Jeff Sampson (jeffsampson) wrote in morphz,
Jeff Sampson

ANIMORPHS #2 The Visitor

This week's book:

If someone told you Earth was under silent attack, there's a good chance you'd think they were pretty strange. If that same person said Earth's only means of defense depends on the actions and powers of five kids, you'd probably start to look for a quick exit. Guess what? It's all true.

Rachel and her friends knew they were in for some pretty strange stuff from the very beginning. How often do you run into a dying alien who gives you the power to morph into any animal you touch? But that was before they knew what they would be up against. Now they know. And they know what they have to do. Before it's too late . . .

Egg Fu Says:

Wow, can we all say "generic summary"?

Since I haven't had a chance yet to read this book, I'm going to start off this week's discussion by questioning our memories before we get into our new impressions. If I remember right, #2 was often noted as one of the least favorite books of the fans--though I often remember that it was also noted as being one of the books that drew in a lot of fans. I'm guessing it was the nifteezy cover. So, the opening question is:

What do you remember thinking about this book when you first read it? What are your overall imprssions re-reading it now?

When I think of book 2 I usually think of it only as the book that first introduced Fluffer McKitty and Melissa Chapman. I remember liking the book fine; the scene I remembered most is the morphing of the shrew. When all was said and done, it definitely wasn't the book that really pulled me into the series. What's strange is that, initially, Rachel was my favorite character--but I liked her more when seeing her through other characters' POVs rather than than when I actually read her own POV in this book.

From what I've re-read so far, I'm struck by how shaky this book feels in term of voice. It feels clear to me now, since I'm now an author myself, that Katherine Applegate and Michael Reynolds were still getting the hang of the voice and feel of the series. Rachel's "voice" doesn't feel distinct from Jake's in book 1 or Tobias's in book 3, at least not to me. That's certainly not true of later books, where it was always very clear whose head we were in.

I was also interested by my reaction now to the opening snatching-the-guns-and-beer-from-poachers scene; it felt a little too PSA, when I don't remember Animorphs being so preachy.

Now, like I said, I haven't read the entire book yet, so I'll have more specific observations to discuss as we move forward. 'Til then, I'm curious to see what everyone else's overall thoughts are on the book as they read it now in comparison to when they read it initially. Let's share, folks!
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Hmm... On the voice thing, I always thought of that just as KA's interpretation of how shaky the Animorphs were with their new positions. It made sense, since they had just gotten these powers and were trying to start in on the bad guys. But that's just my take on it. I thought of it as Rachel and the others starting to transition from normal kids into warriors.
I totally agree on the voice thing. But at the same time, Jake & Rachel are very similar. What with them both being the diving out of the sky at 60 MPH type. If I remember correctly, when it gets to book three, Tobias's voice becomes much softer. Just... gentler. Or maybe I just think that because that's what his character was over the course of all the books. We'll see.

And what I am recalling about book two on the "second time around" is that... I hate the introductions. The recap. I'm very pro-"read from the beginning you jerk!" But I guess that's not everyone. But seriously, the introductions were always the same. But you could never skip over them because, unlike the BSC which ALWAYS had chapter two as the "recap" chapter, this actually had plot in it. So I had to read about how it started EVERY TIME. So obnoxious. In BSC I used to read chapter one, skip chapter two and head straight to chapter three. It was subconscious.
I did the same thing with BSC. I would've wanted to pull my hair out otherwise.
I always remember random things from book 2. Like... it and Book 51 are the only two books who have a chapter that starts with the letter K (I remember thinking the K looked funky. :P) And that it has "It was a dark and stormy night" XD