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Author Topic: Group Re-read 2.0 #2 The Visitor  (Read 1707 times)

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Offline RYTX

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Group Re-read 2.0 #2 The Visitor
« on: November 05, 2011, 04:31:01 PM »
Synopsis
No one knows who they are...
Rachel has a very strange life what with fighting alien invaders and all. But she and the Animorphs are willing to do what it takes, even if that means using an old friend. Though the information the gain may be valuable in stopping the Yeerks, what they really learn is why the Yeerks have to be stopped...

Questions

   1. Assuming you know his role in The Andalite Chronicles, what do think of Chapman-the human-now as opposed to his adolescence? How do you explain any changes? What about his deal with the Yeerks? How valuable is an assistant principal to global domination?

   2. Despite having only a few minor roles, Melissa is commonly viewed as a favorite secondary character. What do you think of her portrayal in this book and her role in the series? What else would you liked to have seen done with her?

   3. With regards to Visser Three: What do you think of his pursuit of the "Andalite Bandits"?  Is the line "...he was not a creature who made impetuous decisions" accurate now? Does that description endure as time goes on? While a number of his subordinates end up dead at his hand, Chapman never does-what do you think of their dynamic? Do you think the Visser remembers Chapman as the first human to encounter Yeerks?

   4. When ordered to subject their daughter to Yeerk enslavement, the human Mr. & Mrs. Chapman fight back. What do you think about host rebellion, particularly this one being triggered by love for their child? How complete do you think Yeerk control really is?

   5. So far the Animorphs have freed one host from the Yeerk Pool, killed a handful of controllers, destroyed a Bug Fighter and stayed alive. What do you think of their performance saving the world to this point? What real accomplishments do they have so far? Did they accomplish anything in this book?

   6. This book opens with a couple chapters on flying. Any thoughts on how the experience is described in the series or what it must be like? How badly do you want to fly on your own wings? How much of that is because of Animorphs?

   7. In this book, and only this book, Rachel morphs into a shrew. What are your thoughts on her account of the experience? What do you think of an animal being subject to overwhelming fear or endless hunger? What do you envision the experience of being a shrew to be like?

   8. Continuing the discussion of roles, what do you think Rachel's role is at this point in the series: how does she contribute to the benefit of the Animorphs and the war effort? Do you think her role changes as the story progresses? How does her attitude and behavior tie in to this?

   9. Would you do it? Think about someone precious to you. Would you personally be willing to accept enslavement, surrendering your body, your mind, every aspect of your own life in exchange for keeping that person free? How close to you would a person have to be to you for that to even be a prospect?

   10. Have you recently read the original, the reprint, or did you do this from memory? If you've read the reprint, how do feel about any changes?

   11. Anything else?

Answer, ignore and submit your own questions and comments as you please; but remember to vote!

Next week: #3 The Encounter

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Offline yunyun

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Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #2 The Visitor
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2011, 06:22:36 PM »
  1. Chapmen seemed to have matured alot. And he's really different. Like really different. And Chapmen seems pretty valuable.  Mostly with the Sharing and being a vice principle. And so it makes it alot easier for him to get people to join the Sharing.

   2. I think that Milissa wasn't in the books enough. The animorphs still could have used her alot more, being Chapmen's daughter and stuff so yeah.


   4. I think that the rebellion makes sense. And Yeerk control probably is pretty complete when the Yeerk is trying but when the yeerk loses it's concentration, it would be easier for the host to take control

   5. I think that they barley done anything in the book. All they did was know that Visser Three is after the "andalite" bandits.

   6. I think it sounds accurate enough. And after reading animorphs, i really really really want to fly. Before reading animorphs, i never gave flying a thought.


   9. Well, I'd be a controller to keep my parents and my friends free. They'd have to be pretty close to me or at least care about me.

