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  #211  
Old 11-03-2017, 11:29 AM
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So Book 50: The Ultimate starts off with more of the Hork-Bajir camp, which is to say: how crummy everything there is. Forget the lack of TV, food courts, and whatever other creature comforts the Animorphs have left behind as of last book. Jake's a shell of the dude we've seen in all the prior books, and he's never really going to come back to his old form. The various parents are handling their new situation poorly, with Cassie's parents lamenting over the extremely poor state of the Hork-Bajir shelters, Rachel's mom trying to escape, and Marco's parents maybe getting a little too into the anti-Yeerk defenses.

But they're mostly background noise for this book, as the real issue that the team decides to tackle is the issue of numbers. With only a few exceptions, the Animorphs have not given anyone else they know morphing power, and they sure as hell didn't want to have to drag anyone else into their war. But at this stage, with the Yeerks clean past their doorsteps and in their very homes, they're faced with the truth: they need more soldiers, specifically morph-capable ones.

Going down the list of suspects: the Hork-Bajir aren't smart enough to be viable as morphing allies. They'd be no good at stealth and recon, and their innate forms are good enough fighters anyway. Likewise, the parents are ruled out for a number of reasons: many of them are having enough trouble with their new lives that they can't be trusted as frontliners, and those who aren't (chiefly Loren and Marco's parents) are off-limits because hey, their lives sucked plenty before this point. So the team has to refresh their numbers with outsiders, and they no longer have the luxury of grabbing people off of the street and holding them up for three days to make sure they're safe.

Tobias makes the observation that hey, they legit left Loren alone despite her blood test coming back as a match. It's highly likely that the Yeerks, who want able-bodied hosts, would ignore disabled individuals. So it's off to the local physical rehab hospital! And yes, they are aware that getting child soldiers from a place like that is definitely not a "we are the heroes" thing to do. Cassie responds by saying that they live on this planet like anyone else, why shouldn't they have a shot at saving it?

And one stupid evasion scene later, we're at the rehab center. The unofficial leader of the group is a kid named James, who was paralyzed in a car accident, and who can (and does) kick Jake's shellshocked ass regardless of his wheelchair. He hears their plea out and initially tells them to get bent. But when Cassie goes hard and says "you don't get a choice, we need you and so do your friends and family and the rest of the Earth", he agrees. He only has two conditions: autonomy for him and his team, and a form for his friend Pedro, even if he doesn't fight. Dude's been in a bed for fourteen years of his life, he deserves to have that one shot at a working body, even if for two hours.

And so the Animorphs build up their numbers considerably during this time. Quite a few people have reservations about this, particularly Ax (who as you may recall has the traditional Andalite hangups about disability) and Cassie's parents ("you're doing WHAT with disabled kids?!") but the new recruits work out just fine. This is also where we get more info about how morphing and injury healing works together: James manages to recover from his paraylsis just fine, but maybe only two other kids get that as well. They have no problems in morph, far from it: Timmy gets a chance to flex his vocabulary free of his speech impediment, Colette gets to be the adrenaline junkie her paraplegia never permitted, and Kelly can stand and fight without a coughing fit.

The Yeerks don't notice this for a long time... until they finally go to a school for the blind, and are promptly ambushed by Tom's soldiers. Turns out Tom's been pretty angry about the whole "I had an Andalite spy under my nose the WHOLE DAMN TIME?!" thing. He captures Jake and the other Animorphs on-site (excluding Cassie, who was on watch) and drags them off, and she goes to mobilize the existing new recruits. Apparently, their parents were given as hosts to bottom-rung Yeerks, so they could be easily executed if the Animorphs give them even the slightest bit of trouble. And remember, since they were going in for recruits, they didn't just get the Animorphs: Tom got the Escafil device.

Needless to say, Visser One barges in on the scene at around the same time as Cassie and James. And as is his wont, he does quite a bit of damage with his morph of the day, and has Jake dead to rights. However, two things happen: a member of the Yeerk resistance breaks the Visser's hold on Jake, and Tom betrays Visser One with the Escafil device. Jake almost tracks him down and kills him, wounded as he is, but Cassie stops him. From a military standpoint, killing Tom is absolutely the right move to do, especially since he has the Escafil device. But Cassie can't let Jake go down that path, not when the first step would be fratricide.

So yeah. More Animorphs recruited from rehab centers and schools for the blind! The Escafil device in Tom's hands! Tom betrays Visser One and goes to start his own force! And that's all during this book, too: don't forget that we started with everyone's parents stuck in subpar living conditions in the Hork-Bajir camp. HIGH GEAR
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  #212  
Old 11-03-2017, 01:38 PM
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Oh. Good.

More child-soldiers.

This series did a lot to show how harmless that is for everyone involved.
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  #213  
Old 11-04-2017, 04:01 PM
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So Book 51: The Absolute starts us off with a slightly different cover. Not in terms of "here's Marco morphing into a never-before-seen form: duck" but in terms of driving home that we're in endgame. The text above the title informs us that only three books remain until the end, and the blurb on the back has changed from "we can't tell you who we are" to "yeah they know exactly who we are and we have to end this".

