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  #151  
Old 10-14-2017, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Kalir View Post
Visser Four fails to assassinate King Henry V due to lack of knowledge on how to use a bow
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Originally Posted by Act 2, Scene 2
What shall I say to thee, Visser Four, thou cruel,
Ingrateful, savage, and inhuman creature?
Thou that didst bear the key of all my counsels,
That knew’st the very bottom of my soul,
That almost mightst have coined me into gold,
Wouldst thou have practiced on me for thy use—
May it be possible that alien hire
Could out of thee extract one spark of evil
That might annoy my finger? 'Tis so strange
That, though the truth of it stands off as gross
As black and white, my eye will scarcely see it.
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  #152  
Old 10-14-2017, 11:09 AM
Westerhof Westerhof is offline
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Thanks for that! I was indeed getting a little confused, especially when it came to the various alien species, but now I have a much clearer idea of what and where everyone is.
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  #153  
Old 10-14-2017, 01:56 PM
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It's high time we checked in on Visser One!

Book 30: The Reunion starts with Marco running into his mom in disguise downtown. He tries to sneak into the office building to follow her, but she gets away. What's more, she's wearing a fairly shoddy disguise. Upon discussion, the Animorphs come to the conclusion that she's hiding in exile from Visser Three, and plotting to ruin him with information about the free Hork-Bajir colony. Oh yeah, she knows.

Deciding they can use the feud to their advantage, Marco, Tobias, and Ax check out the office building more. They find Visser One there in a holdout shelter, armed to the teeth and full of surveillance tech. They don't have time to do much before Visser Three's soldiers show up and try to kill her. The Animorphs spring to her defense, although "grateful" isn't how I'd describe her reaction: she tries to kill them herself. This fails, and they go into some tense negotiations.

During the negotiations, Visser One reveals her situation: Visser Three got enough evidence to get the Council of Thirteen to demote her to sub-visser and to issue a gashad, i.e. a death warrant. However, as mentioned above, she has evidence of his negligence during the invasion, particularly in letting a colony of free Hork-Bajir form. Her terms to work with the Animorphs are plain: bring her to the Hork-Bajir, and she will help them kill Visser Three.

Marco agrees, but has no intention of giving up the Hork-Bajir. Instead, his plan is to lead the vissers to each other and wipe each other out. And it's a good plan, for the most part. There are two snags, though. First, Visser One is not an idiot. She's seen casualty reports, and although the Yeerks have taken losses, very few human Controllers have died. And the "Andalite bandits" always use one Andalite as a spokesperson while the rest remain in morph. It's almost as if they're NOT Andalites at all!

The second snag is Marco himself. He screws up and reveals exactly who he is to Visser One. Despite acting hard almost all book, he can't bring himself to be responsible for his own mother's death, and wrecks the plan. Good job, Marco! Maybe if you had killed your mother, you might not have given Visser One enough info to figure out who you are! It's a good thing she fell from a mountaintop in the battle royale that ensued before she could tell anyone, and that she will absolutely never ever be seen again!

Sorry, did I say future books wouldn't shake up the status quo for a while? LOL I LIED
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  #154  
Old 10-14-2017, 03:16 PM
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uh oh
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  #155  
Old 10-14-2017, 05:38 PM
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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.
And to think, Cassie managed to find a way to fix things without committing a murder!
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  #156  
Old 10-14-2017, 05:44 PM
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So ordinarily I'd go from here to the next side book, which in this case is Visser. However, I'm going to belay that for two reasons. 1. Visser, to my knowledge, covers some things we have yet to really unpack in the series, and 2. I forgot it at home and only brought the next three normal books in the series. Whoops!

Book 31: The Conspiracy begins with a death in Jake's family. Specifically, his great-grandfather, aka Grandpa G. The big problem here, specifically for Tom, is that the funeral would take place for four days in a remote area far from society, which means he would be away from the Yeerk pool long enough to starve out. Of course, even if his Yeerk is a high-ranking soldier, he still has to follow the laws of his current host, which is to say his dad's rules, or risk blowing his cover.

This forces a desperate Tom to come up with plans to override his dad's rule. The first of these is to capture him at a meeting of the Sharing. He goes through with this almost before Jake even realizes it's happened, leading him to almost blow their cover trying to stop the meeting. (Somehow, a bunch of cars being ransacked by an unknown vandal with gorilla strength doesn't set them off.) This is a big wake-up call for Jake, and he rallies the Animorphs into setting up surveillance for his dad. But as Marco puts it, this is a pretty huge risk for the war, not least because it puts them all at risk of capture to maybe save a single person.

When abducting his own dad doesn't work, Tom elects to step it up a notch with the good ol' standby, HIRED GUNMEN. Jake cuts it even closer this time and manages to throw off the shooter with a scene that would fit right into a Home Alone movie, and then everyone is like "okay, this is getting ridiculous, we need a tactical shift".

