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wizzardstaff
Apr 6, 2018



CidGregor posted:

Should I know who that person is?

Katherine Applegate's husband and co-creator.

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Soup du Jour
Sep 8, 2011

I always knew I'd die with a headache.


Comrade Blyatlov posted:

I don't see how you make a book serial into a film

yeah in all honestly itd be much better served if you sold like HBO on a gritty* animated series

*I know this term gets a bad rap but the violence/gore gets pretty wild and to actually see it on the screen would shove its rating way outside the YA range of the books

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

There is an Animorphs comic book/graphic novel of The Invasion coming out this fall.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083W1LYY6/

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


I reckon my ideal would be a three season TV show. 10 or so episodes per season, ditch the filler, and you've got a solid show right there.

Comrade Blyatlov
Aug 4, 2007


should have picked four fingers

cptn_dr posted:

I reckon my ideal would be a three season TV show. 10 or so episodes per season, ditch the filler, and you've got a solid show right there.

poo poo, you're pretty much on the money

first ten books, second ten books, the megamorphs specials (except maybe the crazy as poo poo what if the andalite never arrived one) and the chronicles specials as double episodes or something, then the final ten books

i'm sold

Ednamamame
Dec 12, 2019


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Animorphs-.../dp/1338678833/

Scholastic are re-releasing the first 6 books, in the UK at least. And the original covers. This brought up the previous attempts covers and my god no wonder that failed. Those were just ugly!

Man, I loved Animorphs so much, but only made it to 17 I think, then a few randoms nearer the end. I have the horrible feeling I put most of my old copies out to charity shops, which this read through is really making me regret. But I did come across book 8, which I am rereading just now.

Tobias and <spoiler> were always my favs.

Starsnostars
Jan 17, 2009

The Master of Magnetism


I always liked the Animorph covers, they along with the UK Goosebumps covers being a different hideous and garish colour each time really made them stand out.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

The Invasion-Chapter 13

quote:

Talking to Rachel helped. A little, anyway. I spent the night in my little drawer in Jake's attic. I spent the next day flying around, waiting for my friends to get out of school. In some ways, I realized, my situation wasn't all bad. For one thing, I had no homework. For another, I could fly. How many average kids can hit forty miles per hour in level flight and break eighty in a stoop - a dive?

I went to the beach and rode the thermals there. It was best where the cliffs pressed right up against the blue ocean.

I saw some prey, some mice and voles in the grass along the top of the cliff, but I ignored them. I was Tobias. I was human.

Jake had called a meeting for all of us for that evening in his room. Tom, Jake's brother, would be away at a meeting of The Sharing.

The Sharing is a "front" for the Yeerks. They pretend it's just some kind of Boy Scouts or whatever, but its real purpose is to recruit voluntary hosts for the Yeerks.

I've gotten into the habit of checking people's watches from up in the air. Also, you know how banks sometimes will have a big sign showing the time and temperature? Those are helpful, too. It's strange the things you miss when you lose your human body. Like showers. Like really sleeping, all the way, totally passed out. Or like knowing what time it is.

So those are the advantages and disadvantages of hawk/human. No homework vs no deep sleeps, showers, and knowing what time it is.

quote:

In the afternoon I flew back to the school. I drifted around overhead till it let out. Then I waited till I saw Jake, Rachel, Cassie, and Marco come out. They came out separately. Marco had pointed out that it was bad security for them to be seen together all the time.

Marco says that, but is it really true? Marco and Jake are best friends, Rachel and Cassie are best friends, Jake and Rachel are cousins. It seems like they have a natural, easily explainable reason to hang out together.

quote:

I followed the bus with Jake and Rachel in it. They lived closest, just a few blocks away from each other. Marco lived in some apartments on the other side of the boulevard. He lived with just his dad, since his mom drowned a few years ago.

Cassie had to travel farthest, out to the farm, which was about a mile from the others. For me it was about a three-minute flight.

Like I say, there are some good things about having wings. I guess really it's okay most of the time. Really.

How much, do you think, is this Tobias believing this, or how much is it him trying to convince himself?

quote:

I floated on a nice thermal above Jake's house, waiting for him to get home. I saw him get off the bus and go inside. I couldn't see Rachel from where I was because there were trees in the way, but I did see Marco for just a second or two.

