So they try to drive through the Italian streets, with Alice doing dangerous maneuvers and Bella whining like a siren. Apparently Smeyer has never been in an old historical city, because their streets aren't generally ones you can weave insanely in. They tend to be more.... crazy narrow.
"Alice," I moaned. The clock on the dash seemed to be speeding up.
"Aaaaaalice, I'm boooored. I wanna go rescue my ex-boyfriend so I can become white and sparkly alreeeadddddyyyyy..."
So they're stuck in a traffic jam, and it turns out nobody is being allowed to drive into the city square. Wow, imagine that. Crowds and parking restrictions... DURING A CITY-WIDE FESTIVAL! Who could have seen that coming?
And no, it's never explained why they don't ditch the car, and super-strong faster-than-the-eye-can-see Alice doesn't just pick Bella up and run to where Edward is. Oh right, because we need to have Bella bumbling slowly towards Edward for the drahmaz.
And though Bella has spent the whole trip either peeing her pants with terror or wallowing in wangst, she suddenly becomes interested in her surroundings. Specifically, the people of Volterra and how they're dressed.
I also noticed that the color red was everywhere. Red shirts, red hats, red flags dripping like long ribbons beside the gate, whipping in the wind—
Yeah, I know it could just be because of blood... but since Smeyer is a huge bigot and has shown it, let's just stick with that theme.
as I watched, the brilliant crimson scarf one woman had tied around her hair was caught in a sudden gust. It twisted up into the air above her, writhing like it was alive. She reached for it, jumping in the air, but it continued to flutter higher, a patch of bloody color against the dull, ancient walls.
This is so deeeeeeeeeeeep!
And if we need more evidence that Alice is useless, she announces that she can't tell what is going to happen, so Bella should get out and run... or, since she's Bella, stagger slowly around before collapsing by the side of the road.
"Just keep asking for the Palazzo dei Priori, and running in the direction they tell you. Don't get lost."
Which is clearly an evil, evil place since it's festooned with saints and medieval artwork. Why YES, it IS much more interesting than anything in this series!
So it turns out THAT is where Edturd plans to dance naked, because in addition to killing hundreds or even thousands of people, he's going to endanger a priceless historical building too! Why couldn't he expose himself in that abomination of a house?
Bella's reaction... really cracks me up. It's like Alice is having a really intense, complicated conversation with a Golden Retriever. You know how dogs will look incredibly invested in whatever you say, but they don't actually understand anything? Bella's responses remind me of that.
So she comes zooming up to where the guard is, and of course, he notices the ugly-ass Porsche. Well, it proves he's not legally blind. So he stops it, and taps on the window to presumably tell them to piss off.
She rolled the window down halfway, and I watched him do a double take when he saw the face behind the dark glass.
"Porca miseria! Si tratta di un Manic Pixie Dream Girl!"
(Apologies for the crappy GoogleTranslate Italian!)
No, he's actually dazzled by how hot Alice is, because Smeyer wants to be rich, powerful AND have the subservient adoration of all. He announces that they only can go through if they're a tour bus, so Alice tosses a bunch of thousands at him.
His face was dazed as he retrieved his hand and stared at the thick roll of money he now held. The outside bill was a thousand dollar bill.
... and yet they flew coach and don't have their own airplane. Teh logiks, dey burn.
Of course, the guy lets them drive by, but since the streets are narrow and FULL OF PEOPLE, they're oozing slower than the Jello shots I'm using to get through this mess.
I was gripping the door handle, ready to throw myself into the street as soon as she spoke the word.
"Then again, I was used to flinging myself into crowded streets. Sometimes you just gotta get run over or trampled to get attention!"
The crowd is kinda pissed at this, and you can see why since TRAFFIC ISN'T ALLOWED. I think we're still supposed to be on Bella's side, instead of actively rooting against her.
the people in the crowd shook their fists at us and said angry words that I was glad I couldn't understand.
Gasp! More naughty words! Those dastardly Catholics and their evil ways! I bet they use words like "darn" or "heck!"
