To recap: Bella has decided that the werewolves are 100% guilty of several murders, based entirely on circumstantial evidence. And she's conveniently forgotten that Victoria and Laurent exist, or that THEY could be guilty.
So after several hours of lying like a lump on the floor, she drives out to La Push.
and I could have called him as he’d suggested, but that felt cowardly.
Because as we all know, Bella is NEVER cowardly… except when she is. Recall this line from the previous book: But I knew myself too well to think I would really have the guts to do it. I made the Cowardly Lion look like the Terminator. And now Bella is NOT avoiding something socially awkward because she doesn't like feeling cowardly?
I can only assume she is driven to do this because she thinks she has a chance of luring him away from the Evil Native American Culture, so she can get shagged by SOME kind of supernatural creature.
I would tell him to his face that I couldn’t just overlook what was going on. I couldn’t be friends with a killer and say nothing, let the killing continue... That would make me a monster, too.
- So as long as you tell a killer that you refuse to be their BFF, but otherwise do nothing to stop them, then you're totally not a monster. That's how it works. In Anita Blake's world.
- And let's not kid ourselves. She can't do anything to stop them. I doubt the "I won't be friends wit u!" argument will work on anyone other than Jacob.
- "Say nothing?" Well, I can only assume she means saying nothing to Charlie and the Proper Authorities (which sounds like a band name), because verbally chastising a band of serial killers doesn't absolve you of being complicit in what they're doing.
- On the other hand, we also know she won't say anything to Charlie or anyone else because… well, who the hell would believe "The murders are being committed by a bunch of hot shirtless Indian boys who are secretly werewolves"?
- I don't know how it is where YOU live, but the last time I told the police that, they were not quick to believe me.
- So with that in mind, "let the killing continue"? Exactly what does she think SHE can do about it?
- And if she actually thinks that Jacob and his friends are randomly killing people… then this is possibly the worst plan EVER.
I mean, think about it. She's wandering off to confront a bunch of WEREWOLVES of savage brutal murders… on her own… in the dark… without any kind of note or message letting Charlie know who was responsible. If they were actually the killers, all they would have to do to deal with her… IS KILL HER AND DUMP HER BODY IN THE WOODS. Nobody would assume they were the culprits, because nobody else would assume they were werewolves.
But I couldn’t not warn him, either. I had to do what I could to protect him.
Warn him of WHAT? That there are going to be a bunch of people shooting at the wolves after several deadly attacks? Thanks, I think he can figure that out without your towering Jane Austen brain.
Or does she mean warn him about her blabbing about him being a murdering werewolf?
I pulled up to the Blacks’ house with my lips pressed together into a hard line. It was bad enough that my best friend was a werewolf. Did he have to be a monster, too?
Note that she had no problem with the Cullens being vampires, but for some reason it's "bad" if Jacob is a werewolf.
Also, Edward openly admitted to murdering several people in the previous book, and Bella just sat there orgasming about how awesome he was. Jacob MIGHT have murdered people? HE'S A MONSTER, WAAAAA!
The house was dark, no lights in the windows, but I didn’t care if I woke them.
Our unselfish heroine who never thinks about herself.
So she knocks on the door, and Billy comes in. Yeah, apparently she woke up the handicapped man and made him totter out to receive her, and he's not even in his wheelchair.
Which reminds me: why is he even in a wheelchair? Are we ever told what his problem is?
“Hey, Billy. I need to talk to Jake—where is he?”
“Um...I don’t really know,” he lied, straight-faced.
… which is a rich accusation from someone who coldly lies to EVERY SINGLE PERSON SHE KNOWS.
So Bella blabs that Charlie and the other men are hunting wolves in the woods, but Billy doesn't really react. You get the feeling that he doesn't really give a shit, and he's not really worried. I can see why, because honestly, if the boys simply stay in human form for a few days… why would it even affect them?
Billy pursed his thick lips for a long moment. “I’d bet he’s still asleep,” he finally said, nodding toward the tiny hallway off the front room. “He’s out late a lot these days. Kid needs his rest—probably you shouldn’t wake him.”
“It’s my turn,” I muttered under my breath as I stalked to the hallway.
… WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?! Her turn to rest? Her turn to go out late? Her turn to sleep? WHAT THE HELL IS SHE SAYING?
So our unselfish never-thinking-of-herself heroine goes charging into Jacob's bedroom without even knocking, where Jacob is fast asleep. Well, so much for the "be afraid of the guys with guns!" since Jacob is unlikely to get shot in human form IN HIS OWN BEDROOM.
So because her banging around hasn't woken him up, Bella slinks back out.
I was dying to ask him about his part in this. What did he think of what his son had become? But I knew how he’d supported Sam from the very beginning, and so I supposed the murders must not bother him. How he justified that to himself I couldn’t imagine.
Here's a thought, you malevolent racist bitch: maybe you should actually CONFIRM that Jacob is involved in the murders instead of DECIDING BY YOURSELF WITH NO SOLID EVIDENCE that he definitely is.