I concentrated on watching my friends. That way I didn't notice the squirrels in the trees as much. Or the mice that poked their little noses from their holes and sniffed the air.

After a while I saw Tom leave Jake's house.

Tom looks just like Jake, only he's bigger and has shorter hair. I'd never really known Tom well. But it was during the doomed attempt to rescue him from the Yeerk pool that I was trapped.

He headed down the street, acting nonchalant. Then, a block away, a car pulled up and opened a door. He jumped in.

Off to his meeting of The Sharing.

After a while, I saw the others start to head for Jake's house. I could identify Rachel easily. She was practicing for her gymnastics as she walked. She would walk along the edges of curbs, pretending they were balance beams.

I flew in Jake's window once everyone was there. I didn't want it to look like I'd been hanging around all that time with nothing to do.

"About time," Marco said. "We've all been waiting here for like an hour."

They'd been there for about two minutes. <I'm a busy bird,> I said. <I lost track of time.>

"We better make this kind of quick," Cassie said. "Ms. Lambert gave us papers to write by day after tomorrow, and I promised my dad I'd help him release this great horned owl. He was a mess. He'd landed on a power line and got fried. But he's ready to go now. We have a habitat picked out."

"Friend of yours, Tobias?" Marco teased me.

The others all shot him nasty looks. But the truth was, it made me feel okay to be teased by Marco. Marco teased everyone.

<We hawks don't hang with owls,> I said. <They do nights, we mostly do days.>

"He's a beautiful animal," Cassie said.

<I see them sometimes at night,> I said. <They're amazing. So cool. Totally silent. Their wings don't make a sound. One can fly an inch in front of your face and you won't hear it.>

"Um, okay, look, if Cassie has to get going, maybe we better deal with business," Jake said.

"Yeah, if you two are done with the bird-talk part of the meeting," Marco added.

"I have to get going soon, too," Rachel said. She looked a little embarrassed. "My gymnastics class is putting on an exhibition at the mall."

"Oh, I'm there," Marco crowed.

"No, you are not there," Rachel snapped. "None of you is going near that place. You know how I feel about having to put on stupid exhibitions."

Rachel is not one of those people who like to perform in front of a crowd.

"We have learned how the Yeerks get their air and water," Jake said, trying to get down to business. "And we even know where they do it. And we more or less know when. There ought to be some way for us to use this information. Any ideas?"

Rachel shrugged. "We try and find a way to destroy the ship."

Marco raised his hand like he was in class. "How about if we, um, go back to talking about birds?"

Rachel ignored him, as she usually did. "Look, we find some way to destroy that ship and maybe the Yeerks will run out of air and water. Maybe that will even mean that they have to give up and go home."

"Maybe," Cassie said. "Or they may have a dozen more of those ships in different places all over the earth. We don't know how many ships they have."
"This one would be all we need if - " Marco began to say. Then I guess he realized he was about to suggest something dangerous. "I mean . . . nothing."

"What?" Jake asked him. "'What were you going to say?"

Marco looked trapped. He shrugged. "Okay, look, what if that ship didn't get blown up or disintegrated or whatever. What if it was flying over the city and suddenly the cloaking device was turned off?"

We were all silent while we thought about that image. Suddenly a million people would look up in the sky and see a ship the size of a skyscraper.

"People would probably notice it," Jake said.

"Oh yeah, they would notice it," Rachel agreed. "Radar would see it, too. A million eyewitnesses. The Controllers would never be able to cover it up!"

<People would videotape it,> I said. <They would take pictures. There would be radar tapes.> Jake grinned. "The whole world would see. The entire human race would realize what was happening." He was getting excited now. "And then we could go to the authorities. The Controllers wouldn't be able to stop us! We could tell all we know!"

Rachel's eyes were gleaming. "We could tell them about The Sharing. We could turn in Chapman!"

"And you figure Visser Three and his pals are just going to sit around and do nothing?" Marco asked. "Like you said, we have no idea how many ships they have. Or how much power." Jake looked a little disappointed.

<They don't have enough power to attack Earth openly,> I said.

"And how do you know that?" Marco asked.

<Because they are going to a lot of trouble to keep themselves a big secret. You don't hide if you're tough enough to come out and kick butt in a fair fight.>

I expected Marco to have some smart comeback. But he just nodded. "Yeah, you're right."