Rather than letting the Yeerks freely plot assassinations against some rando pediatrician, the Animorphs decide to force them to assess priorities by capturing Chapman. They are not remotely subtle about this in the slightest, but it is good guerrilla warfare. Ax is more than a little upset at having to basically torture Chapman, then let him get away, and makes it plainly known that even if he considers Jake his prince, this sort of thing isn't okay.

The good news is that this plan works, and Tom is forced to go on the trip with Jake, although the threat of Tom assassinating his own dad (and having greater autonomy as an unofficial orphan, because his mom doesn't count or something) looms over them all. Among the adventures they have up there is the discovery of Grandpa G's footlocker. See, he was a veteran soldier of World War II, and won a bunch of medals for bravery. Jake thinks very highly of these medals and what they symbolize, but Tom's more interested in the dagger he looted off of a Nazi soldier. After all, it's not about whether you are brave and honorable, it's about whether you win, according to him.

But when Tom tries to stab his dad after a moonlit father-son moment, with Jake going tiger to stop him, SUDDENLY NESSIE IS HERE. The pier under Tom shatters and he's dragged underwater, where the rest of the Animorphs that were tailing them the whole time beat the hell out of Tom. Jake drags him ashore, and we get one small moment where Tom can talk to him free of his Yeerk (who likely escaped into the lake). And he only tells Jake to get out of there, using the brotherly-insulting name for him "midget" just to drive home that Tom's really there. We only ever see his ruthless Yeerk taking control, and it's comforting to know that when his life is in danger, Tom still cares for Jake.

In the end, Tom is brought back to civilization by medevac copter, so he is able to remain under Yeerk control, and is no longer under pressure to assassinate his own dad. And as the book indicates, this conflict basically amounted to "none of us died, even though we all hurt and were hurt". Which hey, have we mentioned war is hell yet?
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  #157  
Old 10-14-2017, 08:19 PM
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Kay, that was fun. Now let's go full gimmick.

Book 32: The Separation starts off with Rachel abusing her powers, as one does. In this case, her earring fell in a tide pool, and she morphs into a starfish to retrieve it. Some kid walks by with a shovel and chops her in half, prompting her to demorph and attempt to track him down, although she loses the trail. Meanwhile, Rachel demorphs in a panic, grabs her earring, and gets back home.

So yeah, that's normal. Rachel meets with Tobias and goes violently fishing in eagle form, but also goes shopping and boy-scouting with Cassie. And this is why we don't morph regenerative echinoderms: because clones. Worse, the clones are split exactly between Rachel's archetypes: Nice Rachel is a sweet but spineless mall-crawler, and Mean Rachel is constantly trying to fight and kill whatever's pissing her off.

Of course, there's a high stakes mission they have to handle: the Yeerks are developing an Anti-Morphing Ray. But both Rachels are called off for the mission and told to spend the night at home. This goes about as well as can be expected: Mean Rachel blows off Jake's order and crashes the stealth mission with all the subtlety of a grizzly bear driving a convertible. Nice Rachel, faced with the horror of the Yeerk war, nearly blows everyone's cover by calling her dad.

It's at this point we realize that each Rachel is operating with about half the mental capacity they normally would be. Nice Rachel has no short-term focus, Mean Rachel has no long-term planning. Faced with this, and with the Anti-Morphing Ray being moved, Jake's new plan is for Nice Rachel to come along on the mission, since they have to follow three targets and Jake doesn't want anyone without backup. This, of course, doesn't sit well with either Rachel, but details.

Through a series of convoluted shenanigans, both Rachels end up in a Dr. Evil tier trap set by Visser Three: the good ol' crushbox that he walks away from conveniently. Both Rachels are forced to work together to come up with an escape plan, which was part of Jake's plan all along. See, they need to simultaneously acquire and morph into one another (while being electrocuted or something), and they can't do that unless both Rachels agree. Also they never found the Anti-Morphing Ray and that's just a thing they leave hanging.

Rachel gets a lot of dumb goofy books. I guess if you want silly Dr. Jekyll vs. Ms. Hyde shenanigans you could do worse? This is still a really silly book, though.
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  #158  
Old 10-14-2017, 08:48 PM
Westerhof Westerhof is offline
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The nice/mean split is dumb, but I really love the idea of accidental cloning via starfish mishap. Sad that it didn't lead to a better book.
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  #159  
Old 10-15-2017, 12:22 PM
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We're missing some element of "war is hell" still here. Can you guess what it is?

Book 33: The Illusion is basically the finalization of the Anti-Morphing Ray buildup. Rumor has it that they have finished the version and are prepared to attempt live testing, which pf course means trying all-out to capture an Animorph. (Visser Three is exempt from testing due to health risks, both for himself and anyone that might piss him off.) Needless to say, if that ray actually enters the field, game over man, game over.

In order to keep up the facade of the "Andalite bandits" thing, they need to send in a scapegoat to prove the Anti-Morphing Ray doesn't work, and Tobias makes the ideal test subject to foil them: they try the ray on his hawk form, and to their eyes it doesn't work since that's his new standard form. They then write the Anti-Morphing Ray off as a failed experiment. A truly flawless plan that only requires them to let the Yeerks capture one of their own.

