Poll

With 5 being best and 1 being worst, how do you rate this book?

5 Stars *****
4 Stars ****
3 Stars ***
2 Stars **
1 Star *

Author Topic: Group Re-read 2.0 #7 The Stranger  (Read 2003 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline RYTX

  • Shadow and Flame
  • Xtreme Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 4859
  • Insanity Meter:
    1.8%
  • Country: 00
  • Karma: 139
  • Gender: Male
  • Pretend I said something clever
Group Re-read 2.0 #7 The Stranger
« on: December 10, 2011, 05:14:54 PM »
Synopsis
This time there may be no way out...
Rachel has a choice to make. Her dad is moving out of state, and she has the chance to go with him. It's always hard to move away from your old school, your friends, but a chance to leave the war against the Yeerks just makes things more complicated. But then it gets worse, when a being with incredible powers called the Ellimist offers the Animorphs another choice. Leave the war, leave the whole planet, and be kept safe from the Yeerks with their loved ones on another world, because according to this seemingly all-powerful being, if they stay on earth and continue the fight, they will lose.

Questions
   1. Between crushing used cars and terrorizing circus workers, you get a sense that our heroes are touchy regarding animals. What do you think of the Animorphs and animal rights? Do you agree with their cause, or methods, when they take on tasks to change the lives of animals kept by humans?

   2. What are your first thoughts on the Ellimist? What do you think of a super powered, though functionally restrained, character being introduced to the series?

   3. Similarly, what do you think of the way he used and helped the Animorphs in this book, and his interest in protecting Earth? What about the future he showed them? Was it all an Ellimist ploy, or had something already been done to upset that potential future?

   4. Still on that note: What about the "butterfly beating it's wings" thing? Is history immutable, or does everything make a difference? Or do somethings and not others? Can any being really know the future? How do/should ones' thoughts on this play into decision making?

   5. What are your thoughts on the initial and changes in decisions each individual makes to the Ellimist's offer?

   6. The Animorphs finally go after what may be the Yeerks biggest weak point. How much damage does this do? What other accomplishments do think are on par with the destruction of the Kandrona?

   7. How does Rachel's persona compare with the last time she narrated? Is she more reckless? Have her motives changed? Would you expect her to be the one to realize where the Kandrona is, or does that only happen because she's narrating? What do you think of how she deals with her Dad moving away, and his offer for her to join him?

   8. In this book Rachel picks up her signature Grizzly Bear morph. What do you think of the portrayal of this animal in this book and throughout the series? What do you think it's strengths and weaknesses are compared to the others' combat morphs? Do you think Applegate's descriptions of its abilities and attitudes were accurate, exaggerated or undersold? What do you envision the experience of being a grizzly to be like?

   9. What would you do? If promised your safety, and the safety of those dear to you, by a being with powers beyond your comprehension? Would you accept his offer, or resist his help? Why? Consider this decision in the context of your actual life, and with the additional responsibilities the Animorphs carry.

   10. Approximately when is the last time you read this book? What changes do you expect or would like to see in a re-release?

   11. Anything else?

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

Next week: Megamorphs #1 The Andalite's Gift
:raftrophy: Ani-Master 2012 & 2013
'bout time

Offline yunyun

  • Jr. Xtreme Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1645
  • Insanity Meter:
    0%
  • Karma: 48
  • Gender: Female
  • Dreaming on :P
Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #7 The Stranger
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2011, 09:29:44 PM »
3. Personally, I really didn't get that part. I was like "huh? What changed?"
4. I don't think anything can know the future. It's way too complicated
6. Well, I guess it at least done some damage
9. I would say yes. If I were an Animorphs though, then I'd have to think about it for a while


Also, I'm editing this, later.
Starfire is my RAFcousin. :D
click?

Thanks Ouroborus! ^_^

Offline Ember Nickel

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
  • Insanity Meter:
    0%
  • Karma: 4
    • Lipogram! Scorecard!
Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #7 The Stranger
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2011, 12:48:43 PM »
Somehow have...obtained...a copy of the text >.>

Questions
   1. I guess I'm kind of inclined to agree with Marco on this one--that they have more important things to do than risk blowing their cover on those kinds of missions. Rachel and Cassie are an interesting contrast here--Rachel, being Rachel, is the one who goes and does stuff, but Cassie the animal-lover isn't. I guess part of her role in the story is so that the Animorphs have convenient access to the Gardens and the injured animals, so even though she's the animal rights person, she isn't all that concerned about animals being in captivity, which is a weird balance to strike.