   10. I did this from memory but i did read the re print. I think that 2 changes are really unnecessary. Changing CD to albume really doesn't matter much. The change i really disliked (at least i think they changed this) is the rock moster Visser 3 morphed turned into 20 feet tall instead of 7 feet tall
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Offline Stephquiem

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Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #2 The Visitor
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2011, 02:51:36 PM »
1. Oh, Chapman. I never really know what to think about him, to be honest. On the one hand, in the Andalite Chronicles he was a slime ball. On the other... well, #2 is really the only other time we get to see Chapman proper, as opposed to Iniss 226, and know anything about him as a character. In my opinion that's a shame, because  we can't see the progression from slime ball teenager to protective 30-something year old father. It gives us a really polarizing view of his personality. That, and we don't know what he was like before the Skrit Na, or how much the situation in AC affected how he reacted to things, so we really have no idea what he was like after the Ellimist erased his memory and dropped him back on Earth. For me, Chapman's just got a big question mark floating over his head. Although, I have to say, it felt like he was being punished throughout the whole series for something he didn't remember doing. Like karma just turned up and kicked him repeatedly for three years. I don't think this bothered me so much when I originally read the series, but it started to stick out for me when I reread.

2. Like Chapman, I feel like I don't know enough about Melissa to really make a decisions about how I feel about her. I feel awful for her, but as a character I'm just not really sure I have enough to go on.

3. I'm inclined to think Visser Three remembers Chapman. The Ellimist said that he would remember Loren, so I assume the same goes with Chapman, since I don't think it's stated otherwise, unless I skipped that somewhere. It might explain Chapman/Iniss' position, maybe. And... Visser Three. Blimey. I feel like maybe the intention was for him to be as he is in the Chronicles, which would at least explain the sudden shift there. Though, barring that line in this book, V3's shift also took place over two decades. Like Chapman, we don't know a whole lot about him during the time between AC and The Invasion.

5. On the whole? ...Not a whole lot, actually. Most of the beginning of the series is them learning the ropes. But so far they haven't really accomplished anything they've set out to do, and they're still more or less learning either by accident or through screwing up. This isn't really a criticism of the characters, as they're still just kids with barely any experience. The whole of their training so far has been what Elfangor had time to tell them and a couple of run-ins.

7. Okay, I admit that this book is as far as my knowledge about the shrew goes. As far it goes as part of the series, I have to say I'm glad it wasn't used again after this. Partly that's because it's a very situation-specific morph, as opposed to say a ****roach which can be used for spying. From a practical standpoint, having a morph like the shrew doesn't really work because it's very... distracting. There are less panicky animals that can be used in its place. It worked here because the Animorphs have so few morphs at this point, and this is what they had on hand.

9. Yes. I'd do it for my parents, my sister, my close cousins (that is, the ones who are emotionally close to me), my niece, my closest friends. If it kept them safe, absolutely yes.

Just a thought: Is it just me, or does this book include the most convoluted plot for the smallest gain? Rachel morphs a shrew to catch the cat to sneak into Chapman's house to learn... well, not much that affects the war, really, besides "sometimes voluntary controllers have good reasons." It's just the sort of book that wouldn't have fit later in the series, I guess.

Offline AllyVP

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Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #2 The Visitor
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2011, 03:43:56 AM »
   
   1. Assuming you know his role in The Andalite Chronicles, what do think of Chapman-the human-now as opposed to his adolescence? How do you explain any changes? What about his deal with the Yeerks? How valuable is an assistant principal to global domination?

Oh, Chapman.  I never know what to think of him.  On one hand, we can safely assume that he was a young teenager during the Andalite Chronicles (Elfangor notes that the 5 children "are no older than Loren was," and we know from the dialogue that Loren and Chapman are close in age).  And a lot of total jerk teenagers grow into perfectly nice adults.  And when he looks Visser Three in the eyes and says "The girl is no threat.  But I am."  Just epic.  To be honest, I often view them as two different characters.  I wish we could have seen something in between jerk-teenager-Chapman and don't-touch-my-daughter-Chapman.  I want to know what happened to change him so drastically.
I would say not very valuable, but the Yeerks needed people in SOME form of power and we see later how hard it is to get politicians.  And recruiting for a group that advertises acceptance and friendship, in a place full of insecure teens and preteens?  Yeah, that would be extremely effective.