This leads to Tobias needing to acquire Ax for the purposes of making the ruse work, which leads to a nice bonding moment for them and a look into Andalite instinct. And as it turns out, by default Andalites are super optimistic! They have to temper this instinctual hope in order to become better warriors, but I personally think that's neat. Anyway Ax teaches Tobias a bit about Andalite culture, like rituals and a bit of tail-blade fighting, and then we're off!

And wouldn't you know it, the Sharing's hosting an awards ceremony! Tom even gets an award for being such a good soldier. Tobias and Ax go exploring behind the scenes and wind up with him captured at a suspicious-looking Yeerk pool entrance, which is of course a trap. Upon entering, Tobias comes face to face with someone he'll get to know very well over the next half of the book: Sub-Visser Fifty-One, who says "Call me Taylor". Between actively using her host name, bearing an artificial arm capable of spraying paralytic gas, and being Visser Three's direct subordinate, you can already tell she is not a stable person.

Tobias is then locked into a box where the Anti-Morphing Ray is calibrated to work. As they planned, they fire it into the box, Tobias' hawk form stays a hawk, Visser Three executes some underlings, you get the idea. But then he says "okay, Plan B. Have fun, Sub-Visser, also if you fail I feed you into the Taxxon pit next". And then Tobias is tortured with a device that has direct access to the parts of his brain responsible for pain/pleasure. For literally half the book.

Most of this is represented by flashbacks to his memories. Since Taylor starts pretty much all with pain, we get to see the worst of his old life, of which there are plenty of examples: his deadbeat uncle and uncaring aunt neglecting him, bullies beating the hell out of him, reliving Elfangor's death, you get the idea. At first, he handles this quite well, taking refuge in the hawk instincts since it's already accustomed to the brutality of life.

Realizing this, Taylor switches tactics, using pleasure mode to draw out the human mind, then following it up with a one-two punch of pain. The pleasure moments are represented by Tobias' happy memories: the friendly teacher who made him berry pies, being with Rachel, petting his cat Dude. And before he knows what's what, he's passed the two-hour deadline that would have trapped him in hawk form, were that not his normal body. And this absolutely infuriates Taylor: two hours wasted, no Andalite body to give to the Yeerks, and he hasn't even broken and told her anything about the others.

Tobias, desperate for a way to keep her off-balance, compliments her looks, which prompts her to explain her backstory. See, back before the Yeerks, Taylor was pretty much the high school queen. Boys wanted her, girls wanted to be her, stellar student and champ of a bunch of school clubs, that sort of thing. But when the fire hit her home without warning, she lost her looks, her arm, her leg, and her friends, all in one night.

In other words, she became a prime candidate for the Sharing, who saw a youth in ruin and said "eh, we can surgery this". I don't think the Yeerk in question was ready for a host that was as insane as Taylor, though, considering she now hated everyone who rejected her and wanted to destroy them all. I mean yeah, cyborg body and all, but throughout her ranting it seems more and more like Taylor is controlling the Yeerk, rather than the other way around.

Since the plan failed, Taylor just goes full ham on the torture, not even seeking information (which Tobias eventually tries to give, although it's not clear if Taylor hears it or cares) so much as pain. Tobias starts getting flashes of memories from people he shouldn't know, namely Elfangor. Through it all, somehow Elfangor's voice reaches him and gives him just enough strength to hold on to life, just long enough for the Animorphs to turn up and save him.

And it's not a clean save, either. Marco almost dies again, Taylor drags him over to the Yeerk pool, and Rachel just about kills Taylor outright. Tobias asks Rachel to spare Taylor, though, partly because he sees so much similarity between them. He kind of considers Taylor to be a twisted version of Rachel, although really their looks are about all that's the same.

We close with Tobias trying to calm down after the events, helping Ax learn how to fly kites, which he finds peaceful. We also get a glimpse into Andalite religious culture, as Ax explains that Andalite medicine men also recognized the phenomenon of "utzum", or the visitation of older Andalites' memories and guidance on your deathbed. Which I think is pretty neat, on the whole.

This is a really good book, but uh... I dunno if you noticed, but half the book consists of torture! This is a heavy one, and if you plan to read it, be ready.
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  #160  
Old 10-15-2017, 01:13 PM
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Jake thinks very highly of these medals and what they symbolize, but Tom's more interested in the dagger he looted off of a Nazi soldier. After all, it's not about whether you are brave and honorable, it's about whether you win, according to him.
Stupid Tom's Yeerk! The Nazis didn't win!

If the Yeerks weren't villains in a children's book series (one that punches above its weight class but at the end of the day is still what it is,) they probably would have been smart enough to sabotage the highways or the funeral home. Or better yet, the Yeerks control a hospital and teenagers do a lot of dumb, risky shit... Especially when they're acting out because their beloved grandfather passed away.
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  #161  
Old 10-15-2017, 01:24 PM
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To be fair; they are snails.

