What this chapter should be called: Are we there yet?
Bella like-o-meter: 2
This chapter has its ups and downs. The good part is that, for once, something is actually happening. The bad part is that it’s so unbelievably stupid.
The beginning of this chapter is actually kind of boring, despite the ~intense~ context. Alice and Bella make their flight with seconds to spare, and Bella bounces up and down in her seat, kind of like that annoying 5 year-old that always seems to end up behind you on your business trips. They lift off, and Alice makes a phone call .
“Alice lifted the phone on the back of the seat in front of her before we’d stopped climbing, turning her back on the stewardess who eyed her with disapproval. Something about my expression stopped the stewardess from coming over to protest.”
My first thought was, “WTF, the phone on the back of the seat? Do those even exist?” Then I did a quick Google search and found out that some planes do indeed have phones connected to the first class seats. How likely is it that Bella and Alice are flying in one of these planes? Not so great. Then again, I only fly less shitty coach, so what do I know? I’ll hold off on the stupidity point for that one. However, I really doubt that Alice and Bella would have been able to get 2 first class seats, right next to each other, on a last-minute basis. That shit sells out fast. (+1 Stupidity)
The second thing I thought was, “One look from Bella-Sue shuts up a flight attendant? Yes, and that Somalian prince really will send me $100,000,000,000 if I give him my credit card number.” Anyone who has ever flown knows that “stewardess” translates from bullshit to English as “skybitch.” The stewardesses will fuck you up. They are more often than not grizzled middle-aged women who will make damn sure that your seat back is in the upright position, whether you like it or not. They would forcibly remove that phone from Alice’s hand if they had to. Tray tables up, bitches. (+1 Stupidity)
Also, doesn’t Meyer realize that making phone calls before reaching cruising altitude does pose a legit safety problem? I’m positive that Alice can wait two minutes before calling. (+1 Stupidity)
“I tried to tune out what Alice was murmuring to Jasper; I didn’t want to hear the words again, but some slipped through. “I can’t be sure, I keep seeing him do different things, he keeps changing his mind… A killing spree through the city, attacking the guard, lifting a car over his head in the main square… mostly things that would expose them—he knows that’s the fastest way to force a reaction…”
Edward is such a little bastard. How is this our hero? Are we supposed to cheer him on as he goes on a killing spree just to meaninglessly get himself murdered?
Grr. Alice hangs up on Jasper, telling him not to go to Italy, and for the love of God, don’t let Emmett do anything. (Maybe that’s why this book sucks so much. There’s not enough Emmett.) Bella asks why Alice told the other vamps to stay put.
“That’s the second reason of course, the reason I couldn’t say to Jasper. Because if they’re there and the Volturi kill Edward, they’ll fight them. Bella.” She opened her eyes and stared at me, beseeching. “If there were any chance we could win… if there were a way that the four of us could save my brother by fighting for him, maybe it would be different. But we can’t, and, Bella, I can’t lose Jasper like that.”
Is a female in Meyerland actually being a strong character?
I like this. I like this a lot. Alice is taking matters into her own hands and telling her boy to stay put while she goes to work. Why? Because she doesn’t want him to get hurt. Wow. As annoying and plot-devicey as Alice is, she’s an asskicker. (+1 Redemption)
There’s a lot of boring exposition on these long flights. They talk for a while about how stupid Edward is being, and why they can’t talk some sense into him. Bella asks why Edward can’t just read Alice’s thoughts and know that she’s okay. Why, isn’t that one of those plot hole thingies? Alice explains that you can still lie with your thoughts, and Edward knows she’d lie to save him. Well. Okay. That’s still pretty lame. (+1 Stupidity) Yawn. Then they switch topics to the Volturi, and why they are so OMG dangerous.
“I was surprised that you recognized the name,” she said. “That you understood so immediately what it meant—when I said he was going to Italy. I thought I would have to explain. How much did Edward tell you?” “He just said they were an old, powerful family—like royalty. That you didn’t antagonize them unless you wanted to… die.”
