Author Topic: Group Re-Read: #41 The Familiar  (Read 10673 times)

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Offline Gafrash

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Re: Group Re-Read: #41 The Familiar
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2010, 10:30:35 PM »
6) I always figure this was whatever being shunted Crayak out of a galaxy before coming here (and being a space time master; curious if it still outmatches Crayak) Really, I take as an allusion to as close a "God" KA puts in the series. idk why. But
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Because it felt like a mental experiment on a human specimen, I've always liked to entertain the thought of the good old Skrit Na being at play here.
:wow: dude, you just blew my ***ing mind! Seriously, I wasn't gonna do this till later, and it's messing up my studying now, but I read this and nearly screamed. I love it, awesome theory, never even considered it before, and now it's what I'll probably think everytime I read this. It makes perfect sense to me, and just puts so much potential back into one of the established though really unexplored stories of the series. Awesome.
7) Again, agreeing with Gafrash and will add whoever was doing this apparently knows how to push a kids buttons. Disappointed they made the little mistakes, like marco's rank slip-up but whatever.
8 ) Kinda wish they hadn't done the enter and drop thing, orff, whatever was in control etc, but hey. This book is filler. Nothing really added, so everythings basically bfd, and you may have to manipulate a few things to keep it canon, but oh well. At least now I have more fun things to do next time I try and give skrit na a place in the universe  ;D (Seriously, nearly exploded my head as soon as the idea was contemplated. No joke)
Huahahahahuah! You cracked me up, RTYX-dude!!! I had thought about this ages ago, and it only resurfaced in me in this thread now, too. The more I think about it, the more the Skrit Na, seemed at play. I don't know where I read, but KA revealled not wanting to overuse the Ellimist or Cryak, the equivalent of gods in the Aniverse. The similar events of MM#4 sort of cancel out the Drode being behind this story. Yeerk scientists could have done some mental implant. The Chee could have even done a test on Jake through the use of holograms, but that would have been kinda cruel for their nature.
The Skrit Na left much to be desired in the series, huh?!


7)   How much of this book do you think was a manifestation of all the horrible, petrifying, debilitating and terrible acts that Jake has committed since becoming an Animorph? I am specifically thinking about the scene where all of Jake’s dead victims appear.

This book contains some truly horrific images. I remember the first time I read it, I thought it must be a dream from the very beginning. The disgustingly casual way Jake introduces himself as he disembowlels some Hork-Bajir Controller or something is unsettling enough, but then it’s followed by copious images of Jake fighting with his guts literally hanging outside of himself, of his ear getting ripped off, etc. Then the scene on pages 80-83 comes along, when all of the mutilated corpses of Controllers Jake has killed are coming after him—like something out of “Thriller,” but without the awesome dance moves. Maybe it's just my irrational fear of gruesome back-from-the-dead things, but my skin was crawling at this point.

Oddly enough, I don’t think any of this really affects Jake that much. It certainly isn’t what pushes him back into a frame of mind for good leadership. Sure, it wigs him out, but he agonizes way more over whether or not he should attack his father, or whether or not he should save Cassie. We never hear about Jake’s weird half-dead-victims vision again.

If this book is an experiment run by the unknown being who remarks on Jake’s “interesting choice” at the end, I think the being's goal is to discover Jake’s motivators. Here, it discovers that guilt isn’t one of them.
I like your points here, KitsuneMarie. Yeah, this was definitely one of the darker books of the series. And I think this is one of the reasons it is too similar in tone to MM#4. The scene where Jake sees all his fallen opponents, played with my imagination when I first read it, too. And, I agree, it was on a par with the dream scenes of #The Return
But you've summed the point of the story well. Those behind it must have recognized Jake for being the strong character that he is, and were curious about what drives a human his age as a leader in this war. They watch and study his reactions when he sees what's happened to his planet, friends, Tom, dad.... By the end of the book, contrary to what we are led to believe, we realize that guilt isn't one of the motivators.

...I just read an interesting theory that it was caused by the Orff, since they were the only new element introduced into this new future...
The Orff!!! That's the name of the new Controller species I was trying to remember, here.
If you like making the links, as I do, note that, it is around here that the Yeerks are investing/interested in the Anati System. Could the Orff be a species that the Yeerks had gotten a hold of there, and that the aliens behind this simply used to a more accurate portrayal of the future events?!?!?!