   2. Despite having only a few minor roles, Melissa is commonly viewed as a favorite secondary character. What do you think of her portrayal in this book and her role in the series? What else would you liked to have seen done with her?

I would have liked to see her after the war.  What did she think when she found out about Rachel?  Was she ever infested?  Did she even survive?  A lot of people died.  What about her and Cassie?  They were Rachel's two best friends, so they had to at least know each other a bit. 

   3. With regards to Visser Three: What do you think of his pursuit of the "Andalite Bandits"?  Is the line "...he was not a creature who made impetuous decisions" accurate now? Does that description endure as time goes on? While a number of his subordinates end up dead at his hand, Chapman never does-what do you think of their dynamic? Do you think the Visser remembers Chapman as the first human to encounter Yeerks?

I recently saw a post on a different forum that argued that Visser Three was not as big of an idiot as we all seem to perceive him as.  It's a rather interesting take, and I it definitely has significant points.  I think we can agree that, at the very least, he is a much better leader in the beginning of the story.  And he is definitely thinking here.  So yes, at this point, Visser Three is not a creature that makes impetuous decisions.
I think that Iniss two two six was very smart and very, very lucky.  We notice that while a lot of subordinates get killed, they are not usually recurring ones.  My theory is a combination of Visser Three not wanting to constantly have to find new Controllers to be his more important minions, and the idea that once they have been around Visser Three enough to BE important, they have figured out how to not make him mad. 
You know, I have wondered about that.  We never get any indication about how much Visser Three remembered. 

   4. When ordered to subject their daughter to Yeerk enslavement, the human Mr. & Mrs. Chapman fight back. What do you think about host rebellion, particularly this one being triggered by love for their child? How complete do you think Yeerk control really is?

The power behind a hosts rebellion seems to stem from emotion.  This is our best example, but I also like in book 1, when Tom twitches JUST enough.  We can assume that he was pretty scared for Jake, and desperate.  It is barely anything, but it's enough to get his message to Jake.  And I would guess that Yeerk control is pretty complete.  We see Jake trying to get control back in book 6, with no result.  But, an effort like this clearly leaves the host exhausted.  It is by no means successful, but in an infiltration style takeover, it would be a severe problem.  Especially when you consider people in power.  Can you imagine if the President started twitching and hitting himself during the State of the Union address? 

   5. So far the Animorphs have freed one host from the Yeerk Pool, killed a handful of controllers, destroyed a Bug Fighter and stayed alive. What do you think of their performance saving the world to this point? What real accomplishments do they have so far? Did they accomplish anything in this book?

At this point, I think they are some lucky 13-year-olds.  They are not soldiers, and it's a bit amusing that the Yeerks think they are.  And on a similar note, when Jake attacks the Visser, he yells <This time, you're mine you jerk!>  You know, it's rather astounding that the Yeerks didn't piece things together earlier.  Visser Three LIVES in an Andalite's head, and he doesn't think it's odd that another Andalite called him a "jerk?"  This is the kind of things that supports the "Visser Three was an idiot from the beginning" argument.
Accomplish anything?  Nope, not really.  But it had some entertaining moments and I enjoyed it.  And it gave Rachel a real purpose to fight, rather than the general good of humanity. 

   6. This book opens with a couple chapters on flying. Any thoughts on how the experience is described in the series or what it must be like? How badly do you want to fly on your own wings? How much of that is because of Animorphs?

Thought about it, daydreamed about it, etc.  Long before I read an Animorphs book.  But Applegate's descriptions definitely fueled my fantasies. 

   7. In this book, and only this book, Rachel morphs into a shrew. What are your thoughts on her account of the experience? What do you think of an animal being subject to overwhelming fear or endless hunger? What do you envision the experience of being a shrew to be like?

