What this chapter should be called: Somehow, I think I can resist
Fucks I give: -1
Chapters left: 9
If there’s one thing that is consistent throughout all these books, it’s Bella’s ability to worry about things for twenty pages. The girl could release her own self-help book called, “How to Worry About Things In 20-Page Increments: For Home or Office.” For instance, if you’re out of cheese, you can write twenty pages on what would happen if you never ate cheese again. It wouldn’t fix your problem, but at least you could be hip and sassy like Bella Swan-Cullen, the superstar of 21st century literature.
But maybe I’m being mean. Bella does have a good reason to worry, after all. The Volturi are coming to kill her and her family in less than a month for no good reason. I’d probably worry a bit too. She should continue her 20-page worry-a-thons. It’s just like the time in Raiders of the Lost Ark when Indiana Jones spent the entire movie saying, “Gosh. I sure hope the bad guys don’t get the Ark. That would be awful. All the pain and suffering…I just don’t know if I could handle that. I better make love.” (+1 Stupidity)
“There was so much to think about. How was I going to find time alone to hunt down J. Jenks, and why did Alice want me to know about him? If Alice’s clue had nothing to do with Renesmee, what could I do to save my daughter?”
Bella has so many things running through her mind. Who is this sketchy J. Jenks guy? Why does Alice want her to find him? How will he help her save Renesmee? If not, how will she save Renesmee? How are they gonna explain things to the Denalis? If it comes to a fight with the Volturi, will Bella be useless? (Probably.) How are they going to get enough support to avoid a fight? Why do I lose socks in the dryer? Have I wasted over two years of my life on these stupid books?
(The answers are 1. gnomes and 2. yes.)
Anyways, the first 1/4 of this chapter is a total crapshoot. Bedward says “fuck being responsible parents to our child who will most likely be killed in a month, let’s have sex.” (+1 Stupidity/Bitch)
“I didn’t think of my questions again for the rest of that night. It didn’t take long for me to grasp the reason for his mood, and even less time to feel exactly the same way. I’d been planning on needing years just to somewhat organize the overwhelming passion I felt for him physically. And then centuries after that to enjoy it. If we had only a month left together… Well, I didn’t see how I could stand to have this end. For the moment I couldn’t help but be selfish. All I wanted was to love him as much as possible in the limited time given to me.”
Oddly enough, the sex doesn’t help matters at all. In the morning, Bella plucks Renesmee out of bed and dresses her. Does anyone else feel like Renesmee is treated more like a doll than a child? Hell, she acts more like a doll than a child. Never once do we see Renesmee throw a temper tantrum or even be slightly moody. I don’t think she ever even expresses any base personality. For all intents and purposes, this child isn’t real. She’s about as full of life as a bag of Sour Skittles and about half as enjoyable. This child is a living MacGuffin. (+1 Stupidity)
You know, you can call me sick and twisted, but I think this book would be about 100x better if Renesmee had died after Bella gave birth, and the second part was about Bella trying to cope with her new vampirism while simultaneously mourning her child and trying to repair her relationship with Edward. But, uh, that would take effort and talent, so it was never gonna happen.
Whatever. Moving on. Bella asks if Edward will teach her to fight and defend herself.
“Edward, will you teach me how to fight?” I asked him, tensed for his reaction, as he held the door for me. It was what I expected. He froze, and then his eyes swept over me with a deep significance, like he was looking at me for the first or last time. His eyes lingered on our daughter sleeping in my arms. “If it comes to a fight, there won’t be much any of us can do,” he hedged.”
Yep, Edward is one Positive Paul when it comes to fights. He always sees the bright side of life. You might remember him saying some similar things before the newborn army attacked in Eclipse, and again in Twilight when James was being a doofus. Edward sure is one to look on the bright side. *eye roll* Anyway, he’s reluctant to teach Bella how to fight. He says if it came to that, there would be nothing anyone could do. Eventually, he comes around to realize it might be for the best if Bella at least knows a few fighting techniques so she doesn’t wind up dying defenseless.
They talk about the Volturi’s MVPs.
“Alec and Jane are their greatest offense,” he said emotionlessly, like we were talking of a basketball team. “Their defensive players rarely see any real action.” “Because Jane can burn you where you stand—mentally at least. What does Alec do? Didn’t you once say he was even more dangerous than Jane?” “Yes. In a way, he is the antidote to Jane. She makes you feel the worst pain imaginable. Alec, on the other hand, makes you feel nothing. Absolutely nothing. Sometimes, when the Volturi are feeling kind, they have Alec anesthetize someone before he is executed. If he has surrendered or pleased them in some other way.”
Their two strongest players are Alec and Dakota Fanning. We all know Dakota Fanning can make a vampire crumble to the ground in a fit of agony using nothing but her mind powers. (As can the real Dakota Fanning, but only when she’s really pissed and wearing her power crown.) Alec does the opposite: he anesthetizes people to the point where they’re conscious, but all their senses are cut off. The main difference is that while Dakota Fanning can only mind-attack one person at a time, Alec’s power works on groups. This is troubling because if Alec were to numb the Cullens & Co., it would cause mass panic and make it easier for other vamps like Marcus (tee hee!) to kill them all.