I see Russian is another person who believes jake wasn't picked out like the others besides Rachel. I don' really see anything about him that the team absolutely needed. Leadership skills can be honed by anyone, and the main reason jake is the leader is because in the beginning Marco said he was. but that's another topic...
Dude, I am not a 100% with this one. Though I hate the concept that the Anis were all handpicked by the Ellimist/destiny/whatever, I don't think Jake's leadership skills is something anyone has or can be taught.
If you remember, Jake's skills surfaced quite naturally, it was something established early in the series, he's just the kinda guy everyone turns to when they need form and efficiency.
Not everyone (certainly not me) that can make the calls he has had to under the same circumstances, during those war situations. A skill, it is, invaluable to the team, been proven more than once. I think NATURAL LEADERSHIP is a little more complex than something that can be taught.


...The KA-written books worked so well, I think, because they never really latched onto a "genre." I keep trying to think of better ways to explain it, but it has to do with both genre and tone...I mean, Marco and Rachel can be flirting-I-mean-bickering on page 38 and then on page 40 they're traipsing through a battleground full of grisly dead bodies, you know? I think one of KA's best skills as a writer was the ability to give you the worst mood whiplash, to throw you from sappy romance to horrific violence to adolescent comedy and back without even knowing how you got there. You were bounced around all the time, which kept things fresh, unexpected, and really really readable.

Enter the ghostwriters.

They were not as skilled at this. But they tried. But rather than snapping back and forth between entirely different genres, often times the ghostwriters fell back on sort of dead genres, genres that are kind of corny and silly at this point, genres that don't really work anymore. This wasn't always the case--I think the point of a lot of these ghostwritten books was to put the Animorphs story through different subgenres of science fiction. We get our cyberpunk, our space operas, our epics, and now, our postapocalyptic future. I hadn't read this book the first time until like three months ago, because when I was 13 I think I had an inkling this is where the series was headed, and I was NOT OKAY WITH THAT. Then I actually read 1984 and saw The Terminator and A Boy and his Dog and realized, hey, you know what? Postapocalyptic fiction is like my favorite genre ever. Seriously, I even loved the newest Terminator movie just because that's exactly what it was.

So I actually really liked this book.

Until the end.

This book manages to be a pretty convincing post-apocalyptic thriller until that stupid scene with Controller!Marco, damsel-in-distress!Cassie, and whatever button Jake had to push or not push or whatever. Because at that point, it devolved into Ed Wood schlock. Campy, unbelievable, out-of-character crap. I mean, they were actually working on a MOON RAY. It nauseated me.

This same strategy is used in #33 to much, much different affect. They set you up with all of these expectations and then do something completely different...like I said, the ghostwriters weren't as good at this as KA, but sometimes it just WORKED.
I like this analysis. The written creativity is evident on the styles of the author vs the ghostwriters.

Offline CounterInstinct

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Re: Group Re-Read: #41 The Familiar
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2010, 11:25:42 AM »
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This book manages to be a pretty convincing post-apocalyptic thriller until that stupid scene with Controller!Marco, damsel-in-distress!Cassie, and whatever button Jake had to push or not push or whatever. Because at that point, it devolved into Ed Wood schlock. Campy, unbelievable, out-of-character crap. I mean, they were actually working on a MOON RAY. It nauseated me.

I agree. This sounded silly. BUT. a big BUT (pun not intended). But has anyone considered the possibility that it was only just a dream? An ordinary dream and not some Ellimist trick?

Dreams are our frustrations or insecurties, possibly desires. Cassie being a damsel in distress, Rachel's injury, Marco's hell... and sometimes not being able to morph. It really sounds like one of those dreams where your fears come true.
I'm just a writer, and my main goal was always to entertain. But I've never let Animorphs turn into just another painless video game version of war, and I wasn't going to do it at the end. I've spent 60 books telling a strange, fanciful war story, sometimes very seriously, sometimes more tongue-in-cheek. I've written a lot of action and a lot of humor and a lot of sheer nonsense. But I have also, again and again, challenged readers to think about what they were reading. To th

Offline Vanish

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Re: Group Re-Read: #41 The Familiar
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2010, 03:17:35 AM »
I hated this book! ugh!  >:(
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Offline Aluminator (Kit)

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Re: Group Re-Read: #41 The Familiar
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2010, 11:14:30 AM »
Quote
This book manages to be a pretty convincing post-apocalyptic thriller until that stupid scene with Controller!Marco, damsel-in-distress!Cassie, and whatever button Jake had to push or not push or whatever. Because at that point, it devolved into Ed Wood schlock. Campy, unbelievable, out-of-character crap. I mean, they were actually working on a MOON RAY. It nauseated me.