They morph panicky animals many times.  All I know about the shrew comes from this book, so I don't have a whole lot to compare to for accuracy.  It is always interesting to see Rachel, the icon of reckless courage, take the form of such an animal. 
I think the attraction to rotting meat would be the worst part. 

   8. Continuing the discussion of roles, what do you think Rachel's role is at this point in the series: how does she contribute to the benefit of the Animorphs and the war effort? Do you think her role changes as the story progresses? How does her attitude and behavior tie in to this?

Rachel's characterization has always fascinated me.  At this point, we see a girl who loves and hates with a deep passion.  Her little speech about hating the Yeerks is fueled by love. 
I also find her developing relationship with Marco interesting.  He annoys her, but she notes that he has a talent for making you laugh when you need to. 

   9. Would you do it? Think about someone precious to you. Would you personally be willing to accept enslavement, surrendering your body, your mind, every aspect of your own life in exchange for keeping that person free? How close to you would a person have to be to you for that to even be a prospect?

Yes, yes and yes.  My family, my closest friends.  Here's a harder question: someone you don't know, but would do great things for humanity and would slow down or even possibly stop an invasion of Yeerks, IF they were free. 

   10. Have you recently read the original, the reprint, or did you do this from memory? If you've read the reprint, how do feel about any changes?

Read the original.

   11. Anything else?

Just a thought: Is it just me, or does this book include the most convoluted plot for the smallest gain? Rachel morphs a shrew to catch the cat to sneak into Chapman's house to learn... well, not much that affects the war, really, besides "sometimes voluntary controllers have good reasons." It's just the sort of book that wouldn't have fit later in the series, I guess.

I think it sets the stage for the idea that not all Yeerks are evil.  Its a stretch to get us to believe that brain-stealing slugs can be okay, but if we are first introduced to the idea that a voluntary controller, a human, isn't all bad, it become possible to introduce the idea of peaceful Yeerks.
It is definitely a filler book, but an interesting one. 

Another thing I noticed was the number of jokes that Marco makes at Tobias' expense.  He's not being mean, he just isn't thinking.  We see in the next book that Tobias IS struggling with his diet, and we can assume that Marco saying "I don't know if I can have someone who eats rats for a friend" did not help the situation.

Offline matthew

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Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #2 The Visitor
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 05:47:06 PM »
1. Chapman is WAY different from the guy in the Andalite Chronicles.  Instead of being a jack***, he somehow turned into a guy that sacrifices his freedom for his daughter`s freedom.  I guess he just matured.  About his deal with the Yeerks- he seems pretty important to the Sharing and must be important to the area.  However, how important he is to the big picture I am not sure of.  This brings up the topic of a. Why is Visser Three always  in California? and b. Are the Yeerks invading other countries too? I`m not sure.

2. Melissa is a characater that seemed like she would be something a little more major than what she was.  I even thought she might be turned into an Animorph.  This book seemed to foreshadow her importance later. But nope.  Maybe KA was thinking of doing something more with her.  I would have liked to see her more as the series progressed.

3. That statement might be true now, but I don`t thinks so as we got later into the series.  I think Chapman (the Yeerk) is one very lucky Yeerk.  I just think Visser Three never got to it, but was considering to kill him.  And, I do think Visser Three remembers Chapman from before.

4. Host rebellion is probably common, but usually doesn`t work.  It also probably wears away as the host gives up.  I think the Yeerk has complete control except for when the host REALLY REALLY REALLY resisits.  So 100 percent control for 95 percent of the time. :P

5. The Animorphs are really lucky that Visser Three is so idiotic. I would say lucky-yes, accomplishing things-no.  They dont really accomplish much here early on, they just keep trying.

6. It sounds really cool.  It would be nice to fly here and there.  And, yes, some of it is because of Animorphs.

7. It sounds pretty bad, and pretty accurate.  Like someone else already said here, it is interesting that Rachel morphed an animal that is so fearful, unlike what she is really like.

8. I would say that Rachel`s role right now is to kinda keep the Animotphs focused on what they are fighting for. In particular, her emotions of hating the Yeerks play a role.  As the series moves on, I think her role is to NOT be the one who backs down first.  So you can see they are similar. Her role developes and eventually gets out of control.

