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Author Topic: Group Re-read 2.0 #18 The Decision  (Read 1465 times)

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Offline RYTX

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Group Re-read 2.0 #18 The Decision
« on: March 10, 2012, 01:37:20 PM »
Synopsis
Change a little. Change a lot. Just change....
The scientific process behind morphing is enough to make one's head explode.  At least if one's head is human. But even the Andalites are going to do a lot of rethinking when Ax and the Animorphs somehow go from mosquito morphs to drifting through Z-space in their own bodies. Now the Animorphs are caught up in the battle for another world, unsure who their allies are and how get back. But all Ax can think about is the chance to return to his people....

Questions
   1. What was your reaction to and explanation of the Andalite captain's betrayal? What do you think of the Yeerks having infiltrated the Andalite world, and why were these concepts never addressed again?

   2. This book repeatedly questions the ability of different species to work together. What do think of the challenge it presents, and way it is overcome in this book? Considering the only example we have, humans, what does it take for those of very different backgrounds to work together, and how readily can that be accomplished?

   3. With those things in mind, what do you think about the portrayal of Andalites, particularly the military, up to this point and in this book? The youth of Earth set up what the force leader calls their greatest victory: why then is there still no strong commit to saving Earth after this book?

   4. The events of Leera are arguably unlike any other in the series. Introduced in Book 15, directly addressed here, and the revealed as key to the ruin of Vissers One and Four in the future, it arches over much of the series. How did you like the recurrence of Leera? The books feature numerous running gags but how prevalent is continuity? Would you have liked to see more, or less, things to bind the series together or were you content as is?

   5. We also get a brief look at Leerans both as individuals, and as morphs. What did you think of this species, what aspects of it were well done, and what needed expanding on?

   6. What are your thoughts on Ax in this book? How do you think he handles the notion of an Andalite betrayal? What do you think of his short departure and return to the Animorphs, particularly his submission to solely Jake's authority on his return?

   7. Ax has a unique relationship with Jake, acknowledging him as his Prince throughout the series. What do you think of their relation-as leader and solider, and as friends? This book is not the only time where an tense situation arises between them, how is the tie between these two maintained throughout the story?

   8. If you where in Ax's place, do you think you would be as quick to return to return to your people, considering all that has happened on Earth? Why or why not? What would you do to mend the relation upon leaving, and in the event you return to the group?

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

   10. Anything else?

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

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Offline Noelle

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Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #18 The Decision
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 05:50:21 PM »
1. My reaction was pretty much complete surprise.  As for an explanation, I think that's why this book gets 4 stars instead of 5.  I don't like that it was never brought up again, that's a pretty HUGE implication to just leave alone.  No motive is contemplated, no sub-plot is ever made past this book.   It seems like just a lazy plot twist to give Ax a real reason to question his loyalties.  Once that was accomplished, there was no reason to ever write about it again, which is too bad.  Perhaps one explanation is the extremely war-weary were trying to force an Andalite loss to force the Andalites into negotiation for a peaceful solution.

2. Really, all it takes is a similar goal.  If the goal is significant enough, people will work together despite differences and challenges.  I think it is portrayed reasonably well in this book.

3. I always really liked the portrayal of the Andalite military in all the books.  Ruthlessly efficient and dedicated to their goal, no matter the cost (which isn't a good thing.)  I think that the Andalites can grudgingly respect and learn from the successes of others, but in the end, if they don't fit in the plan they don't fit in the plan.  The Andalites saw an opportunity to win, at the cost of earth, and they didn't want to risk their plans for a 'primitive' race. 

4. I really think that is part of what made this book good, it had a history attached that was previous in the series which gave it depth.  I really liked the re-occurence (even if the plot to set it up kind of smelled of deus ex machina.)  It tied up some loose ends and people got to read the way in which the Animorphs helped the rest of the universe.  I would have liked to see more continuity to the series, I think the ending books suffered severely for lack of it. 

5. I really liked the Leeran race, the concept behind a completely psychic race is really interesting, and I think the individuals that were portrayed were portrayed well for a race that would have that ability.  Though, since they were amphibious, I don't know why the Animorphs didn't use it more.  Stand behind a wall, psychically read Visser three, get all the future plans, and win.  I think they were rather under-utilized as a morph. 

6. I think Ax handled it realistically for Ax.  Throughout the series his biggest vice was pride in his people, and the betrayal sent him into a complete mental and emotional tailspin.  I think it also touches on a lesser spoken about weakness of Ax, his complete lack of trust in his own intuition.  (Or maybe, even lack of intuition when it came to other races.)  He is constantly trying to find someone to tell him what to do, and his actions are guided by that, he immediately leaps to serve the one with most authority.  This is extremely evident when the Animorphs put him in a position of leadership and try to get him to tell him what to do, and its one of the few times he ever lashes out in anger in the series because he can't handle being in that spotlight.  While I think his decision to serve solely Jake was the right decision, I think he made it out of extreme insecurity in his own decisions (thought it was definitely reinforced by the betrayal.)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

7.  As I stated above, I think Ax is a soldier first and independent second.  Whenever he breaks out of that role, he usually immediately snaps back to a soldier position with massive apologies and shame (which is rather uncharacteristic of Andalites), which I think is where the relationship is stabilized between Ax and Jake.  Jake knows that when Ax screws up he is always going to snap back in line, just like the rest of the Animorphs for the most part.  I don't think Jake and Ax ever really surpass a 'business' relationship level of friendship, which further stabilizes the relationship between them.  All of the Animorphs have their problems within the group, and I think this is where Jake proves he is a real leader, because he knows what they are, and for the most part how to deal with them.