The actual premise of this one is pretty straightforward though. Apparently there are mobilizations of the National Guard happening that are more than a little suspicious, so the Animorphs send Marco and Tobias to stake it out. Except there's not two birds of prey there, but more like twenty-five. Yeah, guess how long it took Tom to outfit his soldiers with morphing power? The one key advantage the Animorphs have had the ENTIRE SERIES, which is the only reason they've lived as long as they have, is gone now.

Anyway, Marco crashes a tank into Chapman's house and renders his entire family homeless, chiefly because screw that guy, and the Animorphs move on to their actual plan: how do we stop the Yeerks from infesting the National Guard? Well, they could get the governor to call off their movements, right? Plus, at this point, they REALLY need to get the general public aware of the invasion.

Jake divides the team into two groups. The first group, which has everyone that isn't Marco, Tobias, and Ax goes to stir up trouble and keep the Yeerks too busy to pin down the second group as they go talk to the governor. Cassie volunteers to be part of the second group, but Jake is still salty about that whole "I don't think you should kill your brother" thing and wants her under close watch, so it's up to the above three to be Team Finesse.

I should remind you that two members of Team Finesse stole and crashed a tank earlier in the book.

Basically it works out to a high speed chase for most of the book. The governor herself is pretty badass and handles the whole situation pretty nicely, and gets along pretty well with Ax, who plays the role of interstellar diplomat excellently. But as far as actual plot for the book... most of it there just isn't. A lot of Controllers have been given morph-capability, and the team finds themselves in a duck pond at one point attacked by all manner of park-goers at once, so that's cool.

But yeah. This is kind of just a book to pace things along, which is weird because did I mention that MARCO STOLE AND CRASHED A TANK?
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  #214  
Old 11-06-2017, 02:15 PM
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Book 52: The Sacrifice opens with the Yeerks' next move: converting the subway stations into lines that bring loads of humans, willing or otherwise, into the Yeerk pool for efficient long-distance infestation. Ax, Rachel and James are on-site and already horrified at the open subjugation of humanity on display there. The Yeerks are flat done being subtle, and are using Hork-Bajir as armed guards to force humans onto the trains.

Rachel, being Rachel, rushes into the fray, only for her and the other two to be met by a slew of Yeerks in morph. They dispatch almost all of them, but one of the falcons begs Ax for mercy near the end of the fight. They claim that if they're staying here in falcon morph for only a few more minutes, they'll be stuck in that form and out of the fight for good. Knowing it could very easily be a lie (and not really factoring in that the Yeerk is asking for this without saying anything about a host body), Ax lets them go. Rachel is implied to have killed them anyway while Ax wasn't looking.

Anyway, the Animorphs need a plan to handle this new operation and they need it yesterday. Continuing the theme of a slow degradation into morally black actions, their idea is to pack a train with explosives stolen from the National Guard and to ram it into the Yeerk pool. Y'know, just in case you were at all confused about whether they are still classified as "good guys". Needless to say, if the team's cohesion was starting to vanish before now, it's on a fast track to disintegrating here, since a few people, including Cassie and Tobias, have some slight reservations about literally blowing up the Yeerk pool and the city it's built under.

While this is going on, Ax is making his own secret communications with the Andalite war council. Turns out their plan is to quarantine Earth until such time as the Yeerks can be negotiated into a symbiosis with humanity, Iskoort style. Course, the Andalites have never neard of the Iskoort, and even if they did, that's really just a threadbare excuse for the Andalites to pretend they took the moral high ground when they initiate their actual plan to vaporize the Yeerks and Earth in one shot. Ax knows this, but he's having some trouble deciding whether or not that's the right thing to do anymore.

This gets driven home when Cassie finally admits to the group as a whole that she let Tom have the Escafil device and stopped Jake from killing him. Most of the group understands that she was trying to protect Jake and do the right thing, but for Ax, this cuts a bit deeper. Remember, not only did his brother die while entrusting the Escafil device to the Animorphs, the entire reason the invasion started at all was because of a similar act of mercy by one Prince Seerow. A lot of the group is worried about Rachel's mercilessness, but for much of the book, Ax considers Cassie to be the far worse of the two.

After another of his communications with the Andalite War Council, he's tracked down by Tobias, and Ax isn't the sort to lie to his shorm. He tells Tobias everything, and Tobias admits that they're having to make up their own rules for morality as they go, but he doesn't think Cassie did the wrong thing. He thinks that Cassie, and Elfangor for that matter, were looking for a solution orthogonal to the usual victory condition of war, which starts really planting the seed in everyone's heads about how to help the Yeerks and the humans get out of this alive. After all, the Yeerks don't need to steal host bodies if they can just morph themselves new ones.

