What this chapter should be called: All the smells!
Edward creep-o-meter: 6
We fast-forward to right before the beginning of the much-anticipated vampire/werewolf team-up. This is probably for the best, as there wasn’t a whole lot of substance last chapter. Sadly, all we have for right now is Bella whining and worrying over the werewolves.
“Not Jacob, too. Not his foolish, eager brothers — most of them even younger than I was. They were just oversized, over-muscled children, and they looked forward to this like it was picnic on the beach. I could not have them in danger, too. ”
Uh, isn’t Sam, like, 20? Jacob is 16, and so are the Quilbry. (+1 Stupidity) I was under the impression that most of the werewolves were in their upper teens, so it’s a little condescending for Bella to be calling them all children. (+1 Bitch)
Edward pulls into Bella’s driveway, and then tries to force her to stay home and sleep. Bella responds that if he doesn’t take her, she’ll call up Jacob.
“If you won’t take me, then I’ll call Jacob.” His eyes tightened. That was a low blow, and I knew it. But there was no way I was being left behind.”
See, this is what I fucking hate. Every time Bella does something terribly cold and bitchy, there’s a follow-up sentence stating that she knows how terrible it is, but she wouldn’t have done it if she wasn’t so anxious, and she didn’t have any other choice! (+1 Bitch) Meyer continually tries to paint Bella as a kind, sympathetic character, when we are constantly seeing all evidence to the contrary! (+1 Stupidity)
We get to watch as Bella washes her face and changes her clothes, which is the most thrilling thing I’ve read in this book so far. She cuddles with Eddie darling for a moment, and then it’s time to head out to, “Killing Newborn Vamps 101.” Edward still wishes Bella would just go the fuck to sleep, but doesn’t put up much of an argument since he knows how stubborn and dumb she is.
“When we got to the big open field, his family was there, talking casually, relaxed. Emmett’s booming laugh echoed through the wide space now and then. Edward set me down and we walked hand in hand toward them. It took me a minute, because it was so dark with the moon hidden behind the clouds, but I realized that we were in the baseball clearing. ”
Oh, good one, guys. Hold your secret little supernatural creatures club meeting in a big wide clearing, right where the world and Google Earth can see. (+1 Stupidity)
Then, some synapses fire in Bella’s brain, and finally, finally, the subject of Victoria is brought up. (See last seven reviews as to why everyone should have already figured this out.) Bella ties together the three main events of this book: Victoria, the newborn army, and the panty thief, figuring not even she can have such horribly shitty luck as to where all these events are non-related.
This is the smartest fucking thing anyone has said in this book, and yet it’s still long overdue and completely stupid. (+1 Stupidity)
Oh, and you want to know what Edward says to all this?
“Hmm,” he finally said. “It’s possible.”
That’s it. Gah! How is Edward, the one who is nearly 100 years old, and supposedly “knows everything” NOT figuring this out? Hell, why does the entirety of Clan Cullen, with hundreds of years of combined experience and knowledge, need Bella to play Sherlock for them? I know, I know, it’s not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it’s just so damn IRRITATING! (+1 Stupidity)
And, while I’m ranting and we’re on the topic of irritating, how the holy hell did this become an actual BOOK? With all I’ve read, there has been barely enough substance to fill a couple chapters. Why didn’t Meyer actually, oh, I don’t know, WRITE it like that and tack it onto the end of New Moon?!? How fucking awesome would that have been, to have Bella and Edward come back from Italy, only to realize that the real danger was in Forks all along? JESUS, this was yet another opportunity for semi-decent writing, and, once again, it was FUCKING RUINED. (+1 Stupidity)
“He frowned into space for a long moment, and then suddenly smiled at me, coming back from his reverie. “Definitely possible. Regardless, we’ve got to be prepared for anything until we know for sure.”
Okay – can we just stop the bus for a moment? I’m so off topic by now, it shouldn’t really matter anyways. I’ve been trying really, really hard not to pick on Alice’s flimsy power, but this whole Victoria nonsense has frustrated me to the point of no return.
I mean, by all logic, Alice should be able to see Victoria. Even though she’s somehow managed to find a hole in Alice’s vision that she can sneak around in while carrying out her dastardly plans, she still decides things. It’s not like distance is a problem, too, since Alice can watch the Volturi all the way over in Italy. Even though the army is being tricky by changing their minds every so often, shouldn’t Alice see Victoria when she decides to brush her hair? Or when she decides to watch Breaking Bad? Point is, Alice should be able to see Vickie doing things. Not necessarily evil things, but definitely mundane, little things. And therefore, Alice should know where Victoria is, and that she’s behind the attacks.