But hey, Billy isn't a rich white person, so I guess it's okay to consider him an evil accessory to murder with no chance to defend himself.
So then Bella decides to go hang out at the local beach, where she will contemplate how Life Is Pain until Jacob comes to talk to her.
“I’ll be down at the beach for a while. When he wakes up, tell him I’m waiting for him, okay?”
“Sure, sure,” Billy agreed.
I wondered if he really would. Well, if he didn’t, I’d tried, right?
"Hey Jacob, that crazy girl who's been stalking you just broke into your bedroom, and now she's waiting for you at the beach. Want me to call the reservation police?"
So Bella goes to sit at the beach where she first tried to sexually manipulate Jacob, and sits around being emo. This might actually be a touching, compelling scene IF WE DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW that she pulled all this out of her ass.
I sat down where I’d sat before, and stared out across the invisible sea.
I want to beat these books to death with a dictionary.
I still couldn’t turn a blind eye to what was happening, like Billy seemed to, but I couldn’t condemn Jacob for it either. Love didn’t work that way, I decided. Once you cared about a person, it was impossible to be logical about them anymore. Jacob was my friend whether he killed people or not.
- I get the feeling that somewhere in her house, Smeyer has a pillow embroidered with "Love means never having to say you're sorry." The sentiment is total horseshit, because love means WANTING to say you're sorry when you actually hurt someone.
- Yeah, Little Miss Moral High Ground has SO much love and compassion for Jacob that she decided he and his new friends were guilty without even talking to him. THAT is real love.
- And at the same time, Little Miss Moral High Ground has decided that hey, she can't blame Jacob for the whole murder thing! I mean, he's hawt. She can blame everybody else, but not HIM.
- I think murder is a pretty decent reason to cut off a friendship.
- And you know what? You can love someone and still condemn them for, oh, I dunno, MURDER.
- But who am I kidding? In the previous book, Bella's boyfriend openly boasted about committing several murders, and all she did was sit there thinking about how awesome he must have looked when he did it.
- So yeah, Smeyer just openly admitted that Bella, like Anita Blake, thinks that law and justice should only be meted out to people she isn't horny for. If you love someone, that means they should get away with murder.
- I dare anyone to read this chapter and not admit that Bella is a functional sociopath.
- And in case there was the slightest doubt about that, she openly admits that she is trying to come up with some answer, some way to shelter him. All those other teen boys who she thinks have killed people? They can die or be arrested. Just so long as Jacob isn't!
When I pictured him sleeping so peacefully, I felt an overpowering urge to protect him. Completely illogical.
STOP USING THE WORDS "LOGICAL" OR "ILLOGICAL." They mean nothing in this book!
Despite Bella's bitter bitch assumptions about Billy, Jacob does indeed come to the beach.
“Billy told me you came by—didn’t take you very long, did it? I knew you could figure it out.”
"Yes! I figured out that you're secretly a furry!"
"Yes, I - wait, what?"
But then Jacob picks up that Bella is feeling hostile, so he starts getting pissed. Not sure why, since he's spent all this time with the mopey "I'm such a monster!" act.
“Jacob, I have to warn you—”
“About the rangers and the hunters? Don’t worry about it. We already know.”
"Believe it or not, but people who have NOT read Jane Austen are still capable of thought."
“Don’t worry about it?” I demanded in disbelief. “Jake, they’ve got guns! They’re setting traps and offering rewards and—”
Yes, because all of those things are super-dangerous to WEREWOLVES with human intelligence, who are also able to turn back into humans at will.
Jacob makes an offhand comment about how the people hunting them will "start disappearing soon enough, too.” I think we're supposed to be horrified, but this is a series where the male lead openly schemes to kill dozens of people, talks casually about having murdered others, and boasts about how much he wants to kill his girlfriend.
My voice was pale with revulsion.
Don't make me break out the Inigo clip again. I will if I have to!
So Little Miss Moral High Ground starts snapping at Jacob about how cruel and heartless he's being, and he says that they can't really do any more. Yeah, he put a lot more confidence in her brain than he should have. Apparently the "werewolves are the enemy of vampires" thing went in one ear and out the other.
“Could you...well, try to not be a...werewolf?” I suggested in a whisper.
"We can Pray Away the Furry! Or you can go to one of those special Christian seminars where they make you NOT a werewolf!"
Seriously, this line is so blindingly stupid that I ALMOST thought it was another tired supernatural-as-metaphor-for-gay-person line. Almost. Not quite. Because to use something as a metaphor for LGBT people, you need to actually acknowledge that they exist.
Jacob thinks this is almost as stupid as I do, and gets even more pissed off at Bella. Wow, this scene is actually making me happy. Someone is telling off the hypocritical bitch!
“You know what makes me so mad I could just spit?”
The fact that your dialogue is so bad? Seriously, who TALKS like that?
“You’re such a hypocrite, Bella—there you sit, terrified of me! How is that fair?” His hands shook with anger.
“Hypocrite? How does being afraid of a monster make me a hypocrite?”