Eventually, the team decides to go through with the plan (albeit with a warning to everyone in the vicinity of the pool, Yeerks included, to evacuate five minutes before), starting with sneaking into a National Guard base. Thankfully, it goes better than expected, as Captain Olston proves willing and able to support their cause, given the governor's words to her state earlier. Of course, this means he's disobeying the orders of his major, but those orders more likely came from a Yeerk instead of the actual major. Backed up by the soldiers and James' recruits, the Animorphs take one of the subway stations by storm, during which Ax kinda-sorta forgives Cassie when she nearly gets killed by friendly fire.

As for the train crash itself, the initial impact does plenty of damage already, and the casualties for Yeerks at the very least are high enough. When Cassie announces the actual threat of the bombs aboard the train, all hell breaks loose, but not in the combat sense. Even Visser One, who had been peacing out in the pool beforehand, knows enough to flee from the explosives, and we're even treated to people helping one another escape despite being Yeerks or whatever.

In the end, the bombs go off, destroying the Yeerk pool and much of the city, and causing a huge death toll. In a morbidly ironic sense, it's the Animorphs' greatest victory yet: destroying the Yeerk pool is a decisive blow in the war. But it's still something horrible they've done, which absolutely caused innocent lives, Yeerk and human and Hork-Bajir and Taxxon, to be lost. The hope of such an action was partly to stop infestations, and partly to drive Visser One's rep into the dirt so he wouldn't threaten Earth, at least.

But it's pretty expensive.
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  #215  
Old 11-06-2017, 02:56 PM
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This is technically worse than the time they achieved a victory by getting so, so many enemy combatants completely addicted to horrible drugs, or the time they killed an entire species by forcing robot cthulhu to murder them all but...

You know...

By degrees.
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  #216  
Old 11-07-2017, 07:28 AM
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Default FUUUUUU I AM RUNNING SO FAR BEHIND ON THESE FUUUUUUUUKKKKKK

BOOKS 36-40 45 YEAH I SAID IT WE'RE RUNNING THIS LET'S GO.

BOOK THIRTY SIX: YOU WON'T EVEN GET THE CHANCE TO CHANGE YOUR MIND....


I appreciate terribly misshapen Shamu. Kudos, misshappen Shamu. Oh wait I forgot we all hate Sea World now. Dammit. COVER GRADE: A

BOOK THIRTY SEVEN: JAKE'S NOT AROUND. WHO WILL TAKE HIS PLACE?


True fact, the BEST transition images are almost always the ones just one removed from the photographed kid, as demonstrated here where Blondie looks basically the same except maybe 25 years older. COVER GRADE: B

BOOK THIRTY EIGHT: ANDALITES HAVE REACHED EARTH. WILL AX LEAVE THE ANIMORPHS?


I'm so glad they FINALLY figured out how to make the covers featuring the blue man interesting. I mean, just LOOK at the 3 middle images! I'm spoiled for choice! COVER GRADE: A+

BOOK THIRTY NINE: TO MORPH OR NOT TO MORPH? THAT IS THE QUESTION....


Quality bignose face, but we've seen plenty of those, so it'll take more to impress me now. Also loses points for the Hamlet "quote". WE ALL KNOW THE ANSWER IS "TO MORPH" BUFFALO LASS! WE'RE WATCHING YOU MORPH RIGHT NOW! COVER GRADE: C

BOOK FORTY: THIS IS YOUR BRAIN. THIS IS YOUR BRAIN WITH A YEERK. ANY QUESTIONS?


Ahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

I NEED BEEEG ANIME EYES AHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA COVER GRADE: A

SIDE STORY: MEGAMORPHS FOUR: BAK 2 B 4

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEGAMORPS ONE
This is dog shit. I would have assumed that the first "Special" book outside the main numbered series would have a little EXTRA put in, but no! Nothing! You don't deserve the name "MEGA" with this trash! Get the fuck out of here, jackass! COVER GRADE: F
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAGAMARPS TOO
The fact that this cover is bad and boring would have already gotten it a failing grade, but the fact that it had the utter gall to be bad and boring SEVEN TIMES OVER is just unforgivable. You done fucked up, Megamorphs Two. You done fucked up. COVER GRADE: FUCK YOU. FUCK YOUR COUCH, YOUR LIFE, AND YOUR INHERENT TRUTHS.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAEGER MEEPS THEE
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.
YOU WERE GIVEN

AMPLE

OPPORTUNITIES.

AND YET YOU LEARNED

NOTHING.

COVER GRADE: I DON'T EVEN CARE THAT KALIR COULDN'T RE-READ YOU. THIS IS A PUBLIC SHAMING. YOU HAVE SOWN THE WIND AND NOW YOU MUST REAP THE WHILRWIND.

BOOK FORTY ONE: THEY'RE OUT OF SIGHT, YOU'RE OUT OF MIND....


You ever use one of those apps that's supposed to show you what you'd look like if you were older and grew a beard? Yeah? Yeah. Cover Grade: F

BOOK FORTY TWO: RACHEL IS ABOUT TO GO WHERE NO HUMAN HAS GONE BEFORE.


