Book 7: The Stranger

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Book 7: The Stranger

Post by Snoopy » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:01 pm

Gah... I don't know why I've been so busy lately, but for some reason I haven't had time to stay up to speed with the Book of the Week discussions. Hopefully that will change shortly. In the meantime, here's the topic for Book 7, The Stranger! Time for some Rachel character development...
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Re: Book 7: The Stranger

Post by Elfangor » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:05 pm

Not much from me at the moment... Except that the Yeerks are clearly stupid. The Animorphs demorph inside a taxon and then remorph in the yeerk pool with 100s of yeerks watching them... But somehow the Yeerks don't work out they are human.
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Re: Book 7: The Stranger

Post by Brandonmack » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:09 am

Elfangor wrote:Not much from me at the moment... Except that the Yeerks are clearly stupid. The Animorphs demorph inside a taxon and then remorph in the yeerk pool with 100s of yeerks watching them... But somehow the Yeerks don't work out they are human.
Or they are just afraid to tell visser 3 that he's wrong....I wouldn't want to be the one on the wrong end of that tail blade...

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Re: Book 7: The Stranger

Post by moonie_knifey » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:06 am

Yeah, that was really stupid... The Animorphs even shouted with their human voices, so it should be evident that they are human. Taxxon goo isn't enough to change somebody's appearance completely.
It would be better if the Yeerks didn't think it was the Andalite bandits in that scene. They could presume that the alien from "Alien" was somehow real. And they'd be afraid of a possible epidemy of bursting Taxxons or something.

Other than that, I really liked this book. Probably my favourite Rachel book; there is much character development, Rachel's relationship with her father is examined in greater detail and Rachel goes berserk for the first time, which shows the direction in which her character will be heading during the whole series. There are two most important traits I've noticed:
1. she is brave because others expect her to be brave. It's often said that Rachel needed the war to happen in order to discover her vocation, and it's true in some degree. But in this book it's shown that she does miss her normal life and she starts to be afraid of what the war can do to her (I think it's the first time a character hints at some psychological damage. Well, maybe Tobias did). But she has very strong sense of duty, and this is what makes her act brave in front of the others. In one moment she breaks and tells Marco she isn't some stupid TV character, but later she has to play Xena role because others expect her to be reckless and courageous - and, later, ruthless and maybe even bloodthirsty (but this is explored in 48, so I won't go into it here). The saddest thing is that by playing that role so often, she really becomes the role. Courage and eagerness to act - traits she already posseses at the beginning - grow and devour others, like being able to think, unfortunately.
2. she uses morphs to improve her "mood", and she does it more often than other Animorphs. Already in book 2 she didn't want to control the cat mind completely, because she felt better with its self-confidence. In this book she gives in to the bear's violence. There is that interesting quote "The others thought I was brave, charging at all those Hork-Bajir, but I wasn't. I was blind. I thought they were humans". The bear becomes her main battle morph and in my opinion, it influences her the most. She needs to be without fear (for the sake of the others), so she morphs a bear. This psychological reason is, I think, equally - if not more - important as the pragmatic reason for choosing the bear over the elephant.

Now that I think about it, Rachel is even more worried with people's expectations than Jake. I mean, Jake tries to be the fearless leader and so on, but it ends within the Animorphs group. Rachel, on the other hand, has family problems in addition to Animorph problems, and she thinks all the time "What would my father think" or "I will hurt either my mother and sisters, or my father".

Another thing I've just noticed: the only Visser 3 in this book is the Visser from the future. Still scary, though.
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Re: Book 7: The Stranger