Hmm, how about the fact that when your boyfriend boasted about murdering people and talked at length about how he constantly wants to kill YOU, you sat there orgasming over how perfect he was? And now you've decided that Jacob MUST be a killer because of circumstantial evidence, so you're terrified of him.
So yes, Bawla. You ARE a hypocrite. And no amount of fudging will cover that up.
And that's just the MAJOR hypocrisy. I could shovel out tons more examples.
He took two steps toward me, leaning over me and glaring with fury. “Well, I’m so sorry that I can’t be the right kind of monster for you, Bella. I guess I’m just not as great as a bloodsucker, am I?”
"Well, you WOULD be, if you were white and rich. Like, DUH. And could make me immortal. Can you do that?"
"See? Vampires are SO much better."
"How about you stop talking now?"
I jumped to my feet and glared back. “No, you’re not!” I shouted. “It’s not what you are, stupid, it’s what you do!”
There's a simple reason why he called you a hypocrite, Bawla.
- Edward Cullen openly admits to murdering several people just to rebel against "Daddy," and still schemes to kill people whenever the whim takes him = MORALLY PERFECT AND PURE.
- Jacob Black might be a killer, might not. No proof or testimony either way, just Bella's personal convictions based on very thin circumstantial evidence = HORRIBLE KILLER WHO IS TOTALLY WORSE THAN THE VAMPIRES.
I was taken entirely by surprise when Edward’s voice cautioned me. “Be very careful, Bella,” his velvet voice warned. “Don’t push him too far. You need to calm him down.”
Even the voice in my head was making no sense today.
HOW IS THAT NOT MAKING SENSE? Apparently it indicates that he might finally be losing patience with your miserable ass, and wants to snap you like a twig.
“Jacob,” I pleaded, making my tone soft and even. “Is it really necessary to kill people, Jacob? Isn’t there some other way? I mean, if vampires can find a way to survive without murdering people, couldn’t you give it a try, too?”
"Huh? What the hell are you talking about?"
"Well, since we're BFFs, I automatically assumed that you must be responsible for the various grisly murders. I didn't bother asking you or anything! That's how good a friend I am! Now just sit back while I preach the gospel of the pure, morally-upright vampires and tell you how awful you are by comparison!"
And for that matter, why is she even assuming that they would WANT to murder people, or NEED to? I could buy that idea if the bodies had been eaten or something, but we already know they weren't. So either the werewolves AREN'T killing people, or they're simply going berserk and unable to control themselves… in which case, NO, YOU STUPID BINT, HE CANNOT "TRY" NOT TO KILL PEOPLE.
But oh, what a surprise, Jacob is shocked by her mentioning that she thinks he's murdering people. He assumed that Bella would be repulsed by his werewolfiness. I guess he thought she was just a vampire groupie, and not a general supernatural groupie.
“If you could just find a way not to hurt people...that’s all that upsets me. These are innocent people, Jake, people like Charlie, and I can’t just look the other way while you—”
Yeah, our Jane Austen-reading heroine still hasn't figured out that he's not a killer, despite his reaction that clearly shows he's not. She is so stupid she could star in a reality show.
And she "can't just look the other way"? What exactly is she intending to do, tip off Charlie about there being werewolves? Or will she go back to her original plan and chain Jacob up in her closet so she can deprogram him?
So Jacob is horrified that despite claiming to be his friend, Bella immediately condemned him, his friends and family for a crime without even speaking to him about it. He can't believe that she assumed the worst about him, while also assuming the best about the Cullens. Disgusted and enraged, he stalks away down the beach, realizing that any friendship he had with Bella was horribly shallow and one-sided.
Bella immediately does her holes-in-the-chest emo collapse, and starts wailing pathetically at Jacob as he walks away. And suddenly she realizes that her own stupidity has driven away the only person who ever actually cared about her, and that he's unlikely to come back now that he knows she would always automatically assume the worst about him merely because he isn't a sparkly vampire.
… sorry, I was just fantasizing for a moment there.
No, what happens is much, much less realistic.
“Is that all? Really?” he interrupted me, a smile breaking across his face. “You’re just scared because I’m a murderer? That’s the only reason?”
Yeah, he's not offended, or upset, or even outraged. He's GLAD Bella assumed he was a murderer. True friendship!
“Jacob Black, this is so not funny!”
- "And I am like so channeling Anita Blake!"
- But I shouldn't complain. This is the middle of Book 2, and this is the first "teenagerish" thing Bawla has said.
So Jacob starts hugging Bella, for reasons I can't understand. But she has her usual allergic reaction to affection.
“You really, honestly don’t mind that I morph into a giant dog?” he asked, his voice joyful in my ear.
“No,” I gasped.
Bullshit. Earlier in the chapter, she referred to him being a werewolf as "bad enough." So either she DOES mind and is lying to him as she does to everyone else, or she thinks his werewolfiness is all about her. Or both.
He let me go, but took both my hands. “I’m not a killer, Bella.”
I studied his face, and it was clear that this was the truth. Relief pulsed through me.
“Really?” I asked.
