offline
Mystery Contraption
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: The Great White North
Posts: 42,230
Default

I'm sure there's an epilogue where she accidentally beaches herself or swims right into a cruise liner.
Reply With Quote
  #145  
Old 10-13-2017, 05:35 AM
BEAT's Avatar
BEAT BEAT is offline
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SKELETON HELL.
Posts: 21,863
Default

The idea of an alien brain parasite and it's host body becoming best BFFs forever is kind of wonderful.
Reply With Quote
  #146  
Old 10-13-2017, 06:14 AM
Solitayre's Avatar
Solitayre Solitayre is offline
You blockhead
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 8,470
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
She switches to osprey form, grabs Aftran, and escapes in a scene that's probably like that first time you beat Andross' true form in Star Fox 64 where both your wings are totaled and everything is on fire.
Are you me?
Reply With Quote
  #147  
Old 10-13-2017, 06:53 AM
BEAT's Avatar
BEAT BEAT is offline
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: SKELETON HELL.
Posts: 21,863
Default

INVASION OF THE TOTALLY CHILL BRAINSLUGS.

Office Breakroom, morning, People are milling about making small talk about how they can't start their day without a coffee. MIKE FROM COST ACCOUNTING enters stage left.

MIKE: Hey everybody, I have an announcement. As you all know, this weekend, earth was invaded by a race of parasitic space monsters. There's now one in my brain named [7 clicking noises]. He's cool.

MIKE (ATONALLY): Hey everybody, Your human tongues have difficulty with our language, so you can just call me "Chip".

MIKE: I know a lot of people are saying a lot of things about getting infested, so I just want to tell you all that Chip's a standup guy who's looking forward to working with all of you through my host body.

MIKE (ATONALLY): If anyone here is interested in infestation, come to the towering obelisk that appeared in the fields near exit 70 on the interstate after work today. We're having an open house.

SANDRA FROM TAX ACCOUNTING (ATONALLY): Wait a second, [7 clicking noises]? From gestation vat 1827?

MIKE (ATONALLY): Oh my god, [9 clicking noises]? It's been ages.

Everybody stares at Sandra.

SANDRA: (Annoyed) We were gonna tell you all during lunch.

SANDRA (ATONALLY): That one's on me. My bad. Uh, hi everyone. Name's [9 clicking noises], just call me Wires.
Reply With Quote
  #148  
Old 10-13-2017, 11:45 AM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
Crabjörn
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,081
Default

Ah, just a normal low-threat day for the Animorphs. Tobias and Melissa having a makeout session, Marco playing Pong with his mom, Cassie and her slave tending the animals, and Jake wondering if he should rat out his friends for being radicals that don't support the war on the Primitives in Brazi-- okay where the hell are you Drode, what the hell is this.

Megamorphs #3: Elfangor's Secret starts us off with a nice tasty dystopian alternate reality, brought about by one recently-demoted Visser Four. Following the disastrous loss of the Leeran homeworld, he made a discovery that would end up changing history, quite literally. He found the Time Matrix buried under the construction site where Elfangor desperately landed, and used it to mess up Earth's history to provide an easier way for the Yeerks to invade. The United States, or their analogue, are now a fascist state where pretty much anyone who doesn't toe the line is executed or, in Rachel's case, sent to a reeducation camp. No room for highly aggressive females in this timeline, no sir.

Thankfully, neither the Ellimist nor Crayak are down with the Time Matrix's abuse. So the Drode is sent to the Animorphs to tell them hey, this reality is proper broken, and the big guys up there have agreed to give you a way to fix it. Only thing is, Crayak's named a price since this overall favors the Ellimist, and that price is someone's death. Namely, one of the Animorphs has to die.

This leads into a chase through time, as the Animorphs hitch a ride on the Time Matrix's tail, buffered against any changes to outlook or attitude that would be perpetuated by timeline alterations. First stop: Agincourt, where Visser Four is attempting to assassinate King Henry V. This is as far back as they go, and there's a lot of talk of witchcraft and devilry whenever the Animorphs do their thing. (Tobias even goes for a distraction by morphing a Hork-Bajir, which would absolutely be seen as a devil back then.)

When Visser Four fails to assassinate King Henry V due to lack of knowledge on how to use a bow, he warps to his next destination, namely the crossing of the Delaware. This time he wises up, though: he gives the Hessian mercenaries under the Crown advance warning of the crossing, and Washington's forces are blown apart almost instantly. Jake, who was in his boat at that time hoping to protect him, takes a musket ball to the forehead and is very, very dead. Check cashed, Crayak!

