Book 1: The Invasion

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Book 1: The Invasion

Post by Snoopy » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:44 pm

As promised, we're kicking off the book of the week discussions this weekend. In this thread we'll be discussing Book 1: The Invasion.

It's been forever since I actually picked this one up and read it... but it's always been one of my favorites. Please post any thoughts, comments, or questions you'd like to share about the book here!
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If you experience any problems, please do not hesitate to PM or email me.

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Re: Book 1: The Invasion

Post by Tim Bruening » Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:15 pm

Spoilers for entire series!

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Saddest aspect: The animorphs come close to rescuing Tom in this book, but never again come close to rescuing Tom for the rest of the series! (I've fanticized about gorillas snatching Tom nd holding him captive until his Yeerk dies).

Second saddest: Tobias getting trapped in hawk form!

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Re: Book 1: The Invasion

Post by xenawarriorprincess » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:10 pm

I can't help but notice the zillion "KASUs' because its only the first book of the series. This is a great book, though. :P

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Re: Book 1: The Invasion

Post by kebrennan » Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:45 pm

Tobias comes across as a bit of an awkward turtle in the very beginning. He's so much more sure of himself once the aliens start landing and all hell breaks loose.

Pre-war Jake strikes me as a bit of an adrenaline junkie, between hanging out in the construction site frequently and climbing a rusted crane for kicks and giggles. In later books, Rachel is the reckless one, but even she never tried to attack Visser Three with nothing but a pipe.

Am I crazy, or was there a long pause between V3 lifting Elfangor into the air and the big chomp down? It was enough time for Jake to go crazy, grab the pipe, get subdued by his friends, and calm down again. My fanon explanation is that Elfangor and V3 were rehashing old history in private thought-speak. I think I've read an Alloran POV fic to that effect.

The first time I read the book, I thought that when Jake-as-Homer smelled something weird on Tom he was smelling the actual Yeerk. Now, I'm thinking he probably caught a mix of the construction site and the various aliens in it. I guess it would be much too easy if they could ID controllers just by morphing a dog and sniffing their shoes.

I'm only part of the way through, so I might post more when I finish the book.

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Re: Book 1: The Invasion

Post by Brandonmack » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:03 pm

Man, that was good! It's been ages since I read it, either. Man, I'm glad you had this idea. Though i have to admit the ending, with tobias getting stuck as a hawk, was not as epic as I remember. It was more like "oh and by the way Tobias is now a hawk forever." Still pretty amazing though. A great start to an outstanding series!

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Re: Book 1: The Invasion

Post by Menno » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:04 pm

It seems that BBCode is disabled here. I was making a post, but I mentioned some stuff that definitely needs to be spoilerized.

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Re: Book 1: The Invasion

Post by Menno » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:09 pm

Today I finished #54 for the first time in about 10 years. Then I read the first chapter of #1. Surprisingly, in those first 7 pages, I have found things which I find worth mentioning in this discussion.

-It's so easy to overlook, but here, we get our very first glimpse of the characters--this is the only moment when we ever see them as just normal kids; the point of reference from which we may measure their development. Granted, they aren't exactly fleshed all the way out in these 7 pages, but still, it seems significant to me. Here's what I've noticed:
--We aren't told much about Jake yet, as he's the narrator and not too self-centered. We do see that he wants to live up to his brother's basketball reputation, and from this we may tentatively gather that he is already the kind of person who can't stand to let others down, and is not very tolerant of his own failures. He seems to think that being successful in basketball might be the solution to his and Tom's recent growing-apart. We also learn that he saved Tobias from some bullies. At our [er, my] age it's easy to take that for granted, but really, there are very few 13-year-olds who would step in like that.
--Rachel is pretty, fashionable, graceful, and already has a fearless and defiant edge. Also, why does she practice gymnastics when she considers herself too tall to ever be really good at it? Maybe she likes a challenge...maybe she just likes the "danger" [hah] of gymnastics... Also, it is indicated that Marco and Rachel are the more skeptical/cynical members of the group: "We both knew what we thought it was, but we didn't want to say it. Marco and Rachel would have laughed..."
--Tobias isn't one of the group yet. It's already pretty clear that he has no friends. He is new at school and gets picked on a lot. Jake and Tobias's first meeting consisted of Jake standing up for Tobias because Tobias was too weak and/or gentle to stand up for himself. Then Tobias became a hanger-on to Jake; the third best thing after having actual friends and being a loner. We do learn, toward the end of the chapter, that Tobias often has a tendency to seem off in his own world. This is a clue that there is much more going on in his head than meets the eye. Also, Tobias is the first to spot Elfangor's ship in the sky. Was he drawn to the sky already? Could it be that he was already somehow attuned to Elfangor?
--Cassie is already a bit of a counterpoint to Rachel; Jake describes her as "sort of the opposite." She dresses casual, of course. She has a peaceful demeanor, and Jake indicates that she seems to see things in ways that others don't. One thing that I don't think is mentioned in any of the other books: Cassie is quieter than Rachel.
--Marco is about as good at video games as Jake, despite the fact that Jake gets a lot more practice. Jake attributes this to Marco's sharp tactical mind: "Marco has this amazing ability to analyze games and figure out all the little tricks." Marco is evidently more cautious than Jake; he stayed below and said Jake was being an idiot when Jake climbed on the big rusted crane. It is also already apparent that Marco has a sarcastic attitude.