It’s explained that the Volturi are pretty much like the mafia of vampires. They rule over everybody, because they’re powerful and rich enough to, which doesn’t really mean a whole lot since that the only “law” vampires have is that mortals can’t recognize them for what they are. Uh, oops? (+1 Stupidity)
They keep a bunch of bodyguards to protect their city, Volterra. They really like that city, and they won’t even eat people from there. They have a bunch of foreigners imported in on a regular basis. Uh, people go into an uproar when one American goes missing in Aruba. There would be military called in if droves of travelers kept disappearing in one town. Great way to keep things on the DL, Volturi. (+1 Stupidity)
Also, the Volturi have oodles of super sparkle powers on their side. It’s never specified as to what these powers might be, but they have them. I think it’s safe to assume that these powers don’t include shooting lightning from their armpits, breathing fire, or webswinging.
At this point I think I have to mention that Volterra is a real town in Tuscany. I’m not sure why Meyer insists on butchering real events and real places instead of just making up her own random crazy city in Italy. It’s not like any of her readers have actually been there. (+1 Stupidity)
The Volturi also punish vamps who break the law. (And by “punish” we mean “murder.” No second chances for you!) So once Edward does something stupid, the Volturi will shred him.
“It was amazingly easy to say his name now. I wasn’t sure what the difference was. Maybe because I wasn’t really planning on living much longer without seeing him. Or at all, if we were too late. It was comforting to know that I would have an easy out.”
So, even though Bella despises the fact that Edward is trying to kill himself because he thinks she’s dead, she is comforted by the fact that she has the power to make the same decision herself. What a hypocrite. (+1 Bitch)
What happened to the realization that you couldn’t bear what would happen to your mother and father if you died? Are you that senseless, Bella? (+1 Stupidity)
“We’ll do what we can, Bella. It’s not over yet.” “Not yet.” I let her comfort me, though I knew she thought our chances were poor. “And the Volturi will get us if we mess up.” Alice stiffened. “You say that like it’s a good thing.” I shrugged. “Knock it off, Bella, or we’re turning around in New York and going back to Forks.”
Ha, I love Alice. She says that even if Edward gets himself killed, Bella will still be going back to Forks. Guess she’ll have to throw herself off a few more cliffs. Anyways, Bella’s like, “Yeah, okay, whatevs.” I bet she’s already planning the poetry she’s going to leave behind on her Myspace.
Alice tries to stir up some predictions, and Bella is left alone with her thoughts.
“I wished there was something safe for me to think about. I couldn’t allow myself to consider the horrors we were headed toward, or, more horrific yet, the chance that we might fail—not if I wanted to keep from screaming aloud.”
She continues to dwell on whether or not she would really want to live if Edward died, which is just sooo romantic. (+1 Stupidity) They make their connecting flight in New York with only seconds to spare (remember this, okay?) and then take off for Italy. Alice keeps searching for glimpses of the future, and there’s finally some explanation as to Alice’s wacky plot-device powers.
“It’s clear because it’s immediate and close, and I’m really concentrating. The faraway things that come on their own—those are just glimpses, faint maybes. Plus, I see my kind more easily than yours. Edward is even easier because I’m so attuned to him.”
So WHY DIDN’T YOU SEE LAURENT TRYING TO EAT BELLA? Good God. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella asks when that prediction about her becoming a vampire will happen, to which Alice replies she doesn’t know.
“Actually, Bella…” She hesitated, and then seemed to make a choice. “Honestly, I think it’s all gotten beyond ridiculous. I’m debating whether to just change you myself.”
I wish she would. Just think, Alice bites Bella now, and the entire premise of the next book just whistles down the drain!
So, Alice is basically saying, “This shit is bananas. Give me your neck.” and offering to bite Bella so that she’ll stop whining. Bella, of course, is practically beside herself with glee.
“I do!” I gasped. “Oh, Alice, do it now!”
“I could help you so much—and I wouldn’t slow you down. Bite me!”
Bella acts like she’s just won the Publisher’s Clearinghouse. PLEASE PLEASE PLEEAAASE turn me into a creature of the night I won’t eat much and I’ll project forcefields and be beautiful and undead like you!