Moving on from there, we end up at a sea battle at Trafalgar, i.e. the place where Napoleon's army was decisively stopped. As before, Visser Four handles this battle more smoothly, tipping the odds enough that the combined French and Spanish armies can take down the English. Oh, and while all these scenes of wars are happening, the Animorphs are hurrying pell-mell after him, trying to get to the Time Matrix and cut off his plans, but he's got the initiative every time. And as Rachel discovers, it's very hard to pursue a guy when you get bisected by cannon fire.

Following this, the group ends up at Princeton University, 1938. This would be the moment where Albert Einstein discovered his signature equation, e=mc^2... only Visser Four screwed up. As Tobias learns, the USA as we know it never formed, since the English held onto those territories. And since Trafalgar ended in English defeat, they were forced to make peace with Napoleon. This has two major effects on this era, the first of which is that Albert Einstein isn't actually at Princeton, but still back in Germany (more on that later).

The second is that when Cassie turns up at Princeton (still in dolphin form), people are more surprised by the fact that she's black than the fact that she's a dolphin. Which means that she gets to have a very cathartic moment of turning into a polar bear to threaten a guy who calls her some very foul things. Rachel looks on and approves, causing everyone to freak out and wonder how she survived being dismembered. This leads to the discovery of how the Ellimist agreed to Crayak's condition: he was allowed exactly one Animorph death, no more.

This becomes incredibly important once they go to Visser Four's final destination: Normandy. D-Day itself, the decisive fight between the Allies and the Nazis. But as before, Visser Four's pre-existing meddling threw a wrench into things. When he shows up to the German commander and explains the situation, the combined German and French alliance puts him in handcuffs. Hitler isn't a commander at all, just the driver for the actual commander. (Tobias still kills him, because if you time travel to that era you kill Hitler, even if he didn't and wont commit the Holocaust.) It's pretty much the state that the English are the actual fascist army here.

Of course, Rachel and their side don't know that, and they still blow up a tank or two by bird-of-prey delivered hand grenades. The ensuing chaos ends with Visser Four's host, John Berryman, paralyzed and dying. Visser Four himself flees, and is promptly chucked into a fire by Marco. John Berryman explains everything about who Visser Four was, and what his plans were. Cassie then asks him who his parents were, and everyone immediately understands the implication behind what she's doing. John Berryman complies and gives her a time and place, not just as his dying words, but as his last words before ceasing to exist.

Going back to the 60's and preventing John Berryman's hippie parents from meeting prevents the entire debacle with the Time Matrix from happening at all, which also undoes Jake's death. But even if time travel is confusing and awful at times, the main focus of the book was a grand tour of some of the fiercest wars humanity has ever seen. Sure, this has been a real "war is hell" series already, but so far it's all been guerrilla tactics, sabotage and stealth and what have you. This book takes everyone to the slaughterhouses that are battlegrounds themselves, and it pulls no punches showing the reader what kinds of horrors one can expect there.
Reply With Quote
  #149  
Old 10-13-2017, 12:36 PM
Octopus Prime's Avatar
Octopus Prime Octopus Prime is offline
Mystery Contraption
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: The Great White North
Posts: 42,230
Default

Robo-Cthulhu gets a bad rap; he just doesn’t want anybody to mess with his things.
Reply With Quote
  #150  
Old 10-14-2017, 09:40 AM
Kalir's Avatar
Kalir Kalir is offline
Crabjörn
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 6,081
Default

INTERMISSION

We're a little over halfway through the books, and there's a lot to keep track of. I don't think the status quo is going to change much for the next few books, so here's a glossary of important terms to keep track of.