And of course, Bella doesn't care if Edturd screams obscenities at Alice for several minutes, because he's already white and delightsome - she only disapproves if Catholics or Indians do it. You know, the more fussing Smeyer does about swearing, the more I want to meet her and just scream some good ol' cuss words in her face. Like "fucking psychopath Sue" or "shitstain of a book."
Alice nearly runs over some more innocent people, because Edturd matters more than the children she just mowed down like grass. Eh, they're just Catholics, so who cares?
She pointed to where the street widened into a patch of bright openness. "There—we're at the southern end of the square. Run straight across, to the right of the clock tower. I'll find a way around—"
"And I don't care if I have to kill a bunch of nuns, an old lady and a whole field trip of orphaned children holding kittens! EDWARD IS ALL THAT MATTERS!"
Her breath caught suddenly, and when she spoke again, her voice was a hiss. "They're everywhere-"
... and yet even though they're ANTICIPATING Edturd's little show, they're making no effort to stop him. Even though it would ruin their "safe from vampires" image.
Because they're evil. And when you're evil, you act against your own best interests just to screw over the protagonists.
So Bella jumps out of the car and suddenly turns from a pathetic wimpy klutz into the fucking Hulk... but whinier. She's shoving people over, and whining when they shove her back... and FUCK, this is boring. I can't believe how boring a dramatic last-second run to save someone is.
In fact, this whole rescue is pretty dull. I mean, the entire last chapter was two people sitting on a plane and either whining or dumping info. Even a car chase didn't make it interesting. And this one is about how bad the traffic is. What's the next chapter about, the cost of tolls?
I heard exclamations of irritation and even pain as I battled my way through, but none were in a language I understood. The faces were a blur of anger and surprise, surrounded by the ever-present red. A blond woman scowled at me, and the red scarf coiled around her neck looked like a gruesome wound. A child, lifted on a man's shoulders to see over the crowd, grinned down at me, his lips distended over a set of plastic vampire fangs.
- I'm pretty sure the meaning of "ow! You pushed me, you bitch!" will shine through in any language.
- And I'm pretty sure that shoving back at someone who shoved YOU is not a sign of what an asshole you are.
- And yeah, I'm pretty sure we're supposed to despise these people for scowling and yelling at poor wittle Bella while she bravely tries to save her twoo wuv.
- Except I don't. Oh, I could understand rushing to save someone and shoving people on the way. What I DON'T understand is emphasizing how mean they are for being pissed and shoving back.
- Also, the people in question are Edturd and Bawla, so I would actually prefer that Edturd die and Bella be trampled to death... or killed by the Volturi, whichever.
- And oh dear, look at all the
I wasn't going to make it. I was stupid and slow and human, and we were all going to die because of it.
There are not enough ways for me to say "Hallelujah" to express how I feel about that idea. Seriously, the Volturi need to just cut to the chase and kill these useless bastards RIGHT NOW. KILL THEM ALL! KILL THEM!
- Has Smeyer gotten it through your head yet that humans are sucktastic and useless?
- Mainly because humans don't have superpowers.
- So unless you're effectively Superman minus the flying, you are useless and stupid.
- Also, I don't see why SHE would die if she didn't get to Edturd in time. Alice, sure. But do the Volturi even know Bella exists?
- Oh wait, all the humans around there are going to die, so Bawla would be included.
- But wait again! We're not meant to realize that because it would make Edward look like a colossal sparkly prick!
- Speaking of which, does the peen sparkle? I do want to know.
I listened, above the angry exclamations, trying to hear the sound of discovery: the gasp, maybe the scream, as Edward came into someone's view.
People are not going to scream if they see a guy covered in sparklies. HE'S NOT SCARY. Nothing about him is scary! Of course, some people might scream if a naked sparkly man came rushing out and flashed everyone, but more because of the nudity than the sparkles.
