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Author Topic: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer  (Read 2512 times)

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Offline RYTX

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Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« on: January 26, 2013, 11:16:36 AM »
Synopsis
All questions are about to be answered.....
Destroying the Yeerk Pool hurt the Yeerks. Bad. And now the Animorphs have a chance for one last crippling blow. There's treason on both sides, new alliances are forming, and names from the past reemerging. Jake's seen a way to end this fight, once and for all. Earth can be saved. But it may yet cost Jake, his allies, and his friends, everything....

Questions
   1. We finally have a last name! How did this revelation strike you after more than 50 books of secrecy?

   2. The beginning of this book shows the Yeerks completely destroying the city, and effortlessly crushing the military's response. Now that the government is involved, what good are they? What, if anything, could forces other than the Animorphs have done to hurt the Yeerks?

   3. Arbon's still alive. And on Earth. And wants the Animorphs help in giving the Taxxons morphing abilities so they can become nothlits. Thoughts on these revelations?

   4. The last new species the Animorphs display is one the Taxxon's would elect to spend the remainder of their days as: the anaconda. What did you think of this animal in this book? Do you think the descriptions of it's attitudes and abilities were accurate, undersold or exaggerated? What do you envision the experience of being a anaconda to be like? Is this a form you'd be willing to spent the rest of your life as?

   5. What do you think about Tom's ambitions and desires to bring down the Animorphs, and forsake the Yeerk Empire?

   6. What do you think about Jake's plans to end war? Using Chapman as a hostage to black mail the Chee; the use of Auxiliary Animorphs and soliders; the alliance with the Taxxons; the way he captured the pool ship; his use of the of Animorphs and using specifically Rachel to stop Tom.  Collectively and individually what do you think of these moves to end the fight? Considering how things had turned out, what would you have done?

   7. On that note, flushing the Pool: necessary, cruel, wise, or something else entirely? Do you agree with the call?

   8. Erek decided on his own to drain the Pool Ship's Dracon cannons. What do you think of his decision, and the consequences they wrought?

   9. Though we have one book left, Visser One basically concedes defeat here. Was the final clash against Visser One fitting? He insists that he was defeated not by the Animorphs, but by Yeerk treason-what do you think of that concept?

   10. Cassie and Jake have been through a lot together. What do you think of their relationship throughout the series? What did you like and dislike about their highs and lows together? What do you think of the ways they have interacted as a romantic couple, and as members of the Animorphs?

   11. It was from Jake's perspective that we were introduced to the invasion, and from Jake is the last solo narration. What do you think of Jake's progression across the span of the series? What were his accomplishments and failings as a leader; all in all, how did he do? Jake lead the fight against a crisis the world has literally never known-what allowed him not only to maintain, but win after all that has happened? What else, or what different, would you have had done with and by Jake Berenson?

   12. For the first time in a long time we get a book headed by Applegate rather than a ghost writer. Is there a notable difference in the feel, the telling of this book, as opposed to the GWs-especially in the rest of the final arc, or KA's style in the first half of the series?

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

   14. Anything else?

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

Next week: # 54 The Beginning
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Offline Ember Nickel

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Re: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 12:38:35 PM »
More Jake/Cassie quotes: "I hadn't meant to exclude Cassie. I really hadn't." and, "Make sure Cassie doesn't know" (Rachel).

The General's name is Sam Doubleday, I'm wondering what sort of a choice that is. Is the Sam supposed to call "Uncle Sam" to mind? General (Abner) Doubleday was a commander at Fort Sumter in the beginning of the Civil War, which is mentioned heavily in this and book 47; he also was credited with the invention of baseball, and almost certainly didn't. Something about how Americana myths are just myths?

Visser One addresses Tom or one of his underlings as "good and faithful servant," which is a biblical quote. Would love to see when he learned that one

Offline RYTX

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Re: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2013, 11:10:21 AM »
   1. I still get chills, even though I'm not convinced of how it's pronounced.

   2. See this is depressing, because I'd long hoped the Yeerks held back not only because of Edriss's personal agenda, but some fear of Earth's strength. This makes it appear not so much. My only hope in Earth being able to protect itself is the Yeerk armada being small, like a few hundred fighters, which hopefully tens of thousands of planes and missiles could bring down. I've been skeptical for so long though, and to see how quickly they stomp out an non-morph based counter is frightening.