The weirdo Orc-lookin face is pretty damn great, but the book has overestimated how excited I am about a human going someplace, when it's saying that we could totally put an ELEPHANT there while we're at it. COVER GRADE: B

BOOK FORTY THREE: TOBIAS IS ABOUT TO FACE HIS BIGGEST FEAR....


HAWKS SHOULD NOT HAVE THAT MANY EYES THIS IS AWESOME. COVER GRADE: B+

BOOK FORTY FOUR: SOME SAY YOU SHOULDN'T PLAY MIND GAMES. TELL THAT TO THE YEERKS....


Ohhh I get it, because the Yeerks live in peoples minds. Clever. Very clever. COVER GRADE: D

BOOK FORTY FIVE: SOMETIMES THERE'S NO ESCAPE. EVEN FOR THE ANIMORPHS....


I really, really love the littel baby arms in the second image. With their little sleeves all rolled up and everything? Fuck yes. COVER GRADE: A
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  #217  
Old 11-07-2017, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEAT View Post
True fact, the BEST transition images are almost always the ones just one removed from the photographed kid, as demonstrated here where Blondie looks basically the same except maybe 25 years older. COVER GRADE: B
Silly BEAT. She's turning into a le*pard, not a cougar.

Silly BEAT.
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  #218  
Old 11-08-2017, 03:26 AM
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Mistaking a Le*pard for a cougar is the last mistake many people make.
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  #219  
Old 11-08-2017, 04:36 AM
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I SEE WAT U DID THERE
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  #220  
Old 11-10-2017, 09:47 AM
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So for Book 53: The Answer, we start off with Yeerk fighters literally blasting buildings in the Animorphs' home city, shooting jet fighters out of the sky, and burning a huge circle of scorched earth around the area to ensure that they can't escape without being seen. More importantly, this is the penultimate book, as narrated by Jake Berenson. Yeah! At this point, they don't bother at all with the "we can't tell you anything else about us or the Yeerks will find us" line. Instead, they admit that the Yeerks know damn well who they are and that this is the all-or-nothing mission.

Additionally, this is the first narration by Jake we've seen since he lost his parents to the Yeerks. This Jake is completely different from the Jake we've seen narrating all the books beforehand. That guy was a reluctant leader of a kid, but he had a natural presence and sense of duty that made him the best possible fit the Animorphs could've had for the job. Jake Berenson is a haunted and vicious person who alienates his team on accident and has a drive to win at all costs, including the lives of people he cares about. Sure, he tells himself it'll all be worth it once the war is won, but... well, let's just go through the book and you'll see what I mean.

First off: the mission is to destroy or otherwise incapacitate the main Pool ship that has been in orbit around Earth all this time. This mothership is certainly able to fight, but as it serves as a safe point for all manner of Yeerks, it's generally not risked in such a way. However, it's landed within the quarantine zone the Yeerks have burnt out, so the Animorphs have a shot at getting onboard it. At this point, though, Visser One absolutely does not trust anything whatsoever, and getting onto it will require everything they have.

At first, Jake doesn't really have a plan. The concept is simple: steal the Pool ship and use it against Visser One. The actual "how" is harder. Jake tries to rally all the factions he possibly can to help, including US military forces as led by one General Sam Doubleday (and the meeting with him is pretty funny, at least). The Hork-Bajir, of course, are unconditionally in. The Chee have recently vanished, and Erek's house is of course a smoking crater right now. And the auxiliary Animorphs are suffering from even worse morale after taking a few casualties in recent combat.

So imagine Jake's surprise when a completely different, but not new, faction comes out of nowhere offering help. During an attack on a new Yeerk pool site being built, Jake is captured by Taxxons, including Arbron, Elfangor's old friend and a Taxxon nothlit. Arbron explains that the Taxxons are starting to see another path they could take, one where they wouldn't have to serve the Yeerks. Indeed, the Yeerks have kept them under a tight leash, up to and including restricting them from Escafil device access. So Arbron and the Taxxons promise to ally with the Animorphs, provided they can all go nothlit in another form, any form, just to keep the hunger away.

Jake returns to the group and lets the others know the score. Ax, of course, objects to the plan on account of him being faithful to the Andalite war effort, to which Cassie responds by guilt-tripping him into revealing what his late-night correspondence with the Andalites have really revealed. Ax claims that the Andalite people at large have bought into military propaganda for so long that they don't have any idea what they're really doing, and that the Andalites plan to quarantine/incinerate Earth from orbit. Course, the answer there is the same: use the Pool ship comms to tell the Andalite civilian leaders what's gone down.

In any case, Jake goes down to meet the Taxxons, complete with a new morph at Cassie's recommendation and a full retinue of Animorph spies. Arbron asks him to demonstrate to the Taxxons what can be done here, and Jake obliges with the new morph of an anaconda. He explains that once an anaconda does eat something, it's pretty much set for months before it needs to eat again, and that they'll be glad to offer this form in exchange for their aid (helpfully leaving out the part about the Andalite war council for the sake of keeping Arbron happy). The Taxxons are sold, and the Animorphs have a new ally faction.