“Really,” he promised solemnly.
Scuse me, I need to puke.
Yeah, apparently Bella was totally, 110% sure that Jacob and the werewolves were killing people… until, you know, he said he didn't and she went "Okay."
I threw my arms around him. It reminded me of that first day with the motorcycles—he was bigger, though, and I felt even more like a child now.
In most books, this wouldn't be weird. In a series where every romantic relationship is soaked in father-daughter overtones and is between a much older man and younger woman…. it's skeevy. Especially if you know who Jacob ends up with.
“Sorry I called you a hypocrite,” he apologized.
DON'T APOLOGIZE, DAMMIT! SHE IS A HYPOCRITE.
So they hug, and laugh, and apologize to each other, and of course there will be no lasting resentment because Stephenie Meyer is actually an alien sent to observe the human emotions at work… and she's getting a failing grade
Now that's she's figured out the werewolf thing, Jacob is apparently allowed to spill all sorts of supernatural secrets to her. I mean, that's how it works in real life, right? If I sauntered into the CIA and correctly guessed about one of their operations, they would have to tell me EVERYTHING.
TL:DR, it turns out that the werewolves are trying to protect people, not kill them. Of course, Bella doesn't clue in on what they're protecting people from.
“Bella, honey, we only protect people from one thing—our one enemy. It’s the reason we exist—because they do.”
"They're known as the Pittsburgh Steelers!"
I stared at him blankly for one second before I understood. Then the blood drained from my face and a thin, wordless cry of horror broke through my lips.
"Holy crow! I never would have guessed that vampires were in the area after a vampire attacked me! And despite having a flashback in the last chapter about how you told me vampires and werewolves were enemies, I NEVER would have realized that VAMPIRES were your enemy!"
Yes, Bella really is this dim. She can't even remember the legend that tipped her off about Jacob being a werewolf… which she recalled in full in the PREVIOUS CHAPTER.
And apparently she only believes in whatever part of that legend is relevant to her right now. First she thought "werewolves vs. vampires legend" meant that only vampires existed, and then she found out werewolves existed. And now IT FINALLY DAWNS ON HER that hey, maybe they don't get along so well.
He nodded. “I thought you, of all people, would realize what was really going on.”
See? Even Jacob can't believe how stupid she actually is.
“Oh, the black-haired leech?” He grinned, a tight, fierce grin. “Was that his name?”
"He kept laughing in this creepy way, and saying 'Oh hai Bella' and 'you are tearing me apart, werewolves!'"
Another laugh interrupted me. “Bella, one lone vampire isn’t much of a problem for a pack as big as ours. It was so easy, it was hardly even fun!”
“What was so easy?”
“Killing the bloodsucker who was going to kill you. Now, I don’t count that towards the whole murder thing,” he added quickly. “Vampires don’t count as people.”
I could only mouth the words. “You...killed...Laurent?”
He nodded. “Well, it was a group effort,” he qualified.
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! After twelve chapters of mindless drivel from this lazy sack of rancid fertilizer, we could have seen a big bloody battle between a vampire and a pack of werewolves… and instead we got to see Bella moping and being faux-noble?!?!?!?! WHAT KIND OF STUPID FUCKERY IS THIS?!?!?!??!?!?!?
I swear to you all… all six of you reading this… this is the closest I ever came to just ditching the snarking of this series. I mean, it was bad enough when Bella conveniently fainted at the end of the last book, so Smeyer wouldn't have to write a scene where anything other than whining, yapping or making-out occurred.
For an idea of how frustrating this is for me, I was reading the 2012 Dresden Files book, Cold Days, when writing this. The climactic scene includes Harry Dresden and Karrin Murphy riding a magical motorcycle across Lake Michigan, leading Santa Claus, the Erlking and the whole fucking Wild Hunt… so they can fight interdimensional superdemons and assassinate evil fairies. I shit you not. It is so gloriously badass that I nearly got a nosebleed.
And then I turned right around to snark this… a book where the only action scene occurs offscreen.
I want Stephenie Meyer to be punished for this. She needs to be strapped down and forced to watch the Underworld movies until she starts including the werewolf/vampire action scenes. And if you think Underworld and its sequels wouldn't be punishment, consider this: every character in the series wears form-fitting leather, they leap around and have badass action scenes, and the female lead actually does stuff instead of sitting around on her ass.
“Laurent is dead. He’s not coming back for me.”
Which makes all her wangsting and whining for the past few chapters...
“....But how? He was a vampire! How did you kill him? He was so strong, so hard, like marble....”
"Are you talking about his penis again?"
"How did you KNOW?"
“It’s what we’re made for, Bells. We’re strong, too.”
MADE FOR BY WHOM?
Seriously, I don't think there's any kind of concrete origin story or explanation for either the werewolves OR vampires. Are they a freak evolutionary offshoot? Were they created? Are they supernaturally cursed? Are they some sort of freak hybrid? They can't be a different species because obviously they can interbreed with human beings.
So tell me, Smeyer. Pray tell! Who or what MADE the werewolves to fight vampires?! How does that work?!