Good Jesus, I have found the mother of all plot holes. (+3 Stupidity)
You know what? Just forget it. Super-smart Bella figures out that Vickie is behind all this and no one else cares. The meeting continues.
“We were almost to his family, and I noticed for the first time that Alice did not look as optimistic as the others. She stood a little aside, watching Jasper stretching his arms as if he were warming up to exercise, her lips pushed out in a pout. “Is something wrong with Alice?” I whispered. Edward chuckled, himself again. “The werewolves are on their way, so she can’t see anything that will happen now. It makes her uncomfortable to be blind.”
Okay, so the presence of werewolves messes with Alice’s powers. You know what else messes with Alice’s powers? Logic and common sense. (+1 Stupidity)
Now, we just wait for the wolves to show up. What fun. Edward mentions that the Quileutes will be coming in their wolf forms, and everyone is super miffed by this. Except for Bella, who is downright shocked.
“I stared at Edward, my eyes stretched wide. “They’re coming as wolves?”
First off, um, I’m not so sure that’s good for your eyes. (+1 Thesaurus Rape) Second off, gee willikers, Bella, what did you expect them to come as, shirtless indians? You are so stupid sometimes. (+1 Stupidity) Moving on. The wolves finally show up. Even Emmett is impressed by them, which says something. (It takes a lot to impress Emmett.)
“I strained to see the six wolves in the gloom. Finally, something glittered in the blackness — their eyes, higher up than they should be. I’d forgotten how very tall the wolves were. Like horses, only thick with muscle and fur — and teeth like knives, impossible to overlook. I could only see the eyes. And as I scanned, straining to see more, it occurred to me that there were more than six pairs facing us. One, two, three . . . I counted the pairs swiftly in my head. Twice. There were ten of them.”
Damn, there’s more of them? I swear, they’re like the freaking Brady Bunch. Carlisle steps out into the center of the circle and starts his nice-to-meet-you-let’s-kill-some-vampires shtick. He says that the newborns will get here in four days, which we already know is completely retarded, unless they’re traveling on only surface roads between 3 and 4 PM. (+1 Stupidity) Somewhere in here, Edward starts reading the wolves’ minds and translates for the others. Woah, does this mean he can read the minds of animals, too? I wish I could read animal minds.
Carl then motions to Jasper, saying that he knows how to kill newborns. Whoa, is Jasper going to be an actual, contributing character now? Cool. Anyway, he’s probably thrilled that he’s getting such precious screentime. He’s probably got a whole schmancy powerpoint and everything to teach us how to kill newborn vampires.
Like, seriously, I am thrilled to learn how to kill a newborn. There’s got to be some trick to it. Maybe you have to go for the eyes. That’s got to be it.
“As long as you come at them from the side and keep moving, they’ll be too confused to respond effectively.”
Oh, and also, don’t be slow about it.
That was incredibly disappointing. Seriously, is this the best Jasper can do? “Don’t be slow?” Well, how else were they going to do it?
Edward: When the bad guys show up, I will slowly walk up to one and punch him on the nose.
Rosalie: I will approach one and calmly slap him on the forehead.
Esme: I’ll wait for them to come to me, and then I will kill them with kisses and hugs.
Jasper: No! YOU FOOLS!
Ugh, this was the worst idea ever. Don’t be slow and move sideways. God. Okay, the moving fast thing is just too damn obvious, but moving sideways? I don’t even know how that would work.
Newborn: Ha, I’ve got you now! Not even your useless powers can help you!
Jasper: I don’t think so! *moves sideways*
Newborn: SWEET JESUS HE’S MOVING SIDEWAYS ON ME THIS IS THE END
And speaking of Jasper’s powers, I just had an epiphany: why aren’t we just going to use Jasper’s powers to make the army all calm and relaxed and peaceful and then kill them one by one? This seems like a better idea than what anyone else has had so far. (+1 Stupidity)
Okay, fine, whatever. Newborn vampires are fierce and crazy, like Robert Downey Jr. when he wakes up in the morning, and the best thing to do is be fast and move sideways. Fine. Moving on now.
The Cullens go up, one by one, and spar with Jasper. Bella is scared out of her wits, because…well, I really don’t know why. Hmm.
“It’s my turn,” Edward protested. My fingers tensed around his. “In a minute.” Jasper grinned, stepping back. “I want to show Bella something first.” I watched with anxious eyes as he waved Alice forward. “I know you worry about her,” he explained to me as she danced blithely into the ring. “I want to show you why that’s not necessary.”