But we're not done yet. The next person to show up and ask for aid is none other than Tom himself. He spends a lot of time being a generally smug jerk, but eventually lays out his own terms: if the Animorphs spare him and let him have the Blade ship, about a hundred of his own soldiers, and the Escafil device, he'll give them the codes to the Pool ship's intense security and get out of their hair. Needless to say, nobody here trusts him worth a damn. But in letting Jake know this plan, he tips his hand, and Jake comes up with a plan in one flash of insight.

Remember how, at the end of the David trilogy, their plan to trap him in rat form is the most careful, calculated, and cruel thing they likely were ever to do? Jake's plan may be more calculated, and it's absolutely more cruel, but it's not careful at all. Right off the bat, he asks Marco to go get the Chee, and Rachel to follow Tom to the Blade ship. We won't find out what Rachel's part of the plan is yet, but for now, she's out of the book.

Erek shows up ready to help, as ever, but Jake's not here to play nice. Remember, Chee programming flatly prohibits anything that might cause violence, but Jake still needs their hacking expertise and hologram tech. So he says "hey, you help us sneak onto the Pool ship regardless of whether fighting happens there, or I execute my hostage Chapman. Yeah I took Chapman hostage, but if that's what it takes to ensure you follow this plan that NEEDS TO WORK, then that's how it goes." Erek is furious, but his programming means he has to stick with it.

Next up is the US military and auxiliary Animorphs. Their task is to attempt a massive ground-based assault, which is meant to be a Trojan horse. By the time they attempt their attack, the other Animorphs are meant to be on the Pool ship already. Needless to say, they're not thrilled about this either, since they'll be taking the brunt of the Yeerk defenses, but Jake isn't having any of it. While we're at it, he tells Ax to lie to the Andalites, telling them to hold off on their attack because we're going to deliver an entire Yeerk warship right to them.

As for the actual infiltration, it's a little complex by necessity. Jake lets Tom capture "Cassie", which is to say Erek in hologram disguise, and personally deliver them to Visser One. The other Animorphs sneak onboard, with Tobias in Taxxon morph and the Hork-Bajir already in place. And a good thing too: Tom orders the Taxxon Tobias to devour Cassie, hoping to kill off all of the Animorphs at once. Yeah he was totally backstabbing them, why are you surprised by this?

The Pool ship's security is, as mentioned above, intense. They shift codes every hour on the hour (also Tom might've sped up the cycle to fifteen minutes), and Ax and Erek need all the hacking chops they have to seize even a single station per cycle. While this is going on, Visser One has the Pool ship take off now that he's gotten one of the main Animorphs he wanted, only to see the combined forces of the US military and auxiliary Animorphs below. He gleefully goes to focused Dracon fire from the Pool ship on each of the Animorphs in the army, delighting in each one horribly killed. And they're not shy about depicting this either, literally the first casualty gets her back half of her rhino body vaporized.

Once he finishes, he switches to a wide dispersion shot to slowly roast the remaining US soldiers. But before that happens, the helm isn't responding, and the Pool ship no longer has a shot as it's drifting off course. Visser One finally realizes that he's been duped, at least in part, and orders his soldiers down to engineering to hunt down the Animorphs. Jake reunites with the rest of the Animorphs for the next stage of their plan, but they'd really like to know where Rachel went at this time. And when Jake tells them that he sent Rachel off to assassinate Tom and stop the Blade ship from leaving, they uh... they don't take it well! Especially not Tobias!

But no time to tell Jake he's an awful leader, we have a Pool ship to disable. The Animorphs hurry to the bridge to bait Visser One there, hoping to get him to attack the Blade ship held by Tom since Erek flat refuses to hack it. The bridge also serves as the main site of the titular Pool. Which means its time for another rescue mission! All the caged hosts are busted out as quickly as possible, and Jake takes Marco and Ax with him to the Pool maintenance controls. See, there's a flush sequence involved so the Yeerks can maintain the pool. If they were to initiate it now, they would launch seventeen thousand, three hundred and seventy-two Yeerks into the vacuum of space.

Jake hesitates for a bit on that. This is a long way away from the guy who turned on a Jacuzzi to kill a bunch of alien parasites he didn't know anything about in order to save his homeworld. At this stage, Jake absolutely knows the stakes, and one could make a very good case that killing these Yeerks now, especially with their hosts freed and the Pool ship disabled, would be needless. But this isn't the Jake we knew before. This Jake wants this war won at any costs, and if that means killing seventeen thousand enemy soldiers with a single order, he does it. The entire pool freezes upon leaving the ship, killing all the Yeerks within.