That’s not an animal traditionally known for its quick thinking or improvisational skills. They’ve done very well for themselves, considering.
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  #162  
Old 10-16-2017, 02:21 PM
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All right then. Let's study Yeerk politics and criminal justice in the book Visser.

This book is told from the viewpoint of Edriss 562, the Yeerk currently ranked Visser One, controlling the body of Marco's mother Eva, and currently under trial before the Council of Thirteen for the assorted punishable-by-death charges any Visser worth their salt racks up on their way to the top. These charges were, of course, levied by Visser Three, who is present both at the trial and on the book's cover. The bulk of the charges are about Visser One's loyalty and methods, given her interactions with the Andalite bandits.

Visser One uses her discovery of Earth as the basis of her defense, which means this book covers her backstory in full. Following the report from the then-Sub-Visser Seven on the Taxxon homeworld, Edriss and her cohort, a former sub-visser named Essam 293, are desperately trying to track down the planet reported to have a Class Five species. Yeerks classify other species by host viability, and Class Five represents the ideal: high population, possible to capture with minimal losses, and not much in the way of physical impairment. It is also generally regarded as a myth to most Yeerks.

The first thing they notice even before landing on Earth is the noise. There's a huge amount of comms, most of which is stuff like TV and phone calls. The noise is impossible to parse, so Edriss decides to find a nighttime location to land on for infestation-based recon. She ends up choosing Operation Desert Storm for her landing site, resulting in a sudden idea that humanity might be Class Four instead: a species too threatening to take on directly. Using a captured soldier from the losing side and what she can filter from TV, she narrows her search down to Hollywood as an ideal starting point for infestation.

Edriss' second, more permanent host is a wannabe actress with the nickname Jenny Lines. If you didn't catch the reference, Edriss indicates the host has a dependence on a "certain chemical". This gives Edriss an idea: by exploiting that same addiction, she might be able to get the humans to hand themselves over willingly to the Yeerks. This idea is the foundation of her plan to conquer Earth, and her source of confidence that humans are indeed Class Five.

The Council's incredulity at this is interrupted by an attack from the Andalite bandits! Or rather, an attack by a random tiger, bear, and two Hork-Bajir Controllers that Visser Three totally didn't threaten into faking an attack. The beat getting decapitated is a bit alarming for Eva at first, but the fact that the wild animals fought each other tips Edriss off that Visser Three staged an attack so he could personally kill the Andalite bandits before the Council, undermining one of Edriss' points.

And he doesn't stop there. Visser Three calls in a witness, a homeless, alcoholic madman that refers to himself as Spacey. Visser Three introduces him as Essam's old host, and asks him if he knows the Yeerk Edriss, and he says "ah, you mean Allison Kim". See, the current point of contention is the fourteen-month gap between discovering Earth and making any contact with the Yeerk empire. And as it happens, living in a human host, getting married to the host of your subordinates, and having twins takes a lot of time!

From a purely practical standpoint, this move makes sense for Edriss (and Eva considers it horrifying, rightly so). But it wasn't purely practical, as a memory dump to Council Member Garroff, the one conducting the trial, reveals. As with Taylor, Edriss wasn't controlling Allison Kim so much as being along for the ride. Same with Essam and Spacey, who was back then known as Hildy Gervais: both of their human hosts were already into each other, and it's not like Edriss and Essam were 100% professional workplace relationship.

Also, recall that Yeerks normally die in birth, since it's more accurate to call their childbearing a fusion/diffusion combo. Edriss considers the children Allison had as her own, and is willing to risk a lot to keep them safe. Which makes sense to you or me, but from Garroff's perspective, she is "addicted to humans". Edriss freezes up when the Council comes to this, but Eva agrees to help her out of this. She's the only human in a room full of hostile aliens, but she knows a worried mother when she sees one.

At this point, Eva and Edriss figure out each side's ace in the hole. First, if Visser Three could get Hildy, he almost certainly has her children. For Edriss, there's the Animorphs: if she can get them to actually attack, she reveals that Visser Three duped the Council. So during the recess, she throws out a desperate phone call to Marco, of all people. His side of this story comes up in his next book, so we only see it from Edriss' side. And when Marco hears that Visser One legit needs his help and can only offer his mom's safety, he sticks to his guns hard. He makes it known that he cares about his mother, he knows Visser One can't backstab them, and he drives a hard bargain she has to accept.

By this time in her tale, Edriss had already founded the Sharing, using human cult psychology as a baseline for its formation. She's already gotten humans who want to be a "part" of something to willingly accept Yeerks. And Essam, although his ideals don't get far yet, becomes one of the first Yeerks of the peace movement. When he hears that Edriss has finally made a report and called for a new Kandrona, he says that he refuses to be a part of the Yeerk empire. He's already been close to starvation for a while now, but he willingly accepts that fate.