Post by btlizard » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:34 am

moonie_knifey wrote:Yeah, that was really stupid... The Animorphs even shouted with their human voices, so it should be evident that they are human. Taxxon goo isn't enough to change somebody's appearance completely.
Yeah, that's something I really didn't get. If the Yeerks didn't figure it out from this (AND that they are kids), would they ever? It didn't make sense to me near the end, when they finally "began to suspect" that they were humans. They should have already known. Even if you say that they were obscured by the goo and they were still partly bug when they were running off... remember that Rachel was grabbed around the neck by a large man when she was fully human. This alone should have set it off, that is, unless Ax killed the guy.
moonie_knifey wrote:The bear becomes her main battle morph and in my opinion, it influences her the most. She needs to be without fear (for the sake of the others), so she morphs a bear. This psychological reason is, I think, equally - if not more - important as the pragmatic reason for choosing the bear over the elephant.
It has been at least 3 months since the Animorphs started the fight at the beginning of this book (see below). Whereas the first five books seemed to show each member's reason for joining the fight, it seems that the second five books begin to show some of the psychological problems and changes encountered with the members. So far, Jake is dealing more with his main reason of joining: that Tom is an important Controller, so his main reason for fighting but also an important enemy. Rachel began to fight because of how it breaks up the families, but her own family is now breaking up (even more than before) with her dad moving and the possibility of her going along with him. Tobias gets skipped over in the next book, but certain with Cassie, it seems her reason for fighting (saving the whales and all of that) works its way into how the Animorphs get coerced into morphing into skunks to care for the babies.

This book is a big turning point in the series: The war is beginning to wear on everyone, and they sound like they are ready to throw in the towel. The Ellimist's offer makes them realize how much they want to keep up the fight. Also, the big victory at the end was probably a huge morale booster going forward in the series.


Here are some other random observations from reading through #7:

Cassie has a strange dichotomy: At times she really wants to appear responsible (she even says how Jake will read them "the riot act"), but she still takes place in (mostly Rachel's) irresponsible endeavors.

This book alludes to #9 when Cassie sees the skunks on their way out to see Ax.

Marco (along with Tobias and later Ax) begins to take more initiative with the information-gathering for future missions.

Rachel says that Ax does not typically attend meetings. In fact, the next several books in this sequence state the same thing, but this is the first time this is stated. However, in #12 he attends the meeting in human morph, but again it is stated that he doesn't like to be in human morph (which is funny because he loves the talking and tasting aspects of it). Still, this is irregular. It is not until #13 that this aversion diminishes in Ax, and by #17, Ax attends regularly, in normal form when possible.

When I first read this, I thought maybe Rachel could continue fight on another front, from another town or something. But, this would have been difficult since she would be working along, and they did not have the Escafil device yet.

This is yet another mission where Tobias has to sit out (the second, with the first being #4). This definitely underlines the need to give Tobias morphing power so he can contribute more. Along these lines, this book also makes me realize another important reason for Tobias to regain his morphing ability: it is so dangerous for him to live as a hawk. It would be easy for him to be killed somehow (as stated in #3). By being able to morph, he can heal or at least get in a better form to defend himself.

I wonder why Ellimist told them they would lose (for sure): was this a ploy so that they would challenge this idea? Or, in his view of the future, did they lose (like the future he showed them)? In other words, was it his "interfering but not interfering" that helped them win?

No one wants to take Ellimist up on his offer, except Cassie (she begins to alienate herself at this point, until the author reclaims her by vindicating her, especially when Jake begins to sympathize with her more. I wonder if Jake would have been as sympathetic as a leader if he was not romantically interested...) In this book, Cassie is the only one defending a particular position (for a time), showing that she definitely takes a stand/takes the lead on some things, even though she claims to hate doing it. Having said that, it should be noted that Cassie who first perceived that "there's something deeper going on here" in the future, that the Ellimist was trying to show them something.

Rachel says this is the first time she has skipped school. I guess it has, but I think this happens more later on. In any case, it makes you realize how much they have been able to keep up the normal life up until this point.

This is like the Animorph meets "It's a Wonderful Life": See what difference your lives have made in the war…

Cassie was the first to realize that they are in the (alternate) future. I wonder if this is something tied to her sub-temporal grounding.

Personally, I think it is great that Jake is the one who is arguing so vehemently against taking the Ellimist's offer. But maybe the reason Jakes doesn't want to give up the fight is that Tom wouldn't be one of the ones taken (since he's a Controller?) … The Ellimist said that "SOME members of your family" would be taken with them.