Visser One eventually meets them at the bridge, and at this point the guy is more defeated than they've ever seen him before. He's not only clued into their assault completely, but he's figured that Tom has betrayed him as well. He'd like to fire the Pool ship's weapons on the Blade ship, but their power is being drained by Erek, so he can't even do that. He complains that he lost to a traitor rather than to the Animorphs, but the guy's basically gone full "whatever" about everything. Losing as badly as he has, that'd be enough to throw anyone clean into the "emotionally dead" level of uncaring.

The book ends with Tom's gloating over his imminent victory and escape cut short by Jake's appearance by Visser One. He lived through Tom's treachery! Wow! Also everything is awful forever.
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  #221  
Old 11-10-2017, 10:13 AM
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Are these books still barely over 100 pages?

Because it seems like an awful lot has happened in the last couple.
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  #222  
Old 11-10-2017, 10:29 AM
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They're under 200.

And to be fair, the books where I say less are mostly the books with awkward teen romance or fight scenes that don't translate well to a synopsis.

There's not much of that going on here.
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  #223  
Old 11-12-2017, 11:36 AM
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Book 54: The Beginning is narrated Megamorphs style, although I personally think that's less because it wouldn't work with only one narrator and more because this book starts off with Rachel attacking Tom and four of his lieutenants aboard the Blade ship by herself. Rachel's grizzly form is plenty dangerous and she's an experienced fighter, but you tell me who wins in a fight between a grizzly bear and a team consisting of a polar bear, cape buffalo, two lionesses, and a cobra.

Rachel at the very least manages to kill Tom in his cobra morph, but by the time she pulls it off her grizzly form is all but dead. So she has to demorph to reverse her injuries, but everyone on the ship knows it's not going to be enough to save her from four remaining soldiers in equally dangerous forms. All she gets the chance to do is tell everyone watching from the Pool ship that she did it, and to tell Tobias that she loves him, before the polar bear gives her a soldier's death.

This is what the start and end of the Ellimist Chronicles kind of spoil, in that it's a story told by the Ellimist in a timestop before she dies, but they never say which Animorph it is outright, and you'd have to be really familiar with the series (namely, the book I already skipped) to figure out who it is in that book. But yeah no the first two chapters are "Rachel kills Tom and then dies".

After this, Jake takes Visser One captive, rendering Alloran free for the first time in years, and putting the Yeerk invasion of Earth to an end. Alloran, for his part, is incredibly grateful for another shot at freedom, even considering all that he did before this time, and swears himself to Jake's service. Jake, for his part, just wants everything over and done with, so he orders Cassie to go tell Erek that it's over, arranges the surrender of the remaining Yeerk forces, and prepares to contact the Andalites.

When Cassie meets Erek, neither she nor Jake are in any mood to be patient with him. They both blame him for the deaths of Rachel and Tom since he drained the weapons that would've let the Pool ship... I dunno, incinerate both of them anyways? They're really just lashing here, and Erek isn't much better, but he knows it. Further, he calls them out on the whole "killing 17000 defenseless Yeerks" thing really hard. Cassie tries to handwave it as a distraction, but Erek doesn't put up with that for a second. After more chewing her out, he leaves and the Chee go back into hiding.

The Andalite forces are, of course, unwilling to buy the sudden news that humans of all people upended the Yeerk empire, and Captain-Prince Asculan-Semitur-Langor pretty much is about to proceed with the plans to toast Earth until Marco decides to bellow "Howard Stern rules!" to all the Andalite civilians watching the comms. Oh yeah did Ax not mention that these comms were patched to the civilian network? Because thats a thing now. When Asculan's ship lands, Jake (with advice from the rest of the group, including Alloran, but excluding Tobias because he's kind of busy grieving) lays out the terms of surrender: they'll let the Yeerks go nothlit under their supervision.

Naturally, Asculan initially tells them all to get bent, you don't get any more Andalite tech. Ax backs him up by issuing a challenge, which is somewhere between a court summons and a duel. Asculan backs down from that, and gives Ax the rank of prince and access to four Escafil devices of his own. From there on out, the war is pretty much in cleanup mode. Giving Rachel a cremation (she's not really the burial type, y'know), tracking down remnant Yeerks and getting them to surrender, and getting humans and Andalites on good terms with each other. Turns out the civilians are way less arrogant than the military WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED.

This all happens in like the first third of the book. The middle is pretty much a "where are they now" segment (absent from this segment: their parents, the Yeerk peace movement). Marco's the most straightforward: he's taken to the fame of being a hero like a fish to water, and is absolutely selling out. He's making movie deals and living large. Tobias is also straightforward, but in the other direction: after taking Rachel's ashes during the cremation, he vanished into the wilderness and hasn't been seen since. Cassie pretty much keeps doing what she already did, taking care of animals with her parents. Ax has become a ridiculous Andalite celebrity and military figure for helping win the Yeerk war, and serves as a human-Andalite liaison.

Jake, though... well, as Marco says it, he's basically a living god to humanity. He could snap his fingers and have pretty much anything he could ever want. The only problem is, he doesn't want anything. He never complains to anyone else, but he also doesn't do anything else. He just goes to Rachel's monument every two weeks and sits there, not saying anything, then leaves. When he's not there, he just lives with his parents and gets lost in his thoughts. This is a guy who someone legit suggested carving his face into Mt. Rushmore, and he just wants nothing to do with anything or anyone.