At this point, Visser Three claims that any loyal Yeerk would have killed him for his treason. He also challenges that if her loyalties lie more with the Yeerk empire than the humans, she should have no problem with killing the children, right? And here's our witness: Allison's son Darwin, holding the gun to his head for you! Go right ahead, Edriss. Prove your loyalty, right here and now, or be denounced a traitor.

Good thing the real Animorphs show up right then and there! They break into the meeting, rough everyone up, and capture Edriss, who wakes up face to face with Marco and the Andalite bandits. And as before, Marco doesn't back down. He has Ax put his tail to Eva's throat and orders Edriss out, which leads to Marco and Eva being able to talk face to face for the first time in the series. And of all the possible things to happen, Eva convinces Marco to spare Edriss. Both of them hate her guts, but unlike half our nation, Eva recognizes what "lesser of two evils" means. Visser One is horrible, but she still wants a nonviolent invasion. Visser Three wants to go in guns blazing and wipe population centers off the map. Yes, Visser Three is inept and blustering, but he can still order an air strike.

The trial concludes with recalling Essam's death. He starved like Temrash, not executed. He was pleading for Edriss to spare the children until the end, and died halfway out of Hildy's ear. Edriss was only able to pull half of him out: the other half dissolved into Hildy's brain, causing enough damage that he became a rambling drunk named Spacey after this. The Council's verdict is that both Vissers have committed a ton of offenses, but they can't afford to spare any leaders in this invasion. Visser Three is stuck with the stealth invasion, while Visser One has to prepare for the coming Andalite force in the Anati system.

And that's Visser for you. Whole lot of tragedy there for you, and nobody gets anything they want!
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  #163  
Old 10-16-2017, 06:22 PM
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I have no idea what's going on. Book 34: The Prophecy? Sure, we can do that. Hey look, an Arn has landed in the Hork-Bajir colony! Remember those guys? They created the Hork-Bajir! Remember the Hork-Bajir Chronicles? No? THEN TURN RIGHT THE HELL AROUND AND GO MASH THOSE WORDS INTO YOUR EYES UNTIL YOU DO, YOUNG LADY.

Anyway, Quafijinivon isn't just any old Arn, although he is old. He's the very last of the Arn, and he's here to try to help the Hork-Bajir reclaim their planet. Everyone considers him a self-serving jackass for this, and while I can't deny that that's a very real possibility, Quafijinivon is very honest about the fact that all his people have died, that they were uncaring creators to the Hork-Bajir and left them to die, and that at this point that planet ought to belong to them. His plan has two parts, the first of which is cloning the Hork-Bajir of the colony to help reclaim the homeworld. Toby and the rest of the Hork-Bajir gladly agree to give him their DNA, even though most of them have no idea what DNA is.

The second part of Quafijinivon's plan is weirder. You all remember Aldrea and Dak, right? Well, before they died, they did two things. First: they hid a weapons cache on the homeworld, which would definitely give a clone army of Hork-Bajir the edge needed to reclaim the area. Second: they prepared an Ixcila, which is basically a memory backup, but for real live critters and peoples. This part is tricky: Aldrea's Ixcila is the only one that survived Quafijinivon's lab destruction, and she is the only one who knows where the weapons are.

Furthermore, her Ixcila requires an appropriate receptacle mind, and also Aldrea's mind, once absorbed, is under no obligation whatsoever to leave at any time. So Rachel and Toby, believing themselves to be the most likely recipients, prepare for the worst during the very seance-like ritual, but turns out that Cassie gets to be the one possessed by a memory ghost of an Andalite.

And then there's a road trip to the Hork-Bajir homeworld, during which Aldrea gets along poorly with pretty much everyone in the crew. Of note, Ax remembers her as both the daughter of Seerow and someone who willingly gave up her Andalite form, and generally hates her guts, while Aldrea has no truck with Ax's blind faith in the Andalite war effort, having personally seen what depths they'll sink to. About the only person who Aldrea cares anything about is Toby, except the writer forgot to give the two of them any scenes together whatsoever.

The homeworld itself is even more wrecked after years of Yeerk control than before. Aldrea doesn't know exactly where the weapons cache is, since that came after her Ixcila creation, but she figures that if she was gonna put it anywhere, it'd be where her old home was. Problem: that's home to a Yeerk pool the size of a dam now. This is quite the huge shock to Aldrea. I mean, think about it: you wake up one day inside someone else's body, they take you to where your home is, and whoops, it's just gone, all but destroyed, and there's a military barracks built atop the ruins. Not fun!

Anyway Cassie shows Aldrea her signature trick for massive damage: the whale drop. Except this time, her morphing skills are good enough that she can maintain her osprey form's wings for a short time, letting her slow her fall and do her best Wind Fish impersonation. And then they got the weapons and also killed thousands of Yeerks by busting up the dam pool. Aldrea comes to accept that she's no longer in her own time and agrees to leave Cassie's body, and then everyone drags Toby back to Earth without asking her if she wants to come along or not.