  • Aftran: Yeerk pacifist. When Cassie killed the host of her brother, she tracked her down to the barn and attempted to assassinate her. Due to miscalculating the wildlife of Earth, she and Cassie were stranded for a day, which led to them discussing more about the Yeerks. Eventually made a deal with Cassie, which resulted in her becoming a full pacifist, swearing to never take a host again. Was later rescued by Cassie and given the form of a whale, which she took as a nothlit.
  • Alloran: Disgraced war-prince of the Andalites, and the current host of Visser Three. His full name is Alloran-Semitur-Corrass. A hardened and ruthless military veteran, responsible for the quantum virus that ravaged the Hork-Bajir homeworld. He knows that war can change and haunt people, having experienced it for himself, and he was determined to win the war against the Yeerks at all costs. Due to a disagreement with Elfangor, he was captured by Esplin 9466, which led to his meteoric rise among the Yeerk empire.
  • Andalite: Quadrupedal herbivorous alien race, notable for their stalk eyes, scorpion tail, and telepathic communications. One of the major powers in the galaxy, capable of Z-space travel, and inventors of the Escafil device. Currently the chief opposition to the Yeerk empire, although they enabled their conquest in the first place and are not above morally grey-to-black actions to stop them. Culture is something between Tolkien elves and feudal Japan, with a big focus on rituals, honor, and oneness with nature.
  • Animorphs: Five humans and one Andalite, serving as guerrilla fighters and the last line of defense against the Yeerk invasion of Earth. Consists of Jake, Rachel, Tobias, Cassie, Marco, and Aximili (Ax for short). Name coined by Marco, and indicative of their signature power to morph into any animal they can touch. Our lovable, desperate, frequently screwed-up protagonists.
  • Ax: Andalite member of the Animorphs. Short for Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthil, he was in the Dome ship in orbit above Earth when it was shot down by Visser Three. He was recovered by, and later joined, the Animorphs. Considers Tobias his "shorm", i.e. a best friend who you could trust even with their tail blade at your throat. Although he still considers Andalites to be superior, he is doing his level best to understand human culture, and has earned a particular taste for cinnamon buns and soap operas. Does not have a combat morph, as his Andalite form is plenty deadly as-is.
  • Cassie: Animal lover and pacifist of the Animorphs. Runs the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center with her family, which serves as an excellent source of new morphs for the team. Rachel's best friend and Jake's girlfriend. Her signature combat morph is a wolf. While she abhors violence and the despoiling of the planet, she often is forced to make hard choices due to the war. Responsible for convincing Aftran to leave the Yeerk force, which eventually led to the Yeerk peace movement gaining traction. Considered to be both the best morpher and the best people-reader.
  • Mr. Hedrick Chapman: Assistant principal of the Animorphs' school, and a known Controller under Iniss 226. One of the oldest and longest-surviving Yeerk hosts, and a willing collaborator with the Yeerk empire. His only condition is that his daughter Melissa is left unharmed. Serves as an active member of the Sharing, and often spends time recruiting from troubled teens in his school.
  • Chee: Doglike androids created by the Pemalites, a long dead race. Distinguished by their incredible strength, durability, and powerful hologram generators that allow them to take on any appearance. Chee are hard-coded to be pacifistic, and cannot perform any action that could harm another creature. Have an affinity for dogs, which they say bear the souls of their Pemalite creators.
  • Crayak: A malevolent force, exiled from another reality. Represented by a giant blood-red eye atop a biomechanical throne, Crayak wants a world of rule by force, with the weak systematically erased by the strong, until only he remains. Opposes the Ellimist, and cannot fight them directly without sustaining severe damage. After the events of the Iskoort homeworld, he has lost his army of Howlers to Jake's memories, but he still has a loyal servant in the Drode.
  • David: The "sixth Animorph". Discovered the Escafil device that was left behind in Elfangor's ship wreckage, and subsequently lost his home and family when Visser Three attempted to claim it. While the Animorphs inducted him into their group as a last-ditch solution, his egomania and sociopathic tendencies ultimately led to him betraying the group, attempting to kill several members. He was later tricked by the Animorphs into becoming a rat nothlit, and he remains in this form on an island inhabited primarily by other rats.
  • Drode: A member of an unknown species whose name means "wild card". Generally serves as the voice of Crayak when appearing before the Animorphs. Cruel and mocking at all times, but still constrained by the same rules that bind his master, the Drode usually appears before the Animorphs to offer classic Faustian deals, with costs that usually involve the death of themselves or a loved one. So far they've accepted one of two.
  • Ellimist: A mysterious being of untold cosmic power. Fully unrestrained, they are capable of annihilating entire planets on accident, but due to their agreements with Crayak, they must restrain themselves and, to use their own words, "not interfere in the lives of other species". While they are largely helpful to the Animorphs, the limits on their capabilities mean that this help basically amounts to abusing whatever loopholes he can provide.