   2. Eh, kind of cheap, but...

   3. The plot of this one was pretty clever, at least so far as the dropshaft and the future went. I can't tell if they were really on track for the future he showed them, though, and I still don't get what the "six humans" thing was exactly about.

   4. "Or do some things and not others?" Yeah, pretty much.

   7. "What do you think of how she deals with her Dad moving away, and his offer for her to join him?" The gymnastics angle was one of the things that stuck with me from this book. I think the dad subplot was really just to have a counterpoint to the Ellimist's offer but I know in her place that would have been tempting for me.

   9. I think I probably would go.

   11. How do they not blow their cover when they're morphing from ****roaches to humans in the middle of the food court?

Edit: the website censors the first four letters of the animal they morph to sneak into the Yeerk pool. Haha.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 12:50:58 PM by Ember Nickel »

Offline Stephquiem

  • #1 Poster 8)
  • Gold Donor
  • *********
  • Posts: 32872
  • Insanity Meter:
    0%
  • Country: us
  • Karma: 615
  • Gender: Female
  • ^ Hugh. Not House, dagnabit.
    • Facebook
Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #7 The Stranger
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2011, 02:25:39 PM »
1. Overall, I agree with Marco (and Ember XD)--they've got bigger things to worry about, especially since stuff like this draws unwanted attention. That being said... I'm not sure how I'd react if I were in the same situation. It'd be tempting. That's not saying I'd go stomp a used car lot, but I might go off and do something more sneaky, or at least be tempted to.

2. I like the Ellimist. I currently have no coherent reasoning to put here besides a general feeling of "I kind of like that character," so I'll leave it at that for now.

3. I don't actually believe the Ellimist really intended to take them anywhere. I mean, yes, if they'd took him up on his offer, he'd have gone through with his end of things, but I think he wanted them to say no. As for why he turned up and offered it to them at all... I don't know, they're part of his plans, they were bound to get knowingly involved with things between him and Crayak at some point (as opposed to not knowing they're involved at the moment) and it was probably better than he introduce himself early on, establish himself as fairly benevolent and on their side.

4. It's sort of the classic "Do we have free will?" question. I'm currently inclined to say this: There's always more than one possible outcome. Making a choice one way or another just changes which outcome happens. So, maybe the future the Ellimist showed them was a possible outcome, as it stood right then. That doesn't necessarily mean it was the inevitable one at that moment--no decision had been made yet. However, Ellimist's decision to show them that possibility might have brought in the possibility of that future not happening--or maybe it was already an alternative. Hard to say, we're not given that information. As it stands, when the Ellimist showed them the possible future, there were at least three (probably more) alternatives: 1) The Animorphs decide to leave, the Yeerks win, 2) the Animorphs decide to stay, the Yeerks still win, or 3) the Animorphs decide to stay, the Yeerks lose. Or a fourth option: the Animorphs decide to leave, and the Yeerks still lose. But that one's dependent on some decisions by the Andalites.

Point being, I think Ellimist knew what he was doing.

6. Short term damage? A lot. I also think being able to make a significant blow against the Yeerks would've helped their overall morale. Up till #7, they hadn't done a whole lot. They freed one Controller, they destroyed one ship (which didn't seem to have much effect of on the Yeerks, since it's never really mentioned again), found Ax, and... not much else besides "find stuff out." They kind of needed this.

Long term... they would've had to destroy the kandrona a lot for this to have long term damage.  Every time it was replaced, they'd have to destroy another one. So, long term, I don't think this is really up there with, say, destroying the Yeerk pool.

8. I don't have much to say about Rachel's grizzly morph except this: I think it was a lot more practical as a battle morph than her elephant one. It's big and powerful, but it isn't so big that she'd have a hard time using it indoors. Also, I think it suits her personality better than any other morph she has, possibly better than anyone else's morphs suit them.

9. I would probably say yes. Probably. Maybe.

11. I just had the following thought: Generally speaking, people, as I have heard them at least, tend to treat Ellimist/Crayak as some sort God/Satan allegory. I don't think it's accurate, and this is possibly because it bothers me that the "God" in this particular scenario is a created being, and that rubs me the wrong way. That being said, I think it's more like a God/Jesus/Satan allegory... sort of, in which case Ellimist would be Jesus (except without the whole scarifce thing), Crayak would be Satan, and The Guy Who Drove Crayak Out Of Wherever He Came From would be God.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 02:49:49 PM by Stephquiem »

Offline Ember Nickel

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 174
  • Insanity Meter:
    0%
  • Karma: 4
    • Lipogram! Scorecard!
Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #7 The Stranger
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2011, 10:03:05 AM »
Hmm, just had a brainwave as far as Cassie's characterization goes in this book. Maybe I'm overthinking it but if this was deliberate, it's a nice touch.