This really comes to a head during the war crimes trial for Visser One (spoilers: he gets convicted every way from Tuesday and earns about fifty life sentences). One of Visser One's lawyers objects to calling Jake as a witness, on account of him being a war criminal himself. Even goes so far as to call him a mass murderer. She's out of line for the trial itself, but that doesn't mean she was wrong. Jake still did horrible things to bring the war to an end, and that deserves a more thorough examination than being lauded as a global hero. This helps Jake's mood precisely not at all.

So Cassie and Marco come up with an idea called "morph therapy". At this point I should mention that neither of them is a qualified therapist. Because while the core theory is sound (use the animal instincts of morphs, particularly upbeat ones like dolphins, to help people get through PTSD and depression) their method of knocking Jake out and dumping him into the ocean to force him to morph? Could use work. A lot of work. Still, this puts him right enough to at least try to do something with his life. Namely, he helps teach spec-ops forces about how morphing works. It's... a start, I guess.

So the book could totally end around there, but nah, we got one last thing to do. See, Ax's crew aboard his own personal cruiser vanished while trying to track down the Blade ship that held Tom's lieutenants. After the showdown, they pretty much just dumped Rachel's body and took off. They finally found a lead on them, but there's a few problems. The first is that this lead goes into Kelbrid space, and the Andalites have an ancient treaty with the Kelbrid that prevents either faction from entering each others' space. This treaty is so old that no living Andalite even knows what a Kelbrid looks like.

The other problem is the fact that while tracking down the Blade ship, they found another wrecked alien ship with traces of DNA, but no lifesigns. When they investigated, they found only polar bear hairs. Also immediately afterwards the boarding party, including Ax, lost contact with their cruiser, as the wrecked alien ship immediately came to life and attacked. So that's fun! Jake rounds up the old crew, purposefully excluding Cassie (too much distance and damage between them, and she's found a new life and new boyfriend here on Earth now anyway) and including Tobias (who pretty much just went full hawk again and is still mad at Jake, but is in it to track down Ax).

So the three male Animorphs, plus two of Jake's top students and the lone survivor of Ax's ship attack, go on a deep space adventure! They track down the Blade ship after about a year, but find it captained not only by the Yeerk lieutenants, but by something called The One. Which is a very poorly defined techno-psycho-singularity-Borg thing. It consumed the personalities of the lieutenants and apparently of Ax himself, and Jake ends the book by ordering his crew to ram the Blade ship.

Yeah! What? Okay. Way to end your 50+ book series by starting a completely different story and then giving absolutely no closure on it whatsoever. A lot of the fans thought this ending sucked, partly for that, partly for killing off Rachel, partly for basically wrecking almost every Animorph character, for not killing Visser One (fifty life sentences not good enough for you, you bloodthirsty jackasses?)... but eh, ending aside, I think this is about the right ending to expect.

I'll write up an end-of-series post later, looking back at everything we've reviewed. ASSUMING BEAT POSTS GPA SCORES FOR EACH OF THE ANIMORPHS BASED ON THEIR BOOK COVERS
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  #224  
Old 11-12-2017, 04:10 PM
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dear god

...
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  #225  
Old 11-12-2017, 09:39 PM
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Daaaaaaam.
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  #226  
Old 11-14-2017, 02:21 PM
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huff

puff


hey guys

I finally caught up with the thr --

wait


THAT'S what happens at the end of Animorphs!?
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  #227  
Old 11-14-2017, 02:23 PM
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Don't you just love shaggy dog stories?
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  #228  
Old 11-14-2017, 02:57 PM
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Kalir, you forgot to mention the fact that The One, in possessing Ax, also gave him a large, toothy mouth.
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  #229  
Old 11-14-2017, 04:35 PM
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Well...

That’s sure as Hell one way to end a series?

Maybe not the way I’d have suggested going...
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  #230  
Old 11-14-2017, 04:52 PM
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On top of all this, did anyone ever bother to give Ax shit for conscripting children as his soldiers in the first place?

By "anyone" I mean "anyone who the audience was generally supposed to agree was a sympathetic character worthy of having their important concerns taken seriously."
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  #231  
Old 11-15-2017, 10:30 AM
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Ax didn't really do that, though. If you're referring to the auxiliary Animorphs led by James, that was an idea he was against (although less because they were youths and more because they were disabled, because Andalite culture is problematic).