I dunno, man. The Ixcila thing felt way too ghost-stories to me, and they introduced Quafijinivon and barely gave him a character, and brought Toby to her new homeworld and then forgot she existed. Parts of this book are pretty good, especially the general theme of coming to terms with death and learning to let go, but there was an awful lot of missed potential here.
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  #164  
Old 10-16-2017, 07:37 PM
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BOOKS 26-30

BOOK TWENTY SIX: CHANGE IS NECESSARY....


Rar, I guess. COVER GRADE: D

BOOK TWENTY SEVEN: THEY THOUGHT THEY'D SEEN IT ALL. THEY WERE WRONG.


YOU GOTTA BE SQUIDDIN ME!!!!!!!1 COVER GRADE: A+

BOOK TWENTY EIGHT: CHANGE IS A GOOD THING. A VERY GOOD THING.


I dunno man. I'm just not feeling it. Same as all the over BLU BOI covers. BLUGEFACE is pretty good but I"m just not onboard. COVER GRADE: C-

BOOK TWENTY NINE: CASSIE IS ABOUT TO MAKE A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER....


Much better! See, THIS is how you do a cover with a weird imaginary creature! Take notes blue nerd. There will be a test on this. COVER GRADE: A

SIDE STORY: MEGAMORPHS THREE: ELFANGOR'S SECRET


AAAAHH YOU FUCKED IT UP YOU JACKASSES! YOU HAD IT AND THEN YOU FUCKED IT UP! YOU TOOK APPARENTLY THE MOST EXCITING BOOK SO FAR, AND YOU FUCKED IT UP WITH THE MOST BORING COVER YET! YOU ASSHOLES! YOU TREMENDOUS ASSHOLES! COVER GRADE: I HATE YOU. I HATE YOU SO MUCH YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW. DON'T EVEN FUCKING LOOK AT ME.

BOOK THIRTY: MAKE A CHANGE... FOR THE BETTER.


I'M SORRY THE LAST ONE JUST MAKES ME SO FUCKING MAD. This one's fine I guess though. Quality bugface. I'll take it. COVER GRADE: B
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  #165  
Old 10-16-2017, 07:49 PM
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Elfamgors Secret looks like a Kidz Bop cover.
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  #166  
Old 10-16-2017, 07:50 PM
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I don't know how many books Ax got over the course of the series, but would it have been that hard to draw him more than once? Even for no other reason than to put some clothes on him?

"Yeah gang, you guys keep rocking the JNCOs and overalls and the baggy tees, I'll just be standing here behind you... COMPLETELY NAKED."
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  #167  
Old 10-16-2017, 07:53 PM
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BEAT PROUDLY PRESENTS
FUCK IT LET'S DO THE INSIDE COVERS TOO.
WHY NOT LOL.

#1

Much like how the first cover was the most gloriously weird, the the first inside cover effortlessly kicks the ass of everything that comes after it with an image made COMPLETELY of weird fucked up mid-90s CGI. A++

#2


So of fucking course the second one is just a boring painting of someone's boring cat. F-

#3


So fun fact, most of these books actually have a hole cut in the cover so the finished morph's head is actually just the inside cover peeking out. That's why the animals on the inside cover are often placed kinda weird. That's ALSO why on the main cover of book 3, HAWKBOY in HAWKFORM has a purple DBZ aura thing. The monocrhome's a neat idea so points for that, but it's still just a boring nature still life. C+

#4


Four's cover was the first one to try and match the impossible promise of the first book. So it's kind of a shame that the inside image is just a picture of a dolphin. D

#5


Alright this is more like it. If you're just gonna put random photos of animals on the inside of each of your books, the very LEAST you can do is put them somewhere an animal would not normally be. I appreciate you, intimate close up of a street punk gorilla. B+

Last edited by BEAT; 10-17-2017 at 10:33 AM.
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  #168  
Old 10-16-2017, 08:17 PM
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#6

There never has been, and never will be a good horse. Horses are awful. I can't even focus on the fly because I hate the horse so much. Horses suck. C-

#7


Much better! This is the kinda stuff I want for the inside illustrations! Just a bunch of apex predators trying to get to floor 6 for a meeting. Good shit. A

MEGAMORPHS 1


Not content to just the most bad and boring covers, The megamorphs series also strives to have the most bad and boring interior illustrations. I mean seriously, what the fuck is this shit. A bunch of kids after finger-painting got out of hand? You should be fucking ashamed. YOU DON'T EVEN GET A GRADE YOU SUCK SO BAD.