"This could be our big chance," Rachel said. "Uncloak that ship, so the whole world can see."

"I hate to ask this," Marco said with a groan, "but how do you think you're going to do that?"

It was Jake who answered. "We'll have to get inside that ship." He winked at Marco. "Want to know how?"

Marco shook his head. "Not really."

"Through the water pipes. As fish."

Marco sighed. "Jake, I just told you I didn't want to know."

This, honestly, seems like an extremely terrible idea, and Jake hasn't even explained it yet.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007





Epicurius posted:

The Invasion-Chapter 13

This, honestly, seems like an extremely terrible idea, and Jake hasn't even explained it yet.

It's a good idea in the sense that it's close to the only idea that might work.

But it's still a terrible idea.

quote:


<They don't have enough power to attack Earth openly,> I said.

"And how do you know that?" Marco asked.

<Because they are going to a lot of trouble to keep themselves a big secret. You don't hide if you're tough enough to come out and kick butt in a fair fight.>

I expected Marco to have some smart comeback. But he just nodded. "Yeah, you're right."


This quoted section made me wince with very future memories.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Kchama posted:

This quoted section made me wince with very future memories.

The old "they haven't yet means they can't" line of thinking. Never, ever a good sign if you're rooting for the person expressing it.

disaster pastor
May 1, 2007



Grimey Drawer

Epicurius posted:

Marco says that, but is it really true? Marco and Jake are best friends, Rachel and Cassie are best friends, Jake and Rachel are cousins. It seems like they have a natural, easily explainable reason to hang out together.

This might be them being overcautious. But they did make a point of saying that Jake and Rachel weren't especially close cousins beforehand, and Marco basically had minimal interaction with Cassie and only slightly more with Rachel.

Yeah, they could have become closer as a group in the last few weeks, but if they get Chapman's or Tom's suspicions up, they're hosed. "Easily explainable" doesn't work when the probable consequence isn't "had to try to explain themselves," it's "were made into Controllers so the Yeerks could find out exactly why they were doing what they were doing."

Comrade Blyatlov
Aug 4, 2007


should have picked four fingers

Epicurius posted:

The Invasion-Chapter 13


So those are the advantages and disadvantages of hawk/human. No homework vs no deep sleeps, showers, and knowing what time it is.


Marco says that, but is it really true? Marco and Jake are best friends, Rachel and Cassie are best friends, Jake and Rachel are cousins. It seems like they have a natural, easily explainable reason to hang out together.


How much, do you think, is this Tobias believing this, or how much is it him trying to convince himself?


This, honestly, seems like an extremely terrible idea, and Jake hasn't even explained it yet.

The funny thing is, when I read this as a kid it seemed like a plausible idea. Get sucked up, break loose, wreak havoc.

As an adult who works on ships for a living... well, assuming you could get into the tanks without being shredded by the pumps, you would never get out. Tanks are sealed from the outside and unless you're one of those ultra-rare plasma cutter fish, welp.

But don't tell Jake this, dude's got hella moxie.

Radio Free Kobold
Aug 11, 2012

"Federal regulations mandate that at least 30% of our content must promote Reptilian or Draconic culture. This is DJ Scratch N' Sniff with the latest mermaid screeching on KBLD..."



Comrade Blyatlov posted:

The funny thing is, when I read this as a kid it seemed like a plausible idea. Get sucked up, break loose, wreak havoc.

As an adult who works on ships for a living... well, assuming you could get into the tanks without being shredded by the pumps, you would never get out. Tanks are sealed from the outside and unless you're one of those ultra-rare plasma cutter fish, welp.

But don't tell Jake this, dude's got hella moxie.

came here to say this, basically. if not for narrative convenience this would very probably get them killed.

Khizan
Jul 30, 2013



The part that gets me is that they never realize here that, while the Yeerks may have some difficulty infesting Earth by stealth right now, they could almost certainly take Earth over by force quite easily. Anybody with that level of technology has the ability to just sit in orbit and hammer Earth with kinetic energy weapons until Earth gives up, and there's nothing Earth could do about it.

They could just sit up there and fling rocks at the planet until Earth agreed to hand over ten million hosts and there's fuckall that five morphing teenagers could do about that.

Avalerion
Oct 19, 2012



Open war would lead to a lot of dead humans, while they could bomb earth easily that would destroy the main resource they are after.