Bella then inexplicably runs for what seems like an empty space, and doesn't notice there is a giant FOUNTAIN there until she actually runs into it. Have I mentioned she's stupid? Then, for some reason, she leaps into the fountain, slogs through it, and jumps back out again. Allegedly it's to make people move out of her way, but if it's THAT crowded then they couldn't move if they wanted to. They'd just be more likely to shove her ass away.
Nah, it seems more likely that Smeyer just liked the idea of being soaking wet when she flung herself on her nude Twoo Wuv.
So Bella keeps running and running, and despite allegedly being obsessed with reaching Edturd, Bella manages to note the appearance of EVERY SINGLE PERSON she passes. Seriously, WHO CARES who has hair ribbons or who isn't tall? We don't! And making Bella note these things as if they mattered is just filler!
It seemed like I could see something bright in the shadows, just over his shoulder.
I found out too late it was a light bulb.
Seriously, the vampires are allegedly "bright" and sparkly because they are REFLECTIVE. They do not glow on their own!
I could see him now. And I could see that he could not see me.
"Possibly because my blandness allows me to blend into any surroundings!"
And I realized that my delusions were more flawed than I'd realized; they'd never done him justice.
Excuse me. I don't think words can adequately express how I feel about that line.
So because Smeyer is super-religious and stuff, Edturd has only taken off his shirt. After all, we can't have actual NUDITY in her sexual fantasies! And conveniently, he has his eyes closed so he can't see Bawla tottering toward him and trampling innocent children.
I'd never seen anything more beautiful—even as I ran, gasping and screaming, I could appreciate that.
Because we haven't figured out how hot he is from the last 2,519 times she's casually mentioned it.
And the last seven months meant nothing. And his words in the forest meant nothing.
Yup, if someone breaks up with you, and he's hot, then his "Fuck off and leave me alone" breakup message means nothing.
And it did not matter if he did not want me. I would never want anything but him, no matter how long I lived.
"And I would never, ever shut up about it. I would be THAT annoying codependent idiot who never stops talking about their hot sexy perfect loving soulmate and how they are their whole life until they get dumped for a newer model and get bad plastic surgery to try to win them back by looking younger."
So Edturd keeps walking out into the light with his eyes closed. Wow, could this get any more contrived?
For the second time in just a few chapters, Bella body-tackles a sparklepire. And like before, she inexplicably doesn't break a whole bunch of bones and end up with bruises all over. Because. Reasons.
"Amazing," he said, his exquisite voice full of wonder, slightly amused. "Carlisle was right."
"My abs ARE so sexy that people literally pounce on me!"
"Wait, why did CARLISLE tell you that?"
"Uh... no reason."
It was like there had never been any hole in my chest. I was perfect—not healed, but as if there had been no wound in the first place.
NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR FUCKING HOLE. SHUT UP NOW.
"I can't believe how quick it was. I didn't feel a thing—they're very good," he mused,
I wish they were. If they were, we would mercifully be done with this book and these two would be in hell with their buddy Satan.
His voice was like honey and velvet.
His voice was sticky and ruined-by-honey?
"Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath, hath had no power yet upon thy beauty," he murmured, and I recognized the line spoken by Romeo in the tomb.
There is not enough booze in the world to dull the pain of that line.
Here we have proof that Edturd is just the fantasy of a sad, dumb, sexually unfulfilled woman.
Ladies, men are not going to quote "Romeo and Juliet" at you. Ever. They may quote "Hamlet" or "Julius Caesar" or "Macbeth" or "Much Ado About Nothing" or even "A Midsummer Night's Dream," but they will NEVER quote "Romeo and Juliet."
Part of this is because most men don't like Romeo. Part is because Shakespeare's super-romantic dialogue sounds incredibly silly and schmaltzy when you aren't reciting it as part of the play. It makes you sound like a pretentious ass who's laying it on too thick. And finally, they know silly, syrupy women who think that romance-novel love is the ideal will totally latch onto that. Just look at Smeyer.
Hell, you'll be lucky if you have a boyfriend who will listen to you reading ANY poetry or plays without openly taking a nap. Expecting him to randomly quote Romeo's lines at the appropriate moments? That is more than you can expect of any person.