Let me guess. We're never going to get any kind of answer, because providing her world with a backstory doesn't give Smeyer a ladyboner. And as for the "who made them that way?", we're never going to get an answer for that either. Probably it's because she won't come right out and say "God did it" or whatever. It takes a lot of talent to have a world informed and shaped by your religious views but without the actual religious content... that STILL MAKES LOGICAL SENSE (ex: JRR Tolkien), and Smeyer doesn't have a lot of talent.
Sure, Smeyer crams in a sort of mystical hoo-hah backstory in the next novel, but you know what? It doesn't explain anything because it doesn't coincide with the "werewolves have extra genes" revelation, meaning the change is BIOLOGICAL rather than mystical. It also has nothing to fucking do with vampires.
Then we get an explanation for why Jacob was doing his whole "I shouldn't be here!" spiel. Bella assumed he was just a weenie afraid of vampires, but it's actually something much dumber.
He looked at me with guilt-ridden eyes. “I didn’t say it wasn’t safe for me. I was thinking of you.”
“There’s more than one reason I’m not supposed to be around you, Bella. I wasn’t supposed to tell you our secret, for one thing, but the other part is that it’s not safe for you. If I get too mad...too upset...you might get hurt.”
Oh good. We already had the self-loathing, and now we have the "I could hurt you at any moment I'M SO NOT SAFE TO BE AROUND!" speech. I guess Jacob couldn't be a REAL contender for Bella's affections unless he was constantly threatening her.
“What would happen...if you got too mad?” I whispered.
… hmmm… let me think...
Hell, Jacob's halfway there. The way Smeyer describes him, he's got the physique down already.
“You don’t need a full moon?”
He rolled his eyes. “Hollywood’s version doesn’t get much right.”
Screw Petronius, Gervase of Tilbury and countless werewolf incarnations across the world! The REAL expert on werewolves is a sexually-frustrated Mormon housewife who dreams of glittery vampires!
For fuck's sake, if you want to have your own version of werewolves, just explain that it's a type of werewolf unrelated to the fucking stereotypical one. Many cultures have "skin-walker" legends of a sort - for instance, the Norse believed in magic wolfskins that could be donned at will to turn into a wolf; the Navajo and Turkic peoples had a similar belief. Hungarian werewolves could change at will and were produced by abuse. Serbian folklore believed the werewolves were UNDEAD. In Haiti, they're spirits that possess people by night.
You know what all of those have in common? People turning into wolves or wolflike creatures... WITHOUT the full moon.
I don't know why, but it really irritates me when Smeyer goes out of her way to announce that EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD is wrong about vampires and werewolves, and has been throughout history. Maybe it's just the arrogance of someone whose vampires sparkle and whose werewolves are pedos, but it rubs me the wrong way.
Or maybe that she actually wrote an ENTIRE SCENE where she acknowledges that yes, many varied vampire legends exist across the world and she bothered to actually google them. Then she goes "neener neener, obviously the only one that makes ANY sense is sparkly benevolent ones!"
And it's doubly stupid because… how does Jacob KNOW that they're wrong? Apparently he thinks that all the werewolves in the world are a handful of shirtless teenagers in a single tribe in a single location in the northwestern United States. He hasn't fucking checked the rest of the world, so how does HE know that they're the only kind there is? And yet he's also blaming Hollywood for not getting werewolves "right" while assuming that there are only a few in the WORLD?
Something very, very obvious, something I should have grasped at once—but I’d been so distracted by the idea of Jacob and his friends fighting with Laurent, that I’d completely missed it at the time—occurred to me only then, when Jacob used the present tense again.
And now even BELLA is pointing out how dumb she is.
Yes, she should have figured this out without even more hints from Jacob. And I know I shouldn't blame Bella for just being consumed by "Laurent isn't gonna kill me!", but we're supposed to see Bella as someone so unselfish that other people tell her that she should think MORE about herself. So yeah, I'm going to totally blame her for not realizing this.
“If Laurent died...a week ago...then someone else is killing people now.”
Uh, yeah. Laurent mentioned Victoria. This shouldn't be a surprise to someone so brilliant that they read Jane Austen. HE SAID IT TO YOUR FACE THAT SHE WAS AROUND. YOU THOUGHT ABOUT IT FOR A WEEK.
Jacob nodded; his teeth clenched together, and he spoke through them. “There were two of them. We thought his mate would want to fight us—in our stories, they usually get pretty pissed off if you kill their mate—but she just keeps running away, and then coming back again. If we could figure out what she was after, it would be easier to take her down. But she makes no sense. She keeps dancing around the edges, like she’s testing our defenses, looking for a way in—but in where? Where does she want to go? Sam thinks she’s trying to separate us, so she’ll have a better chance....”
- So vampires ONLY team up with their significant others? Or is Jacob just automatically assuming that a male and female must be a couple?
- Then again, this IS Twilight, where heterosexual soulmate relationships are mandatory.
- Hmm, it's like she's testing their defenses. Maybe… just maybe… she's TESTING THEIR DEFENCES?!
