Can we stop for a second and talk again about how fucking weird and creepy it is that Edward calls Jacob his “son”? YEEEEEEEEEESH. And of course it represents the end of the path I knew S. Meyer would take—the path of fake resistance—to Jacob's horrifically inappropriate relationship with Renesmee. The fact is, S. Meyer never really thought it was bad to begin with, but like many sociopaths she had some notion that other people might find her ideas about love between adult men and infant girls offensive. So she had to put on a show and make Bella (and to a lesser extent, Edward) freak out about the whole thing for a while. But she couldn't convincingly transition her characters from righteous anger to morally complex acceptance, so she just DIDN'T. Edward and Bella's outrage just melted away and was forgotten,* and now here the fuck we fucking are.
(*Weeds just returned for a seventh season, and that show is the best example I can think of for the kind of transition S. Meyer SHOULD HAVE made, if she absolutely had to go through with the Jacob/Nessie thing. At the end of season five—spoiler alert—Nancy Botwin's young son Shane actually murders someone. Someone bad, sure—so that makes it roughly equivalent to imprinting on a child, I guess?— but Nancy spends most of the next season dealing with the material and emotional fallout from that. And she does it the way Nancy Botwin deals with most stuff—shutting down emotionally and fucking away her troubles with Zack from Saved By The Bell, never really coming to terms with anything but finding a new mental plane on which to survive. Am I saying Bella should fuck Screech or Slater or Kelly Kapowski? No. I'm saying the way you get over something like that is: you don't. You just go on, a reduced version of your former self.)
(I think I made a Saved By The Bell reference in like, Blogging Twilight pt. 5. We're coming full circle. Is Kelly Kapowski named like she is because she's a knockout? Get it?)
Always Relevant: Forks, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down
Anyway, everybody deserves to die on this fucking battlefield. But of course, that is not what is about to happen. Not at all.
Chapter 38: Power
As the Volturi hold a conference, Jane and the other soldiers try to preemptively attack the Cullens and their friends. Nobody even knows at first because Bella's shield is protecting their whole crew. Of course the whole crew doesn't even know about Bella's shield—she's playing this weirdly close to the (sequined) vest (that Alice bought her). But sooner or later it becomes clear to both sides that Bella is suddenly amazing with her powers; everybody is like, oh that's weird but okay. “I'm all over this,” she tells Edward with brand new, barely-earned confidence. (“I'm all over this like Alice in the Dallas Cowboys locker room.”) Then she grins a huge, smug smile at Jane, who shrieks in frustration. That'll be fun. I'm glad Dakota Fanning will have at least a little to do. (I weirdly wanted Jane to die in this book, not for any literary purpose but rather JUST so I could see it in the movie. I mean, I think the Fannings are great, but for some reason I really want to see Dakota get her head kicked off by Peter Facinelli. Is that weird?)
Alec, the dude who basically makes you a vegetable with his mind, attacks next. His magic spell (Terrius Shiavocus!) comes in the form of a “clear mist” which slowly seeps toward their camp. Benjamin, the one who is The Last Airbender or whatevz, tries sending wind to deflect the mist but it doesn't work. Make a fart joke here if you want. Failing that, uh, he tears the fucking earth asunder, leaving a big rift in the middle of the field (make another fart joke here, if you must). But Alec's mist keeps on rolling. DUH, it's mist, Benjamin! How could an earthquake stop it? (But you have to use Benjamin's powers in a cool way at least once since he's not going to have to fight anyone.) The mist makes it to Bella's shield and can't penetrate it (her power is a magic chastity belt, thematically speaking). Instead, the mist spreads across the surface of the whole dome and then everyone can (sort of) see the extent of Bella's shield (the old smoke and lasers trick) and they're all like “whoa.”
“I know shield kung-fu.”-Bella Cullen
Bella realizes she has made herself the number one target (in my mind she was already; KILL HER, ARO!) and asks Zafrina to keep people away from her so she can concentrate on her totally passive, uncompelling power.* She tells Edward he has to kill Demetri (whipping sound) and the rest of the vampires start to set picks. Aro speaks again and invites Bella, Edward, Zafrina, Kate and Benjamin to join their gang. Wait, he doesn't want Garrett and his extensive knowledge of US History power? (Can a vampire power be even more specific? Comprehensive understanding of presidential war powers, maybe? Because that's what I'd bring to the table.) Chelsea, the Volturi member who can break emotional bonds, apparently starts working on them, but since they abstain they have true bonds of love that she can't break. And that's why you wait until marriage, kids. Oh wait, maybe it's Bella's shield that is protecting them. What message does that send? Always wear a condom?
“Seriously. Wrap that shit up.”-Renesmee Cullen
(*So Bella's shield is evocative of S. Meyer's main problem, right? She's too protective of everyone and everything. She won't even kill off these extra vampires we just met—I assumed that was their whole purpose! To die and therefore bring dramatic weight to the proceedings. But of course, the Cullens' whole gambit is a fundamentally selfish one: Bella wanted to have sex as a human and then wanted to keep her baby. If anybody, like say, Garrett, dies for her happiness, that happiness will be forever tainted by Garrett's sacrifice. Which is a totally fine ending if you are anyone but S. Meyer, who thinks a happy ending has to be totally, uncompromisingly happy. Did she ever wonder why there wasn't an eighth JK Rowling book called “Harry Potter And The Nice Day”?)
So the Volturi vote: Caius votes for the very-late-term abortion of Renesmee; Marcus, the Larry to Aro's Moe and Caius's curly, comes out of nowhere and says the child poses no danger and they should bail. Whoa, okay Marcus.