IT'S SO FUCKING SAPPY, I THINK I MAY THROW UP.
"You smell just exactly the same as always," he went on. "So maybe this is hell. I don't care. I'll take it."
I won't. I'm pretty sure I haven't committed any sin horrible enough to be forced to read this drivel.
Bella spends forever trying to convince Edturd that he's not dead, she's not dead, and they should really move their asses. Eventually he stops thinking with his other head, and immediately spins around.
I peeked under his arm to see two dark shapes detach themselves from the gloom.
Oh no! CATHOLICS!
So Edward pretends to be polite to the Volturi, saying "Hey, it's all a big misunderstanding today. I've totes changed my mind about suicide. Say thanks to the Vampire Pope!" But the Volturi pretty obviously aren't buying that, especially since they saw a teen girl literally wrapping herself around him.
"I know your instructions, Felix. I haven't broken any rules."
Yes, you have. You have an un-turned girlfriend standing right next to you.
"I'll be right behind you," Edward said dryly. "Bella, why don't you go back to the square and enjoy the festival?" "No, bring the girl," the first shadow said, somehow injecting a leer into his whisper.
"We usually have threesomes, but we can have a foursome this time!"
"No." I mouthed the word.
"Shh," he murmured, only for me.
"Shut up, woman! The menfolk are talkin'!"
So the Volturi who isn't Felix - he's called Demetri, BTW - says that Aro wants to speak to Edturd if he's decided not to kill himself. I guess Aro wants to mention how disappointed he is, and wouldn't Edturd like to reconsider? Suicide is so awesome, after all!
"Certainly," Edward agreed. "But the girl goes free."
"I'm afraid that's not possible," the polite shadow said regretfully. "We do have rules to obey."
"Then I'm afraid that I'll be unable to accept Aro's invitation, Demetri."
Edward really doesn't get it, does he? Pretty sure that even if he gets himself killed "defending" Bawla, they're still gonna kill her because THEY KNOW THAT SHE KNOWS. So getting himself killed will put her in even MORE danger because then there won't be anyone to stand in the way! He's not saving her!
But hey, this is Edward. All that matters is that he croaks in a dramatic way!
And that is exactly what he apparently plans to do. Felix and Demetri prance around swishing their cloaks... I think this is meant to be imposing. Instead, I'm just seeing this:
They meant to force him deeper into the alley, to avoid a scene. No reflected light found access to their skin; they were safe inside their cloaks.
Yes, back into the alley. The thousands of people will NEVER notice brutal dismemberment and burning as long as they don't sparkle!
Edward didn't move an inch. He was dooming himself by protecting me.
And it won't actually help, because they'll just turn around and kill her. Wow, he's dumb as a bag of spoiled meat.
But then! Tweeness to the rescue!
Alice prances out of absolutely nowhere and inexplicably makes the Volturi guards back down. Why? Because... no reason.
Alice tripped lightly to Edward's side, her stance casual. There was no hint of any underlying tension. She looked so tiny, so fragile. Her little arms swung like a child's.
Ever seen an adult do that kind of skipping with their arms swinging out? They look fucking stupid.
Felix's face soured. Apparently, they didn't like even numbers.
Yeah, Bella can BS about how they're just cowards who are intimidated by the presence of her super-sparklepires... but I ain't buying it. Since we later find that Aro wants Alice on his team, it seems more likely that they're not allowed to harm her.
Seriously, these guys are a trained force of bodyguards and killers. Edward is an ineffectual emo who couldn't even kill James and Ms. SparkleTwee has shown no sign that she can kick anyone's ass. Why are we supposed to think the Volturi guards see them as equals or even threatening?
And if you stop and think about it... why does Bella think Edward is dangerous, especially to other vampires? We've NEVER seen him in a fight. We've never seen him even get into a scuffle. All he does is ponce around talking about how scary and dangerous he is, but when his girlfriend was nearly killed by another vampire, what did he do? He could have left her to the care of the DOCTOR who claims to have perfect self-control, and instead gotten gruesome revenge on James... but instead he lets Alice and Jasper do all the work, and risked Bella's life in the bargain.
