Monday, September 30, 2013

Animorphs Re-Read: #2 The Visitor (Chapters 1-4)

Chapter 1

This book is narrated by Rachel.

And it starts off with the classic 'I can't tell you who we are or where we live'. Maybe this book won't be so bad after all! And then she talks about what she saw at the Yeerk pool at the end of the previous book when she mentions that infestation is worse than death.

Rachel says she still feels normal but she can do things a normal kid can't and thinks about things a normal kid doesn't.

Rachel is in her bald eagle morph and riding the thermal. It's described as fun and then quickly turns dark as she thinks about the Yeerk mother ship. That it could be above their head in outer space. I guess Applegate decided not to try and fool her readers that this is going to be a happy book.

Rachel explains what the Yeerks are and why they are invading Earth. She says that the Andalites are going to stop the Yeerks, but for now she and her friends are the only ones that can stop them. They're the only ones that know about the Yeerks.

She goes back to happy thoughts of her and the rest of the Animorphs flying. Jake is in his falcon morph and so has to flap his wings more often than the others.

Oh, shit, it looks like Rachel is about to talk about how Tobias is stuck in morph. Excuse me as I need to prepare for this by drinking an entire bottle of absinthe.

Tobias asks Rachel if she wants to try a dive. She only agrees because she doesn't like turning down a challenge.

Rachel gets a rush out of diving and then realizes she could die. It's not like her elephant morph where she could demorph and be fine. If she demorphs this far up she will die. And then she starts imagining this scenario.

Tobias tells Rachel to just let the eagle mind take over. Rachel then explains how when you morph an animal you get part of them in you. This means you have to deal with them. Sometimes you have to take control, sometimes you can't, and sometimes you have to work with it. I like this part of morphing meaning you really turn into the animal.

Jake, in his Peregrine falcon morph, can dive faster than Rachel. His wings are better at diving. This makes Rachel jealous. This is funny to me.

The fun is stopped by two guys shooting at them. So they don't just have to worry about Yeerks, they have to worry about actual people.

Rachel is pissed off because a bald eagle is an endangered species. She then comes up with a plan to not get shot down. She mentions, again, that there are times to let the animal mind take over and times to take control.

Rachel comes up with a plan and then dives. She mentions that a dive at a lower altitude is much scarier than taking a dive at a higher altitude. I am jealous of the bald eagle's eyesight as I am near sighted and have to wear glasses. I bet a near sighted bald eagle could still see better than me.

Rachel feels a thrill as she flies through the forest. She is very extreme!

Now I can see their plan: get right into the faces of the fuckers who were shooting at them!

Rachel goes for one of the guns and Tobias goes for the guy with the ponytail. Rachel flies off with the gun and Marco flies off with a beer can (he says something about the two people being too young to drink).

Rachel drops the gun a mile out at sea while Marco is a show off who throws the can into a trash can.

Cassie reminds them that the two hour limit is coming up. Rachel reminds the readers that after two hours you're stuck in morph. So glad that didn't happen to Tobias!

Chapter 2

The Animorphs go to the run-down church where they had originally morphed from. I never noticed this before, but: ABANDONED construction site and RUN-DOWN church.

Coincidence? Probably.

Cassie checks the time and saw they spent an hour and a half in morph. She thinks they should never spend longer than an hour and a half in morph.

When Rachel starts to demorph she wishes that she could affect her hair by morphing. She looks over to Jake and thinks that morphing looks really creepy. That people would panic if they didn't know everything would be alright at the end of the process.

Rachel looks at Marco demorphing and thinks it's gross. Marco, ever the joker, tells her that she doesn't look so good herself while demorphing. Rachel believes Marco and is glad she doesn't have a mirror.

So the mind of the animal you morph doesn't stay with you until you return to your original form? I somehow thought that while demorphing you are stuck with the animal mind until you finish the process.

Marco calls Rachel 'chicken legs' due to how her legs are looking in the demorphing process. Rachel points out that his legs look nearly as ridiculous as hers so he doesn't have room to speak.

Turns out that between books #1 and #2 that they had all learned how to morph into clothing like Cassie did in #1. They can only morph skintight clothing like leotards. Doesn't help them with clothing to keep warm or walk around in, but makes it so they don't see each other naked every time they demorph.

Rachel describes Jake and it turns out he still hasn't gotten over eating a spider while in lizard morph (which makes me oddly happy). Right now, though, he is talking about how great being a falcon is. He talks about he felt like he was freed when he morphed into a falcon.

Cassie, who is talented at controlling the morphing and demorphing processes, makes it so that her wings are the last things to go away. She spreads her wings/arms and it makes her look like an angel. I'm sure Jake has plans of what he'd like to do with that angel.

Then Jake asks if she could still fly. She points out that she weighs too much for flight to be possible.

