Author Topic: Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey  (Read 3449 times)

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Offline Terenia

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Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey
« on: January 24, 2010, 05:33:29 PM »
Summary:
Sometimes your worst problems are the ones you can't actually see. Like the Helmacrons. These less-than-an-inch-high aliens are back, and they want the morphing cube more than ever. Obviously, Rachel, the other Animorphs and Ax can't let them take the cube. But when Rachel tries to stop the Helmacrons from stealing it, Marco gets in the way and ends up with tiny aliens, well, up his nose. Rachel and the others can't let the Helmacrons stay inside Marco's head. They're armed, and could cause serious damage. So the Animorphs and Ax come up with a plan to evict the Helamcrons from their new residence. But it involves a shrinking ray and the obvious: Marco's nose...



Questions:

1) The beginning of this book starts off with a pretty interesting concept. The Yeerks are producing mass quantities of portable Kandrona. What do you think of this idea, and why wasn't it attempted earlier in the series? It seems like a pretty obvious solution to their biggest weakness.

2) I always find it interesting that the kid snapping a picture in the alley is really the first instance where the Animorphs have to actively worry about being caught on film. Seeing as we are 42 books into the series, you would think this would have popped up before (didn't malls have security camera's in the 90's?). What do you think of this lack of evidence throughout the series?

3) Similarly, how different would it be if the Animorphs were fighting today? Video camera's are everywhere, and digital photography is the norm, so how would that change things?

4) Why did the Helmacrons have to make a reappearance? WHY!?

5) Any comments on the whole Magic School bus theme of this book?

6) Anything else?


Next time: #43 The Test

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Offline Chad32

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Re: Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2010, 05:45:51 PM »
1) Maybe it's just not very easy to do, or cost effective.

2) It is weird, and I think they probably should have gotten this problem sooner.

3) It would be insanely hard. Almost everyone has a cellphone or blackberry, and can take pictures whenever they want. It would be so much harder.

4) Maybe this ghostwriter liked the Helmacrons?

5) It's pretty weird. Someone who knows a good bit about anatomy could probably run down a good list of things wrong with it.

6) I like the getting rabies idea for some reason. I think it might be nice if they had done something different with it.


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Offline RYTX

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Re: Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2010, 05:54:13 PM »
1) I said I'd rant about this and I will, so thanks.
This is a bad rehash of what was proposed in 25, being able to have Yeerk pool potentially anywhere, so in a sense they did try this before. Making individual pools can't be econmonically friendly, or easy to conceal, so doing it at any point is just blah. This is just thrown in as an excuse to have them Animorphs walk away after a fight for a "dramatic" opening, that really, if they wanted they could have done something with.
2 & 3) Fairly hard, but no impossible to believe. At least in the nineties. This is why I fear a modern revision- Ax morphing as he runs through the mall next to jake and marco in 1996 and only have people screaming; maybe. Doing it in 2010 where nigh every single mall goer has a camera phone, no chance.
4)Aww, I like the Helamacrons. Needed to prove the galactic male supremacy  ;)
Serious answer-it's filler, needed something amusing, ergo egotistic fungus
5)Magic school bus, I always think Fantastic Voyage, seeing as that's probably where Ms. Frizzle gets it. (Again though, 90's pop cultural crucial aspect. Kids I speak to today didn't get that)
6)Not at the moment, but we'll see
Something, something, oh crap I pissed everyone off again....

Offline anijen21

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Re: Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2010, 10:41:04 PM »
1) The beginning of this book starts off with a pretty interesting concept. The Yeerks are producing mass quantities of portable Kandrona. What do you think of this idea, and why wasn't it attempted earlier in the series? It seems like a pretty obvious solution to their biggest weakness.
I'm with you. To me, if it's economically feasible to give every Yeerk a little machine so they don't have to travel twice a week down to the unsecured and very susceptible to attack home base, this is game over. I like how it was handled in #30--there ARE portable Kandronas, but they're huge, unweildy, and they're only good for one go anyway--but if you could make a small, portable, rechargable source of sustenance? Um, why aren't we trying a lot harder to do that?

2) I always find it interesting that the kid snapping a picture in the alley is really the first instance where the Animorphs have to actively worry about being caught on film. Seeing as we are 42 books into the series, you would think this would have popped up before (didn't malls have security camera's in the 90's?). What do you think of this lack of evidence throughout the series?
I think it's something that in our current Orwellian age is a little bit hindsight is 20/20...such drastic advances in digital technology have occurred since the series was published that it's you'd think that the Google Earth people would have caught them on film or something. Imagine what Cassie's barn would look like from satellite, lol, or Ax's scoop. ANYWAY, the truth is, this whole thing felt like a very awkward b-plot to keep Marco involved, however tangentially. Just too many questions--why was that kid carrying a disposable camera around with him anyway? And if he caught something so fantastic that he was willing to run away to protect it, why didn't he go out to a 24-hour Wal-Mart and get it developed immediately? Or at least hide it a little better. Whatever, the Marco parts of this book were stupid. Then again, so were the Rachel parts.