It is interesting to speculate what changed from before to future that they were shown. Why were there five humans and an Andalite instead of six humans? Obviously, they had not found the Kandrona since it was still there. But, what else? They apparently did not find Ax either, or else, in their reality, he survived past some event. It makes you wonder if maybe Ax made it home or something in the alternate line. Who would the sixth human be? David? Melissa? Someone else? If Rachel was recalling when she had visited the future, the "six humans" should have already visited the future. In which case, Ax would already have been gone. Also, the sixth (human) Animorph would already have joined the team. This makes me think it was Melissa or something. It just makes you wonder. It also is interesting how Ax's presence was already affecting the future outcome.

KAA’s dabbling in time travel here may have been springboard to other books, like #11, #41, AC, MM2, MM3, and MM4.


Timeline trivia:
- It has probably been between 3 to 4 months since they first learned of the Yeerk invasion (*see below for explanation).
- Based on what we know of the first day being a Sunday and the other days being subsequent school days, Cassie and Rachel would have had the butterfly conversation on a Thursday, but it wouldn't be until early Saturday morning that Rachel finally figured it all out.
- The animorphs saw a future Rachel that would never be (since she died in #54).


*Timeline calculation: Book #1 takes place over the course of about four days (Friday through Tuesday). Book #2 takes place over a week after #1 and lasts about a week. (When Rachel gets caught by Chapman, it is a Monday based upon when the other school days are. This should be two weeks since their Yeerk Pool infiltration). Book #3 starts less than a month after their fight began (when Tobias became a nothlit). Based upon the duration of this book and the previous ones, it is right around a month at the end of #3. Book #4 should start soon after #3, since Tobias has been coping "recently". Since #3 ended on a Sunday and #4 begins on a Sunday, it is safe to say that it is probably a week later. Book #4 takes place over the course of a week (one weekend to another). Book #5 should take place fairly soon after #4, since Ax wanted to leave Earth ever since he was rescued. Book #5 should start during the week following their rescue of Ax. They go to get supplies on a Saturday, and their mission to capture a Bug Fighter is on the following Saturday. The two-year anniversary of the "death" of Marco's mom is on Sunday, and his dad goes to get his job back the next day. So, Book #5 should end at around the two-month mark since their fight began. So, depending on how soon Marco and his dad moved apartments, book #6 should be 2-4 weeks after #5. Book #6 takes place over the course of about 10 days. The beginning of book #7 is on a Sunday, the next day Marco says he and Tobias have been trailing Chapman for about a week (since Jake had recently had the infestation episode). This places the start of #7 about a week after the end of #6. Altogether, it is 2 months (end of #5) + 2-4 weeks (time between apartment moves) + 17 days (time from beginning of #6 to beginning of #7) = at least 3 months but no more than 4 months.

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Re: Book 7: The Stranger

Post by Menno » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:31 pm

This is my favorite book so far. The first time I read the series, this book was where it went from "pretty cool" to "my favorite book series of all time". It's because of the Ellimist. I'm sure a lot of people think the Ellimist is a cheesy and lame plot device just because he can step in and stop time or whatever, but for me, the Ellimist adds a huge dose of mystery, and adds entirely new dimensions to the Animorphs universe. I am a "big picture" kind of guy, and the introduction of the Ellimist definitely makes the picture seem a whole lot bigger. And even now, I do find him pretty clever, pretending he's playing one game when he's playing another, giving the Animorphs a loophole, and hoping they're smart enough to find it. Another thing I like about the Ellimist is that he's a "good guy" who is a sneaky trickster. He kind of reminds me of how, for instance, it's morally right to lie to the police if you have broken an unjust law. It's a theme that is not visited enough in literature, in my experience at least.