Marco complains about how they all look horrible while morphing while Cassie gets to look like an angel.

Rachel talks about how her and Cassie have been friends for awhile. She goes into how Cassie doesn't care about what she wears. I connect with Cassie on a spiritual level with her views on clothing. I still don't give a shit about what I wear. I will reuse every piece of clothing, but underwear, before washing.

Rachel then goes how into animals Cassie's family is. That her father uses the barn as a Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic and her mother works at The Gardens. The Gardens is like Busch Gardens. Rachel thinks that it's Cassie's family that makes her talented at morphing.

Rachel doesn't consider herself Ms, Fashion but she is fashionable enough to make others thinks she's stuck up. She considers it an accident that she looks good. She also says she puts the most importance on the head while Cassie puts the most importance on the heart. Why am I wanting to ship them?

Rachel says that Cassie is the peacemaker of the group.

Marco tells Jake that he's glad to have his weak human eyesight since sometimes girls look better from far away. I don't get why Rachel calls him for being sexiest as sometimes people do look better far away than close up.  It's a sad but true fact. Though the use of skank does give Rachel a reason for getting annoyed (as I don't like the term 'slut' purely because it doesn't make sense, but that's a rant for a whole 'nother post).

Marco tries to save himself by pointing out that he looks taller from far away. He is embarrassed for being short. Rachel retorts that his height isn't the problem, it's the fact that people will eventually hear him talk.

Marco smiles and Rachel remarks that he just likes to provoke people. She does admit, though, that he is really smart and nice. She says that Marco and Jake are best friends. Marco thinks that the Animorphs should quit fighting, but she is unsure if he's serious or not.

Jake, Rachel, and Cassie complain about having to go back to their boring human lives after demorphing. Then they realize that what they said was careless, thoughtless, and mean sounding. Tobias is trapped in the form of a hawk and will never be able to become human again.

Chapter 3

Rachel mentions that morphing takes a lot out of a person. So Elfangor not morphing to heal his wounds make sense. Morphing isn't just this ability you can use without tiring yourself out.

Remember in The Invasion where I talked about the rules of thought-speak being changed and me being confused the first time reading this book? Here is the scene that made me confused. Now humans can only thought-speak while in morph. This is shown as the reason for not talking to Tobias as he flies overhead.

Marco starts a conversation about how they'd use their morphing abilities if they didn't have to worry about fighting/hiding their identities from the Yeerks. Marco, of course, would go into showbiz. Stuff like tv shows and movies. Hey, maybe if Marco comes to this Earth we could have a good quality Animorphs tv show (minus the parts where he decides to inflate his ego)!

Cassie, the moralist, said they'd be hot in horror movies. She is so true in that fact. She also can control her morphing ability, making it almost like an art form, that she could do wonders for a horror movie.

Jake brings up that they could also be stuntmen. They could jump off a high building and just morph into a bird so they wouldn't go SPLAT on the ground. Marco then gets really mad at the Yeerks for ruining his chance at showbiz and having supermodels all over him. Rachel jokes that the supermodels would only love Marco when he's morphed and then leave when he demorphs (as he'd have to do). Love their love/hate relationship!

The Animorphs walk by the abandoned construction site and Rachel recounts the events of the first book. Rachel ends her talk about the events of the first book where Visser Three ate Elfangor. She says if the reader wants to know about that to ask Jake (who narrated the first book).

Rachel notices Cassie crying and the moralist ends up talking about how she's having nightmares about the Yeerk pool. Cassie says that what's worse than the hosts screaming is when they stop because the Yeerk has re-entered them and taken control. Mind you these are thirteen year olds having to deal with the nightmares that would be hard for adults to handle.

Rachel tells the reader that they went to the Yeerk pool to rescue Tom and failed. They had tried to rescue Tom because he's Jake's brother. Tom is Jake's reason for fighting the Yeerks. Cassie tells Jake that someday they'll rescue Tom. Jake is embarrassed when he strokes Cassie's head and then backs away and Cassie knows it's because men don't like showing their true feelings. Er...okay?

Rachel sees Tobias land somewhere in the abandoned construction site, but can't tell where. However, she is certain that Tobias has landed where the Andalite died. She talks about how Tobias and Elfangor seemed to share a special connection in those few moments. None of the Animorphs yet know that Elfangor is Tobias' true father.

Rachel comments that they need to get back at the Yeerks as her feelings for Tobias get to her. Marco points out they already tried getting at the Yeerks and lost. Lost horribly at that. Rachel says they didn't lose, they gave the Yeerks a reason to fear them. Marco believes that isn't true and that Visser Three isn't slightly phased by them.

Rachel says that the Yeerks don't know they're human children. Because they can morph, the Yeerks think that they are Andalites and so the invaders are nervous. Jake says that Rachel is right but they shouldn't go back down to the Yeerk pool. Besides the obvious, the door to the Animorphs' first taste of nightmare fuel is gone.