9. Tough question.  I don`t know the answer for me.

10. Most of it is from memory.

11.  This book is sorta a filler.  However, it gives Rachel a good place to start from that is way different from book 54.  It has good moments in spots, like Rachel`s big speech.  It still has cheesy moments like many of the early books and it isn`t all that relevent.  Book 2 The Visitor    gets a 3/5.

Offline RYTX

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Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #2 The Visitor
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2012, 11:38:42 AM »
   1. Chapman is so interesting in TAC and I really wish we could have seen at least when he got off the Jahar. I assume when he was in TAC he was riddled with angst. Once his mind was wiped he went back to an unassuming life where no grand opportunities to exploit others presented themselves, making him the modern Chapman. His deal to save Melissa is sweet, very sad, and makes me hate his wife-the woman, not the Yeerk. I understand making Chapman a prominent controller because principals are evil ::) But he is not used properly in the main series, nor is his position suitable to the Yeerks methods IMO. He has some chance to aim some teenagers toward The Sharing? Worthless.

   2. I was never wowed by Melissa and don't get her appeal. It would have been nice to have the Animorphs hang with some non fighting characters to expand the world a bit more, so she could sit with Rachel and Cassie more, and at dances and stuff, but beyond that-meh.

   3. I always found V3 impetuous, particularly regarding the Animorphs. I'm very curious on how he went about looking for them up till now; it was dumb luck he got them in this book. Coupled with the above, I have no idea how Chapman-the Yeerk- stays alive so long. I'd like to attribute it to their time in TAC, that visser does indeed remember him, and keeps him close in perhaps fear of whatever got them out of that mess alive.

   4. The host rebellion was a powerful scene, being all based in affection. I think it's disappointing we don't see more, which suggest a very strong Yeerk control, but the breakthroughs we do see make me think that a host should be able to antagonize a Yeerk much more.

   5. This book isn't terrible, but I hate that it's in the introductory section, cause it really fails at moving the plot along. We learn very little about the characters, nothings really done to advance either sides efforts, which you can't do every book, but it fails to lay any future ground work (see answer 8) which should happen strongly in the beginning. Staying alive is not small feat, but so far I'm amazed the Yeerks even care about them.

   6. I've always wanted to fly of course, and Animorphs fueled a lot of fantasies-especially regarding the own wings. No hang gliding, no sky diving. I wouldn't have to be a bird, but what I wouldn't do for my own pair of wings...

   7. Something that bothers me throughout the series is the notion that a lot of animals are hungry, and if they aren't hungry they're kinda-whatever. There's sex, there's play, there's sleep, there's annoyed. A lot gets passed over (yeah, can't do sex in kid's book) but there's more than, hunger, fear, content. That said, shrew is an animal you rarely think about, so the portrayal is rather fascinating, and if for nothing but ignorance, seems right. I kinda like it's voraciousness, in my mind it's and early allusion to Taxxon hunger.

   8. This book alludes to Rachel being the people's champion-for those kids who's parent's can't love them anymore and blah blah blah, but it's never brought up again. After this she's the bruiser, so this book is kinda worthless in getting to know her. She's a little reckless, and it's nice to see that the trait will have to grow, not just is, but that's so secondary to what they try to convey here that the Rachel aspect of the book falls flat.

   9. No. At this point in my life, maybe it's me, maybe it's them, but I can't see myself giving up all that for anyone. Even knowing they'd be safe I don't think I could be selfless enough-I'd constantly be asking why they should be free instead of me. Right now I couldn't do it for someone else's sake, even if by not doing so I remain at risk. I like to think that'll change on day, but for now, no.
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Offline Tim Bruening

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Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #2 The Visitor
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2015, 08:23:11 PM »
Iniss 226 tells Visser 3 that it has recruited 4 new Voluntary Controllers, including an FBI agent.  Why would an FBI agent become a voluntary Controller?