Review: The Experiment

Series: Animorphs: #28

The one where Ax watches entirely too much TV.

<Look, Tobias! Victor and Nikki are doing that thing again!> I pointed at the screen.

<Uh-huh.> His hawk eyes were trained on the little screen as Victor tightened his arms around Nikki. <It’s called kissing, Ax-man. Just like yesterday. And the day before. Kissing. Everyone does it. Of course, you need lips.>

<Ah. Well . . .> Tobias rearranged his wings noisily. <It’s definitely got a purpose. By the way, Marco’s heading this way.>

Way too much.

Marco sighed. “Whatever you call it, it basically reeks, you know. I think it’s time I introduced you to some better programming, Ax. Buffy. Party of Five, maybe. Cops. South Park. Something, anything better than this. Although she is hot.”

<Yes, she is hot. This is why she often wears less artificial skin.>

“Yeah, well, I think you may have your cause and effect turned around there. Hey, you know what you need? A TV Guide.”

Entirely too much.

“Nothing but lame sitcom reruns this week,” she said. “You’re not missing anything.”

<There are always These Messages,> I pointed out.

“These what?”

<The shorter shows that are displayed between longer shows. These Messages. They are often my favorites. “Zestfully clean! Zestfully clean! You’re not fully clean unless you’re Zestfully clean!” So much information condensed into so brief a format. So much emotional intensity.>

“You’re starting to scare me, Ax.”

Yes. The entire book is like that.

Oh, there’s also something about a machine to remove free will, which seems to fall into the ‘duh, that’s not possible category’:

“I wanted to tell him. I wanted to say, Look, it can’t be done. You don’t understand! There’s no such thing as a human being without a free will. It’s . . . it’s . . . idiotic! But he’s no scientist, much less a philosopher. You can’t separate a sentient creature from free will. They are free will. Yeerk, Hork-Bajir, human, it doesn’t matter. A sentient species has free will like an object has mass. You can’t separate them! But Visser Three doesn’t listen.”

Which… annoyed me more than it probably should have.

We don’t know what free will is. But you very much can seemingly take away people’s free will. That’s what whole classes of drugs are designed to do.


Side notes:

<It’s a bunch of college kids!>

I could hear loud, almost-hysterical giggles. And now I could see the humans, four of them, attempting to climb the fence into the field. One fell down in the mud. The others all laughed.

<They are faced,> Marco said. <What’s this about? These aren’t security guys. Not unless the Yeerks have gotten really laid-back.>

Faced. Just faced.

Also, I grew up rurally. I fully expect that wasn’t a thing until media/the internet said it was, and even then it was people trying to do what they assume everyone else already did.

Cows are heavy.


“Hey! Those are bulls!”

“Well, I’ll be a . . . transported like this? This really is nuts!”

The skinny man narrowed his eyes suspiciously. “Andalite bandits?”

The large man laughed. “I think an Andalite could figure out how to drive a truck. Besides, even an Andalite isn’t stupid enough to morph a steer or even a bull and walk into a slaughterhouse. They’d have to be idiots.”

I love the dialog in this one.

Also, subtle (or at least not commented on) ’nuts’ pun is delightful.