   3. The biggest shock was that he lived so long. Like Yeerks I find it odd so many Taxxons would want to give up their life in this way, an entire species with a self loathing mentally seems maladaptive-something should have gone off to okay them with this central instinct. Still I always thought of this as the high of the Taxxon race, but really it's the same deal they made with the Yeerks: forces for satisfying their hunger. Sad

   4. I gather they don't have a lot of threats for obvious reasons, but I can't help envisioning a savvy opponent gets in a few good cuts and lets it bleed to death. Hmm. Anyway, I personally don't like the sitting around lifestyle this animal comes with, and I do like limbs, but their are worse things to be. Somehow I picture as more invulnerable than any other morph in the series, in the wild at least. There must be more than sleeping and eating every few weeks, and that's an aspect I would like to explore, but all in all, giant snake=not great, not terrible.

   5. This would have been a lot more meaningful if we'd gotten to know this Yeerks at all over the last 3 years of the story.

   6. Well, it worked, and I'm not cunning enough to come up with another way. He needed the Chee, the Taxxons were a help. The decoy was not what it should have been, they should have had a way out, and why Rachel alone. I've doubts Marco or Cassie would,  but I don't understand why he needed Tobias. Ax had the morph too. A lot of it was ruthless and cruel. But it worked. Poor kid.

   7. Not necessary, but not unwise. A little cruel based on his forethought, but it had some purpose, if not vital. Nothing I object to, though perhaps I should.

   8. This is the one time I dislike Erek. He didn't do it for his programming, this was his petty revenge for being black-mailed, and it was a terrible decision. No good from it, possibly great harm, and a death in vain. Damn you Erek. Damn you.

   9. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO O! Biggest disappoint was to see the evil that had spanned ages saying "dang it I lose." I still say he was defeated by the Animorphs, with the help of Yeerk treason, but that line is salt in the wound in my mind. A loss unlike any other in the series.

   10. For a long, long, long time I didn't care. They were good for each other. Comforting, understanding, supportive. Wasn't impressed, but nothing shocking. But in the previous book after a great treason, Jake forgave her. Worse he put his trust back in her. That he trusts someone who gambles with so much is baffling to me, and in my opinion, that's why they couldn't last. Cassie is magnificent in many ways, but for Jake she was the staunch reminder of what the war had done: made a sweet young girl he loved into someone who brought him great joy, but greater regret.

   11. I don't know why, but I'm very proud of Jake. With few exceptions, I dislike his books, but him I always admired for doing all he does. After 49, I can't say he maintained because of family or hope, it was a much less tangible aspect of his character: a built in drive to finish a job. There's a lot of things I'd have done different with all the characters, but most important, I would have given Jake a happy ending. It's what he deserved. It's what he's earned.

   12. Nope. Most of the final arc was a different feel from the rest of the series, especially filler era, but nothing in the style of this book compared to the last few makes it plain that she's back at the helm. Make of it what you will.
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Offline Chad32

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Re: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2013, 11:49:43 AM »
I don't think I felt the last name was very important. She didn't even give them all last names. I guess it's nice, but not like mind blowing or anything.

I kind of expected the Human forces to do more damage. I thought in the beginning part of the reason they held back was because the Human military might beat them. With heavy losses, but USA has a huge military, and that's not even the whole world's. Though at this point it was mentioned that most of the Empire's military force was concentrated in and around Earth, so at this point the invasion was successful enough that they could just hammer away.

I was really surprised that arbron was still alive, though I guess KA needed a way for the Taxxons to communicate with Jake. Given that the Hive on their homeworld can supress the insane need to feed, I'm not sure why the Taxxons don't just go home. Or why they would need the Yeerks to help them control their hunger anyway. I guess as a sentient species, they wanted to tour the galaxy too, and couldn't just take the Hive with them. Judging from what we read in TAC, I'm not sure why the Taxxons would have a problem when around the Hive.

As far as Tom's plan goes, I guess it's something. Take the box, and leave the empire to die at the hands of the Humans and Andalites. He had a bladeship, and a loyal force, so I'd say he could realistically have what he needed to start over.

I'm not upset about what Jake did with erek, and I'm actually not sure why he was that ticked off. Maybe a bit mad and surprised, but Erek has been shown to want to help, and this was a valid means to get around his programming. I think he used the auxilaries quite poorly. I think making sure his brother didn't become the next eva was good, and at least the Hork-Bajir have the free or dead motto. The animorphs don't seem to adopt that motto, though. I don't know what flushing the Yeerks was supposed to accomplish. If it was to get visser Three to rush somewhere, he's shown that he doesn't care about his followers. It just seemed he diud it out of spite, which was very unprofessional to say the least.

I was all for Cassie/Jake up until the recent arc, but after what she did, I can understand why they didn't end up together. Not to mention she completely cut off contact after the war. I think the books portray it more of his fault than hers, but that's not my opinion.

