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Thread: Animorphs

  1. #1
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    Default Animorphs

    I know we have a were-relevant books thread, but I think this series maybe warrants its own thread. With 54 books, a TV show in the 90s, and an upcoming live feature film, Animorphs has been a pretty high-impact book series!

    Plus, the author is super cool and made all the books available for free online. How awesome is that?

    That's actually how I started reading them. I've had a passing curiosity for a while, but I've been working my way through the series reading on my phone when I don't have access to my physical books. I've read the first seven so far. I thought there were 27 or so books, so when I realized there are actually TWICE THAT MANY, I discovered I'd gotten myself into something quite big. I guess after some point the books started being ghost-written and the quality drops, but so far I'm pretty impressed.

    So, what's your experience of Animorphs?

    I have vague memories of watching a very little bit of the show in the 90s. Think I saw Jake with a tiger. I don't remember for sure. What I DO remember is somehow getting this misunderstanding that they only get ONE animal morph and it's whatever animal they intentionally touch first after acquiring the power. If you know anything about the series, you know that's NOT how it works, lol. I have no idea how I picked that concept up, but I literally thought that right up until I started reading the books this year.

    I WAS always a bit confused about how all the covers seemed to show different animals. Those covers... as a kid, they looked so cheesy to me. The repetitive covers with the kids morphing into animals, and the title "Animorphs" sounded SO cheesy, like a COOL XTREME 90s KIDS SUPER SQUAD, with ANIMALS, because ANIMALS ARE FAR OUT.

    So, I guess I literally judged the books by their covers. The fact that a new book or two came out often enough to be a big deal at every Scholastic Book Fair also probably contributed to my sense that these were silly. So, even though the shapeshifting concept was very relevant to my interests, I never read them! Not a one!

    My partner was shocked to learn that it's really a sci-fi series about a battle between alien species, one of which is a terrifying brain parasite invading Earth.

    The other thing that finally convinced me to give them a try, besides having all the books for free at my fingertips, was hearing from a friend or two that it's actually shockingly dark and mature for a kids' series. And boy, is it.

    Needless to say, I am actually enjoying myself reading these books. There's a lot of interesting concepts around the aliens, their technology and culture, as well as how the shapeshifting works. Tobias gives some very therianthrope vibes right off the bat, and for the most part the author does a good job envisioning and describing what the experience of being different animals might be like (major exception being some dumb WOLF DOMINANCE shit that comes up early on). The way the kids, in morph, have to wrestle the instincts and mindset of their animal is also a little reminiscent of the therian experience.

    I'm really hoping the live film will be good, though I'm curious whether they're trying to cram the whole darn series into one movie??? If we can choke 3 unnecessary films out of The Hobbit, surely we can pace out a 50+ book series more than 90 minutes.

  2. #2
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    I remember seeing the book covers as a small kid in a book store but not being able to read the series at all. I remember being extremely interested in them as a result of the covers. I never got around to reading them though. That will change, I think. Starting today.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, I read them when I was younger. Not all of them, but the library had the last thirty I think? So I read those. I don't really remember them all that well, though. I remember that they were decent for often ghostwritten books aimed at teenagers, and the general plotline and setting information, but... not much about themes. Other than "war is hell and even winning sucks." Which is a valuable theme.

    I do find myself enjoying some of the fanfiction from time to time these days. Rarely. I haven't read the books again, though, and likely won't.
    "If you are worthy of his affection, a cat will be your friend but never your slave. He keeps his free will though he loves, and will not do for you what he thinks unreasonable; but if he once gives himself to you, it is with absolute confidence and fidelity of affection." -Theophile Gautier

  4. #4
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    I remember the book covers and was interested because of the shapeshifting aspect, however I've never read one. I knew about the 90's TV show, but likewise never saw it.

    Honestly, the concept is very interesting to me but the addition of aliens was off-putting so I never got around to them. Still, if the books are free maybe I'll give one a try sometime.

    "That's wolves for ya', good guys!" -Wolf, t10k
    wolf/werewolf & feline | 39 | female | writer | scuba diver | funny | chaotic good | Hufflepuff | INFP | eclectic witch

  5. #5

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    Tobias awakened something in me

  6. #6
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    Animorphs was one of my absolute favorite series as a kid! My library only had the first few and then various random volumes, so I never got to read much of the plot through. I started collecting the books myself in adulthood, but I still don't have very many of them. I'm very excited to learn they're readable online :3 I've also been really curious about the TV show but the only time I looked for it many years ago I wasn't able to find decent quality. I hope to one day find better quality to give it a watch. And I'm also cautiously excited about this upcoming movie adaptation!

    In terms of thoughts on the series itself, I think I was naturally drawn to it because of the animal shapeshifting premise and associated cover art. I've always found the plot and worldbuilding to be interesting, too. And of course my favorite character was always Tobias, who I envied in my youth for getting to stay as an animal. When I would play Animorphs imagination games as a kid, I would play as Tobias.

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