- I'm also not clear on why Jacob didn't WARN her about this. He knows that Bella is in danger, since she was about to be attacked by Laurent.
- I mean, currently their entire pack is fighting one lone vampire, who is obviously clever enough to avoid ALL of them. And yet Jacob insists there's nothing to worry about.
- Or maybe he's just saying that cuz he's talking to a woman, since women are childlike stupid creatures who shouldn't try to think.
- "Don't you worry your pretty head, Bawla. The big strong men will take care of everything, so you get back to the kitchen and fix me a sandwich."
So Bella gets sweaty and almost pukes, but doesn't because she's the 21st century version of a useless gothic female. Jacob would be less likely to catch her if she was covered in vomit.
Victoria was here. Looking for me. Killing strangers in the woods. The woods where Charlie was searching....
OMG! What a shock! Victoria is here, RIGHT where Laurent said! And a vampire is killing people in the woods where she saw a killer vampire who talked about killing other humans? HORROR OF HORRORZ!
Bella swoons and almost collapses, but don't worry! She has a big strong man to scoop her up in a dramatic pose.
He draped me awkwardly across his lap, laying my limp head against his shoulder. He struggled to balance me, to keep me from sagging over, one way or the other.
"You know, Bella, you could at least TRY to sit up. It would make my life easier."
"I can't! I'm just a human female, so I'm weak and passive. A slight shock about something I already knew is enough to make me completely limp, even though I'm conscious enough to observe this AND talk!"
“She wasn’t Laurent’s mate,” I moaned into his shoulder. “They were just old friends....”
"Occasionally they hooked up, but it wasn't a real relationship!"
"Quiet! Friends with benefits are as mythical as gay people!"
"Is she STILL doing that?"
“Do you need some water? A doctor? Tell me what to do,” he demanded, frantic.
“I’m not sick—I’m scared,” I explained in a whisper. The word scared didn’t really seem to cover it.
Again… this is something SHE ALREADY KNEW. She already heard that Victoria was coming for her, and implicitly that she was nearby. And yet it's SUCH A SHOCK to poor wittle weak Bella to hear what she already know that she promptly collapses and has to be picked up by a Big Strong Man.
And this is so avoidable. If Smeyer just hadn't written in that mention of Victoria before, this WOULD be a twist. Kind of a predictable one, but at least it would be understandable that Bella is so shocked.
Then again, Bella also keeps listening to ancient tribal legends… and either forgetting or ignoring key parts of them. It wouldn't surprise me if she just totally forgot who the mastermind of her murder was.
Jacob patted my back. “Scared of this Victoria?”
"Let me get you some milk and cookies, and tell you a bedtime story like the sexy child-woman you are."
So Bella drizzles out the basic information about Victoria, and how Victoria wants to kill her as revenge for Edward killing James. Why did she decide this was the best idea? Well, it keeps Bella the center of the universe! If Victoria decided to get revenge by killing Carlisle or something like that, Bella would have no reason to be in the story at all.
Actually, killing Carlisle would make a lot MORE sense. Smeyer later retcons the Volturi into Victoria's quest to kill Bella, so… if they're trying to bring down the Cullens, the most effective way WOULD be to have her target Carlisle, since the others only hang around because of their worshipful attitude toward him. Especially since all she would have to do is come into the ER, pretending to be a patient. Boom bam, him dead.
“Of course,” I whispered. “She wants me.”
His eyes flipped wide, then narrowed into slits. “Why?” he demanded.
"Because I'm the center of the universe. I mean, every single story in this universe somehow revolves around me and how I'm the only person ever targeted by evil vampires!"
"In fact, my constant peril is the closest thing this story has to a plot!"
"Do you ever just stop and listen to yourself babble, Bella?"
Jacob held me so tightly that there was no need for me to clutch at the hole—he kept me in one piece.
Good job, Smeyer You made that li'l kitten cry.
"But Laurent said she thought it was fairer to kill me than Edward. Mate for mate."
Does Smeyer realize that "mate" has sexual connotations? As in, if you haven't had sex, you really aren't mates?
"She didn’t know—still doesn’t know, I guess—that...that . . .” I swallowed hard. “That things aren’t like that with us anymore. Not for Edward, anyway.”
"What's the point of having godlike superpowers if you can't stay updated on a teenager's love life?! Especially when your evil revenge revolves around that love life! That is like such a letdown! Now I need to spend ANOTHER year planning a different evil revenge!"
It also creates a massive plot hole when Smeyer retcons in the Volturi involvement, since they should really know if Edturd has ditched his girlfriend.
Jacob was distracted by that, his face torn between several different expressions.
His mouth was smiling, his eyebrows were angry, and his nose was wiggling!
“I’m nothing but a human, after all. Nothing special,” I explained, shrugging weakly.
"Have I mentioned yet that humans are pathetic worthless maggots next to the glorious sparkling Mormon vampires? Because they are!"
“If that idiot bloodsucker is honestly stupid enough—”
“Please,” I moaned. “Please. Don’t.”