If you're referring to the Animorphs to start out, that was Elfangor's doing, and he was pretty much on his deathbed and desperate to give the Yeerks' next target a fighting chance.
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Old 11-15-2017, 03:52 PM
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I did forget about the Elfangor thing, but I guess that Andalites everywhere just keep making bad life choices until they and everyone around them are dead.
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  #233  
Old 12-04-2017, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by http://sigmabunny.tumblr.com/post/168176994275/loracarol-this-isnt-a-complete-thought-esp
This isn’t a complete thought, esp. since I haven’t actually sat down and read Animorphs all the way through in a while, but

It’s canon right, that the yeerks aren’t very big on having disabled hosts? It’s why the auxiliary animorphs were kids from the hospital, why Loren wasn’t ever infected (IIRC)

Which means that, probably, the Sharing wasn’t exactly super welcoming to disabled members, esp. in the Upper Echelons.



Could the animorphs in a modern AU leverage that towards fostering anti-Sharing sentiment? I’m thinking Marco setting up a blog w/ a tagline of like “Sharing is Caring…. Unless You’re Disabled” or something like that, with Ax/Tobias/ppl posting in stories/anecdotes, real or fake.

Granted, I know that abelism isn’t a Big Deal (NOT saying that that’s right, just saying what I’ve seen disability advocates mention) in our society rn, but on the flip side, ppl love calling out things that are “too good to be true”, and that story could easily be like, entertainment news fodder. + Given how the andalites historically treat ppl w/ disabilities (vecols?) Visser III/Yeerks wouldn’t actually have a reason to believe it was the ~~~andalite bandits~~~ and it might be A Concern that this was just straight up something ppl noticed on their own.

It wouldn’t blow their cover - going from “hey, this group discriminates against disabled ppl”➡ “because they’re actually a front for an Evil Alien Organization that wants Optimum Host Bodies™“ is a huge fucking leap - but it might tarnish a little bit their cover as a Totally Legit Organization For Good People To Do Good Things.

#BoycottTheSharing

#SharingDiscriminates

like I said, this is less of an actual thought and more of a word vomit, but I’ve been into animorphs a little bit more recently, and it got me wondering.
something I found on tumblr.
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  #234  
Old 12-04-2017, 12:29 PM
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oh gosh he didn't notice my message okay okay play it cool you still owe people a real epilogue post you can do this its okay you don't need him anyway here we go

So, Animorphs! Wacky series about kids turning into animals and fighting the alien conspiracy, right? Radditude. Except for the part where here is a tale about the horrors of war and what it does to people, nations, and beliefs.

So first off, let's address the fact that this is a book series running 50+ books strong, which are each meant to follow a very similar title/cover gimmick. I think this works to the series' detriment more than anything: yes, it parcels each adventure into a single book so anyone can jump into the series from mostly anywhere, but this also means that very few concept from older books can really be revisited without having to explain them all over again for new readers. Which is a shame, because we get a lot of really cool concepts (like the Yeerk peace movement, or the Leerans, or invasion resistance in non-California lands) which are promptly dropped once the book they feature in is done.

This also means that K.A. Applegate, or her ghostwriter of the day, has to write an ending for that many more books, and she's one of those writers where you can see the clear strengths and weaknesses of her writing. Xenobiology? Bloody amazing, we need more Applegate-designed aliens in our lives. Endings of stories? Uhhhhhhhh hey I get that a lot of people were mad about the ending of your last book in the series but something tells me it wasn't because you destroyed a bunch of their lives.

Also: this means each character can lend themselves to different story archetypes, which might not always mesh well with who they are as a character. Marco's the clearest example of this, where outside of his own books he's the comic relief with a side of voice of reason. In his own books, though, we find a character with a lot more to lose than he's willing to admit to anyone, and insight into the highest levels of the Yeerk empire. Other characters, like Jake, are pretty much what they say on the box: his stories and arc are all about leadership and family, especially dealing with family you are on the other side of a war from.

If I have a complaint about this, it's that the filler episodes of the series, by and large, are assigned to the girls. Rachel has a very complex character to write out that's very easy to get wrong, and she's almost always wasted on a Monster of the Week style scenario. Cassie's even worse off, as most of her books are awkward environmental messages, or just flat nonsensical, and frequently require her to act in very stupid ways to carry the plot. That said, when Cassie's books are good (usually when they involve the Yeerk peace movement) they're REALLY good.

One thing I never really touched on is the humor in the series, save that Marco is the joke character. But I really should mention: the humor in the books is actually pretty good. Marco's jokes occasionally fly in poor taste, but the rest of the group calls him on it when that happens, and basically any time Ax is in human morph is a recipe for hilarious times. Even during the last book's "where are they now" montage, we get Jake snarking at Marco for morphing lobster to find his keys in the pool: "y'know, when most people drop their keys in the pool, that's it. Those keys stay there forever."

I like this series! I feel like it could've done better in a few ways, but for what it is, it's pretty excellent. Also that ableism concept up there is pretty clever, although I don't think that would've really happened in the 90's and early 00's when the series came out.
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  #235  
Old 02-11-2018, 02:27 PM
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I'm really late to this party, but I just wanted to say thank you for the comprehensive write-ups, Kalir! It was nice to see a detailed glimpse of what I missed out on when this novel was ongoing, and this thread was definitely a joy to read through.
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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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