#8

So I've been lukewarm on the main covers featuring LIL BOI BLU, but I really like just how badly photoshopped this one's interior image is. They obviously just pasted a photo of 90S WHITEBOY NUMBER 3 into a picture of some random school hallway, and then they were like OH SHIT HIS REFLECTION ON THE TILE FLOOR SHIT SHIT JUST BLUR SOMETHING IN THERE. It's the kind of half-assing I love. A-

#9


Cassie, are you trying to have the most boring inside covers? I mean first the DAULPHIN and now this? This is not a contest you want to win, Cassie! D

#10


Okay THIS is what I'm looking for! You got the badly pasted in photo of a spider, the badly-pasted in photo of a kid, and a cool overlay effect to imply the kid's secretly a robot dog! I mean yeah, the whole composition is objectively awful, but it's the RIGHT KIND OF OBJECTIVELY AWFUL, DAMMIT! A

Last edited by BEAT; 10-16-2017 at 10:08 PM.
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  #169  
Old 10-16-2017, 11:02 PM
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#11

Oh hey a jungle cat in the jungle how original. D

#12


Oh my a crocodile in a crocodile tank how shocking. D-

#13


I was all set to hate on this one for just being a kid in his bedroom, but the more I look at it the more everything looks ever so slightly off in a way that I totally dig. It reminds me of how everything's ever so slightly slightly wrong (on top of being blatantly obviously wrong) in a piece of David Dees political art. Man I miss when I could post about bad politics and laugh. Those were good days. B

CHRONICLES 1


So instead of just having a standard image on the inside of the cover, this one's cover actually folds out for TWICE the internal cover image fun! Above is the front side of the foldout, showing the full 70's prog rock album/bitchin painting on the side of a panel van of some alien horse mans on an alien world aliening it up...


And then on the other side of that little folded out bit, you get a close up of the alien dude's eyeball as he stares down a bunch of punkass kids of destiny who are too cool for school. I know I bagged on this one for just being a prog rock album, but I kinda like seeing the whole thing. Go figure. B+

#14


OH HEY A HORSE IN A GRASSY FIELD WHO COULD HAVE GUESSED. F+

#15


A SHARK IN THE OCEAN NO FUCKING WAY HOW DO THEY COME UP WITH SUCH STAGGERINGLY ORIGINAL IDEAS?! F
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  #170  
Old 10-16-2017, 11:17 PM
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#12

Oh my a crocodile in a crocodile tank how shocking.
I like this one OK because it's close to just being a screenshot of Frogger.
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  #171  
Old 10-16-2017, 11:34 PM
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#16

Thank god for that sign. Without it I would have never noticed the Rhino. D

#17


I was all set to write some shit like "oh god a bat in a cave how do they come up with this shit Eff minus minus" but then I took a closer look and discovered that I actually liked this one. The painting of the (possibly alien?!?!) stairs int he background clashes really badly with the photographs stalagmites and stalactites and how the bat doesn't really seem to fit with either of them. It's a giant mess, which means I think it's JUST FINE B

#18


I know I say I love it when they halfass these things, but this is isn't even like a third of the ass. This is a quarterass. C-

MEGAMORPHS 2


I already talked shit about this inside cover, and I stand by every word of it because this shit just just unforgivable. YOU GET NOTHING FROM ME. A FAILING GRADE WOULD BE GIVING YOU TOO MUCH CREDIT. BEGONE FROM ME, SATAN.

#19


Oh snaps and dangs. A butterfly, outside, near some flowers. How mind-meltingly original. D-

#20


finally something worth our full attention! I like little snake boy trying to hide under the bed from a apex predator alien murder monster. Quality snake boy. A
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  #172  
Old 10-17-2017, 12:41 AM
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Ugh, work was slow enough for me to read a ton of these things, but my phone battery was weak and also typing up writeups on an iPhone is bloody awful. What the hell, phone developers. Keypads are a GOOD thing. I don't care how fancy sci-fi it feels to only touch the screen, it's aggravating to me to have that as the sole form of input unless you have too much money.

Book 35: The Proposal covers the dilemma many a child has had to face: when one of your parents has died, and your other one finds someone important in their life, it's often very hard to accept that new person into your life as a step-parent! Doubly so when that new someone is your math teacher, and I'm sure there's a cubing of the stress if your old parent wasn't actually dead, but just enslaved by a Yeerk general. (This book takes place directly before Visser, just for that extra kick of "hey Marco, happy families are a MYTH".

Oh right, a mission. Imagine Mr. Rogers. Comforting, right? Now imagine him as a hippie guy who has a ton of lava lamps and cockatiels for no clearly defined reason. Weird, but okay. Now imagine that on his show, which is inexplicably named Contact Point like some kind of third-rate conservative garbage dispenser, he gives advice to people who call in, and today's bit of advice is "Join the Sharing!"

So hey, the plan here is to figure out a way to get this William Roger Tennant off of the air, because that guy cannot be allowed to convince everyone who watches his show to oh bother we're doing the crocobear book again. Like, even down to the gimmick on Marco, except instead of being caused by an allergy, it's due to the stress of his family situation, which is surely nothing people have experienced in the series due to things like, say, hostage situations, seeing their friends horribly murdered, and so on. At least Marco has a unique twist in that he ends up morphing into untenable hybrid things, like gorilla-trouts and spider-skunks.

William Roger Tennant's not the worst person to try to defame. Like, his public image is nothing less than stellar, but the Yeerk controlling him would have anger management issues when placed next to Visser Three. So the plan of the Animorphs is to get him to erupt into a furious rage on-camera, defaming him thoroughly. Most of their early efforts fail, including a team of fleas hiding out on his head during a speech.

