The Invasion

True story.

My mother and I agreed that I could get the first five Animorphs books, to 'have one of each character'—no more. *glances over at her complete set, whistling innocently*

And apparently, the series has now been updated and re-released, and I'm not sure how to feel about that. I recall reading a comment by Holly Lisle: books look stupid when you don't set the culture up. She used the example of an author who assumed men would always wear hats, and so his character wore a hat… and now, that book is stupid. I am paraphrasing here, from memory.

Applegate may or may not have set up her culture properly, but I don't want to argue that here. I will argue that she made the series very relevant to her target audience, what with Rachel being 'Xena, Warrior Princess'… at that time, Xena was what Rachel embodied. It was a reference we could understand. And that wasn't the only one, just the most obvious.

I've seen the new covers and… they just make me sad. They're well done, but I remember the older covers. The covers made the series to an extent. Even now, I still remember the covers for Back to Before and the Beginning. But okay, it was probably easier to get someone to make new covers than to talk with David Mattingly about compensation. I assume they would have had to, but I could be wrong. Could just be that the covers also needed updating.

But… when I first heard about the series being released with updated everything… I wondered why. If Rachel is not Xena, who is she? Katniss? Please. Katniss is awesome, but she's not that hardcore. Alice Cullen? The shopping/fashion bit is down, granted, but… Alice is gentle. She can be tough and cunning, and often is, but Alice seems to be that only when it's needed. Admittedly, I don't watch much TV/movies anymore, so I don't know who could be the 'new Xena'… though it seems unlikely that anyone who is chosen could actually be a match, able to stand next to Xena as an equal.

On reflection, some things seem obvious now. She made limitations with this power… obviously, people are going to break the limitations and deal with the consequences. And for all that, I think Tobias got the worst deal of them all.

Rachel got off the easiest. Really, what else could happen? She was, originally, the one character who saw it very clearly: their planet was under attack, they knew about it, and she was willing to do her part. Yes, she was reckless, and wanted to fight… but aren't all teenagers? Believing they're invincible? Yet… her character was warped to such an extent that there was nothing else that could be done with her in the end.

Followed by Cassie and Marco—Marco finally got all that he wanted, and Cassie… well. She saved the Hork-Bajir, that was in the bank, as Jake put it.

Aximili would be lumped in with Cassie and Marco, and should be, at least with the first couple of years following the end. Until that one encounter…

Jake? Yeah, PTSD is no fun, and whatever anyone else says, he was dealing with it. He only really came alive in that final page of The Beginning, so I think.

But Tobias? He got completely, utterly, screwed over.

That won't get changed. None of this will.

And… that's the worst tragedy in this whole updating Animorphs thing.


Leave a Reply