The beginning of the book reminded me of the beginning of #3: Rachel using the elephant morph to (awesomely) save animals in a not-so-subtle way. Another connection between #7 and #3 is that Chapter 7 of #7 is analogous to chapter 12 of #3. The narrator is having emotional problems and flying restlessly about at night, and goes to talk their sweetheart. It's interesting how Tobias just went ahead and divulged everything, while Rachel hesitated and ended up pretendnig she was okay and not even mentioning the thing that was originally bothering her (until two days later when she just spilled it to everyone). Then again, I know everyone's problems matter, but Rachel complaining about her problems to Tobias would seem just a bit ironic. If Tobias was a jerk, he might say, <Oh, so both your parents are alive, they both love you, they both want to give you a home, AND you can't even go flying without having to turn back into a human every two hours? Wow, that must be rough.>

It's interesting how Rachel responds to stress and having too many decisions. First, she goes and acquires a grizzly bear all alone, which I think symbolizes that she uses her bravery and recklessness partly as coping mechanisms. Two days later, she's skipping school and flying around all day. They almost seem like two different extremes; like she's caught between seeking power and seeking escape (and we all know which road she eventually picks). Then again, the temptation of escape is kind of a theme of this book. On p131, Rachel even votes to accept the Ellimist's offer and run away from the war. This is sort of a turning point for Rachel, in the sense that from now on, she just gets more and more determined.

I was totally rolling my eyes at Jake when he was giving Rachel grief over skipping school and flying all day. Like, so it's not enough that they have to fight the whole war and everything; they aren't even allowed to use morphing for recreation? That's totally bogus. If I'm repeatedly sending myself into grave physical and psychological peril just to save the lousy human race, then you'll have to pry the thermals from my cold dead wings.

I think this is the first book where we start to notice some very clear contrasts between the personalities of Jake and Rachel. On p13-4, Rachel narrates, "It's not about cheap thrills. It's about feeling like I am involved in something very important." In #6 it was pretty clear that Jake is not at all pleased with being involved in the war, and during his conversation with Tom he said that he doesn't want to be "part" of something.

When the Ellimist was taking them on the abridged tour of Earth, I was thinking it must be particularly awesome for Ax, since Earth is still a very alien place for him.

I felt somewhat skeptical when the Ellimst said that Earth is basically the most beautiful planet ever. Flattery will get you nowhere. I realize suspension of disbelief is key in most science fiction; I still felt skeptical.

It's interesting how Tobias was so strongly opposed to taking the Ellimist's offer. He won't tolerate any weakness from himself, and it appears that this might cloud his judgment. Not that accepting the Ellimists offer would have been the right choice; it just seems that Tobias didn't think very objectively about it.

Cassie is typically thought of as the soft and emotional one, but when it comes to the Ellimist's offer, she is actually the cold ruthless one. If we ASSUME that the Ellimist was being completely honest and straightforward, then we see that Cassie was (initially) the only one who actually chose saving a few humans instead of saving no humans at all.

One somewhat unique thing about this book is that it's mostly Jake and Rachel who are reading between the lines and having insights. For instance, on p82 Jake logically deduces that the Ellimist probably can't tell the future. And Rachel is the one who figures out that the Ellimist showed them the Kandrona. Usually, Jake and Rachel are mostly action-oriented characters, and it's Tobias, Cassie, and Marco who are doing the heavy mental lifting. Still, in this book, Cassie was the first to realize that there must be some important subtext to the Ellimist showing them "the future".

On p110, we learn that Andalite eyesight is significantly better than human eyesight. Ax can see the Yeerk transportation system in more detail than any of the humans.

On p94-5, we learn that Rachel is a teacher's pet and has never skipped school before. It kind of surprised me, even though I was already aware that Rachel is an (over)achiever.

One minor recurring theme of this book I think is kind of interesting, is that Rachel says she does not like suspense, first on page 19, then on page 27. However, on p13 when Marco clearly has something important to tell everyone, Rachel seems to be enjoying the suspense.

On p3, Rachel says she brought Cassie along to the circus so she'd have someone to talk to when her sisters were getting all excited over the clowns and stuff. I must call BS: Virtually all kids hate and/or fear clowns.

On p149, there's the first instance of one of the Animorphs speaking directly to a Controller without pretending to be just a normal human, if you don't count Ax's brief exchange with Visser 3 in #5. And interestingly, Marco makes no effort to sound like an Andalite. Marco's usually the one most aware of security risks, but he is taking a pretty unnecessary risk by talking to that guard in such a humanlike way.

On p158, I think it's kind of interesting when: "Floor-to-ceiling windows formed one wall. They were shattered. I remembered the Hork-Bajir falling, and shuddered." She's no longer the grizzly, and she sees clearly through human eyes. It's a stark contrast between the fervor of battle and the chilling, almost surreal aftermath.

