Discuss, my children!!
Alright, I'll get it out of the way now. “Holy flibbety-gibbety, gh actually wrote a summary and didn't just steal it from Cinnamon Bunzuh!” Well, I don't have much to say about that, other than the fact that I was still incredibly lazy and kind of just rushed my way through this in the span of a few hours. Then again, I doubt anyone expected more from me. So, this book starts off a little differently from most other books in the series, with an excerpt from the log of the main antagonists that we're going to see in a bit, and already, we learn a decent amount of what we can expect from them. [quote] Go forth, mighty warriors! Go forth into space! All the galaxy shall tremble before the Helmacrons. All will obey us. All will be our slaves. For only we are truly worthy to be Lords of the Universe.[/quote] These quotes from the Helmacrons are at the beginning of most of the chapters, but I'll talk more about these little buggers when we get to them. The book starts proper in chapter 2 (chapter 1 is devoted to all that same backstory you've read 23 times already) with Rachel nagging Cassie to get new jeans because Cassie's are two inches too short or something stupid like that. She recommends Ralph Lauren for barn work, which makes me wonder if Rachel is as into fashion as the books make her out to be. Anyway, they notice a small, toy-looking spaceship on Cassie's water pump, when it is revealed that Cassie hid the Escafil Device/morphing cube/blue box in said water pump. They pass it off as just a toy spaceship and throw it in a box to bring to Goodwill. The girls meet Jake at the barn after going to the beach, where there's a little bit of awkwardness due to Jake seeing Cassie in a swimsuit, and I have to wonder what this part would have been like if the books had been marketed toward an older audience. Before gh can go on a tangent about his “adult Animorphs” fantasy, though, they spot another “toy” spaceship on the water pump similar to the one Cassie threw in the Goodwill box, which promptly flies away. Jake, Rachel, and Cassie go to the Goodwill to see if they can find the first ship that Cassie dropped off there. They find the spaceship, but it begins to open fire on them. OK, maybe “open fire” wasn't the term I wanted to use, since the tiny laser guns that the spaceship used felt like little more than pinpricks to the Animorphs who aren't the size of small insects. Rachel then does a very Rachel-like thing and starts to swing a baseball bat at the ship, not taking into account the other humans in the room. Defender of Earth, ladies and gentlemen! At this point, the second spaceship is there. Now, I may have skimmed over this, but I don't remember the second ship getting to the Goodwill at all. I'll leave you to theorize as to what happened here. Anyway, the Animorphs hear a thought-speak voice commanding them to turn over the Escafil device, referring to it as a “power source.” When the Animorphs refuse, the spaceship flies back in the direction of Cassie's farm. Jake, Cassie, Marco, Rachel, and Ax morph birds to fly back to Cassie's place, when they find Tobias in a miniature air battle with the spaceships. They manage to get the Helmacron ships off of Tobias, but the ships make it to Cassie's barn before the Animorphs can. After a small battle outside the barn, Cassie ends up inside with the Helmacrom ship. [quote] “Excuse me, I don't mean to be insensitive or . . .” I searched for the right word. “I don't want to be size-ist, but has it occurred to you that we're kind of big for you to conquer? I mean, your whole ship is smaller than my foot. And your weapons don't really hurt us.” I guess this was news to the Helmacrons, because they fell silent. I thought, Good, maybe I got through to them. FLASH! I blinked and held up my hand, too late to block the flashbulb brilliance. It had been a green light of shocking intensity. I wasn't hurt, but I was definitely seeing spots. And then I noticed something very odd. The cages were growing larger. The animals in them were growing larger. The Helmacron ship and the blue box were growing larger. “Oh, no,” I said, more amazed than frightened. “I'm shrinking.”