Rachel argues that they can still follow Tom when his Yeerk goes to feed. Jake says to leave Tom out of it since if attention is brought to Jake's brother the Yeerks might decide to kill him. This is such a hard and mature decision for Jake to make. To allow his brother to stay infested in the hopes that one day he'll be able to be rescued. Because to continue to try and rescue Tom would mean Tom would have a better likelihood of being killed.

Marco, of course, is angry about still having to fight. He asks what is so important that they would continue to risk their lives. Cassie brings up the point about freedom. You know so all of humanity doesn't become taken over by the Yeerks.

Jake points out that they can find out more about the Yeerk invasion by going after Chapman, who is the Assistant Principal of the Animorphs' high school. Rachel knows the suggestion that Jake is going to make and says it for him. Jake wants to go after Melissa Chapman so they can go after Chapman.

Rachel says that Melissa used to be her friend but has been acting differently lately. Is she a Controller too?

Rachel says to the group that she doesn't like the idea of using a friend that way. Marco brings up the fact that Rachel suddenly is saying no and what about him? Rachel says he's not her friend but quickly says she was joking. Reminding Marco that he's a fellow Animorph and Melissa is just an innocent bystander.

Jake reminds Rachel that Melissa is Chapman's daughter which makes her involved whether she likes it or not. Rachel realizes Jake is correct. This doesn't make Rachel feel any better, though.

Chapter 4

Rachel mentions the mall and, I admit, I started wanting to go to malls because of this series. Before you start to tell me how insane that sounds just remember I was around ten years old when this series started.

She talks about how her gymnastic class at the YMCA isn't for getting ready to go to the Olympics, though she used to dream of being a famous gymnast one day. Rachel, in present day, doesn't have the build of a gymnast but a model.

Rachel says that her, and her fellow classmates in the gymnast class, aren't serious but do it for fun and exercise. She says she feels clumsy and that's a reason she does the class. She also say it's cool being a gymnast and compares it to flying. Yes, flying does win.

Melissa Chapman is the exception since she does look like a gymnast. Rachel uses the word pale too much in Melissa's initial description. Melissa doesn't greet Rachel as warmly as she used to.

They greet each other with common phrases, but Rachel wants to go forward on her mission. Melissa blushes when Rachel suggests going to the mall. Why do I have a sudden urge to ship these two? I swear I wasn't like this back in the good old days!

Rachel tries to sound casual, but Melissa says no. Rachel uses the term 'trapped animal' to describe her former friend. So Melissa isn't a Controller then...yes, I do know the answer but I don't like to spoil the ending too much.

Rachel is about to let Melissa go but then remembers that hanging with her former friend isn't something she wants to do, but has to do. Chapman is one of the Animorphs' most deadly enemies.

Rachel starts to demand Melissa say what is wrong. Though Melissa says things are fine, her expression shows that something isn't right. Rachel mentally reprimands herself for not noticing that something was wrong with her former friend earlier. She is only now noticing something is wrong with Melissa because that's her job right now.

Because of the thoughts going on in Rachel's head she is hardly able to concentrate on the lesson at hand. Because of that she hurts herself and Melissa is her old self for a precious few seconds. When Melissa goes back to her new self Rachel wonders if her former friend is a Controller.

Rachel doesn't go to the mall as the thoughts of the new Melissa keep on haunting her. Here is a girl who is not only feeling guilty about not being close to a former friend but fearing her former friend has been taken over by a Yeerk.

A guy calls to Rachel, trying to pick the Animorph up. As Rachel runs from the college guy she starts to morph. She doesn't morph all the way but stops when she thinks she looks creepy enough. I get that Rachel is young, scared, and so doesn't realize that morphing in front of someone is incredibly dangerous. The person might not be a Controller now but they might in the future and/or they'll give the information about a young person morphing to a Controller.
Animorphs Re-Read Table of Contents

Breaking Bad "Felina" Review

I talk about the roller coaster/thrill ride of a finale.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Animorphs Re-Read: #1 The Invasion (Chapters 25-27)

Chapter 25

Jake is a bad ass as a tiger. All that power and he doesn't remember all that he did. He was kicking a lot of ass in his battle morph. The fact that he is able to kick the asses of Hork-Bajir is just amazing.

Rachel is still kicking ass and Marco has morphed into gorilla. He makes a joke about being King Kong. Jake points out that Cassie was right in saying that gorillas are peaceful but can be very dangerous.

Jake says for them to chase the Hork-Bajir before they can get organized. Since, really, these teens haven't been in a real battle and their current success is born out of luck.