3) Similarly, how different would it be if the Animorphs were fighting today? Video camera's are everywhere, and digital photography is the norm, so how would that change things?
We all talk about how different it would be but honestly I'm thinking of that exchange in Thank You For Smoking...whatever, how did it go, "how can we convince people that they're allowed to smoke on a space station?" "Oh, thank God for the 'whatever' device." Like Ax would have just been at some point "I can engineer a small EMP that will power down any surveillance equipment in this area." Done, go home, cash the check, game set match etc.

4) Why did the Helmacrons have to make a reappearance? WHY!?
ikrite. This instead of a Skrit Na centric book, or even another appearance by the Leerans, or maybe a deep-space exploratory group of Iskoort or something. Anything but the g-d Helmacrons...

5) Any comments on the whole Magic School bus theme of this book?
Just that this is the point they were really, really running out of ideas.

6) Anything else?
I think I said somewhere else that even though I'm not technically a fan of #24, I was impressed with how spot-on KA's scaling was. I even did the math and figured out that Marco and Cassie morphing to flies after being shrunk to 1 mm or whatever would be able to see molecules. Like, she showed her work. But this book felt all over the place. The Helmacrons are tiny, and the Animorphs being shrunk 1/100 of their size would leave them entirely unable to cross any distance of Marco's body. It would take them WEEKS to get up his nose, and at that size they'd probably be able to slip through pores and spaces between cells in his body to get anywhere they wanted. Also, the chemistry of the whole thing, them getting burned up by acid, like, what? Acid doesn't just burn, it REACTS with other chemicals, other molecules. They're already just a tad bit bigger than molecules, so what molecules are reacting? I mean the acid molecules would be too big to react with the molecules they're made of, unless instead of getting SHRUNK like they got CHOPPED DOWN, you know what I mean? But in that case, without the fanon explanation of remote controlling morphs from Z-space, they have a very tiny fraction left of brain cells to think with, probably not enough even to run autonomic bodily functions.

I mean, basically, my point is that this book is just really really stupid.
I go off topic on purpose.

Offline Terenia

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Re: Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2010, 10:54:57 PM »
Quote from: anijen21
I think it's something that in our current Orwellian age is a little bit hindsight is 20/20...such drastic advances in digital technology have occurred since the series was published that it's you'd think that the Google Earth people would have caught them on film or something. Imagine what Cassie's barn would look like from satellite, lol, or Ax's scoop. ANYWAY, the truth is, this whole thing felt like a very awkward b-plot to keep Marco involved, however tangentially. Just too many questions--why was that kid carrying a disposable camera around with him anyway? And if he caught something so fantastic that he was willing to run away to protect it, why didn't he go out to a 24-hour Wal-Mart and get it developed immediately? Or at least hide it a little better. Whatever, the Marco parts of this book were stupid. Then again, so were the Rachel parts.

You know, I actually feel like this should have been the primary plot. Some sort of book-length plot involving them being caught on camera. Or the Yeerks mass producing Kandrona Generators. Something, ANYTHING but Journey to the Center of the Marco...

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Offline KleenexCow

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Re: Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2010, 01:07:13 AM »
Yes, the Helmacrons are stupid. Yes, it does venture into WTF land with most of the plot taking place inside Marco. YES, they do miss out on several potentially hilarious jokes because it is unfortunately still a kids series.

BUT OH. Don't you just tear up when they all think Marco's dead? And Rachel is so genuinely sad? It gets me every time, you guys.

Post Merged: January 25, 2010, 01:50:32 AM
ALSO-- What THE HELL is cover!Rachel wearing?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2010, 01:50:32 AM by KleenexCow »
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Offline morfowt

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Re: Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2010, 04:40:20 AM »
ALSO-- What THE HELL is cover!Rachel wearing?
...looks like a dress...

Offline Chad32

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Re: Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2010, 11:36:50 AM »
No, I was pretty sure at that point that they weren't going to kill off a main character. It was a little sad, but I knew he would live.


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Offline Cloak

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Re: Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2010, 12:53:34 PM »
ALSO-- What THE HELL is cover!Rachel wearing?
...looks like a dress...


Looks like a muumuu to me.


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Offline Chad32

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Re: Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2010, 01:19:25 PM »
It does seem a bit weird. Maybe it was supposed to show that Rachel is supposed to be petty. Even if her personality isn't prissy, she is supposed to be a pretty girl. Now if Cassie was wearing it, it should raise more than a few eyebrows.


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Offline Terenia

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Re: Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2010, 07:11:36 PM »
Yeah, the dress doesn't bother me, even if it is a bit...odd. I actually had one just like it. Of course that was when I was about ten..

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Offline anijen21

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Re: Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2010, 07:58:05 PM »
omg I'm lolling I'm sorry that is so cute/90s
I go off topic on purpose.