The fish plan is so dumb, can't wait to read how it goes wrong.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

red bird

Avalerion posted:

Open war would lead to a lot of dead humans, while they could bomb earth easily that would destroy the main resource they are after.

The fish plan is so dumb, can't wait to read how it goes wrong.

Also if I recall correctly, the Yeerks also have no real counter for if humanity manages to deploy nuclear weaponry against them. One of the later books sees Visser Two try to engineer a nuclear exchange between the US and China because it will cause maximum global chaos AND deplete the total number of nukes humanity has available to use against the Yeerks when Visser Three's "let's warm up this cold war" plan kicks off in earnest.

To the Yeerks, humanity is a rhino stuck in a pit while they're a dude perched on the high ground with a .50 caliber rifle. They can shoot the rhino and more or less kill it at their leisure, but if the rhino somehow manages to get out of the pit, or if they fall into the pit with the rhino, then they are loving dead and they know it.

nine-gear crow fucked around with this message at 05:55 on May 17, 2020

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007





It's actually a very interesting story that both sides are in a very dangerous dance where if anyone does the wrong thing and exposes themselves, then it's all over.

Comrade Blyatlov
Aug 4, 2007


should have picked four fingers

The yeerks are guerillas being attacked by gorillas

Comrade Blyatlov
Aug 4, 2007


should have picked four fingers

Khizan posted:

The part that gets me is that they never realize here that, while the Yeerks may have some difficulty infesting Earth by stealth right now, they could almost certainly take Earth over by force quite easily. Anybody with that level of technology has the ability to just sit in orbit and hammer Earth with kinetic energy weapons until Earth gives up, and there's nothing Earth could do about it.

They could just sit up there and fling rocks at the planet until Earth agreed to hand over ten million hosts and there's fuckall that five morphing teenagers could do about that.

It's not really touched on now, but I think it's made clear later that if the Yeerks go loud, tipping their hand about what they're trying to do, the Andalites bring their whole fleet.

I guess the Andalites don't really do the whole military intelligence thing though, because surely a halfway competent leadership structure would see this big fat juicy target and go ".....yeah, we should probably guard that."

Oh god. They're just as dumb as us.

wizzardstaff
Apr 6, 2018



Comrade Blyatlov posted:

It's not really touched on now, but I think it's made clear later that if the Yeerks go loud, tipping their hand about what they're trying to do, the Andalites bring their whole fleet.

I guess the Andalites don't really do the whole military intelligence thing though, because surely a halfway competent leadership structure would see this big fat juicy target and go ".....yeah, we should probably guard that."

Oh god. They're just as dumb as us.

The Andalites are also fighting the war on other fronts, including a very juicy target at Leera. So their resources are stretched and they can't commit when they aren't sure of an immediate threat.

But mostly I just think they're super arrogant and bad at assessing Yeerk capabilities.

edited for spoiler

wizzardstaff fucked around with this message at 14:54 on May 17, 2020

OctaviusBeaver
Apr 30, 2009

Say what now?

Khizan posted:

The part that gets me is that they never realize here that, while the Yeerks may have some difficulty infesting Earth by stealth right now, they could almost certainly take Earth over by force quite easily. Anybody with that level of technology has the ability to just sit in orbit and hammer Earth with kinetic energy weapons until Earth gives up, and there's nothing Earth could do about it.

They could just sit up there and fling rocks at the planet until Earth agreed to hand over ten million hosts and there's fuckall that five morphing teenagers could do about that.

Being a living prisoner in your own body sounds so hellish that I bet most people would rather straight up die by asteroid, I know would.


On the Andalite thing, while they have FTL travel it's later established that it's not instant. Even if the Andalites are on their way right now it could take years.

my bad, added spoiler tag
vvvv

OctaviusBeaver fucked around with this message at 03:30 on May 18, 2020

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

Let's not talk too much unspoiled about what we might or might not learn from future books, ok?

Safety Biscuits
Oct 21, 2010



Epicurius posted:

Thanks! Hope you're liking the thread.

You're welcome, and thanks to the mod for the new thread title - the one I used lasted about five minutes.