8. Personally, I wouldn't have after they forced me to take the blame after they wanted me to take the blame for something I didn't do.  Also, I like to think I would be a little more appreciative of the Animorphs helping me live on a planet completely foreign to me and I would want to make sure their wishes were considered before I took any course of action.  Of course, not being Andalite, I don't know how deeply blind allegiance is ingrained into the head of their youth.  And there's no knowing what someone would do after being cut off from your own people that long, its possible that pure loneliness could have dictated Ax's actions, which is understandable.  As for what I would do the mend the relationship after the faux pas, I think I would have done what Ax did.  Said I was really sorry and promise never to do it again, though I think I'd try to take a little bit more active of a role in helping earth instead of just being a yes man. 

9. Probably a couple months ago.  Honestly, the only thing I'm really concerned about them changing is the stupid Kafit bird thing.  Either take out Ax's paranoia, or explain it away as him being stupidly paranoid.  (Or, could make it a psychic anomaly or something, lol.)  What I would like to see in a re-release is at least some discovery of the motive behind the captains actions, and the explanation of how exactly the Yeerks are tied to the Andalite homeworld and the Andalite rebels themselves.


Offline Ember Nickel

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Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #18 The Decision
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2012, 12:36:33 PM »
One I can finally read my hard copy of for once. :)

Don't get the kafit bird thing. Probably Alloran would have had it before, and didn't he mention that they were invading the homeworld in a plotline that they never ran with?

Again with the inconsistent "going to the government" thing. Ugh.

I also was amused by the guy waking up from a coma because of a mosquito bite. You can tell the author's Minnesotan... :)

Offline RYTX

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Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #18 The Decision
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2012, 02:08:05 AM »
   1. Reaction: Shock, anger, confusion. Explanation: I went through this last read looking for continuity. And it felt like they were aiming to add a new plot to the series with all the Yeerk-Andalite stuff happening in space, which gets you all excited, but then they just didn't get around to it. (Which epically pissed me off btw.) They set it up nicely, and then never finished it. Shame.

   2. Working with people who have one or two different POV's isn't personally that hard, as long as we don't address that difference frequently. That's not to say the interaction is stress free, but it's workable. So when you deal with these things that have one or two commonalities and multiple differences, you're looking at a hard road. If the commonality is big enough, such as a war, than working you should be able to cooperate through it well, but that still leaves you in a wreck once the fighting stops.

   3. Again, a disappointment, because I think it's a combination of complexing the good guy, blurring the good/evil dynamic, and just a touch of disorganization. The Andalites have their priorities askew, and so does the author.  Worse case is the mix of corruption, and Andalites coming to fear the humans, though they don't have a great reason to yet.       

   4. As I just said, I've been looking for continuity (which is why I keep asking about character development), and so I really like Leera, and this book. I really wish we had more things to link the books: it's nice you can pick up on any one and not be too lost, but, semi-independent books are limiting: more of a sitcom set up than a real, progressing story. There's just enough hinted at to know that there's more there, but never a lot is never fleshed out, and I think that makes the impact of the series suffer, because you have titles that don't contribute to the story in a meaningful way.

   5. Psychic frogs, what's not to like? They way the work with the Animorphs makes it a surprise they can't work well with the Andalites, but that may be the Andalite's fault. Mind reading might be the one sense I'd trade for sight. Cool race, room to grow, but not overbearing. I'll point out that the Leerans are of the very  few races acknowledged to have a God: not critical to expand on, but this is my point, it's introduced that the universe is larger, but we're left blind to so much of it. Good and bad in story telling, but more bad for my wants at least.

   6. It's hard to remember Ax is still a kid equivalent. With that in mind, his trying to go how, his shock at seeing authority abused and betrayed is understandable. Still think his months in the fight should have beat that out of him by now. But I do think it was a great learning experience for him, and it still bears some marks on how he behaves in the future.

   7. Ax is a good solider, very respectful, which is all to hard to find in real life, and I think that really contributes to their chief dynamic. And I like them on the more casual levels too. The can talk to each other, gain insight from on another. Like professional colleagues out to lunch. They're both fairly serious, disciplined, and burdened, and I think they understand each other very well.

   8. As a kid, I'd probably have gone running home at first chance; say thank you, but I'm needed else where, and then, apologize and hope for forgiveness when it blows up in my face. Now though I think I'd be less inclined: there's a lot you've done, and a lot to do somewhere-a project to finish in my eyes. And I'd be more skeptical about submitting to authorities I don't know, than unofficial figures I respect-which was Ax's mistake here.
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Offline Tim Bruening

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Re: Group Re-read 2.0 #18 The Decision
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2015, 11:25:48 PM »


Questions
   1. What was your reaction to and explanation of the Andalite captain's betrayal? What do you think of the Yeerks having infiltrated the Andalite world, and why were these concepts never addressed again?

Why didn't those Andalites who were collaborating with the Yeerks arrange for the Yeerks to infest more Andalites?  After all, that one Yeerk who took over an Andalites seems to be doing reasonably well!

I bet that the Andalites employed Leerans to root out all their traitors.

Quote
   5. We also get a brief look at Leerans both as individuals, and as morphs. What did you think of this species, what aspects of it were well done, and what needed expanding on?

I have wondered why the Animorphs never morphed Leerans again, since by doing so, they could have detected Controllers, and vetted potential new Animorphs.  (The big problem in the David episode was that the Animorphs didn't have an opportunity to vet him).