As I said before, early on we saw Cassie--Ms. Animal Lover--standing aside while Rachel goes ahead and does the thing that could be considered an impromptu animal rights mission. Which is kind of incongruous, but makes sense once we remember that part of Cassie's role in the plot is to provide the team with a stream of captive animals to acquire.

But then, later on, it's Cassie who is most in favor of taking the Ellimist's offer, while Tobias dismisses it as a zoo (and Marco points out that Rachel will follow Tobias' lead). If the early Cassie is meant to foreshadow or at least parallel her later position, that's subtle.

Offline AllyVP

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 30
  • Insanity Meter:
    0%
  • Karma: 2
  • Gender: Female
Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #7 The Stranger
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2012, 10:58:04 PM »
Kay, so I fell super far behind on these, and I really do want to do them.  So i'm going to try to go back and do the others, but for now I'm going to go from here, because Rachel is (and I think we can all agree on this) SUCH an interesting character.

   1. Between crushing used cars and terrorizing circus workers, you get a sense that our heroes are touchy regarding animals. What do you think of the Animorphs and animal rights? Do you agree with their cause, or methods, when they take on tasks to change the lives of animals kept by humans?

I think that they need the easy, little, pointless goals like this to keep them sane.  But they do risk blowing things.  Andalites wouldn’t care about abused Earth animals.

   2. What are your first thoughts on the Ellimist? What do you think of a super powered, though functionally restrained, character being introduced to the series?

The Ellimist was an interesting, if not excessively unrealistic.  Especially after reading the Ellimist Chronicals, and then going back and reading these, and kind of understanding.

   3. Similarly, what do you think of the way he used and helped the Animorphs in this book, and his interest in protecting Earth? What about the future he showed them? Was it all an Ellimist ploy, or had something already been done to upset that potential future?

I think that it was a possible future.  “Six humans” Visser Three said first.  I would bet that the sixth was somehow David.

   4. Still on that note: What about the "butterfly beating it's wings" thing? Is history immutable, or does everything make a difference? Or do somethings and not others? Can any being really know the future? How do/should ones' thoughts on this play into decision making?

Yeah, I’ll buy the “butterfly beating its wings” analogy.  Not literally.  But in the sense of time and effecting the future, yeah, that would make sense.  As for worrying about how we’ll affect the future?  Well, there’s really no point, because we DON’T know, and we’ll just stress ourselves out trying to guess. 

   5. What are your thoughts on the initial and changes in decisions each individual makes to the Ellimist's offer?

Cassie voted yes.  But I think it’s more than running from a fight in her case.  It’s exactly like her example about rehabilitated wildlife.  She wanted to save humanity as a species. 
Rachel voted no.  We saw that coming as much as Marco did.  And later, even after seeing Earth lost, she would likely have fought.  It was seeing herself as a Controller that finally scared her enough to want to run.  And as an afterthought, I LOVED the moment of relief she feels after surrendering.  Because all every strong, brave person wants is allowance to be weak.
Tobias, in anger at the Ellimist’s obvious manipulation, voted no initially.  Seeing Rachel as a Controller shook him almost as much as it shook her.  And I think that’s what caused him to take Cassie’s position.
I don’t really count Marco’s vote as real, because they’d already seen the dropshaft.
Jake and Ax both didn’t really vote either.

   6. The Animorphs finally go after what may be the Yeerks biggest weak point. How much damage does this do? What other accomplishments do think are on par with the destruction of the Kandrona?

As we find out in the next book, not enough.  But while it didn’t expose them, it was a giant pain in the behind.  And we all know that a frustrated Visser Three is much easier to deal with. 
They were right the first time—the pool is their true weakness, not the Kandrona.  The Kandrona is replaceable, the pool is much harder. 

   7. How does Rachel's persona compare with the last time she narrated? Is she more reckless? Have her motives changed? Would you expect her to be the one to realize where the Kandrona is, or does that only happen because she's narrating? What do you think of how she deals with her Dad moving away, and his offer for her to join him?

Now that you mention it, I don’t think Rachel would have connected the dots.  Rachel solves every problem put before her, but ONLY those put in front of her.  It would have made the most sense for Marco to notice.  He’s always the one looking around, forwards, and backwards, and connecting the dots.
When she imagined moving away, it made her feel helpless.  In another state, she can’t very easily contribute to the fight.  This feeling of helplessness caused her to seek out the most powerful morph she could find, because that’s how Rachel deals with things—Anything can be solved with force.