Silver2195
Apr 4, 2012


Khizan posted:

The part that gets me is that they never realize here that, while the Yeerks may have some difficulty infesting Earth by stealth right now, they could almost certainly take Earth over by force quite easily. Anybody with that level of technology has the ability to just sit in orbit and hammer Earth with kinetic energy weapons until Earth gives up, and there's nothing Earth could do about it.

They could just sit up there and fling rocks at the planet until Earth agreed to hand over ten million hosts and there's fuckall that five morphing teenagers could do about that.

In general, Yeerk technology (aside from their FTL travel which an Andalite gave them) seems surprisingly bad. They don't even really seem to use security cameras, IIRC. It's not clear to me that they actually have decent kinetic energy weapons.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

The Encounter-Chapter 14

quote:

Rachel and Cassie took off, heading in different directions.

"Have a good show," Cassie called to Rachel.

"Yeah, right," Rachel said grumpily.

"I'll be there soon," Marco told Rachel. "Don't fall off any balance beams until I get there."

Rachel shot Marco one of her "you're a dead man if you mess with me" looks and disappeared, leaving just Marco, Jake, and me.

"She really kind of likes me," Marco said, with a wink at Jake and me.

"Uh-uh," Jake commented dryly. "Look, Tobias, if we're going to do this mission, it can't be till the weekend."

<Why?>

"The timing. We have to morph to travel up there. There are no buses and we can't walk that far in human bodies. Even as wolves, though, it takes time. It took more than an hour last time. It just seemed to me that we might want to get up there in the morning, camp out somewhere hidden, and then be ready by afternoon when the Yeerks show up."

"And this time we may want to travel around that other wolf pack's territory," Marco pointed out. "I don't want to get into it with them again."

It made sense. <I guess you're right. So if you're going to camp early in the day, you need a Saturdays

"Anyway, it might be a good idea if we had as much information about the area as we can get." Jake gave me a thoughtful look. "So I was thinking - "

<Yeah,> I interrupted. <I'll spy out the situation. I'll look for someplace you can hide. I have a lot of time on my hands. No hands, exactly, but lots of time.>

Marco and Jake both laughed. I think Marco was surprised that I could make a joke about myself.

I saw an intense look in Jake's eyes. He was wondering if I was okay.

<I'm cool,> I thought-spoke privately to him, so Marco couldn't hear. <I was just a little weirded-out by watching you all struggle to get out of those wolf
morphs.>

He raised an eyebrow and nodded. He had been upset, too. I could imagine. I suspected there had been a lot of nightmares over that mess.

I think this is Jake's emotional intelligence here. He knows there's something going on.

quote:

"Okay, so now what?" Marco asked. "Do I sneak into the mall without Rachel being able to see me, or do we all sit around and play Doom?"

"I have homework," Jake said. "And trust me, Marco, if Rachel sees you at the mall making faces while she's on the balance beam, she will turn into an elephant and stomp you."

Marco winced. "Remember the good old days when all a girl could do to you was call you names?"

I flew off, leaving them to play video games or do homework, or however they ended up killing time. Either way, it wasn't something I could participate in.

It's kind of a shame, really. With my eyesight and the reaction time I have, I could probably be major competition in Doom.

But joysticks and control pads aren't made for talons.

I swooped out into the cool afternoon.

I drifted around for a while. I checked out Chapman's house. Chapman is our assistant principal. He's also one of the highest-ranking Controllers.

When we first learned Chapman was one of them, he was ordering a Hork-Bajir to kill any of us who were caught. He told the Hork-Bajir to save our heads for identification. Not the kind of thing you expect to hear.

Even from an assistant principal.

But it turned out things were more complicated than we thought. Chapman had joined the Yeerks. But he had done it in part to save his daughter, Melissa.

Melissa would be at the gymnastics thing with Rachel. At the mall.

"Things were more complicated than we thought" is really a pretty good subtitle for the series.

quote:

Remembering the mall made me sad. It was just another one of the places I couldn't go anymore. There was a long list: school, movie theaters, amusement parks . . .

Wait a minute. I could go to the amusement park. And I wouldn't even have to pay admission. The thought made me happy. I don't know why. It wasn't like I could ride the roller coaster. But still, the idea kind of perked me up.

I could bust right into The Gardens any time I wanted. Come to think of it, I could also watch any football or baseball game I ever wanted to see, too, as long as it was outdoors.

And concerts!

Whoa! Big stadium concerts, no problem. No tickets needed.