Anyways, Alice tells her not to be ridiculous, as she’d be in screaming pain for days, and she needs to be sharp when they get to Italy. You know, as sharp as you can get after 20+ straight hours of traveling. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella falls asleep for awhile, then Alice has a handy vision.
“They’ve told him no,” she said quietly. I noticed at once that her enthusiasm was gone. My voice choked in my throat with panic. “What’s he going to do?”
Alice doesn’t know exactly what shenanigans Edward is plotting. He came very close to killing a few randoms in order to make the Volturi kill him, but that didn’t work. His most recent plan?
Walk out into the sun.
He’ll walk out into the sun, causing himself to sparkle, and exposing himself as a vampire.
Uhh…why would people think that he was something supernatural as opposed to just…fabulous…? (+1 Stupidity)
To be perfectly honest, wouldn’t the thought “OMG ANGEL! REPENT NOW, IT’S THE LAST DAYS!” come to your head first if you saw an (apparently) beautiful man who shone in daylight? I’d love to see his reaction to THAT one: “No, no, no! Get off your knees, you dumb humans! I am a dark, scary creature of scary darkness! I eat bears! This sparkly skin is the skin of a KILLERRRRR!!!!! And stop talking to me in Italian, I’m too jet-lagged for this shit.” (That or everyone would go, “Okay, I thought the Pride Italia Parade was next week…” )
“Right now, he’s leaning toward the melodramatic. He wants the biggest audience possible, so he’ll choose the main plaza, under the clock tower. The walls are high there. He’ll wait till the sun is exactly overhead.” “So we have till noon?”
Yes, you do, which would be really nice…IF YOU HADN’T GOTTEN THERE AT 2 PM, AT THE EARLIEST.
See, I played my favorite game while reading this chapter. It’s called, “How much bullshit can you call on Meyer after 20 minutes on Google?” The answer: A hell of a lot.
Alice and Bella started their day before the sun came up in Forks. It’s around mid-March, so the sun is rising at about 6-ish in the morning. Jacob and friends show up at a reasonable hour for a weekend, before Charlie comes back from the funeral — we’ll say 8 AM. The whole debacle wherein everyone realizes there’s a plot coming takes maybe 20 minutes. Bella and Alice immediately leave the house for the nearest international airport (SEATAC Intl). The drive is 3 and a half hours long, on a good day with next to no traffic.
So at around noon, Bella and Alice arrive at Seatac, and catch their plane “just in time.” Given that they’ll need to sneak through security, baggage, etc, we’ll say it’s 12:45 when they board their plane. Pre-flight, post-boarding preparations generally take around 15 minutes, again, on a good day, so I’m assuming they’re in the air at 1pm.
The average flight from Seatac to JFK (I’m assuming they’re laying-over in JFK, since it’s never specified) is 5 and a half hours long. However, thanks to time zones, they’ll be landing at 8:30 PM instead of 5:30. Now, they have to run for their flight to Florence, Italy. All of these tickets were bought on the fly, by the way, and they all manage to line up perfectly without any layover times. I’d also like to point out that, even giving Expedia.com a month of leeway, it can’t find a flight connecting directly from New York to Florence–you have to at least stop in Rome. So that’s already out.
Okay, so, buying the improbability of them getting perfect times and perfect flights with no layover, they jump on the shortest flight to FLR from JFK at 9pm, and it takes 10 hours, ideally. Italy, however, is six hours ahead of New York, so they land in Florence at 2 PM the next day. 2 PM. Edward is dead as the dodo by the time Alice and Bella get to Volterra.
I’m giving this entire timesquiggley fiasco 5 points. (+5 Stupidity)
(Then again, I guess super sparkle powers could have helped some. I don’t remember what they said Emmett’s superpower is, so now I’m thinking it’s an uncanny ability to exploit Expedia. This is two books now where the climax hinges on whether or not the Cullens can catch a good flight. )
But, ugh. Did Meyer put even the slightest amount of thought into this? It’s like time is situationally dependent in the Meyerverse or something.