Offline Serraph105

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Re: Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2010, 02:42:07 AM »
1) The beginning of this book starts off with a pretty interesting concept. The Yeerks are producing mass quantities of portable Kandrona. What do you think of this idea, and why wasn't it attempted earlier in the series? It seems like a pretty obvious solution to their biggest weakness.

I was thinking about this and I think that answer actually lies in the fact that it was the 90's when the series was written. I may be wrong about this but I think that the idea of things getting much smaller and more portable and thus more marketable became much more popular in the 2000's.

2) I always find it interesting that the kid snapping a picture in the alley is really the first instance where the Animorphs have to actively worry about being caught on film. Seeing as we are 42 books into the series, you would think this would have popped up before (didn't malls have security camera's in the 90's?). What do you think of this lack of evidence throughout the series?

Eh I'm just going to go with a suspension of disbelief on this one mixed with a little bit of the Animorphs being out in the wilderness/ocean a lot which cuts down on the tourists and cameras quite a bit. Although when I think about it if the Yeerks had installed a camera system at the pool things would have worked out better for them. If they did that though then at least part of the books would be revolving around cutting power to the cameras which would just be boring to read about

3) Similarly, how different would it be if the Animorphs were fighting today? Video camera's are everywhere, and digital photography is the norm, so how would that change things?

Dear lord it would be a severe issue, but then again given Visser 3's idiocy about his immediate vicinity maybe he just wouldn't pay attention to any of the photos.

4) Why did the Helmacrons have to make a reappearance? WHY!?

Well Applegate says she wanted some of the books tto be fun so as not to lose readers, but personally I think she really liked those characters and wanted to revist the idea. For the record though Helmacrons suck.
 
5) Any comments on the whole Magic School bus theme of this book?
eh I don't know. It's not like it was the worst idea ever (that would be the oatmeal actually I mean seriously? It couldn't have been salt they're slugs for crying out loud) but it certainly oozed childishness when they were supposed to be fighting a war. It might have felt like a fine idea at the time we were reading it but it doesn't hold up after you get older really unlike a lot of these books

6) Anything else?
nope I got nothing

Offline Gafrash

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Re: Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2010, 10:16:22 PM »
1) The beginning of this book starts off with a pretty interesting concept. The Yeerks are producing mass quantities of portable Kandrona. What do you think of this idea, and why wasn't it attempted earlier in the series? It seems like a pretty obvious solution to their biggest weakness.
Possibly repetitive at this stage of the game. RYTX brings up good points on the events of #25. This mission was quite possibly the only thing in the story that made it relevant to the story of the invasion/war.


2) I always find it interesting that the kid snapping a picture in the alley is really the first instance where the Animorphs have to actively worry about being caught on film. Seeing as we are 42 books into the series, you would think this would have popped up before (didn't malls have security camera's in the 90's?). What do you think of this lack of evidence throughout the series?
It really makes you think... How does a pit-bull owning kid, wondering the night with a disposable camera, manage to be the one to catch the Anis red-handed, when the Yeerks with all their out-of-this-world tech haven't?! Bloody, humans have googlemaps! Surely the Yeerks can get higher definition from their ships up there.


3) Similarly, how different would it be if the Animorphs were fighting today? Video camera's are everywhere, and digital photography is the norm, so how would that change things?
The Anis would have a lot more to worry about. I think that TV series episode portrayed this concept a little better though. It's a relevant factor if the series is to be considerably updated in a re-launch.


4) Why did the Helmacrons have to make a reappearance? WHY!?
AND WHY IN A RACHEL BOOK!?!?!?!?!
We knew they would be back. It was just time, i guess.
Dunno, some aspects of the Helmacrons are kind of funny. I keep picturing their voices being like the Lemmiwinks (Helmet Prince and Sparrow Torch) in SouthPark, ever since I saw that episode.


5) Any comments on the whole Magic School bus theme of this book?
Hmmmm, it did have a whole educational theme didn't it?! But I liked it how KA pushed this theme through the mode of the Animorphs universe.
The gastric juice corroding minituarized flesh. Using sonar in organ chambers. Awesome. But sharks breathing in blood?! I thought that was a brilliant idea!!!! Really pushing the imagination!!!


6) Anything else?
Really, we all know, this stage of the series was more about filling in than making telling an eventful story. It is a bit of a let down that a Rachel-book got done this way. Everytime I read her narratives, there was a certain feeling that I was set for a sure good-sure-to-survive-action-packed ride. Not so much in this book.

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Re: Group Re-Read: #42 The Journey
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2011, 10:33:10 PM »
6. I discovered that the website that Rachel went to at the end of the book is this: http://web.archive.org/web/19991022010515/http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/rabies/The%20Virus/virus.htm
(Archived)

I didn't think it would be right to start a new topic just to share a relevant link with you guys, so enjoy this instead.