Hell, in Midnight Sun he spends all his time hanging around whining about his dangerous and scary he is, and getting pissy when nobody is frightened by his predator aura.So exactly why should I think he's dangerous or scary? He sounds more like a weakling who wants to be seen as a badass, and only can because Bella is dumb and gullible. HE HAS DONE NOTHING TO SEEM LIKE A BADASS. HE HASN'T FOUGHT A COUCH CUSHION.
So Alice reminds them that there are pedestrians about five feet away from them, staring right at the Dementor-wannabes, the pasty guy with no shirt, the sloppy girl drooling on herself and the Sparkly Princess of Twee. Wow, Demetri and Felix are dumb for not noticing the THOUSANDS of festival-goers. And Edward is just as stupid for not pointing it out just so he can "nobly" sacrifice himself.
So they wave their dicks at each other and Edward still thinks he's in a position to make demands, even though he's in the Volturi city with only Sad-Sack and the Twee Princess for backup. A smart person MIGHT realize that they are kind of at a disadvantage here, but Edturd clearly doesn't.
Then suddenly another Evil Catholic shows up! And it's a really, really small one!
At first I thought it was a young boy.
They're specifically mentioned to be wearing all-covering cloaks. How could you tell at first glance?!
The newcomer was as tiny as Alice, with lank, pale brown hair trimmed short.
So because the person has short hair, Bawla assumes it must be a boy? Well, that's bad news to these ladies.
But the face was too pretty for a boy.
Cillian Murphy begs to differ.
And yes, that IS a man. Biologically and everything. And he's a thousand times prettier than Bawla.
The wide-eyed, full-lipped face would make a Botticelli angel look like a gargoyle.
- Someone really needs to tell Smeyer that beauty is not an infinite quality. Eventually you slow down and hit the ceiling.
- So her face is visibly a girl's face... and yet Bella assumed she was a boy because she had short hair. Smeyer's super-sheltered religious background really is showing, isn't it?
- I AM SO SICK OF OVER-THE-TOP BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE.
- If you populate your fantasy series with nothing but super gorgeous people whose beauty is so great that it practically makes Bella (who is also supposed to be over-the-top beautiful) pee her pants every time... it's gonna lose its effect.
- Every time a vampire shows up, I'm just thinking, "Yeah yeah, they were beautiful like a beautiful, beautiful sculpture or a beautiful, beautiful natural event, and they were just so beautiful that you were amazed by how beautiful they were. Also, they were beautiful."
Her size was so insignificant that the reaction to her appearance confused me.
Then again, Bella is confused by boneless fried chicken.
And you know, an actual smart person might have figured out that for vampires, size probably has nothing to do with strength. And they might figure that if the Cullens have a bunch of speshul superpowers, MAYBE THE VOLTURI DO TOO. But no, Bella is too smart to come to that conclusion!
"Jane," he sighed in recognition and resignation.
Seriously? JANE? That's the most boring name you can give a villain.
So Jane commands them to come with her.
Edward wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me along beside her.
"Oh Edward, I'm so glad you're back to dragging me around like a sack of potatoes! I've had to WALK all by MYSELF for all these months! It's been awful!"
And yeah, you know how Edward was prepared to dramatically die to keep Bella from being taken off by the Volturi just a minute ago? Well, apparently he wasn't fighting THAT hard, because Jane says a couple words and he immediately drags her down to the Volturi lair. Probably if Alice hadn't shown up, he would have just said, "Oh fine, we can drag her to Aro. But I'm going to pout the whole time!"
So Alice and Edward have an oblique conversation about what happened, during which Bella pretty much is ignored. After all, if SHE talked to Edward about what happened, we might get character development.
"Well, Alice," Edward said conversationally as we walked. "I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to see you here."
"After all, I'm so gorgeous and tortured that EVERYONE follows me!"
"THAT'S NOT THE REASON, YOU DIPSHIT!"