“The pilot came on over the intercom, announcing, first in French and then in English, our imminent landing. “
Why is the pilot speaking French? Aren’t they in Italy? Unless they had to stop in France and switch flights, it’s a lot more likely that the pilot would speak English first (seeing as the flight departed from NY) and then Italian. Why speak French? I’m not even going to try to understand. (+1 Stupidity)
This next part really gets me.
“The seat belt lights dinged and flashed. “How far is it from Florence to Volterra?” “That depends on how fast you drive… Bella?” “Yes?” She eyed me speculatively. “How strongly are you opposed to grand theft auto?” A bright yellow Porsche screamed to a stop a few feet in front of where I paced, the word TURBO scrawled in silver cursive across its back. Everyone beside me on the crowded airport sidewalk stared.”
What the fuck just happened?
In the first sentence, we’re still on the airplane. Then, we’ve magically teleported to the airport sidewalk. And then, Alice magically steals a car in about two seconds. What the hell is going on? Is there a wormhole or something in FLR? I’m so freaking confused! (+1 Stupidity)
Am I just reading this wrong? It’s possible that my online copy is missing a chunk, so correct me if I’m mistaken on this one. Where are the transitions? GAH!
Moving on. Turns out, to the sparklepires, eating people is wrong, but stealing their stuff is A-okay. Oh, and Alice either drives so fast that the earth spins backwards, or Superman’s lending a helping hand, because they should make it to Volterra in the nick of time.
Bella whines about the car Alice stole, because she has nothing else to do.
“The important question,” she corrected, “is whether I could have stolen a faster car, and I don’t think so. I got lucky.” “I’m sure that will be very comforting at the roadblock.” She trilled a laugh. “Trust me, Bella. If anyone sets up a roadblock, it will be behind us.”
Another quick search on Google maps tells me that the quickest possible route from FLR to Volterra is a toll road, so I’m not sure WTF Alice thinks she’s doing. (+1 Stupidity)
They chat a bit on their way there, and it turns out that this Festival thing is going on in Volterra today.
“It’s Saint Marcus Day.” “Which means?” She chuckled darkly. “The city holds a celebration every year. As the legend goes, a Christian missionary, a Father Marcus—Marcus of the Volturi, in fact—drove all the vampires from Volterra fifteen hundred years ago. The story claims he was martyred in Romania, still trying to drive away the vampire scourge. Of course that’s nonsense—he’s never left the city. But that’s where some of the superstitions about things like crosses and garlic come from. Father Marcus used them so successfully. And vampires don’t trouble Volterra, so they must work.”
So if the Volturi are so powerful and mastermindy, why are they not running the world? Fuck, if I was them, I would have spread out and formed some sort of vampire Illuminati instead of just sticking to one little town.
Also, I tried to research St. Marcus Day. I really did. Turns out, it doesn’t exist. I’m serious. She just made it up. She is capable of making up entire holidays with moderately interesting backstories, but she insists on butchering real places and events! (+1 Stupidity)
This is what I really don’t get about Meyer. Her creative skills obviously far outweigh her practical research skills, yet she insists on limiting her characters to the mundane world. Why didn’t she build her own vampire underworld or something? She could have made her own rules and laws, and then there would have been no worries about clashing with real-world issues! Jesus.
I was too frustrated to bring this up last chapter, but why didn’t we bring Jasper? It’s not like his super sparkle power is to manipulate emotion or anything. He could have just made Edward all calm and giggly and everything would have been okay. (+1 Stupidity)
Anyways, somehow they get there at 11:30 ish. Something about Edward’s impending appearance in this book increases the chance of plot holes %100. To recap:
Things I Have Learned This Chapter –
1. Vampire Mafia is yet ANOTHER good name for an indie band, right up there with “Bear With Wolf Legs.”
2. The tag/subtitle for the entire Twilight series should have been “How ironic and also convenient.”
Thesaurus Rape: +35
Cream Count: +5
Red Flag: Sparklepeen-12 Wolfballs-2