Eventually, Marco acquires his stepmom's pet poodle Euclid, which could charitably be described as a horrible monster. This proves the perfect form for annoying William Roger Tennant like crazy, and Marco ends up taking a lot of his stress out on him by just morphing into a hyper-aggressive poodle. This later gets stress morphed into a hybrid with a polar bear (which they refer to as a poo-bear, of course) which has the fused instincts of a perpetually berserk housepet and an apex predator. Marco nearly ends up killing William Roger Tennant, but thankfully gets his morph long enough for the Mr. Rogers analogue to threaten a dog on national TV.

I mean... I guess if you're gonna rehash goofy filler plots, CROCOBEAR MK II isn't a bad one to go for.
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  #173  
Old 10-17-2017, 10:05 AM
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I've just been skimming this thread most of the time, so I don't know if anyone's brought it up yet, but I cannot look at Elfangor's face without thinking "yep, he's got a vagina for a nose". Did they ever address it in the books? Like was there a scene when they first meet where like Jake and Rachel avoid looking at Elfangor's face because they don't want to look at those moist flappy folds?
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  #174  
Old 10-17-2017, 10:14 AM
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All they really say is that his face has three vertical slits where a mouth would be. It's implied that they're meant for breathing, as Andalites eat through their hooves and it's hard to breathe when you have your mouth in the dirt.

On the one hand, your assessment is quite accurate, but on the other hand, this is a children's book series.
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  #175  
Old 10-17-2017, 10:38 AM
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Oh thank God it's not just me that sees that.
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  #176  
Old 10-17-2017, 10:55 AM
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I was waiting for someone to say it.
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  #177  
Old 10-17-2017, 12:03 PM
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Okay, so that one wasn't very much a change of status quo despite the whole connection to Visser. Back to filler!

Book 36: The Mutation begins with a discovery of some former Hork-Bajir hosts. About fifty such Hork-Bajir were discovered dead or dying, with the cause being "failed medical engineering to create an aquatic subspecies of Hork-Bajir". This horrifies everyone there, but especially Cassie, giving them plenty of motive to go after Visser Three's main plan for them, which also resulted in building a seafaring version of his signature Blade ship.

So the group decides to track down this Sea Blade, because he's going to try for the Pemalite ship again since the Drode and the ship kicked him out. They go orcas for this because we keep running out of aquatic morphs to put on the surface, which proves a bad idea. Like, the Sea Blade is just as well-armed as the spacefaring version! One of the other orcas that came along gets sliced up their middle by a Dracon beam, they keep having to go to the surface to remorph, it's just a mess.

And then a cave in the bottom of the ocean swallows the damaged Sea Blade! What? Okay. The Animorphs follow them into the cave and discover the museum in Atlantis. I'm not even joking. They head down and end up seeing a bunch of carefully reconstructed sunken ships, staffed with stuffed versions of their crewmembers. There are no people there, just mutated seagulls with fishbowl eyes. Marco says "uh hey, I think whatever's down here can probably handle Visser Three CAN WE GO NOW" but nah let's check out the death museum.

Turns out that this area is home to the Nartec, a version of humans that have been mutated into an amphibious version. This is my favorite part of the book, because we get a tour of their weird undersea city built from shipwrecks. Their queen Soco lives in a palace made from a battleship, complete with cannons pointing outward. Ax postulates that the Nartec are pretty much doomed as a civilization, between the rocks around their city being radioactive and their own sharply limited genetic pool causing inbreeding, but they are still heavily armed and still totally kill people and turn them into stuffed museum exhibits.

Almost happens to the Animorphs, too, but Tobias manages to get separated for just long enough to be the cavalry. At around this time, the Nartec attack en masse, and the Animorphs have to try to get the Sea Blade out while fighting endless waves of a motley crew of Nartec. They're forced to work with Visser Three, who both has the fearsome power of a plasma creature that shoots fire, and the lack of common sense to take on this form at the bottom of the sea.

That's it! They went to Atlantis and it tried to kill them! I GOTTA GO TO WORK BYE
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  #178  
Old 10-17-2017, 12:24 PM
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I've been skimming this thread, and one thing has me more confused more than most. It feels like characters are dying, and then just coming back immediately? Is there some kind of healing factor at work here? Like didn't you say that David killed Tobias? And then he's back? What happened there?

I'm pretty comfortable skating on the surface of this madness, but even cursory Google searches aren't helping out.
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  #179  
Old 10-17-2017, 12:55 PM
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This series LOVES fakeout deaths. Even without morphing healing all injuries (although it is exhausting), there are deaths like that where David just killed a totally different red-tailed hawk and assumed it was Tobias.
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  #180  
Old 10-17-2017, 01:03 PM
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and to think if they had listened to marco visser three might be dead
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anda-light novels , animorphs , body horror for kids , brain slugs , crocobear , cronenberg's creatures , teens with attitude , war is hell , worst space horse

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