"I'm going to pathetically moon after my ex-boyfriend after he callously dumped me and left me all alone miles from home with no way to get back, then left town just to avoid me. I still love him!"
Jacob thankfully drops the subject. Instead he's thinking about how "This is exactly what we needed to know." Uh, how? Unless they plan to hang Bella's lazy butt out as bait, I don't really see how this helps the werewolves attack Victoria.
He pulled me back toward the truck.
"Bella, I wouldn't have to drag you if you would at least TRY to walk!"
He sticks her in the car and heads off into the woods to… I dunno, tell all the little woodland creatures. Bella immediately freaks out because there's no penis nearby for her to revolve her life around.
Victoria was already hunting me. It was just luck that she hadn’t found me yet—just luck and five teenage werewolves.
… no, I'm pretty sure it's just stupidity.
- There is only one town nearby with white people in it, and Victoria has had six months. I'm pretty sure she could go door-to-door and find Bella faster.
- The werewolves haven't really kept Victoria from finding Bella. Until a few minutes ago, they didn't even know Victoria was AFTER Bella.
- And it's not like Bella is even in the werewolves' territory, right? That would logically be the RESERVATION. So… no, they've been protecting their territory, not HER.
- And actually, those five teenage werewolves… really suck at their jobs. I mean, supposedly they're protecting people from the vampires, but there have been SO many fatalities that a hunt is being organized.
I could see her in my head, her face wild, her hair like flames, deadly, indestructible....
Her hair is deadly and indestructible?
Was that really possible? Edward—I clutched automatically at my chest—had told me how difficult it was to kill a vampire. Only another vampire could do the job.
Here's a thought: maybe Edturd LIED to you.
After all, his whole schtick to impress Bella is to boast about how deadly he is and how he could totally kill her whenever he wants. Wouldn't claiming that he's unstoppable and indestructible work for that? Considering she's a pathological liar, I'm shocked she's never considered it... but then, she's also very stupid.
Bella sits there whining and angsting for what seems like hours, until Jacob comes sauntering back from… wherever he was.
“The idea of you finding Victoria is scarier than the idea of her finding me,” I whispered.
"You might be attracted to a woman who isn't me!"
“You’ve got to have a little more confidence in us than that. It’s insulting.”
I just shook my head. I’d seen too many vampires in action.
… NO YOU HAVEN'T. There has been exactly one fight scene involving vampires that she was present for, and she was FUCKING PASSED OUT the whole time. For all she knows, they're a bunch of wimps.
Plus, Jacob has already confirmed that the pack KILLED A VAMPIRE. As far as they know, there's only one more out there. So logically, if they can kill one, they can kill the other. Or is Bella just assuming that he's lying about killing Laurent?
Jacob then reveals what he was doing: he was talking telepathically to the other werewolves. Yes, the werewolves are telepathic when they're in wolf form. Why? No reason.
“Not hear sounds,” he went on, “but we can hear...thoughts—each other’s anyway—no matter how far away from each other we are. It really helps when we hunt, but it’s a big pain otherwise. It’s embarrassing—having no secrets like that. Freaky, eh?”
"Now everybody knows about my secret He-Man cosplay club. It's so embarrassing!"
“Is that what you meant last night, when you said you would tell them you’d seen me, even though you didn’t want to?”
No. She's not. This chapter has proved that.
“You’re also very good with weird. I thought that would bother you.”
"Are you kidding? I love the idea of banging a guy with an audience telepathically listening in!"
Bella brings up that he's not the first person she's met that can read minds. Of course, it's not really the same thing, since Edturd can't actually communicate to the people he mentally violates, and the werewolves can only read each OTHER's minds.
“Really?...Wait—are you talking about your bloodsuckers?”
“I wish you wouldn’t call them that.”
"How about suckheads? Hemo-gobbler? Bat-brain?"
"WHY ARE YOU SO MEAN TO THE POOR SPARKLY UNICORN-PIRES?"
Jacob looked surprised—unpleasantly so. “I thought those were just stories. I’ve heard legends about vampires who could do...extra stuff, but I thought that was just a myth.”
Ah yes, I have heard many legends and tales of that far-gone time called the 1930s. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it… well, except for the people who do.
For instance, I have heard the myths of the great devastation known as the Great Depression, which is sort of like the Trojan War but less plausible. And I have heard of a father-god known as FDR, but he may have been a glorified ancient king that oral storytelling deified over time. We may never know, since all we have are legends.
“Is anything just a myth anymore?” I asked him wryly.
I can only assume that this means Smeyer will somehow try to work fairies into the story. Well, fairies who don't suck blood.
So they're now heading off to hang out with the werewolves… which I guess means that they AREN'T keeping an eye on the rangers and/or Charlie. Well, whatever, it means all the hysteria about Jacob getting shot was pretty pointless.
Jacob nodded, seeming embarrassed. “I kept it real short—I tried not to think about you so they wouldn’t know what was going on. I was afraid Sam would tell me I couldn’t bring you.”