That's the way I needed to be thinking. There were millions of things I could do as a bird that I couldn't do as a human.

But not right now. I turned and headed toward the mountains. I had a job to do. It was another good thing about being me. I was the ultimate airborne spy.

There was a long line of towering clouds running to the mountains. Perfect weather for me. Thermals are what push those clouds up so high.

I just let myself get into it. It wasn't a bad life. Not really.

I was flying. Back when I was in my old body, I used to look up in the sky and wish I could fly. Now I could. I figured there were probably kids down on the
ground right now looking up at me and thinking, "Wow, that would be so cool."

This is basically just rationalization, as I see it.

quote:

If only I had something to eat. I was feeling a little hungry. Should have asked Jake to grab me a snack.

It happened before I really even had time to think about it. I guess it was because I was feeling good. Feeling relaxed.

I was above the woods, just a half mile or so beyond Cassie's farm. The trees opened up to form a little meadow. This is what red-tails love. A little meadow.

It was full of prey. Squirrels scouring the ground for nuts. Hopping, then sitting up on their hind legs to look around nervously. Mice that scurried from hole to hole. Rabbits.

A rat.

My eyes focused on it with absolute intensity. I sort of shrugged one shoulder, turned sharply in midair, and plummeted toward the earth in a stoop.

My wings were back. My head low. My talons tucked back for maximum speed.

Sudden flare! I opened my wings. The shock of the air. Talons raked forward. Eyes never moving even a millimeter from the rat.

Focus!

I struck!

An incredible rush of excitement surged through me. I was ecstatic! Ecstatic! That's the only word for it. It was intense beyond anything I had ever experienced.

Talons hit warm flesh. My razor claws squeezed. The rat squirmed in my grip. But it was helpless! Helpless!

I was in a frenzy.

I hooded my wings around my kill, shielding it from any other predator that might try to steal it away.

<NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!>

I fell back.

I looked down at my talons. They were red with blood.

Rat meat dripped from my beak.

In my panic, I forgot what I was. I tried to run away. But I no longer had legs and feet to run with. I had killing talons. Bloody talons.

I fell in the dirt.

No, I cried voicelessly. But I could still see the dead rat. And I could taste it. And no matter how many times I said "no," it would always be "yes."

Oh, Tobias.

So this is obviously a big deal for him, because Tobias has been scared all this time that he's losing himself. He's no longer a human, he no longer remembers what human Tobias looks like, he can no longer do the stuff he's used to doing, and now he basically gave into instinct and killed and ate a rat. Earlier in the book, when Marco teases him, Jake defends Tobias, comparing the idea of it to when lizard Jake ate the spider in the first book. But, obviously, the context is different. As disgusted as Jake was by what he did, he knew that he was a person in the form of a lizard, and that he'd change back to "him". Tobias doesn't have that.

Radio Free Kobold
Aug 11, 2012

"Federal regulations mandate that at least 30% of our content must promote Reptilian or Draconic culture. This is DJ Scratch N' Sniff with the latest mermaid screeching on KBLD..."



wizzardstaff
Apr 6, 2018



I came across this in a "doesn't this make you feel old" compilation album:

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

It's just so good!


I'd never known until recently that the Andalite Chronicles was initially published in three separate volumes.

disaster pastor
May 1, 2007



Grimey Drawer

Epicurius posted:

I think this is Jake's emotional intelligence here. He knows there's something going on.

I give KAA a lot of credit for trying to do so much "show, don't tell" in books with a fourth-grade reading level, but I don't think she always nails it quite right. This is a particularly good example, because even if Jake wasn't my least favorite, when I was younger I found him (as many others did, it seems) dreadfully boring, because one of his primary character traits is that he's exceptionally emotionally perceptive and intelligent, but that's really hard to get across through his actions in books written from the other kids' perspectives. Also, because of that trait, arguably his primary character arc is going from using that emotional intelligence to try to take care of his friends to using it to be a better strategist, and even though that gets spelled out later, it doesn't hit as hard when you're nine years old and the constant, subtle build has gone over your head.

Epicurius posted:

Oh, Tobias.