Jake and Marco charge while Rachel's morph allowed her just to plow through the Controllers. Marco punches anything that got in his way. Jake stays in the middle looking for any Controllers that thought they could beat the trio. Hork-Bajir and humans are afraid of the trio since they are strange. I guess even by the Animorphs' universe's standards.

The trio starts to release the prisoners and Jake wants to speak to Tom to tell him who he is. The end is in sight, but it is much too early for Tom's ending to be shown (whether good or bad).

Rachel points out that Cassie is next to be infested. Jake is confused about what he should do. If he should rescue Cassie or make sure Tom gets out. Marco reassures Jake that they will make sure that Tom gets out. Jake remarks that he will later think about the choice he makes later and that maybe things would've gone differently.

Jake and Tobias go to rescue Cassie. She is given time to escape and tells the others to run before she morphs into a horse.

Cassie and Jake bo back to the others. Now the Controllers have weapons. But the Animorphs can still kick ass. They can get through anything!

But now Visser Three has appeared. He has an Andalite's body and, therefore, the ability to morph. He has traveled throughout the galaxy acquiring morphs unlike anything on Earth. The Animorphs have seen one when he morphed to eat Elfangor. Shit is going to get real!

Visser Three says the Taxxon thinks the Animorphs are just wild animals. I know Taxxons have the strong emotion of hunger, but I never took them as dumb. Or maybe this Taxxon is just a dumb one.

Visser Three says he knows that the Animorphs are Andalites and then proceeds to morph into something horrific. Jake realizes he had been wrong to be hopeful.

Chapter 26

Visser Three morphs a creature that has a thing for the number eight. His morph is just terrifying. It makes me quiver. Again, these books were for kids!

Jake's human and tiger minds are both equally scared. Jake thought that, while morphed, they could take on anything. That there would be nothing to stop them. However, whatever Visser Three has just morphed is impossible for any of them to take on. Jake gives the order to retreat.

Cassie takes two humans on her back. Visser Three isn't worried that they're running, he says it just gives him more of a challenge. The Visser throws a fireball that hits one of the women riding on Cassie's back. That woman falls down. The Visser then continues to throw fireballs all over the damn place.

Now I'm scared, but anything that uses fireballs as a weapon is cool in my book.

Jake says again to run and head for the stairs. While some are able to escape Visser Three's monstrous morph, Taxxons make sure that they can get those who escape the Visser. Tom is trying to fight the Taxxons as best as he can.

Rachel and Marco continue to fight as to not be captured by the Taxxons. Jake tells Rachel to morph back because her elephant morph can't handle stairs all that well.

As they get close to the Yeerk pool entrance, Jake notices all the people they saved have either been recaptured or killed. Tom ends up going after Visser Three with nothing but his fists. This is just too heartbreaking as Tom is the reason Jake started fighting, but it shows that Jake can have great strength if his brother is willing to risk so much. So on one hand I'm cheering Tom on, but on the other hand I'm yelling at him for being such an idiot.

Jake goes crazy as he thinks Tom is dead. Jake goes to attack Visser Three and then retreats.

Chapter 27

I think it's only because Visser Three's morph was too large that the Animorphs got out alive. The Visser yells at them that it doesn't matter because they'll die anyways, but Jake does know it does matter that they got away alive.

The only person to be freed was a woman and Cassie got out clean. There is a head canon that a crazy woman that appears later in the series is this woman. I like to believe this head canon even though Applegate has said the crazy woman is totally random.

The policeman that had captured Cassie was the only one to know her personal information. She said that they don't have to worry about him anymore and it's hinted that he died in the battle...well mission with a 'hope it turns out well' attitude.

Tom wasn't freed and that makes Jake very sad. Well, something more than sad. I don't think the entire sad spectrum could explain what Jake felt when Tom wasn't freed.

It isn't until the morning that Tobias comes to visit Jake. Jake is excited that Tobias got out alive. Jake thought that Tobias had been caught while demorphing. Jake says that it's good enough that Tobias is alive and bird-boy agrees with him.

Jake tells Tobias to demorph, but he knows something is wrong. Tobias explains that getting out of the Yeerk pool took too long and he is now stuck in his red-tail hawk morph.

I never noticed this before: but isn't it possible Tobias is lying? Maybe he did escape in time but didn't want to demorph. He wanted to be stuck in morph so bad that this makes sense. It is my head canon, and also supported in the series itself, that Tobias meant to get stuck in morph.

I am getting teary eyed. I hate seeing Tobias being at such a low point.

Is it my imagination that Jake and Tobias would make a very cute couple?

Tobias says that the Andalites will come and Jake agrees to fight until they come.

I enjoy seeing how the series began. How the Andalites were once painted as the saviors of humanity and good people. While the Yeerks were all bad guys. That there were no shades of grey. A simpler time. It's also nice seeing how the Animorphs first got started. I forgot how against fighting Marco was at the beginning.