"It was my mistake," Alice answered in the same tone. "It was my job to set it right."
I wonder how many other times she'll do this. I also wonder how many pancakes I can fit in my nose.
His voice was polite, as if he were barely interested. I imagined this was due to the listening ears behind us.
"After all, nobody could possibly be uninterested in Bella Swan! He MUST just be faking!"
I could imagine what he was hearing in Alice's thoughts now. Near-drownings, stalking vampires,
Is she admitting that Bella stalks vampires, or is she talking about vampires stalking HER?
"Seriously? You couldn't go for six months without slutting it up with a werewolf?"
"Well, I needed a hot supernatural male to obsess on! Otherwise, life has no purpose!"
So they head down into a sewer grate. Yes, the Volturi have ruled this city since the Etruscans, and haven't bothered to get some decent entrances for their secret underground lair.
Bella immediately turns into a cringing little weenie who just can't go down that scary little hole, which is maybe six feet deep. I'm pretty sure she just wants everyone to pay attention to her, especially since Edturd likes his women pathetic and whiny. So she has to be coaxed down by Edturd and Alice.
I was going to have bruises; her arms were very hard.
- "Oh Alice, be gentle with me!"
- Funny how body-slamming two vampires in 24 hours doesn't give her bruises, but dropping down a few feet DOES.
- Oh, and...
So the other vampires come down, and Edturd continues dragging Bella through the sewer like a rag doll.
Edward held me tightly. He reached his free hand across his body to hold my face, too, his smooth thumb tracing across my lips. Now and then, I felt his face press into my hair. I realized that this was the only reunion we would get, and I clutched myself closer to him.
And then he grabbed my boobs, and occasionally dry-humped me against a wall. I realized that he no longer wanted me, and pathetically mourned for the love I had lost!
But no, Bella can't take a hint... or two... or three... or seven hundred. So she keeps mewling about how Edturd is only pawing at her and sniffing her hair and kissing her face because he feels "guilty." Yes, that's how guilty-feeling ex-boyfriends-who-don't-love-you-anymore act.
Bella's understanding of human nature is surpassed only by her knowledge of literature.
At least I could be with him again before I died. That was better than a long life.
I... I can tolerate that awful line and Bella's antifeministic drivel... as long as they die.
Please, God, let them die.
And please let it be painful.
And let it involve shoving burning coals up their asses. PLEASE.
So they keep walking, and Edward keeps fondling Bella as they walk. I love the thought of how incredibly awkward this must be for the other vampires. They're trying to march the prisoners off to see the Wizard... uh, to see the Volturi, and these two keep feeling each other up and making out.
It wasn't until my teeth started to chatter together that I realized I was cold. My clothes were still wet, and the temperature underneath the city was wintry.
Aaaaaand check off another thing Smeyer doesn't have a clue about.
Dear Smeyer: the temperature does not KEEP going down if you go underground. Yes, in summer it is colder underground than on the surface... just as it's warmer in winter. The temperature does not continue to drop to FREEZING LEVELS just because you walked down into the sewers of an old city, unless the Volturi have the world's biggest air-condition and have cranked it up to 11 for NO FUCKING REASON.
So if you dig a very, very deep hole and leap into it, it will NOT be freezing down at the bottom. Go ahead. Try it. Please, try it. Try to prove me wrong. I want you to.
But Bella, being so in wuv, wants Edward to keep pawing at her even though she's suddenly cold for no reason.
His cold hand chafed against my arm, trying to warm me with the friction.
I have been enlightened! Next time I'm freezing cold, I'll just rub myself vigorously against a slab of ice! That'll warm me right up!
Beside me, Edward tensed, his jaw clenched tight.
So they keep walking, and walking and walking and I'M SO BORED I COULD CRY, CAN SOMETHING PLEASE HAPPEN ALREADY? they eventually arrive at a gate at the end of the tunnel. Then they go through a door. And then they go into a room. And then the chapter ends.
Oh anticlimax, Sneyer has you down to an art.