On p159, it really would have made sense for Marco to remorph to gorilla to help push the Kandrona.
Brandonmack wrote:
Elfangor wrote:Not much from me at the moment... Except that the Yeerks are clearly stupid. The Animorphs demorph inside a taxon and then remorph in the yeerk pool with 100s of yeerks watching them... But somehow the Yeerks don't work out they are human.
Or they are just afraid to tell visser 3 that he's wrong....I wouldn't want to be the one on the wrong end of that tail blade...
Visser Three's unwillingness to be wrong definitely works against him. Also, Ax was there, and being an Andalite, he was naturally the center of attention before the others morphed. I bet most of the Controllers didn't want to take their eyes off Ax for even a second. Clearly most Yeerks aren't exactly geniuses, but I don't think it calls for too much suspension of disbelief.
btlizard wrote:Cassie has a strange dichotomy: At times she really wants to appear responsible (she even says how Jake will read them "the riot act"), but she still takes place in (mostly Rachel's) irresponsible endeavors.
I don't think it's all that strange. It's pretty common for people to be caught between conspiring with their friends or doing the "responsible" thing.
btlizard wrote:*Timeline calculation: Book #1 takes place over the course of about four days (Friday through Tuesday). Book #2 takes place over a week after #1 and lasts about a week. (When Rachel gets caught by Chapman, it is a Monday based upon when the other school days are. This should be two weeks since their Yeerk Pool infiltration). Book #3 starts less than a month after their fight began (when Tobias became a nothlit). Based upon the duration of this book and the previous ones, it is right around a month at the end of #3. Book #4 should start soon after #3, since Tobias has been coping "recently". Since #3 ended on a Sunday and #4 begins on a Sunday, it is safe to say that it is probably a week later. Book #4 takes place over the course of a week (one weekend to another). Book #5 should take place fairly soon after #4, since Ax wanted to leave Earth ever since he was rescued. Book #5 should start during the week following their rescue of Ax. They go to get supplies on a Saturday, and their mission to capture a Bug Fighter is on the following Saturday. The two-year anniversary of the "death" of Marco's mom is on Sunday, and his dad goes to get his job back the next day. So, Book #5 should end at around the two-month mark since their fight began. So, depending on how soon Marco and his dad moved apartments, book #6 should be 2-4 weeks after #5. Book #6 takes place over the course of about 10 days. The beginning of book #7 is on a Sunday, the next day Marco says he and Tobias have been trailing Chapman for about a week (since Jake had recently had the infestation episode). This places the start of #7 about a week after the end of #6. Altogether, it is 2 months (end of #5) + 2-4 weeks (time between apartment moves) + 17 days (time from beginning of #6 to beginning of #7) = at least 3 months but no more than 4 months.
Nice work. I've been keeping track of in-universe time as well, and I came up with a similar figure, about 4 or 5 months. I figured there were probably several weeks between #3 and #4. The main thing that made me think this was Cassie's reference to "the good old days" before they became Animorphs. A month seems like not quite long enough for a "good old days" reference; I'd think it would have to be about two months at least. Also, in #4 Tobias seems far more at peace with being trapped as a hawk, making jokes about squirrel barbecue and pooping on people's heads. And Tobias's "recent" coping easily could have extended back several weeks in the past. The biggest obstacle to figuring out how much time has passed is the time in between books. We can use clues to infer the lenghts of these interims, but usually even our best-educated guesses will have a big margin of error.

Random Trivia:
  • On p13, Rachel mentions that Ax's back slopes down. I'm pretty sure this physical characteristic of Andalites is not mentioned anywhere else in the series.
  • On p85, Taxxon slime is green-blue. In book #2, on p165, it was greenish-yellow.
  • P91 is pretty much the first we hear of morphing being exhausting. It was mentioned in #4 that morphing takes energy, but it wasn't quite portrayed as exhausting.
Last edited by Menno on Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Book 7: The Stranger

Post by BabelFish42 » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:25 pm

Wow, Menno. That was one epic review.