So this is obviously a big deal for him, because Tobias has been scared all this time that he's losing himself. He's no longer a human, he no longer remembers what human Tobias looks like, he can no longer do the stuff he's used to doing, and now he basically gave into instinct and killed and ate a rat. Earlier in the book, when Marco teases him, Jake defends Tobias, comparing the idea of it to when lizard Jake ate the spider in the first book. But, obviously, the context is different. As disgusted as Jake was by what he did, he knew that he was a person in the form of a lizard, and that he'd change back to "him". Tobias doesn't have that.

Speaking of things that people didn't do in books with a fourth-grade reading level...

Yeah, having the two incidents so close together really highlights the contrast and really makes you feel bad for Tobias. Jake was freaked and grossed out by eating the spider, but he was relatively easily able to associate the act with the lizard's instincts, not Jake's own, and fix his bad feelings on "failing to control the lizard brain" instead of on "being a spider-eater." Tobias can't. The hawk's instincts are Tobias's instincts now. The hawk's brain is Tobias's brain. Not only can he not rationalize it away, and not only is he already hurt by, as you said, his increasing distance from his human self, but this happens and simultaneously feels like slamming the door on that human self and emphasizing that Tobias's attempts to avoid giving in to the hawk were always doomed to fail.

(and people wonder why this series was so popular with trans kids...)

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

Chapter 15

quote:

I flew.

I flew as fast and as hard as I could. I wanted to go so fast that the memory of killing and eating the rat would be left way behind me.

But not even I can fly that fast.

Human! I am human! I am Tobias!

I don't know why it was Rachel I wanted to see right at that moment. Maybe she was just the closest thing I had to a real friend. Maybe it was the way she had seemed so sure of who and what I was.

I needed someone to be sure.

Down below I saw the huge, irregular rectangles of the mall. I saw a glass door. People streamed in and out. Rachel. That's where she was.

"Tseeeeer!"

I screamed in rage and frustration and terror as I stooped. I shot toward the door like I'd shot toward the rat.

But I wasn't going to stop. I wasn't going to slow down. I was just going to end this right now. I would hit the glass at full speed and maybe that would awaken me from this nightmare.

The speed just kept building. The door rushed up at me. The earth itself was jumping up to hit me.

A guy, dark hair, short, stepped to the door. He opened it.

Shwoooop!

I must have been doing eighty as I hurtled through the open door.

A second set of doors, but these were open, too.

No impact.

No awakening.

Colors and bright lights all around me. Like a high-speed kaleidoscope.

The Gap. Express. The Body Shop. Easy Spirit. Mrs. Fields.

Zoom!

I was a bullet, blazing inches over the heads of the shoppers. I heard screams. I heard cries of amazement. 48

I didn't care. I wanted to hit something. I wanted to wake up. I wanted to fall to the ground because my wings had disappeared and been replaced by clumsy legs and flailing arms.

I wanted to be me again.

I am human! I am human! I am Tobias!

Nine West. Radio Shack. B. Dalton. Benetton. A world I knew. A world where I belonged. Places I had been. Foods I had eaten. The world of human beings.

Zoom!

Suddenly, in seconds, I was at the center of the mall.

A crowd was standing around in a circle. In the middle of the circle blue mats were on the floor. Girls in leotards were doing midair flips and graceful backbends. People on the upper level were crowded around the railing to look down.

Rachel was on the balance beam. She was just raising one leg, balancing on the other.

I was a brown and gold and red missile shooting past her.

"Tobias!" she cried.

Straight ahead, a wall. A blank wall where they were going to put a new shop. I was still moving fast. I could still hit it and wake myself up from the nightmare.

"No!" Rachel cried.

I flared and shot straight up. The wall scraped my stomach. The ceiling was glass, a skylight. I was there! A last-second turn, almost too late. My shoulder hit the glass. I bounced off and began to fall down toward upraised faces staring at me with horror and amazement and pity.

I saw Rachel's face in that crowd. Her eyes pleaded silently. No, she mouthed. No.

I fell, stunned and dazed. Rachel, still balanced on the beam, caught me as I dropped. She fell off and the two of us tumbled onto the mat.

"You have to get out of here!" she muttered tersely.

<I killed,> I cried. <You don't understand, Rachel. I'm lost. I killed!>

"No. As long as you have me and the others, you aren't lost, Tobias."

Helping hands were clawing, trying to save Rachel from the crazed, out-of-control bird. She gave me a heave. Just enough to get me into the air. Anyone watching would have thought she was trying to get me off her.