  • Elfangor: War hero of the Andalite people, and the one responsible for giving the Animorphs access to the Escafil device. His full name is Elfangor-Siriniul-Shamtul, and he is Ax's brother, Tobias' father and once served under Alloran. First became a major player in the Andalite-Yeerk war when he discovered the Time Matrix, and made a name for himself, to the Yeerks, as "Beast Elfangor". Although he is a fearsome combatant, he refuses to harm innocents if he can at all avoid it. Shortly after violating the law of Seerow's Kindness in giving the Animorphs the Escafil device, he was devoured by Visser Three.
  • Erek: A Chee spy allied with the Animorphs. He has infiltrated the Sharing by accepting a Yeerk host, but as an android, the Yeerk cannot interface with him and is trapped. Like all Chee, Erek has a coded-in prohibition from any manner of violent or harmful activity, although he temporarily broke this restriction in order to save the Animorphs. Erek is therefore the only Chee to have ever taken a life. He commonly feeds the Animorphs intelligence about critical targets, and is the main supplier of missions.
  • Escafil Device: A blue box a little under a cubic foot in size. When operated, it can bestow the power to acquire any animal's DNA by touch to the bearer. This DNA can then be used to morph at will into that animal. First used by Elfangor to bestow the morphing power to the Animorphs, it was later rediscovered by David. Since that time, the Animorphs have hidden it away, and are extremely wary of the power it holds.
  • Hork-Bajir: Herbivorous alien race, artificially created by the Arn to care for trees. Despite their towering fearsome look, covered in blades, they are docile and intellectually on par with a five year old human. Their homeworld was lost to the Yeerks despite Andalite aid, and almost the entire race is now enslaved and used as shock troops. Due to the actions of Tobias, as guided by the Ellimist, there is a small colony of free Hork-Bajir on Earth. Founded by Jara Hamee and Ket Halpak, they are led by their daughter, a "seer" named Toby, one of their 1% rarity births with intellectual capacity to match Andalites.
  • Jake: Leader of the Animorphs. Does not relish being the leader, but falls into the role naturally and sticks to it out of a sense of responsibility. Rachel's cousin, Marco's best friend, and Cassie's boyfriend. His signature combat morph is a tiger. His main goal in the war is to free his brother, Tom, from the Yeerks. Has recently earned the enmity of Crayak, due to rendering his killer race of Howlers unusable.
  • Kandrona: A type of energy that Yeerks feed upon. Ordinarily generated by their home sun, the Yeerks now rely on generators designed by Prince Seerow to fuel their Yeerk pools. Yeerks can go three days without Kandrona rays, and after they go, they wither and die, releasing their host in the process.
  • Leeran: Amphibious psychic alien race, distinguished by their yellow frog-like appearance and mind-reading powers. Leerans are able to read the surface thoughts of any creatures nearby, but are largely peaceful and do not abuse this ability. Recently, a war between the Andalites and the Yeerks was fought over their homeworld, which the Andalites were able to secure in a decisive victory. This was a significant point of shame for the Yeerk Vissers commanding the operation, among them Vissers One and Four.
  • Marco: Reluctant comedian of the Animorphs. Has the outlook that you can either be horrified by tragedies, or laugh at them, and almost always chooses the latter. Jake's best friend, and the son of Visser One's host. His signature combat morph is a gorilla. Acts as a harsh voice of reason and critical eye for the group, and although he frequently speaks in favor of ducking out and doing the sensible thing, he almost always relents and helps the group finetune their plans. His main goal in the war is to get his mom back and reunite his family, after he and his dad believed his mom to be dead.
  • Morph: The act of changing from your normal form to another. Although it is exhausting, especially when repeated, morphing uses acquired DNA to transmute you into an exact replica of that animal's body, healing all injuries in the process. Anything that wouldn't be carried over by DNA, including injuries of the old form, does not persist. While morphed, the form's instincts are added to the mind, with different morphs having instincts of different intensities. You can only morph again after returning to your base form, and staying in a morph for too long will lock you in that form permanently. Those who are in this state are called nothlits.
  • Rachel: Main frontline fighter of the Animorphs. Marco calls her "Xena, Warrior Princess" which aptly sums her up: pretty mall-crawler on the outside, vicious berserker on the inside. Cassie's best friend, and about as romantically involved with Tobias as his condition permits. Her signature combat morph is a grizzly bear, although she also commonly uses elephant form. Her first goal in the war is to prevent any more families from being destroyed by the Yeerks, although she secretly loves to fight for the thrill of it.