“Do you think Alec is a very good fighter?” I asked. “Aside from what he can do, I mean. If he had to fight without his gift. I wonder if he’s ever even tried. . . .” Edward glanced at me sharply. “What are you thinking?” I looked straight ahead. “Well, he probably can’t do that to me, can he? If what he does is like Aro and Jane and you. Maybe… if he’s never really had to defend himself… and I learned a few tricks—”
Bella suddenly grows a set and suggests that she take Alec and Jane out before they can hurt anyone. WTF? Bella has spent the last three books deftly fainting at the merest hint of violence. Where is all this coming from? (+1 Stupidity) Edward shoots this down. Wifey WON’T be fighting and being useful, no siree. (+1 Red Flag)
“He’s been with the Volturi for centuries,” Edward cut me off, his voice abruptly panicked. He was probably seeing the same image in his head that I was: the Cullens standing helpless, senseless pillars on the killing field—all but me. I’d be the only one who could fight. “Yes, you’re surely immune to his power, but you are still a newborn, Bella. I can’t make you that strong a fighter in a few weeks. I’m sure he’s had training.”
Ed-wad puts the kibosh on the idea of Bella fighting because, surely, she’ll only get hurt. But, isn’t Bella the most powerful vampire that’s ever been? As a newborn vampire, she’s twice as powerful as all other vampires. She beat Emmett in an arm wrestling match that I’m desperately trying to forget. She makes the Rock look weak. She could stave off an alien invasion using only a bent paperclip and a half-full can of Dr. Pepper. Bella is so powerful that you could focus the Death Star’s laser beam directly on her forehead and she would walk away unscathed. She could easily take out a few of these Volturi, so why is Edward hemming and hawing? And why does he assume losing is their only option?
Right. Because he’s a terrible joyless character without any sense of reason or grasp on basic logic. Right. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella ponders what else she could do. If she’s lucky enough to win a fight against Alec, could she move on and take out Jane? And then Demetri (I think this is the first we’ve heard of this guy. Basically, he’s like, James 2.0.) afterwards? If she eliminates the Volturi’s two powerhouses, then the Cullens can attack full force.
I love this. There’s no sarcasm here. The setup for this battle makes sense, for once. I think Alec and Dakota Fanning, the creepy-yet-strong vampire teens, make wonderful enemies, and their powers are much more interesting than Marcus’ ability to see relationships and Esme’s ability to live a wasted life. The downside is that this only lasts a few sentences before we return to tedium and barely-there plot. Plus, I know Meyer has never written a truly satisfying action scene, and I’m worried that this book will end with Bella telling us, “There was a huge war. It was epic. We won. Then Edward and I danced naked in a pool of infinite love, the waves of passion hugging our souls like a robe made of dreams and gods. Chagrin.”
I’m almost impressed with Bella right now. It’s about time that she actually took action instead of waiting for the bad things to happen like she always does. A point to you, Stephykins. (+1 Redemption)
Then, Bedward starts discussing Eleazar. Turns out, he used to be one of the Volturi.
“Eleazar is a very gentle person. He wasn’t entirely happy with the Volturi, but he respected the law and its need to be upheld. He felt he was working toward the greater good. He doesn’t regret his time with them. But when he found Carmen, he found his place in this world. They are very similar people, both very compassionate for vampires.” He smiled again. “They met Tanya and her sisters, and they never looked back. They are well suited to this lifestyle. If they’d never found Tanya, I imagine they would have eventually discovered a way to live without human blood on their own.”
Eleazar helped out the Volturi by using his sparkle power – the power to sense speshul powers in others — including potential speshul powers in humans. He knows a lot about them, but decided to drop out of Volturi Academy because he was just such a humanitarian. Bella is surprised that the Volturi “just let him go,” but apparently the Volturi don’t abide by contemporary gang culture.
Moving on. Jacob has joined Bella and Edward by now, and they take Renesmee into the Cullen house and get ready for the arrival of the Denali clan. They decide that they’ll keep both Jacob and Renesmee hidden at first.
“What’s going on, Edward?” Tanya demanded. “If you could give me the benefit of the doubt for just a few minutes,” he answered. “I have something difficult to explain, and I’ll need you to be openminded until you understand.”
While kind of ridiculous and melodramatic for the events in context, this would be a great coming-out of the closet story. The Denalis grow worried that something has happened to Carlisle.
“Is Carlisle all right?” a male voice asked anxiously. Eleazar. “None of us is all right, Eleazar,” Edward said, and then he patted something, maybe Eleazar’s shoulder. “But physically, Carlisle is fine.”