   8. In this book Rachel picks up her signature Grizzly Bear morph. What do you think of the portrayal of this animal in this book and throughout the series? What do you think it's strengths and weaknesses are compared to the others' combat morphs? Do you think Applegate's descriptions of its abilities and attitudes were accurate, exaggerated or undersold? What do you envision the experience of being a grizzly to be like?

First, it was perfect characterization.  Everything from its bad eyesight to the sheer size represents Rachel.  It can't see too well, it is huge and cannot be hidden and has zero subtly or discretion.  But, it saved their rear ends multiple times before the series was over.  I do wonder if the bear's vicious side was overstated.  We have to take two things into consideration here.  Rachel is a brutal and vicious warrior, and she does inhabit that huge body every time she morphs.  BUT, the grizzly bear's nature is not a vicious one.  In fact, this huge animal is actually incredibly gentle, unless you piss it off.  I saw a mother grizzly with three cubs in Alaska a few years ago, calmly digging around for roots while at least two hundred tourists snapped pictures frantically.  We couldn't have been more than fifty feet away, and the bears couldn't have cared less.
My point here is simply that I want us to consider that the bear's rage was overstated.

   9. What would you do? If promised your safety, and the safety of those dear to you, by a being with powers beyond your comprehension? Would you accept his offer, or resist his help? Why? Consider this decision in the context of your actual life, and with the additional responsibilities the Animorphs carry.

I have been described many times as “a mama bear.”  Meaning, I will do everything and more for those I love.  I blow a gasket to levels that might be considered excessive if someone threatens or hurts a friend. 
I know that I would be a bad soldier, because I would sacrifice and endless number of people I didn’t know for one that I did.  It would kill me to do it, but I would. 
So yes, I would have taken the Ellimist’s offer.  Especially after seeing the future that the Ellimist showed them.

   10. Approximately when is the last time you read this book? What changes do you expect or would like to see in a re-release?

Skimmed/read the book to do this.

   11. Anything else?

Yep.  They burst a Taxxon open, and finished morphing to human as who-knows-how-many Controllers looked on from their little food court deal.  And NO ONE realized????  Not buying it, sorry.

Sorry my answers are short, I’m tired.

Offline AllyVP

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 30
  • Insanity Meter:
    0%
  • Karma: 2
  • Gender: Female
Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #7 The Stranger
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2012, 12:09:53 AM »
One more thing!!

I noticed, as the battle begins, this part:

There are eight Hork-Bajir.  Rachel charges.  And says this: "later, everyone thought I was brave.  But you know what the truth was?  The truth was, with my weak bear eyesight, all I could see was a blur.  I thought they were humans."

The Animorphs make a conscious effort to avoid killing humans during the war.  Except, it seems, for Rachel.  Interesting.

Offline RYTX

  • Shadow and Flame
  • Xtreme Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 4859
  • Insanity Meter:
    1.8%
  • Country: 00
  • Karma: 139
  • Gender: Male
  • Pretend I said something clever
Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #7 The Stranger
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2012, 05:53:27 PM »
   1. These are the things that remind me it's still a kid's series. I laugh at the methods, effective but highly inappropriate. It's a good motive, but vandalism is rarely the answer. I do however think from a personal stand point it's foolish: they are supposed to be saving the world, and using morphing to instill animal dignity seems an unacceptable security risk.

   2. This book I like the Ellimist. No harm to the story's integrity having him here, really enhances it by saying I can do whatever, but I won't.

   3. I don't really like that he used the Animorphs, now or later, but in this book I'm more or less okay with what he did: allowing the characters to see behind the doors and make a choice, so to speak. I still don't buy him as much of a protector: if he wanted to save everything he'd do it, not make it a game, but whats my opinion to a billion year old extra-dimensional figure. I took the whole future thing as an Ellimist ploy meant to mess with them, including the glitches. Very dark look sure, oddly reminiscent of 41 later. More depressing than frightening I guess, but I figure that happens once the inevitable happens.

   4. I like to think everything makes a difference. No way to know, but it's what I hope. Well maybe not everything: my lunch should not turn the tide of World War Five, but who knows. So, in that since I figure knowing the future is impossible. Good guesses are doable, by they can't account for everything. So I guess I should be more conscious of the choices and actions I take, or don't in life. Should. Does it? Not really, the present goes by far too fast to contemplate the future.