Finally: I always thought Jake (on the cover of this book) looks like a girl.

The next book in the Animorphs series I will be Re-Reading will be
Animorphs Re-Read Table of Contents

Mini-LP: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (Parts 4-6)

I go up against Darth Vader and the Emperor.

Mini-LP: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Table of Contents 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Animorphs Re-Read: #1 The Invasion (Chapters 21-24)

Chapter 21

So writers don't enjoy tv shows? I write and I enjoy tv shows. At the time of first reading this book I wasn't big into tv shows and preferred reading book. Well, at least, we know what Jake's mother does for a living.

The family dinner conversation starts out nice and then I feel it tenses up when Jake talks to Tom.

Jake manages to relate eating broccoli to eating a spider. If I ever meet him (most likely through a dream or hallucination) I'm going to ask about if he wants to eat a spider with me. Or something relating to him eating a spider.

Jake continues to ask Tom what he's doing tonight and his Dad says it's a girl. But Jake knows the truth and also knows he can't tell his parents. So Jake's Dad is a doctor?

Jake says that Tom is afraid of him beating him in basketball. Tom angrily agrees with him. Jake thinks about how hard it is to spot a Controller.

When Tom leaves, Jake goes up to his room and calls Marco, Rachel, Cassie, and Tobias. But when he goes to call Cassie he gets her Mom. The plot thickens!

Jake arrives at the school and hopes Cassie is there. He sees Rachel and Marco. Tobias is already in morph and this makes Jake very mad. There's the two hour limit and the fact Jake doesn't know how long this mission will last. This supports my head canon about what happens to Tobias at the end of this book.

Rachel suggests they wait until they know what happened to Cassie. Marco says that it's possible that Cassie got scared and decided not to come. Jake doesn't think she did, but has heard it says you don't know how someone will react to their first battle. I don't like that Marco said Cassie ran, but I can see that he's trying to unnerve Jake not to fight. Because Marco, himself, doesn't want to fight.

Jake's is afraid and so she can see why the love of his life decided not to come.

Tobias lands on Rachel's shoulder, she doesn't mind, and they rub their heads against each other. AW! Just so damn cute, you two!

Tobias asks if they're going to start the mission soon and Jake is worried. Cassie is missing and Tobias is already in morph. They manage to sneak into the school and see Controllers entering the Yeerk pool.

Rachel suggests that they pretend to be Controllers on the off chance that not every Controller knows each other. Marco says it's a very dumb idea but Jake says to try it. Marco points out that Tom would know Jake wasn't a Controller. Jake says he thinks Tom is already down in the Yeerk pool.

Jake sees a policeman with a girl. Tobias reports that the girl is Cassie. Jake breaks down verbally and says that the Controllers have Cassie.

Chapter 22

Rachel asks for clarification and then curses. Again, because this is a Young Adult series there isn't any cursing allowed. A lot of violence, but lord help us if one of the characters says fuck.

Jake says to carry on with the original plan even though Cassie has been captured. Marco doesn't like the idea but agrees to go along with it anyways. They are all nervous as they start to walk to the entrance of the Yeerk pool.

When Jake opens the secret door he notices there is more noise than earlier that day. He thinks this might be an illusion because he's now human. Marco makes a remark that it sounds like they're going into the depths of Hell. And, really, aren't they?

They go through the Yeerk pool entrance together. Marco makes a joke about all the steps needed to get down to the Yeerk pool. And he does have a point. This superior race of beings is still stuck on the steps stage.

The Yeerk pool is described as being extremely huge and shaped like a bowl that has been turned upside down. As I have just finished reading Under the Dome (by Stephen King) I would like to make a joke referencing that book but can't think of a good one. Feel free to make your own in the comments section.

The Animorphs realize that the Yeerk pool isn't just under their school, but under half the town too. That there are more entrances than the one they used. Marco nearly pisses his pants at the realization. Jake starts to feel like it's hopeless to go up against the Yeerks as to build the Yeerk pool, the invading aliens had to have power much greater than any human had. Much less human teenagers.

Jake sees the actual Yeerk pool. The water's movements resemble melted lead and has the same color. He also sees Yeerks in their natural state.

The Yeerks' hosts are kept in cages. People of all ages and sexes are kept in the cages. Hork-Bajirs are kept in separate cages. Every one of them is full of despair and you can tell they have given up all hope.

Jake sees Cassie and wants to morph and save her. Luckily the other Animorphs are able to dissuade him from this idea.

The Animorphs see the sight of a Yeerk leaving its host and entering the Yeerk pool. The woman starts screaming for help once the Yeerk leaves her. I can imagine that this gives the Animorphs major incentive to carry on with their mission.

Chapter 23

Jake mentions what the woman had been yelling out was the same basic thing that everyone had been yelling. But they hadn't had a face to put the words too until that woman. I can understand that it's really not until you have personal experience with an emotion that you fully comprehend it.