"Or he might have just said, 'Holy fuck, you pervert. Stop thinking about blenders and marshmallow whip!'"
And doesn't that mean that they CAN keep secrets? Smeyer can't even keep continuity from one chapter to the next!
I couldn’t get rid of my perception of Sam as the bad guy. My teeth clenched together whenever I heard his name.
"Nobody got to control Jacob's life and monopolize his time except ME! Nobody!"
So then Jacob reveals that there's an actual logical (well, sorta) reason why he couldn't just spill his guts to Bella: Sam forbade him to. It turns out that Sam is the Alpha of the pack, which means the other werewolves are actually compelled to do whatever he tells them to.
I am amazed, people. I didn't think I could find an author who knew less about wolf psychology and social structures than Laurell K. Hamilton.
Yeah, Smeyer knows absolutely nothing about wolves, and clearly was uninterested in finding out the facts. Wolves do not psychically compel each other to do things. In fact, most of the time they don't make each other do things at ALL - they tend to work together out of familial feeling and mutual interest. Alphas are basically just the daddies and mommies of a pack. Even in artificial packs of unrelated wolves, the alpha is just obeyed because he has superior charisma and personality.
But this is Smeyer's universe, where free will is bad and the best relationships are the ones you have no choice in. So yeah, the werewolves are psychically controlled by the Alpha, because that's how wolves work. Fuck my donkey.
“Very,” he agreed. “It’s kind of a wolf thing.”
NO. IT. ISN'T.
Smeyer actually has a brief moment of decent writing here where Jacob comments that Sam had to deal with turning into a werewolf alone, without any of the support that Jacob has had from his packmates. It's a nice moment that reminds us that Sam is not a bad person merely because he does something that Jacob disagrees with.
I wonder how long before Smeyer finds a new way of demonizing him, since he doesn't rush to worship Bawla Wan.
This was going to take some adjusting. When Jacob explained it like that, it was hard not to feel compassion for Sam. I had to keep reminding myself that there was no reason to hate him anymore.
Gasp! You mean Bella Swan, glorious shining angel of compassion and unselfishness, has just changed her mind about her blind unreasoning hate of someone she's never even spoken to?! I AM IN SUCH SHOCK!
“No, it’s okay,” he assured me. “You know a ton of things that can help us. It’s not like you’re just some ignorant human. You’re like a...I don’t know, spy or something. You’ve been behind enemy lines.”
- Take another shot for a random sneer at "ignorant humans." You know, like almost everyone he knows.
- Yeah, she was behind enemy lines... being showered with presents and whining at her boyfriend to make her a vampire. I bet she learned LOTS of useful stuff!
- Comparing Bella Swan to a spy?
Yeah, except for the parts where she's lazy, weak, incapable of solving any kind of problem, and a total slave to her hormones. Those are all qualities you want in a spy!
Was that what Jacob would want from me? Insider information to help them destroy their enemies?
No, dumbass. He wants sex.
I wasn’t a spy, though. I hadn’t been collecting that kind of information.
I did collect plenty of information about Edward's underwear drawer!
So Bella wangsts about how she wants Victoria to be "stopped," although being a fainting delicate flower, she won't say she wants Victoria to be killed. However, she doesn't want Jacob to do it. Because hey, it's okay if other teen boys are brutally killed in combat, just so long as her precious Jakey-poo doesn't get an ouchie-booboo!
And come on, the pack collectively killed Laurent. Exactly why does she think it's so vewy vewy dangerous for them to attack Victoria, who is probably no stronger?
I squeezed my midsection, trying to ignore the throbbing around the edges of my chest.
Because we aren't sick of hearing that yet.
“How do you know me so well, Jacob? Sometimes it’s like you can read my mind.”
"Well, you're really, really predictable."
“You’re still pretty unhappy, aren’t you?” he murmured.
"Well of course! That's how I react to everything in life!"
“Did you ever think...that maybe...you’re better off?”
I inhaled slowly, and then let my breath out. “No.”
"Now I'll NEVER get to be a sparkly immortal who has more money than God just for existing! MY LIFE IS WORTHLESS!"
"Also, I'll never get laid!"
"I could help with that…"
Bella whines that she wants to change the subject, and the subject of secret-keeping comes up.
He nodded. “Yeah, I had a hard time keeping a secret from you for two weeks. It must be hell to not be able to talk to anyone.”
"Well, it would be if I didn't have so much contempt for everyone else and avoid talking to them whenever possible."
“Hell,” I agreed.
Oh bullshit. She's never once indicated that she actually WANTS to tell anyone about the Cullens. In fact, she's wanted to do the exact opposite.
“They’ll deal with it,” he said, and then he grinned. “Who’s afraid of the big, bad wolf?”
Nobody who read these books. The only thing scary about these werewolves is how unscary they are.
Jacob and Bella get out of the truck, and suddenly Bella is all trembling weepy fear because of the wolves. Yeah, she wasn't scared of them when she had no idea who and what they were… but now that she knows it's just a bunch of shapeshifting teenagers, suddenly she's scared. Ugh.