[/quote] Brilliant observation, Cassie. So, yeah, as it turns out, the Helmacrons can make up for their tiny size by bringing other things down to their level. They also manage to get Tobias and Marco before they can get the message to the others to stay out of the barn. Interestingly enough, the Animorphs weren't actually shrunk to scale, meaning that Tobias as a bird was about as big as Cassie and Marco as humans. And no, there are not jokes made about Marco's height, which was a really big missed opportunity. Rachel then does another Rachel-like thing and begins to hurl bricks at the Helmacrons. The goofier shades of this book really start to show up at this point through a conversation between Rachel, Ax, and the Helmacrons, but I'll get into the goofier parts in a bit. After the mini-morphs (which is what I'm going to refer to miniature Rachel, Marco, and Tobias as from now on) are almost crushed by a poorly-aimed brick, the mega-morphs (not to be confused with the Megamorphs books) manage to get the Escafil Device back from the Helmacrons. The tiny aliens retreat, leaving the Animorphs to themselves. They figure out that any morphing that they do at this point would be relative to their shrunken size. For example, if Cassie morphed a bird, she would probably end up smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. Their conversation is cut short, however, by Cassie's dad coming home, which leads to what is honestly one of my favorite moments in the whole series. [quote] “Hello!” a new voice said quite suddenly. Ax! He must have managed to morph to human. I cringed. Ax as an Andalite was brilliant. But Andalites have no mouths. No ability to make spoken speech and no ability to taste. So Ax as a human - with a mouth - could be slightly odd. “Hello,” my dad said guardedly. “Do I know you?” “I do not know whether you know me,” Ax said. “Only you would be able to answer that question.” Then he added, “Chun. Quess-chun.” “I ... I don't think I do know you,” my father said slowly. “Why were you hiding behind that cage?” “I did not wish you to see me,” Ax said. “But now you may see me.” There was a long pause. “Ooookay,” my father said at last. “I am a friend of Cassie's,” Ax offered. “From school?” “From school? Skuh-ool? Sss-cooool. Yes. From school. School-luh.” [. . . ] “Is he all right?” my father asked. “Who, Ax? Sure, he's fine,” Jake said. “He's just from a different country.” I groaned. “Oh, no, now my dad'll ask-” “Oh, very interesting. Ax? What country are you from?” “I am from the Republic of Ivory Coast.” “Oh, man,” I moaned. “Why did I ever give him that World Almanac?” “You know, if you don't mind my saying so, you don't look like you'd be from the Ivory Coast,” my father said. He was getting that edge he gets in his voice when someone is slowly but surely beginning to grind his last nerve. “How about Equatorial Guinea? The Republic of Kyrgyzstan? Canada?” “Tell you what,” my father said, “let's just go with Canada.” “I am from Canada. I am Canadese.”[/quote] I should get “I am Canadese” on a shirt. Anyway, before I digress any more, Cassie's dad asks the mega-morphs to leave. I would make a joke about the game Facade, but I doubt anyone would get it. The mini-morphs end up getting buried under some dirt, but they manage to push the seemingly boulder-sized stuff off of themselves. As I've heard, it is actually true that if humans were shrunk to the size that the mini-morphs were, then they would get super-human strength like that, so that's actually pretty interesting. It's then that Cassie's dad leaves and the Helmacrons show up again, and this is the first time that the mini-morphs get a good look at them. Instead of trying to describe them, I'll just throw a picture in here for you guys. [img]http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs44/i/2009/146/9/1/Animorphs_Races__Helmacron_by_Monster_Man_08.jpg[/img] Aren't they lovely? Anyway, there are two groups of Helmacrons arguing over which group gets to keep the mini-morphs as prisoners, those from the Planet Crusher ship and those from the Galaxy Blaster. At this point, though, the mega-morphs come back morphed as cockroaches (except Ax, who morphed his wolf spider) who proceed to get his ass handed to him by the Helmacrons. That must be embarrassing. Cassie and Marco surrender to the Helmacrons to buy the mega-morphs time to demorph and end up on the Planet Crusher, leaving Tobias behind with the mega-morphs. They're brought to the Helmacrons' leader, who is dead. According to the Helmacrons, a dead leader can make no mistakes. Uhhhhh OK. The Helmacrons order the mini-morphs to grovel to their leader, which they use as an excuse to goof off and call “groveling.” And this is the point when most people realize that this is mostly a comedy book. Unlike #14, though, another comedy book narrated by Cassie, I don't have an intense loathing for this book. That can be chalked up to a few things; the plot is more interesting, the Helmacrons are annoying but fun characters, and it doesn't try too hard to do anything. But if I cited any of these reasons as to why I liked this book more than 14, I'd be kidding myself. While those things do make this a technically better book, the reason I liked this book and not 14 was just that this book was funny. Again, I digress. As it turns out, the Helmacrons can detect morphing energy, but somehow can't find out where the Escafil Device is. So, Cassie and Marco send the Helmacrons after Visser Three, claiming he knows where the Device is. This actually would have been a good idea, had they figured out what to do when they actually found Visser Three and he didn't know where it was. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself here. When Marco mentions the Yeerks, this sends the 'Crons into a little frenzy. Apparently, the two have a bit of a history with each other, but it's unfortunately never explored. As the Helmacrons calm down and summon someone to show Cassie and Marco the “ways of submission,” an interesting gender dynamic is revealed; the females are the loud, obnoxious war-makers and the males the quiet, submissive slaves. Marco nicknames the male that is supposed to teach them how to be submissive “Wuss,” which seriously sounds like one of my nicknames (and trust me, you will eventually see some of them). Not long after Wuss leaves them, a female comes to grab the mini-morphs. Amazingly enough, the Helmacrons actually managed to find the Blade Ship and Visser Three, who is going to morph human and ride in a limo for . . . something. The Helmacrons give chase, and eventually end up inside the limo. Visser Three's reaction to the Helmacrons is actually pretty funny, and I would quote it, but it would be kind of hard to give it context without quoting a whole page's worth of material. Anyway, someone starts shooting at the Helmacron ship through the sunroof IN BROAD DAYLIGHT, causing Cassie and Marco to panic a bit. They morph flies so they would be small enough to not be attacked by the Helmacrons, but not too small to be completely helpless (although, a fly would be pretty helpless anyway). There's some awesomely trippy imagery seen through compound eyes when the two go to a sub-microscopic level, but they're too small to see anything going on in the big picture, so they're pretty much in the dark about anything going on at this point. As flies, Cassie and Marco are able to make out a Dracon Beam vaporizing the Helmacron they were clinging to, and presumably, the rest of the ship. They demorph and find that they're on somebody's head. And that somebody turns out to be Chapman. Tobias, still miniature, somehow manages to find Cassie and Marco on Chapman's head, and the mini-morphs are reunited. Tobias drops some exposition on the other mini-morphs. Rachel beat the other Helmacron ship down with a tire iron (a very Rachel-like thing to do, might I add) and clamped it into a vise until the Helmacrons agreed to help them. It was obviously a trap, but the mega-morphs went with it anyway. They're all at a Sharing meeting, with the exception of Ax, who is outside with the Escafil Device. Cassie and Marco figure out that the 'Crons are just going to take the Device and leave, but before Tobias can go to warn Ax, the Planet Crusher shows up with the box and starts firing at Visser Three. What follows is a little confusing when told from the perspective of someone less than an inch tall, so I'll do my best to detail it. Jake, morphed as his falcon, Rachel, morphed bear, and Ax in his natural form come in to get the Escafil Device back from the Helmacrons. Meanwhile, Visser Three is morphing something that we don't really ever get to see. All of this is happening while human-Controllers are shouting, Visser Three is giving orders, and the Helmacrons are gloating. You see how it can get confusing? As all this happens, the Helmacrons shrink Rachel down to the miniature size while she's still in her bear morph, and Cassie and Marco morph small so Tobias can carry them to the Helmacron ship. Cassie and Marco demorph, with the former going to whale morph to drag down the ship and Tobias morphing human (which is, remember, bigger than his hawk form). The plan almost works, but someone finally swats the Helmacrons out of the air. Ax disposes of said hand and takes the ship himself. At this point, it's revealed that Jake is mini-sized, too. Jake and Rachel are on one of Ax's legs, trying to fight off about 20 miniature Controllers and a mini-monster of Visser Three. Cassie demorphs, no longer needing to be a whale. The Helmacrons bail out of the ship, and Ax is coming up to a point where he needs to morph. This is where I'd finish the summary, but I haven't worked on this for like 10 hours and I don't feel like reading the last 20 pages so I'm just going to go from memory. Cassie acquires an anteater, which when she morphs is regular-sized because of reasons that I'm too lazy to explain, threatens the Helmacrons, everyone returns to normal size, and things are normal again. END OF BOOK.