There is a second pier that Jake calls the loading station (though he later calls it the infestation station). Such a normal, unassuming title that you forgot for a second that it's where the Yeerks go back into their hosts. Where people try to resist before becoming slaves of the Yeerks again.

There is another area where hosts wait in comfort to become infested again. Humans and Hork-Bajir drink and watch tv. These people are even laughing. Tobias explains that those are voluntary hosts, aka Collaborators, who allow the Yeerks to use them as hosts.

Rachel doesn't believe any person would agree to that and Marco replies that some people are just scum.

Tobias brings up the point that The Sharing lures people in with promises of a better life. A way to escape their pain. Marco then points out Tobias is doing the same thing with his hawk morph. Tobias then flies away and Jake yells after him.

Marco has a point and I wonder if he brought up his last point because he cared. It might've been born from anger, but meant to bring bird-boy back to reality.

Rachel tells Marco not to be a jerk to Tobias as the group needs everyone.

Tobias returns and says that Cassie is being taken to the infestation pier. As you can guess, there will be a way in which Cassie doesn't become a Controller. I would say the reason is because she's one of the main cast and so can't be made into one. However, later on in the series an Animorph does become a Controller for a little bit. So I would say the reason you know she isn't going to become a Controller is that this is only the first book.

Jake asks Tobias if he saw Tom and if he is a voluntary host. Tobias says that Tom is in a cage and this makes Jake happy. He knew his brother wouldn't bow down to the Yeerks.

Tobias says that Cassie is getting close and that they need to act now. Marco takes a few seconds to tell Jake that he is okay with dying, but he doesn't want to become a Controller. So if Jake has to, Marco gives the okay to kill him if the Yeerks try to infest him. That is hard core! Marco, you are a joker but you know when to make your stand. The stands that really matter.

Before Jake can reassure Marco, some Controllers notice them. Jake gets too nervous to morph, but luckily Rachel has kept her calm. She is morphing something very large.

Chapter 24

Rachel morphs into an elephant and is very pleased with herself. Jake is also happy that Rachel morphed. The Taxxon Controller notices her first and the Hork-Bajir Controller attempts to attack her. But the Hork-Bajir did too little, too late. Turns out Taxxons have yellow blood.

The human Controller just says 'Elephant' in questioning manner and Rachel replies that she's an elephant. It's only Rachel's first battle and you can get a sense that she'll become very bloodthirsty, or at least have problems with that part of her personality.

The man screams and Rachel just tosses him aside.

Jake orders Marco to morph and the joker says to be reminded never to make Rachel mad.

As Jake starts to morph he starts considering what the tiger will think of him morphing into it. I find this strange as I wouldn't think Jake would consider a tiger's feelings something to worry about. How Jake describes morphing into a tiger is much different than when he morphed into Homer and the lizard. Morphing into a tiger is cool.

Jake is now fearless and roars at the Hork-Bajir who then freezes up for a few seconds.
Animorphs Re-Read Table of Contents

Friday, September 20, 2013

Under the Dome (Stephen King)

Title: Under the Dome

Author: Stephen King

Released: 2009

Rating: 6/5

Basic Plot: A mysterious dome drops around the town of Chester's Mill. A man decides to try and take control of the town while others, lead by a drifter, attempt to stop him. All the while time runs out for Chester's Mill.

Big Jim
This character is unlikable from the first page he appears on. His whole thing is that he must always be right and will kill those who speak out against him. From his first appearance you don't want him in charge of the town. Jim says that he cares about Chester's Mill, he even thinks that in various parts of the novel, but he never really does. He thinks people need to be controlled because they are stupid and he has never tried to actually give the town the help it needs even before Dome came. As he's the big bad of the book, you know he'll survive close to the end and you merely hope his death scene will be glorious.

Children Are Wicked
I am not saying all children are of the devil, but multiple times in this novel it's shown that some children are violent and that when you get older certain violent behavior goes away. Well...for some people. Violent behavior being things like burning ants with a magnifying glass and burning barbies in a microwave. Anytime those violent behaviors carry over to the time the person is an adult or are kept as is, it's not shown as good. All children aren't shown as violent as three teens are crucial to the town's survival.

In this book there is a rape scene...well, technically more than one. But only one major rape scene (those of you triggered by rape: I only remember two...and one person having sex with corpses is only implied/talked about and never shown). This rape scene serves to show how brutal the police force has gotten as well as how certain professions are looked down upon. It is these two reasons, as well as the rape itself, that makes the scene so terrifying. I must say that when the victim/survivor gets her vengeance, it is a good payoff (I would've been more horrified if all the rapists survived until the end).