  • Sario Rip: A rupture in space-time caused by an intense energy explosion, at least on par with a nuclear explosion. Creatures caught in a Sario Rip are displaced through time, and can end up anywhere from a week to an era away from their origin. Poorly understood at best, the only certainty is that replicating the conditions of the original Sario Rip may safely collapse it, and that not doing so before your consciousness reaches your origin point may cause a time paradox, resulting in both consciousnesses annihilating each other.
  • Seerow's Kindness: An Andalite law prohibiting any Andalite from sharing technology or information with other species. Named for Prince Seerow, who gave the Yeerks enough information and technology to travel to other worlds, effectively starting the Yeerk invasion. Elfangor and Ax have both violated this law in order to aid the Animorphs, although Andalite officials have kept the news of Elfangor's violations from spreading due to his status as a beloved war hero.
  • The Sharing: Yeerk cover organization on Earth. Bills itself as a youth group akin to the Boy Scouts, intended for social meetups and aiding disadvantaged and troubled youths. In practice, serves as a recruitment center, voluntary or otherwise, for Yeerk hosts. Its most notable members are Tom, Mr. Champan, and Erek.
  • Taxxon: Omnivorous invertebrate alien race, distinguished by their centipede-like form and voracious, unending hunger. The bulk of the Taxxons in the Yeerk army defected to them in exchange for more food, as Taxxons are constantly harried by a horrible hunger. They will even happily resort to cannibalism just to keep themselves from losing it. Taxxons are commonly employed as technicians, pilots, and gunners, as they have uncommon dexterity and reflexes. However, they are extremely frail combatants, and will usually die if they take an impact harder than a tossed football.
  • Time Matrix: Technology created by the Ellimist, which allows anyone who touches it to freely travel through time. It has seen two major uses: one by Visser Four to rewrite the history of the Earth, attempting to create a more easily captured human race, and "one" by Elfangor, Visser Three, and a human named Loren. This latter usage resulted in an unstable pocket dimension formed from their memories, indicating that the Time Matrix is not just a time machine. Elfangor deemed it far too dangerous for anyone to use, and hid it on Earth.
  • Tobias: The awkward outsider of the Animorphs. During their first encounter with the Yeerks, was trapped in the form of a red-tailed hawk, which has severely colored his outlook on life. Was recently granted his old morphing capability and his human form as a morph by the Ellimist. Time-displaced son of Elfangor, about as romantically involved with Rachel as his condition permits, and lives with Ax in the woods. Responsible for freeing the Hork-Bajir. Although he usually relies on his standard hawk form for fighting, he can morph into Hork-Bajir form.
  • Tom: Jake's brother, and one of the first known Controllers. First infested by Temrash 114, who was captured and later starved out when he aimed to possess Jake. It is unknown what rank his new Yeerk possesses, but as Tom has become one of the most vocal higher-ups in the Sharing, it is safe to assume they have a high rank, too.
  • Visser One: Leading general of the Yeerk empire, and the single closest person to the Yeerks' leading Council of Thirteen. Currently using Marco's mom as a host. Due to freeing the Animorphs in the past, and them sparing her in plain sight of Visser Three, her reputation among the Yeerks is due for a hit. Despite this, she is a much more capable leader than Visser Three; although still harsh, she understands her subordinates considerably more thoroughly and scorns Visser Three's indiscriminately murderous tactics.
  • Visser Three: Also known as Esplin 9466. Main recurring antagonist of the Animorphs. A Yeerk that controls Alloran, and thus has access to morphing capabilities, a power which he delights in. Spends most of his time seeking out exotic lifeforms to terrorize his foes with, executing his underlings for minor failures, and generally being a Saturday morning cartoon villain. Charged with the command of the Yeerk invasion of Earth, a role which he is generally bungling due to interference by the Animorphs. Has something of an obsession with Andalite culture, which led to his drive to obtain an Andalite body.
  • Yeerk: Parasitic invertebrate alien race, notable for their ability to enter the cranium of many other species and directly control them through their brain. The main source of opposition for this book series, with the bulk of the Earth invasion led by Visser Three. Vehement enemies of the Andalites.
  • Yeerk Peace Movement: Small but growing faction of rebellious Yeerks, who consider it morally wrong to control other alien species against their will. Among their number are the Yeerks Aftran and Illim, who have both worked together with Cassie. Visser Three has sworn to stamp them out as traitors to the cause.
  • Yeerk pool: A large body of water or similar, which Yeerks swim in to restore themselves with Kandrona rays. Doubles as a center for Yeerk culture and a prison for their vacant hosts. Due to the Animorphs' raid attempts (which largely end in failure), security measures have been added recently, including hunter-killer robots and Gleet BioFilters at the entrance designed to kill unauthorized lifeforms.

Last edited by Kalir; 10-14-2017 at 06:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
anda-light novels , animorphs , body horror for kids , brain slugs , crocobear , cronenberg's creatures , teens with attitude , war is hell , worst space horse

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Your posts ©you, 2007