Then, right before Aro speaks and casts his vote that will presumably condemn them all, Edward shouts “Yes!” and everybody stops. (Oh jesus, what is it NOW? I'm exhausted.) Edward gets a “beautiful and terrifying” look on his face and then starts stalling. Ooooh, is something coming out of nowhere to change everything all of a sudden? I CAN'T WAIT TO FIND OUT IF THAT IS WHAT IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN!
Edward asks Aro if things would change if we could be “absolutely sure” how Renesmee will develop. Aro, at this point, probably thinks to himself: Well, it's not like a new character is going to be introduced right NOW, I mean, that would be fucking insane! So he feels comfortable when he says “Yes... if we could be positive...there would be no question to debate.” Uh-oh. You forgot who is writing this fucking shit, Aro!
“Why don't you join us, Alice?” Edward called loudly.
“Alice,” Esme whispered in shock.
Alice, Alice, Alice!
“Alice!” “Alice!” other voices murmured around me.
“Alice,” Aro breathed.
Alice comes back, hooray! But: AT WHAT COST? This is how S. Meyer twists the knife in my back one last time: Guess who Alice is bringing with her? Seriously, GUESS. You'll never guess correctly, because it's someone you have never heard of before! But first, OBVIOUSLY, this happens:
Then Alice danced into the clearing from the southwest, and I felt like the bliss of seeing her face again might knock me off my feet.
Jasper follows, along with “three strangers.” One of them is the other Amazon lezbo, one is a girl vampire, and one is an exotic brown dude (how S. Meyer loves her exotic brown dudes) with a (WAAAIIIIIIIIIIT FORRRRRRRR ITTTTTTTT) heartbeat! He has a heartbeat! Fucking hell.
Alice leaped lightly over the edges of the dissipating mist that lapped at my shield and came to a sinuous stop at Edward's side.
GUHHHHH. She introduces her guests as Huilen and her “nephew” Nahuel. How can a vampire have a nephew? OMG we're about to find out. At Alice's prompting, Huilen tells a story about many moons ago her people were the whatever and her sister got knocked up by a vampire or something while she was wandering in the mountains or some place (so she was just hiking and a weird pale dude was like, “Hey let's fuck” and she was like “Okay, cool”? Is that how S. Meyer met her husband?) and blah blah blah the sister died or some shit blah blah blah but the baby monster lived or whatever and Nahuel is now 150 years old or something oh and also he made Huilen into a vampire one time when he tried to breast feed or something. He reached physical maturity at age 7 and has been the same way ever since. Hey, how about that! (Just like the werewolves, they hit peak physical condition and freeze there. The whole "best of all possible worlds" thing in Voltaire's Candide was sarcastic, did you know that S. Meyer?)
So RNSM won't die like Robin Williams in Jack, she'll just reach physical (so, sexual) maturity and then stay that way so Jacob can fuck her eternally perfect pussy forever. OH YAYYYY. Somehow I knew something like this was going to happen, since it's the least interesting possibility. S. Meyer has such a knack for resolving things in the most boring, irritating manner imaginable--the world's dullest Occam's Razor--and I'm beginning to wonder if this whole book is some kind of prank. Like there will be a fifth Twilight book in which Bella wakes up and it's the end of Eclipse and she calls Edward and is like “I just had the craziest dream...” (and then she'll explain it to him and he'll say "That was the most boring dream I have ever heard. Why did you waste my time with it? Let's break up.")
So okay. A brand new character comes in and flips the whole script on us. This would be an interesting development like, in real life, I guess, but here in a NOVEL (the word should be a clue, Stephenie), it's the worst writing ever. Literally everything the Cullens did was for naught, and literally every development here on the battlefield so far has been rendered meaningless by a new character coming in fucking TEN PAGES FROM THE END and changing all of the HYPER COMPLICATED RULES we've been reckoning with so far.
Why didn't we follow the Cullens on a world-wide search for another creature like Renesmee? Why did that happen out of our view? Why did we have to endure so much nonsense (J. JENKS!?!) when the real work was being done by Alice? And why did it take so long? Nahuel goes on to say that he has sisters, that he met his father eventually and I guess the dude makes a habit of knocking up brown ladies and leaving them single mothers. Oh, that's nice, S. Meyer but anyway what I am saying is THERE ARE APPARENTLY LOTS OF PEOPLE LIKE RENESMEE OUT THERE. And none of the hundreds of vampires in the clearing knew about these hybrids? What the fuck? It also blows up S. Meyer's “RNSM is unique like Jesus” motif from earlier but it's not like she cares about anything older than fifteen pages ago. Lady writes like a goldfish.
For hundreds of pages now, S. Meyer has been digging herself into holes and then awkwardly climbing out. The only rope she left herself was Alice. Having her leave was not a cool, daring plot maneuver, it was a get out of jail free card. With Alice gone, S. Meyer could write whatever insane shit popped into her head, knowing that she had an easy out. And so once she'd muddled through to the end of the book and couldn't write anything better than what she had, she took it. Sure, fine! There OUGHT to be nothing sacred by the end of this fucking thing; S. Meyer just had to take my favorite character and use her against me. This is weirdly poetic justice. Okay, justice isn't the right word.
SIDE BET: I bet having Alice bail was the only revision S. Meyer made. I bet she wrote all the way to the end with Alice in the mix, realized she had no idea how to end this fucker, then went back and took Alice out of the last 200 pages (fuck, there's probably a great threesome scene on the cutting room floor) and added in J. Jenks. She probably did a find-and-replace and changed the word “Alice” to “Edward said darkly.” God damn.