Final Thoughts
This book is long (over a thousand pages), but well worth it. The length of the book allows things to develop well. As it's really a study of how quickly a society (in this case a small town) breaks down when put under pressure. How sometimes the reason for it all isn't something grandiose merely because sometimes horrible things happen because of ignorance and a lack of empathy. I love how it's shown how political positions can make a person feel they have a reason to act. There are parts of this book that will make you long for the conclusion of a subplot and it won't be answered for many pages. As for the tv show...I have only seen the first six episodes and I suggest finishing the current season(s) of the tv or finishing the book before going to the other medium. Both are set in two different universes where characters either have different backstories or are living.

Animorphs Re-Read: #1 The Invasion (Chapters 17-20)

Chapter 17

And of course the lizard tail comes off with no problem. It's really common knowledge that a lizard regrows its tail. This is done because the tail will act like it's alive which allows the lizard to escape while the predator is distracted.

Jake thinks that the person had tried to kill him but realizes it had been an accident. The person ends up being Chapman and so our fearless leader decides to follow him. This he decides to do since the Controller might reveal information that would allow Jake to help Tom.

Jake thinks about what would happen if things went wrong. Cassie had mentioned that it could take days of spying on the Assistant Principal. This would cause problems since there's the two hour limit as well as the fact Jake would be skipping classes.

Jake finds it humorous to think that if he got caught for skipping classes he would get sent to Chapman.

Chapman stops at a door and Jake wonders if it's the Assistant Principal's office. It becomes quickly apparent that it is the janitor's closet. The Animorph watches as Chapman opens a secret door.

And Jake has found where the Yeerk pool is.

The only thing I disagree with is when he says 'mindless slave of the Yeerks' as becoming a Controller doesn't make you brainless/unable to think. It just means you can't control your own body.

Chapter 18

Jake tells them about the screams from the Yeerk pool. Turns out that he's so grossed out from eating that spider (and I didn't mention every time he thought about eating it in the previous chapter) that he's eating nachos. Well...he makes mention of the fact that after eating the spider he has a big desire to eat a ton of junk food.

Marco, being the voice of denial in this book, says that it's possible Jake was only imagining the screaming. This because Jake wasn't able to really comprehend what his lizard ears were hearing. Cassie and Rachel both think that they need to do something about the Yeerk pool.

Rachel and Marco get into an argument because they have two very different opinions on whether to fight the Yeerks or not. Rachel wants to fight while Marco doesn't. Rachel says that Marco is being selfish while Cassie brings up the point that he's worried what his dad will do if he dies. Rachel counters Cassie's point by saying that they all have family to worry about.

Tobias points out that no one cares about him. Rachel says she does and I'm getting a bunch of Tobias/Rachel feels right now.

Jake says he's going to the Yeerk pool for Tom. Tobias says he'll go for his Andalite aka Elfangor. Rachel says she's scared but will still join Jake in his mission. Marco says he doesn't want to and Jake says he doesn't have to. Marco calls Jake a jerk and says that no matter what, Jake is his friend and so he has to. He'll go to rescue Tom but then he's out.

Cassie points out that the Andalite morphing technology is like people like Native Americans calling on the spirits of animals for strength. It's a nice sentimental moment that Marco, of course, ruins.

Rachel points out that they'll need more powerful morphs of animals that won't be so easy to acquire. They end up deciding to go to The Gardens to get some battle morphs. Marco says that they all can get in for free for being Animorphs.

He said the title!

Jake says the name is just 'okay'.

Chapter 19

They decide to catch a bus from the mall to The Gardens. Tobias doesn't want to have any other morph than his red-tailed hawk morph. Rachel points out that they should acquire as many useful morphs as possible as their ability to morph is their greatest strength.

Jake wonders what morph would be useful against the morph Visser Three used when he ate Elfangor. Marco jokes that they could morph into fleas and itch him to death. Marco then brings up the point that he's never morphed before and is therefore still normal. Cassie says that she still feels normal.

Marco points out that turning into a horse is something that normal people can't do. He then adds that Jake turning into a lizard doesn't make him different, since our fearless leader has always been a reptile.

 Jake is happy to have Marco with them even if Marco is being too happy.

Jake says that The Gardens is one of his favorite places to go on a normal day. His description of the park/zoo reminds me of Busch Gardens. I would bring up SeaWorld, however it's not as big on rides as Busch Gardens is.

Cassie says for them not to look suspicious as she's taking her fellow Animorphs behind the scenes where they aren't supposed to go. She makes a comment that she can't help save the world if she's grounded. Jake trusts Cassie to know her way around as he doesn't know where to go.

Cassie asks if anyone wants to acquire a gorilla for their battle morph. She words it so that the question is implied and not outright stated. It takes Jake a moment to realize what Cassie asked.

