Sunday, October 2, 2016

Animorphs: The Visitor

I used to be absolutely obsessed with the Animorphs series. It's all about five kids (plus one friendly alien who quickly joins them) who have to fight off an alien invasion...while still keeping their grades up in school.

The alien invasion takes the form of the Yeerks, who as parasites crawl in through their host's ear, and takes control by wrapping themselves around someone's brain. The host can fight back some, but not for very long. The Yeerks have already taken over the Hork-Bajir and Taxxon races, and have now moved on to humans. For some reason they're being really slow to enslave us...maybe the reason for that is explained in one of the books, but since I'm unable to remember it seems a bit odd that they don't just take us in one fell swoop. Then again, if they did, there wouldn't be much of a story.

Andalites are the enemy of the Yeerks, and they are doing everything they can to prevent more races succumbing to these lovely parasites. Unfortunately the ships they sent to protect earth were wiped out, but not before one Andalite warrior presented five teenagers with the means to strike back against the Yeerks.

Enter: Elfangor and the teenagers.

Elfangor crash landed in an abandoned construction site that the five teens in question were taking a shortcut through. (Moral of the story, don't take short cuts through abandoned construction sites.) He told them the situation, and using Andalite technology gave them the ability to turn themselves into animals (hence, Animorphs...animal morph, morphing into animals) before he died.

So, back to this particular book. To lay out the plot briefly...

The Visitor is the second book in the series, and in the first the teens had discovered that he vice principle of their school was being controlled by one of the parasitic Yeerks. As though he wasn't scary enough already. In this one one of the teens morphs into the cat who belongs to the vice principle's daughter in an attempt to gather information. Various challenges arise along the way, including the question of how to act enough like a cat that the Yeerk enslaving the vice principle doesn't get suspicious.

And now, because the description of what it's like to become a cat is just too awesome...

"You know those old cowboy movies with Clint Eastwood? He's a gunslinger and he walks into the saloon and everyone kind of gets out of his way? And how he's not really looking for trouble, but you'd better not make him mad? That's what it's like. It's like I'm Clint Eastwood" (82).

Given my previous obsession with the series, I still have a fondness for them, and find myself wishing that I hadn't donated all of them (except this one that I kept) to the library years ago. As in my favorite books, one of the best thing is the characters. They're lovable and believable. They have their strengths and weaknesses, flaws and characteristics that make them shine. The only thing I could complain about in revisiting this book was that it started off with a lot of telling instead of showing when it came to introducing the characters, but once it got past that I thoroughly enjoyed everything.

I recommend the books if you want scifi that's geared towards teens or kids, or just a quick read.

Oh, and...I've also been talking about books on YouTube. Here's the video where I talk about this one. :)

1 comment:

Victoria Zigler said...

I haven't read the series, but marked it as to read after a discussion on a Goodreads group about books people used to read as children brought it to my attention last year.

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