I loved this book too. It was nice to see the kids finally have a decisive victory for once. And I’m with you – I love having the Ellimist and Crayak around. They make things more interesting. I like the idea that there are much bigger things going on here than just Yeerks and humans and Andalites. And I love trickster characters, like the Ellimist and the Drode.
Menno wrote:It's interesting how Rachel responds to stress and having too many decisions. First, she goes and acquires a grizzly bear all alone, which I think symbolizes that she uses her bravery and recklessness partly as coping mechanisms. Two days later, she's skipping school and flying around all day. They almost seem like two different extremes; like she's caught between seeking power and seeking escape (and we all know which road she eventually picks).
Awesome analysis. On one hand, she wants to be tough and fearless, both for herself and for others. On the other hand, she wants a normal life where she doesn’t have to be Xena. I think she ends up choosing power over escape for two main reasons:
1) She’s an addict. This is the less flattering reason, but I think it’s true. Like Jake said once, the war is to her like booze to an alcoholic.
2) She’s selfless. She’s a protector. She knows everyone she cares about is depending on her to be brave and keep fighting. So she does, even though she knows that the war is slowly destroying her. This second reason is one of the many things that makes me love Rachel so much.
Menno wrote:Another thing I like about the Ellimist is that he's a "good guy" who is a sneaky trickster. He kind of reminds me of how, for instance, it's morally right to lie to the police if you have broken an unjust law. It's a theme that is not visited enough in literature, in my experience at least.
Animorhs was so good at exploring themes – like this one – that other authors, even those writing for adults, don’t bring up nearly enough. One of the many reasons why I still love the series.
Menno wrote:It's interesting how Tobias just went ahead and divulged everything, while Rachel hesitated and ended up pretendnig she was okay and not even mentioning the thing that was originally bothering her (until two days later when she just spilled it to everyone). Then again, I know everyone's problems matter, but Rachel complaining about her problems to Tobias would seem just a bit ironic.
Yeah, I think she was already feeling guilty about having this conversation with Tobias of all people, so she cut it off short.
Menno wrote:I felt somewhat skeptical when the Ellimst said that Earth is basically the most beautiful planet ever. Flattery will get you nowhere. I realize suspension of disbelief is key in most science fiction; I still felt skeptical.
Not me. I mean, ok, realistically, the chances of Earth being the most beautiful planet to ever exist are slim to none. And beauty’s in the eye of the beholder. But I still loved hearing the Ellimist say that. What can I say, I love Earth. We’ve got a pretty awesome planet here. And I think we take it for granted way too often. So it was refreshing to hear someone say, look, this is one mind-blowingly gorgeous planet you humans have here. I guess he didn’t need to add the part about it being the most beautiful planet ever, though; you could still convince me that it’s a special place without trying to say it’s better than everywhere else.
Menno wrote:Cassie is typically thought of as the soft and emotional one, but when it comes to the Ellimist's offer, she is actually the cold ruthless one. If we ASSUME that the Ellimist was being completely honest and straightforward, then we see that Cassie was the only one who actually chose saving a few humans instead of saving no humans at all.
This is the same girl who devised a plan to trap David as a rat. I think her ruthless side comes out the most when she’s doing something that involves protecting people she cares about. Also, Cassie’s usually very much about the big picture and the long term. She may very well have been imagining a future where humans go off to some safe nature reserve of a planet, then are able to make a comeback from there. Her vote doesn’t strike me as out of character for her at all.
Menno wrote:One somewhat unique thing about this book is that it's mostly Jake and Rachel who are reading between the lines and having insights. For instance, on p82 Jake logically deduces that the Ellimist probably can't tell the future. And Rachel is the one who figures out that the Ellimist showed them the Kandrona. Usually, Jake and Rachel are mostly action-oriented characters, and it's Tobias, Cassie, and Marco who are doing the heavy mental lifting. Still, in this book, Cassie was the first to realize that there must be some important subtext to the Ellimist showing them "the future".
Idk, Jake and Rachel are clearly pretty smart as well. Jake’s pretty good at understanding his team, and thinking clearly under pressure. Rachel does the best in school, so she’s clearly no bimbo. I think the Animorphs are all pretty sharp, but in different ways. Different intellectual strengths, just like they’ve got different personality strengths.
Menno wrote:On p3, Rachel says she brought Cassie along to the circus so she'd have someone to talk to when her sisters were getting all excited over the clowns and stuff. I must call BS: Virtually all kids hate and/or fear clowns.
Lol, I was actually just having this conversation with my sister. Neither of us were afraid of clowns. She was terrified of fireworks. I used to have this weird fear of the cold, now I’m more afraid of lighting.
Menno wrote:On p149, there's the first instance of one of the Animorphs speaking directly to a Controller without pretending to be just a normal human, if you don't count Ax's brief exchange with Visser 3 in #5. And interestingly, Marco makes no effort to sound like an Andalite. Marco's usually the one most aware of security risks, but he is taking a pretty unnecessary risk by talking to that guard in such a humanlike way.
Marco makes the same mistake again in #30. He makes a stupid joke to Visser One, and she’s like, hey, wait a minute, you guys don’t sound like Andalites. *facepalm* It seems weird; he’s the last one you’d expect to be so careless.
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Re: Book 7: The Stranger