I flapped up, just out of reach of a dozen hands that clawed the air trying to grab me. Someone threw a shopping bag at me. I dodged.

But there was no escape. Overhead I saw the skylight. Blue sky.

The hawk in my head wanted the sky. It knew safety was up in the high blue. The hawk powered straight up. Straight up at the glass that he didn't understand. The glass that would be like a brick wall.

But I couldn't fight it anymore. The hawk had won. I had killed. I had killed and eaten. And I had loved it. The ecstasy of the hunt.

Ecstasy!

In a second it would all be over. One more stroke of my powerful wings and the glass . . .

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a familiar face on the upper level. Suddenly, something shot past me. Small, white, stitched.

CRASH!

The baseball hit the glass just inches ahead of my beak. Just where Marco had aimed it. Glass shards fell around me. I shot through the hole.

Sky!

The hawk flew fast and straight.

I let it go. I surrendered.

Tobias, a boy whose face I could no longer remember, no longer existed.


I could comment further here. I could talk about the mall stores that don't exist anymore, and all that. I'm not going to.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



It looks to me like the real solution to keep Tobias in check is for the Animorphs to make bulk purchases of birdseed.

Radio Free Kobold
Aug 11, 2012

"Federal regulations mandate that at least 30% of our content must promote Reptilian or Draconic culture. This is DJ Scratch N' Sniff with the latest mermaid screeching on KBLD..."



I didn't even notice the mall stores that didn't exist. Holy poo poo, she put this in a kids book? And we're only just getting started?!

disaster pastor
May 1, 2007



Grimey Drawer

disaster pastor posted:

Speaking of things that people didn't do in books with a fourth-grade reading level...

Not an emptyquote.

Soup du Jour
Sep 8, 2011

I always knew I'd die with a headache.


Everyone loves Animorphs, the kids series where teens have fun animal adventures!

*3 books later*

We regret to inform you the hawk boy attempted suicide

Agaragon
Nov 16, 2018


This is just an overall observation, don't read too much into it...

But it genuinely amazes me how Animorphs never got put on any banned books lists. At least any that I'm aware of.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

Agaragon posted:

This is just an overall observation, don't read too much into it...

But it genuinely amazes me how Animorphs never got put on any banned books lists. At least any that I'm aware of.

I think a lot of it just slipped under the radar. They were thin kids books with kind of goofy covers, and came out at the same time as the Goosebumps books, which were a lot more popular, and it was Goosebumps that got most of the attention from the would be censors. It is kind of ironic, obviously, because Animorphs touched on a bunch of more mature topics, but they were wrapped around stories of kids turning into tigers and bears and hawks, and so the actual stuff in the books didn't get noticed.

Tree Bucket
Apr 1, 2016

GEORGIE?


KID'S FUN READING QUIZ- CHAPTER 15
1. Draw the animal you would most like to be!
2. Unscramble these words: HAKW MSOUE SQRRULIE
3. When Tobias seeks solace in oblivion and fails, what causes him more pain: the knowledge that he failed, or the fact that he tried?

Avalerion
Oct 19, 2012



Agaragon posted:

This is just an overall observation, don't read too much into it...

But it genuinely amazes me how Animorphs never got put on any banned books lists. At least any that I'm aware of.

Probably because the book doesn't actually call out the suicide attempt explicitly. Like how when anime ran on kids networks none ever died, they "passed to another plane" or whatever.

CidGregor
Sep 27, 2009

TG: if i were you i would just take that fucking devilbeast out behind the woodshed and blow its head off

Avalerion posted:

Probably because the book doesn't actually call out the suicide attempt explicitly. Like how when anime ran on kids networks none ever died, they "passed to another plane" or whatever.

First-run Dragonball Z dub was really fond of "sent to the next dimension." Even as a kid I thought that was cheesy as hell.

But yeah, drat, I forgot all about this whole "splat myself in the mall" sequence. And he specifically goes to where he knows Rachel is to do it, like he wants her to see it. That's way more unsettling to read now.

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Avalerion
Oct 19, 2012



CidGregor posted:

First-run Dragonball Z dub was really fond of "sent to the next dimension." Even as a kid I thought that was cheesy as hell.

DBZ is arguably the one series where that works since that's pretty much what death is, you even get to train while there.

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