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.