I agree. This sounded silly. BUT. a big BUT (pun not intended). But has anyone considered the possibility that it was only just a dream? An ordinary dream and not some Ellimist trick?

Dreams are our frustrations or insecurties, possibly desires. Cassie being a damsel in distress, Rachel's injury, Marco's hell... and sometimes not being able to morph. It really sounds like one of those dreams where your fears come true.

Whoa. The book actually makes sense if you look at it like that. Sort of a glimpse inside the mind of a struggling Animorph leader, instead of some crazy time-travel event involving a dangling plot thread. I like it.

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Offline SkyMorpher

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Re: Group Re-Read: #41 The Familiar
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2011, 03:39:22 PM »
I always liked this one, mostly because I'm a sucker for both dystopian and post-apocalyptic stuff.

Did anyone consider The One as a candidate for whoever was in charge of this?

Offline Chad32

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Re: Group Re-Read: #41 The Familiar
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2011, 07:42:40 PM »
I always liked this one, mostly because I'm a sucker for both dystopian and post-apocalyptic stuff.

Did anyone consider The One as a candidate for whoever was in charge of this?

That seems to be the popular opinion. Lots of people think this is The One, but I think KA debunked it somewhere.


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Offline RYTX

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Re: Group Re-Read: #41 The Familiar
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2011, 08:14:08 PM »
That gives me a thought:

Though I've never been one to buy that hypothesis anyway, I can't help but think that it doesn't matter if KA debunked it somewhere, since she never definitely debunked it in the books.

It's like the Dumbledore is gay thing.  Until she writes the 8th book, which has 4 lines, one of which is "Grindlewald; oh yeah I'd hit that" it's not legit.

The author can say whatever she wants, but canon is what's in print; since this is never really defined, all doors are still open.
Course that makes KASU's a bit more complicated....

And I've abandoned the skrit na Gafrash I'm afraid.

I feel I've just said something dumb that'll put me in a hole.
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Offline SkyMorpher

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Re: Group Re-Read: #41 The Familiar
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2011, 11:56:47 PM »
Why'd you abandon them? *curious*

Offline RYTX

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Re: Group Re-Read: #41 The Familiar
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2011, 12:13:03 AM »
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"All was blackness when I heard the voice.
A strange voice. Old and young. Male and female.
Echoing in my mind like distant thoughtspeak.
It was not the Ellimist. No. It was a voice I'd never heard."

Possibly a manipulation they set up, but the quality of the voice, young and old, male and female simultaneously, it sounds to me like a mode of communication beyond physical dimensions, on par with or above the Ellimist's multi-modal plane of existence.
And Skrit Na just speak (See TAC)
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Offline Gafrash

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Re: Group Re-Read: #41 The Familiar
« Reply #24 on: May 21, 2012, 01:09:47 AM »
From memory, there were TWO voices Jake heard during that final scene (ref.a short dialogue). No reason why Jake's distinction couldn't refer to one voice belonging to that of a male/older alien and the other voice female/younger of the same kind, or vice-versa. The Anis technically never seen/met the good old Skrit Nas.
Whereas, I always thought of The One as a form of The Cryak, because in #54 I was under the impression that Jake seemed to recognize the entity/being as pure evil, as if he had come across it once before.

During #The Revenge, Cryak buggered Rachel's mind in a much more menacingly blunt way, which Rachel was ultimately able to call him on it.
The event here was more deliberately subtle and shady, indeed like a test, you could almost picture the aliens monitoring Jake's sleeping body and crafting dystopian images onto his lucid REM-sleep or someething, to study how he reacts. The handful of slipups not withstanding, it was clearly of an experimental nature. Not Cryak's trademark at all.

Still, clear as that aspect was, whether because it was ghostwritten, or a KASU or whatever, it was intentionally left open and vague. So I am forced to hereby digress...
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 01:14:07 AM by Gafrash »