Rachel asks Marco if he wants to acquire the gorilla and insults him while doing so. Marco doesn't jump at the idea so Jake insults Marco for being a coward. This works and Marco agrees to acquire the gorilla for his battle morph.

Marco asks if the gorilla (Big Jim) is gentle and Cassie says yes. She then quietly adds that they get violent when mad. The plan is to lure the gorilla to Marco by having the Animorph hold out an apple and hope Big Jim is hungry.

Luckily Big Jim is hungry. I must add that I have finished reading Under the Dome by Stephen King (the written review is upcoming) and the bad guy in that book is called Big Jim. Sort of unnerving like the character called Ezra in Ray Donovan when I'm used to the Ezra in Pretty Little Liars.

Jake tells Marco that the gorilla will go into a trance like state. Marco then grabs Big Jim's wrist and starts to concentrate on acquiring him. I swear Tobias is meaning to be an ass when he talks about how easily the gorilla could kill Marco. Marco is not amused and tells bird-boy to shut up.

Someone comes and Cassie says to just act natural. She says it'll only be a problem if it's a security guy. Luckily there isn't a problem and then the question is what morph to acquire next. Rachel starts going towards the dolphin exhibit because she loves dolphins.

I would say this is stupid but having the ability to acquire any animal is like being in a candy store. I know the first morph I'd want to acquire would be a raven, but I don't live in an area with ravens so that'd be difficult for me to do.

Marco reminds Rachel that they're looking for useful morphs which means they need animals with firepower. Jake tells his fellow Animorphs to stick together. Then a voice asks what they're doing behind the scenes. Cassie says that she doesn't want to be caught and then brought to her mom.

The security guard decides to chase after Jake and Marco since they look very suspicious. Marco and Jake decide to escape on a golf cart. I am excited!

And, yep, Marco starts of by driving straight into a wall. He quickly is able to actually drive (still isn't good, though), but the problem is that neither of the boys knows where anything is. Jake falls out of the golf cart because of Marco's lack of driving skills and jokes about what would happen if he had actually been injured.

Marco says that they can barely beat zoo security so what makes Jake think that they can beat the Yeerks. Jake points out that they haven't beaten zoo security yet. They ditch the cart and pick a random door to go into. They get out of the room when they see it hold a rhinoceros.

They go into another room and see that they are in an exhibit. A jungle one and they don't know what animal is in it. Marco asks how they get out of the exhibit.

Marco then asks what Jake is thinking: why haven't the guards come after them yet?

Jake says he's trying not to think about that answer as he's trying not to panic. Jake's butt touches something warm and Marco is pale white. This is a feat as he's usually dark and tanned.

I never noticed the importance of having a PoC as a main character in this series when I first read it. I didn't realize that PoC having representation in media was a problem and that Applegate was awesome for doing this. I'm not saying color blindness is a good thing, but there are certain things I didn't notice so much as a child.

Oh, and Jake's butt is up against a tiger.

Chapter 20

And Jake says another 'too be exact'. This time clarifying that the tiger is a Siberian tiger. Jake points out that surviving an attack with a tiger is impossible for a human.

Marco wants to run while Jake thinks that acquiring the tiger is the best option for survival. This is because when you acquire a morph the animal goes into a trance like state. Marco's reply of how stupid that idea is makes me smile.

Jake tries to control his breathing so that he can calm down enough to acquire the tiger. He mentions that the technique isn't working for him. Jake and Marco talk to the tiger in a vain attempt to have the animal not kill them.

When Jake acquires the tiger he is concentrating very hard on it. Basically he focuses very hard on the reasons why the tiger could kill him very easily. Before Jake breaks contact, and him and his best friend attempt to run away, he realizes that all the power that could kill him has now become a part of him. And that makes him respect the tiger and think it is beautiful.

Marco replies that Jake is right but they should run away quickly. It's interesting to note that the tiger versus lion question is answered in the Animorphs books known as 'The David Trilogy'.

As the duo starts to run away another tiger is seen. The people looking into the exhibit can now see them and start screaming. As they exit the exhibit the guards point at them and yell for them to stop. Marco asks Jake if they should morph. Jake says no and they just hide in the crowd. They reach the entrance to the park safely.

I feel like Marco asking Jake if they should morph was done out of fear as the idea is downright stupid. If anyone noticed the two morphing they would be caught by the Yeerks. If infested the pair would endanger the other three.

The other three, it turns out, weren't chased at all due to losing the guards easily. I am extremely pissed off that the other three don't believe Marco and Jake. Yes, trust your leader to follow him to life threatening situations but don't believe him when he talks about nearly being killed when you weren't there.

What the bloody fuck?

Rachel says that they shouldn't think about nearly being killed because they'll nearly be killed later that night anyways. How the fuck does that make sense? Oh, yeah, because it didn't happen to her.
Animorphs Re-Read Table of Contents