   5. Cassie does make a good point about creatures resisting assistance, yet I can't help but feeling maddest at her for suggesting pulling out in the beginning. The guys all have some pretty large personal gains in leaving, Rachel's home is presently collapsing, so even her I'd probably be sympathetic towards, and why it makes sense when they do go along. But that at the first chance compassionate Cassie was ready to leave the whole world for her family and friends. Did she forget the Yeerks will total the planet?! (Probably yes, but if anything I'd expect her to stay) I would expect all of them to go along with the Ellimist, they do a lot, so when they resist, you can't help but laugh at their bravado. Really kinda foolish but, youth, huh?

   6. I was so proud when they broke the thing. So proud. Unfortunately it was only damning for about a month, and that the series continues for years waters down it's consequence. It may have happened to early IMO, only the Pool bombing and events regarding Leera I think are as damaging: which lends to about 30 books of filler

   7. She hasn't changed, in her own eyes I think. Right now her attitude shifts are gradual, and expressed by the others. Her motives are entirely different, from the heroes champ to the bad guy stopper. Linked but not dependent. Her figuring out the Kandrona, solely the narration thing, I would have guessed Cassie/Jake/Marco to figure it first. But maybe she knows downtown better ::). The dad moving plot was good because we rarely see her so emotional and it was nice to she that see can have a normal, upset adolescent reaction to a personal affair. Angry, hurt, but not destroying. Well done.

   8. I've reason to believe their vision is not that bad. Beyond that, the experience is great, and a perfect fit for Rachel. The strength it puts off, the intimidation, wonderful, wonderful creature, and I'm glad it became a central figure in this series. And I'm glad that it's not just a lumbering brute-a touch of tact makes for a more real portrayal

   9. In normal life, run, duh. If I'm not fighting, can't do anything to help, sorry I don't bet on others likelihood of success. As a member of the Animorphs that's harder. First instinct is to run, and it's a strong instinct. But like I said, if you've taken up the mantle to this point, you've an entire planet on the line. I don't think I'd be quick to leave they all to their fates if I'd made them my responsibility.

On Ally's last remark: Idk that she was out to kill. A charging grizzly could stop most people without lethal force, as she shows so many times in the future. Eager, yes. Lethal intentions, perhaps not
:raftrophy: Ani-Master 2012 & 2013
'bout time

Offline Tim Bruening

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 969
  • Insanity Meter:
    0%
  • Karma: -41
  • Gender: Male
Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #7 The Stranger
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2015, 01:14:24 AM »
If the Ellimist had moved the Animorphs and their families to another planet, would he have removed Tom's Yeerk?  Would he have transported Tobia's Mom Loren?  Would he have transported both of Rachel's parents?

Offline Dylan

  • Andalite Prince
  • Xtreme Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 2750
  • Insanity Meter:
    22.4%
  • Country: us
  • Karma: 60
  • Gender: Male
  • Act your part well, and there all the honor lies
Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #7 The Stranger
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2015, 01:22:18 AM »
I'm assuming he would have probably did that. Although, considering Tobias doesn't know about Loren at this point, if she would come is a bit questionable.
Quote
Waffles. Nuf' Said.
2015: Best Newcomer to RAF
2015: Most Insane Member



Offline Redtailednothlit

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 37
  • Insanity Meter:
    0%
  • Country: gb
  • Karma: 2
  • Gender: Female
Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #7 The Stranger
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2015, 03:01:06 PM »

Cassie voted yes.  But I think it’s more than running from a fight in her case.  It’s exactly like her example about rehabilitated wildlife.  She wanted to save humanity as a species. 
Rachel voted no.  We saw that coming as much as Marco did.  And later, even after seeing Earth lost, she would likely have fought.  It was seeing herself as a Controller that finally scared her enough to want to run.  And as an afterthought, I LOVED the moment of relief she feels after surrendering.  Because all every strong, brave person wants is allowance to be weak.
Tobias, in anger at the Ellimist’s obvious manipulation, voted no initially.  Seeing Rachel as a Controller shook him almost as much as it shook her.  And I think that’s what caused him to take Cassie’s position.
I don’t really count Marco’s vote as real, because they’d already seen the dropshaft.
Jake and Ax both didn’t really vote either.


To be fair, Tobias had just heard the Visser tell him how he had been barbecued and Rachel had eaten him...

Offline Tim Bruening

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 969
  • Insanity Meter:
    0%
  • Karma: -41
  • Gender: Male
Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #7 The Stranger
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2015, 10:49:09 PM »
I'm assuming he would have probably did that. Although, considering Tobias doesn't know about Loren at this point, if she would come is a bit questionable.

I urge that the Ellimist also take Saddler and his family, and Tobias' Aunt and Uncle.