Well, that’s a shot for the first line. And, oh my adverbs, put down the thesaurus. (+1 Thesaurus Rape) Last, it’s real nice and all that Bella is worrying about Alice, but why isn’t she worrying about herself? Hell, why isn’t anyone concerned for Bella’s safety and putting her on a plane to Antarctica, or at least giving her some pepper spray or something? Why am I yet again amazed that this book is unbelievably stupid? (+1 Stupidity)
So, anyways, Alice totes kicks Jasper’s pale skinny ass. Coolio.
“Jasper closed in, and Alice began to move faster. She was dancing — spiraling and twisting and curling in on herself. Jasper was her partner, lunging, reaching through her graceful patterns, never touching her, like every movement was choreographed. Finally, Alice laughed. Out of nowhere she was perched on Jasper’s back, her lips at his neck.”
I’ve noticed that Meyer has a real knack for describing lots of things and not actually showing anything. There was a full paragraph before the chunk I just quoted. I reread it and the chunk about five times, and yet I still have no idea what the fight between Alice and Jasper even looked like. There is so much description of things, but I can’t get a clear mental picture of it, because Meyer would rather describe how it’s happening as opposed to what’s actually happening. Bad writing FTW. (+1 Stupidity)
Back to the story. After Alice fights Jasper, it’s Edward’s turn. Since Edward is doing something, and since we haven’t ogled Edward in a while, Meyer whips out the thesaurus. Too tired of this book to quote it. Deal. (+1 Thesaurus Rape) Whatever. The battle is a play of speed and strength in such epic proportions that I can’t even imagine simply because Meyer can’t write for shit.
While this is going on, Alice steps over to threaten Bella. She says that Bella better not do turn herself over to the newborn army or…Alice doesn’t really have an or else. Hmmn. Someone did not think that one through.
Finally, the “training session” is over. Jasper is apparently a basketball coach or something, because he tells everyone practice is at the same time tomorrow. Um, are you serious right now? There is really going to be more of this “training?” now, I understand that this is supposed to be the beginning of actual plot and all, but this whole kerfuffle has been such a disappointment.This book does not flow. There are so many things going on, which isn’t bad in and of itself, but we keep switching around and doing different things that I, the reader, can’t keep up. Not to mention, the events are so disjointed. It’s like Meyer thought out a bunch of unconnected ideas for a plot, had her children draw representations of each one, and then picked the ones she was going to use by throwing darts. (+1 Stupidity)
Damn, I’m being a Bella and complaining about action when I said all I wanted was some action. Sorry, sorry. Maybe at tomorrow’s practice, Jasper will accidentally slay Edward. One can only hope. Onward!
“The pack thinks it would be helpful to be familiar with each of our scents — so they don’t make mistakes later. If we could hold very still, it will make it easier for them.” “Certainly,” Carlisle said to Sam. “Whatever you need.” There was a gloomy, throaty grumble from the wolf pack as they all rose to their feet.”
The Cullens all line up, and, in a scene so completely awkward it made me laugh, the werewolves sniff them. Like, sniff sniff them. Good Jesus.
“Sam sniffed at Carlisle, seeming to wince slightly as he did. Then he moved on to Jasper.”
Quick, Sam! Bite off Sparklepeen’s man-parts!
The wolves keep moving down the line and sniffing, until a big red-brown wolf reaches Bella. It’s Jacob, obviously. Wolf-Jacob lets Bella pet him and I’m shocked he doesn’t roll over and ask for a belly rub. Bella just kind of stands there.
“The fur was both soft and rough, and warm against my skin. I ran my fingers through it curiously, learning the texture, stroking his neck where the color deepened. I hadn’t realized how close I’d gotten; without warning, Jacob suddenly licked my face from chin to hairline.”
Jesus, Jake! Haven’t we talked about your kisses?!? And, all things aside, that’s just fucking gross. (+1 Red Flag) Bella looks around, and realizes that everyone looks a little disgusted. Probably because they know what dogs do with their mouths, but hey. The wolves finish up the awkward sniff-check, and run off into the forest. Jacob lags behind, presumably wanting to talk to Bella. Edward briefly has a mind-conversation with him.
“I’ve not quite figured out all the details yet,” he said, answering a question in Jacob’s thoughts. The Jacob-wolf grumbled sullenly. “It’s more complicated than that,” Edward said. “Don’t concern yourself; I’ll make sure it’s safe.” “What are you talking about?” I demanded. “Just discussing strategy,” Edward said.”
Ooh! Ooh! Fill-in-the-blank time!
Jacob: Lullabies are stupid.
Edward: I’ve not quite figured out all the details yet.
Jacob: All you’re doing is taking a regular song and making it worse.
Edward: It’s more complicated than that.
Jacob: Not as complicated as the plot of Inception.
Edward: Don’t concern yourself; I’ll make sure it’s safe.
Jacob: I’ll make sure your mom is safe.