Post by btlizard » Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:53 am

Menno wrote:Nice work. I've been keeping track of in-universe time as well, and I came up with a similar figure, about 4 or 5 months. I figured there were probably several weeks between #3 and #4. The main thing that made me think this was Cassie's reference to "the good old days" before they became Animorphs. A month seems like not quite long enough for a "good old days" reference; I'd think it would have to be about two months at least. Also, in #4 Tobias seems far more at peace with being trapped as a hawk, making jokes about squirrel barbecue and pooping on people's heads. And Tobias's "recent" coping easily could have extended back several weeks in the past. The biggest obstacle to figuring out how much time has passed is the time in between books. We can use clues to infer the lenghts of these interims, but usually even our best-educated guesses will have a big margin of error.
I can buy that #4 is up to a month after #3. I certain get the impression that a lot of time has passed (especially the first time I read it). My main reason for thinking it is only a week or two between #3 and #4 is how much time Ax was down in the dome by himself before sending for help. If the start of #4 is at 2 months, the Animrophs would have found Ax at about 10 weeks after he crashed. IN #8, I don't get hte impression that it had been this long, but that is totally subjective. One other thing is that at the beginning of #4, Cassie says that Tobias has recently begun to hunt and eat like a hawk. To me, at the end of #3, it sounds like Tobias is already doing this, learning to cope and hunt like a hawk. (He stops taking Jake's leftovers.) A month sounds too long to be "Recent" in light of this.

In any case, my guess is that #67 starts at about 4 months after they first learned of the Yeerk invasion.

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Re: Book 7: The Stranger

Post by BabelFish42 » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:17 am

btlizard wrote:In any case, my guess is that #67 starts at about 4 months after they first learned of the Yeerk invasion.
Uh... you mean #7, right?

I am just amazed at both of you. I would never have the patience to try to work out a detailed timeline like this.
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Re: Book 7: The Stranger

Post by Menno » Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:35 pm

BabelFish42 wrote:
Menno wrote:One somewhat unique thing about this book is that it's mostly Jake and Rachel who are reading between the lines and having insights. For instance, on p82 Jake logically deduces that the Ellimist probably can't tell the future. And Rachel is the one who figures out that the Ellimist showed them the Kandrona. Usually, Jake and Rachel are mostly action-oriented characters, and it's Tobias, Cassie, and Marco who are doing the heavy mental lifting. Still, in this book, Cassie was the first to realize that there must be some important subtext to the Ellimist showing them "the future".
Idk, Jake and Rachel are clearly pretty smart as well. Jake’s pretty good at understanding his team, and thinking clearly under pressure. Rachel does the best in school, so she’s clearly no bimbo. I think the Animorphs are all pretty sharp, but in different ways. Different intellectual strengths, just like they’ve got different personality strengths.
I agree. I mean that Jake and Rachel are usually the ones who are better at thinking about concrete situations and making decisions quickly. Cassie and Tobias, conversely, are usually the ones tackling abstract questions and reading between the lines. I suppose Marco and Ax are both somewhere in between.

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