-p5: "...we could either go the long way around, which is the safe way, or we could cut through this abandoned construction site and hope there weren't any ax murderers hanging around there." [#4 spoiler [not much of a spoiler unless you are new to the series:]] Not an ax murderer...but the murderer of Ax's brother, maybe.

-p5: "My mom and dad have sworn to ground me until I'm twenty if they ever find out I've cut through the construction site." In retrospect, it is ironic that Jake would ever worry about this, given what actually DID happen as a consequence of cutting through the construction site. Especially since [#49 spoiler:] Jake lost his family and had to abandon his home, quite the opposite of being grounded.

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Re: Book 1: The Invasion

Post by Ellimist » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:51 pm

Menno wrote:It seems that BBCode is disabled here. I was making a post, but I mentioned some stuff that definitely needs to be spoilerized.
Corrected for you. :)
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Re: Book 1: The Invasion

Post by kebrennan » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:37 pm

Rachel strikes me as the overachieving type. She has to have the perfect hair, wardrobe, athleticism, demeanor. Perfect grades, too, as we'll learn later on in the series. It's like she's taken all of the energy that will eventually make her a dangerous fighter and funneled it into the public school rat race, where she just has to show up grinning and say "I win all the things!" In poparena's videos, he's mentioned that people tend to be surprised that Rachel is smart. I never was because I grew up in the same kind of school and I've known people like that. You'd be surprised how often misplaced aggression can lead to fancy scholarships.

Also, she and Jake are the same person in some important ways. See my earlier comment about Jake's trusty pipe. See also Rachel's actions that first night, from trying to comfort Cassie to risking her life to give the others a chance to escape.

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Re: Book 1: The Invasion

Post by PKWonder » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:52 pm

Funny how I picked up the series for the first time. I was at my local bookstore ten years ago, and was using the book I happened to grab off the shelf as support to write on... I was making a list of something. A birthday wishlist? I probably just wanted Pokemon cards? Anyways, I had to leave in a hurry, and I accidentally walked out with the book in hand. I realized once we were out of the parking lot, but my mom didn't have time to turn around and said we'd take it back tomorrow. So I read the entire book that night, and fell in love with the series. Went back the next day, paid for it honestly, and bought the next five or six books in the series, returning to get a new batch as soon as I finished the previous one.

So. The Invasion. An excellent start. I've already started my reread, and am not going to wait weeks for you guys to catch up with me (about to finish The Andalite Chronicles), but I'll definitely contribute to each discussion. I'm also trying to introduce my friend to the series, so hopefully he'll make an account. (I bought the rereleases, so he won't have to deal with the major KASUs in the original).

I think the Animorphs make good progress in this book...
They discover The Sharing. They discover that Tom and Chapman are Controllers. They infiltrate the Yeerk Pool, and even though as a whole the mission was a failure, it gave them experience and knowledge of who they were up against. Sadly, it results in the "casuality" of Tobias, although as they will find out in the near-future, his nothlitism proves irreplaceable to their cause.