Unsatisfied with Edward’s translating, Jacob runs off into the forest to defur himself.
“Okay, bloodsucker,” Jacob said when he was a few feet from us, evidently continuing the conversation I’d missed. “What’s so complicated about it?” “I have to consider every possibility,” Edward said, unruffled. “What if someone gets by you?”
Finally, they have the brains to discuss what they’re going to do with Bella when the shit hits the fan. Jacob wants to put her on the reservation, because two of the wolves will be staying there. Edward vetoes that, saying Bella’s scent is all over the place. I have to agree with him. Leaving Bella on the reservation is a piss-poor idea, for several reasons. Not only has Bella been all over the place, but it would also be endangering hundreds of innocent injuns. Stop thinking with your other head, Jake. (+1 Stupidity)
“Jacob gestured to the deep forest east of us, to the vast expanse of the Olympic Mountains. “So hide her here,” he suggested. “There’s a million possibilities — places either one of us could be in just a few minutes if there’s a need.”
Okay, I’m all for this. Let’s just pop Bella in a tree somewhere and continue with the slaughter. Sadly, Eddie shoots this down too; not wanting to take any risks. Damn. Suddenly, Jacob has an epiphany. If werewolf scent disgusts vampires, shouldn’t it disguise Bella’s scent?
“We’re going to see if I can confuse the scent enough to hide your trail,” Jacob explained. I stared at his open arms suspiciously. “You’re going to have to let him carry you, Bella,” Edward told me. His voice was calm, but I could hear the subdued distaste. I frowned. Jacob rolled his eyes, impatient, and reached down to yank me up into his arms. “Don’t be such a baby,” he muttered.”
In another amazingly awkward scene, Jacob picks Bella up and walks a few meters into the forest with her. After a while, Eddie and Alice catch up to them. As luck (or plot convenience) would have it, werewolf stank almost completely obscure Bella’s delicious scent. (Still trying to figure out what Bella smells like. Maybe Italian food?)
“As long as you don’t touch anything, Bella, I can’t imagine someone sticking their nose close enough to that trail to catch your scent,” Jasper said, grimacing. “It was almost completely obscured.”
They plan for Bella to leave a false trail through the forest so that the newborns will be lead to the killing grounds. Cool. Glad we’ve figured that out, but we still don’t know what we’re going to do with Smelly Bella. (Smella?) But everyone is totes excited by the idea of a false trail, so we’ll let it slide for now.
“Yes!” Jacob hissed. Edward smiled at him, a smile of true comradeship. I felt sick. How could they be so eager for this? How could I stand having both of them in danger?”
Because if both of them are dead, who’s going to drive me places?!? (+1 Stupidity) Personally, I think it’s great that Wolfballs and Sparklepeen are working together. Bella needs to get off her high horse and realize the world does not revolve around her.
Suddenly, Eddie turns around and snaps at Jasper for thinking something he doesn’t agree with. (+1 Red Flag) Jasper wanted Bella to actually be in the clearing that’s been designated as a killing ground. That would drive the newborns insane and make them easy pickin’s.
“Of course it’s too dangerous for her. It was just an errant thought,” he said quickly. But he looked at me from the corner of his eyes, and the look was wistful. “No,” Edward said. His voice rang with finality.”
Poor Jasper. I think he’s a genius. Anyways, I just had a thought: if the newborns are so blood-crazy, why are they going to gun in specifically on Bella? Surely, somewhere between Seattle and Forks, there are far tastier and more interesting people. What is going to compel all these blood-crazy vamps to travel 150 miles for one person? (+1 Stupidity)
Oh, right, Bella just smells so amazingly good the newborns will have no choice but to go find her. Right.
Anyways, Jacob edges closer, which pisses Edward off.
“Jacob snorted. He’d edged closer unconsciously, drawn by his absorption in the planning. He stood only three feet from Edward now, and, standing there between them, I could feel the physical tension in the air. It was like static, an uncomfortable charge.”
Um, physical tension? What? Has Meyer finally gone round the bend? (+1 Thesaurus Rape) Whatever. Jacob suggests that Bella be left with Seth when it’s killing time. Seth will be in wolf form, so he’ll be connected to the pack. Edward will be able to read the minds of the wolves, and will therefore know exactly what’s going on with Bella. Everyone thinks this is a jolly good idea, and we all laugh and the chapter ends.
Did anyone else realize we still don’t know what we’re going to do with Bella? (+1 Stupidity)
Thesaurus Rape: +4
Red Flag: Sparklepeen +1 Wolfballs +1
Thesaurus Rape: +33
Eye Rape: +4
Cream Count: +5
Red Flag: Sparklepeen +59 Wolfballs +13