“None of us is alright”??? Oh, for the love of – grammar, Meyer! Grammar is your friend! (+1 Stupidity)
Edward dances around the situation at hand while Jacob and Bella hide in the dining room. Why is all this evasion necessary? Again, why couldn’t Edward explain this over the phone before they got there? Oh, that’s right. It’s because vampires have two extra chromosomes. (+1 Stupidity)
Edward invites the Denali clan into the living room and explains that there is great danger approaching. He asks them to take a sniff and then listen carefully to what is hiding in the other room. The Denalis quickly identify Jacob, but they also hear Renesmee’s rapid heartbeat. Edward then asks Tanya’s gang to have an open mind about what he’s about to show them. It would be awesome if Edward did some sort of erotic magic trick here, but all he does is ask Bella to bring out Renesmee. He really needs to work on his showmanship.
“I thought I’d prepared myself for their reaction. For accusations, for shouting, for the motionlessness of deep stress. Tanya skittered back four steps, her strawberry curls quivering, like a human confronted by a venomous snake. Kate jumped back all the way to the front door and braced herself against the wall there. A shocked hiss came from between her clenched teeth. Eleazar threw himself in front of Carmen in a protective crouch.”
Ugh. The Denalis flip the fuck out and Meyer’s descriptions are terrible. Why does she say that only Tanya’s hair is quivering in fear? Nobody knows. (+1 Thesaurus Rape) Anyways: at first, the Denalis back away, because they are vampires, and all vampires are over-dramatic morons. They don’t believe Edward, and know that a vampire baby is against the rules. Edward is able to calm everyone down, and reminds them that Renesmee has a heartbeat, and as such, cannot be a real vampire. He explains that him and Bella are Renesmee’s biological mother and father.
“Bella is her biological mother,” Edward told her. “She conceived, carried, and gave birth to Renesmee while she was still human. It nearly killed her. I was hard-pressed to get enough venom into her heart to save her.” “I’ve never heard of such a thing,” Eleazar said. His shoulders were still stiff, his expression cold. “Physical relationships between vampires and humans are not common,” Edward answered, a bit of dark humor in his tone now. “Human survivors of such trysts are even less common. Wouldn’t you agree, cousins?” Both Kate and Tanya scowled at him.”
Ha, ha, it’s funny because he’s implying that his cousins callously kill human men after they’ve used them for sex! Oh, Edward, you cad! (+1 Red Flag)
“Do you mind if Renesmee tells you about it herself?” I asked Carmen. I was still too stressed to speak above a whisper. “She has a gift for explaining things.” Carmen was still smiling at Renesmee. “Do you speak, little one?” “Yes,” Renesmee answered in her trilling high soprano. All of Tanya’s family flinched at the sound of her voice except for Carmen. “But I can show you more than I can tell you.”
For pages and pages, Renesmee touches everyone’s face. She would easily win the gold medal in Face-Touching in the Overdramatic Olympics. Sure, a simple handshake would have worked too, but face-touching is so much more ridiculous and pompous, so it’s a very vampire thing to do. (+1 Stupidity)
While the festival of face-touching is going on, Edward explains that the rest of the Cullens are out looking for more vamps who will witness. The Denalis agree to bear witness, and then fight if it comes down to that, because of course they do.
“I, too, will do what I can to protect the child,” Carmen agreed. Then, as if she couldn’t resist, she held her arms out toward Renesmee. “May I hold you, bebé linda?” Renesmee reached eagerly toward Carmen, delighted with her new friend. Carmen hugged her close, murmuring to her in Spanish. It was like it had been with Charlie, and before that with all the Cullens. Renesmee was irresistible. What was it about her that drew everyone to her, that made them willing even to pledge their lives in her defense?”
Stupid irresistible little bugger. Everyone basically just accepts and loves Renesmee right away. No one tries to hurt her or destroy her or anything cool like that. Handy that she has the speshul power of showing them her thoughts, huh? Laaame. (+1 Stupidity) I’m willing to bet all the other vampires that come to Cullen Manor will also fall madly in love with Renesmee instantly, too, therefore removing any chance of any sort of confrontation or conflict. Heaven forbid anything close to a PLOT should materialize!
All in all, this whole “powers” thing is starting to bug me. It’s just too terribly convenient. It’s like hearing two children arguing whilst playing superheroes:
Kid 1: I shot you! You’re dead!
Kid 2: No, I got invincibility, the bullet deflected now YOU’RE DEAD!
Kid 1: Nu-uh! My bullets can shoot through anything; they’re MAGIC
Kid 2: I’m wearing special magic-proof armour!
Kid 1: Oh yeah? Then I’m gonna take you down with my speshul mind powers!
Kid 2: I got powers too, and they take away your powers!
And on and on and on, until the conversation is just as convoluted as this sorry excuse for a book.
Thesaurus Rape: +1
Red Flag: Edward: +2
Thesaurus Rape: +32
Cream Count: +16
Eye Rape: +1
Red Flag: Edward: +14 Jacob: +8