I don't think 53-54 felt different from the other books. KA had long become bored of the series, and I doubted she cared for the characters at this point.


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Offline Tim Bruening

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Re: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2015, 07:21:40 PM »
Quote
Synopsis

   4. The last new species the Animorphs display is one the Taxxon's would elect to spend the remainder of their days as: the anaconda. What did you think of this animal in this book? Do you think the descriptions of it's attitudes and abilities were accurate, undersold or exaggerated? What do you envision the experience of being a anaconda to be like? Is this a form you'd be willing to spent the rest of your life as?

The Taxxons have lots of hands.  The anacondas have no hands.  Why would the Taxxons be willing to deprive themselves of hands?  I wouldn't!

Quote
   7. On that note, flushing the Pool: necessary, cruel, wise, or something else entirely? Do you agree with the call?

Its the only Animorph act I can point to as a likely war crime!

Offline Chad32

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Re: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2015, 10:13:06 AM »
Taxxons feel the need to constantly feed. Snakes only have to feed once or twice a month. Apparently the lack of hands is a small price to pay.


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Offline Tim Bruening

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Re: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2015, 04:04:13 PM »
Taxxons feel the need to constantly feed. Snakes only have to feed once or twice a month. Apparently the lack of hands is a small price to pay.

I hereby invite the Taxxons to join Overeater's Anonymous, which welcomes anyone who wants to stop their compulsive eating.  I assume that this includes aliens!

Why not turn the Taxxons into gorillas, which do have hands?

Offline Chad32

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Re: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2015, 05:17:35 PM »
I don't think this is simple addiction to food. It's a universal hunger that's so strong that any blood causes them to lose all control. Even Yeerks can't stop them. OA is not equipped for that.

Because apparently they're not concerned with not having tiny lobster hands anymore. Nor do they wish to become nothlits so that they can have a better set of hands.


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Offline Tim Bruening

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Re: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2015, 08:38:54 PM »
I don't think this is simple addiction to food. It's a universal hunger that's so strong that any blood causes them to lose all control. Even Yeerks can't stop them. OA is not equipped for that.

Because apparently they're not concerned with not having tiny lobster hands anymore. Nor do they wish to become nothlits so that they can have a better set of hands.

How do the transformed Taxxons expect to build a high-tech civilization without HANDs?

Offline Chad32

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Re: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2015, 11:24:25 PM »
They're probably not. I'm not sure they ever had one.


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Offline Tim Bruening

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Re: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2015, 01:10:48 AM »
They're probably not. I'm not sure they ever had one.

The Yeerks have introduced them to high technology, and used their bodies to pilot spaceships.  I had figured that once the Taxxons were free of the Yeerks, they would want to build their own high-tech civilization.  For that, they would need hands in order to operate machinery and tools.  (I defy a SNAKE to operate a spaceship!).

Offline Chad32

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Re: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2015, 11:03:36 AM »
Get some Andalite technology, and pilot with thought-speech. :P

I don't know. Their ways are not our ways, and frankly that's one of the smallest problems I have with the ending. Partly because I don't give a crap about Taxxons anyway. One Taxxon's response to being cut in half was to start eating its lower half as it died. It's hard to empathize with giant ravenous centipedes who might eat their own body parts as you chop them up. Maybe they should have chosen a reptile with legs. At least a crocodile has something to grab with that's not a mouth. While still only needing to feed occasionally. For that species, a reptile nothlit makes sense. Snakes just may not have been the best choice.


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Offline Redtailednothlit

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Re: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2015, 04:30:59 PM »
I seem to remember the anaconda being chosen because its body was very similar to that of the Taxxon. I believe Cassie was told they wanted something not too dissimilar to what they already were.

Offline Tim Bruening

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Re: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2015, 10:46:24 PM »
At the end, Jake, Marco, and Tobias disappear from the face of the Earth.  I expect that the US government will soon come to grill Cassie about their fate, at which point she would tell the Feds about their secret mission to find Ax.  I predict that Earth's first Z-Space shil will be sent out to find Jake et al.

Offline Chad32

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Re: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2015, 10:47:39 PM »
Yeah, a snake is pretty close without actually becoming centipede nothlits.


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Offline Tim Bruening

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Re: Group Re-Read 2.0 #53 The Answer
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2015, 11:57:52 PM »
I like the idea of the Andalites trading morphing tech for cinnabons and other sweets!  I look forward to teens obtaining morphing licenses the same way they obtain driving licenses.  They would then go on "morphing" trips.