And we’re back. When we last left off Bella had given birth as long as a sparklepire oral c-section counts as “birth”, Jacob became the ultimate creepster, and Bella became a sparklepire.
Now, I don’t know if this post will be it for the write-ups because so, so much of what comes next, Bella’s transformation and her experiences as a freshly minted sparklepire, can really be glossed over. We might have one more write up after this if I can’t finish the last, “climactic” scene with the Volturi in this one post.
Oh, yeah, spoiler alert: the Volturi are back.
So, the first thing I want to complain about is that Meyer puts up this quote from Orson Scott Card from his story Empire, “Personal affection is a luxury you can have only after all your enemies are eliminated. Until then, everyone you love is a hostage, sapping your courage and corrupting your judgment.”
Now, my main complaint with this quote is that it has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE REST OF THE BOOK. Why? Because Bella, Edward, and the lot of them do not go in for the “cut all ties so then you can’t have your affections leveraged against you” bit that OSC suggests in this quote. The closest we get is to when Alice and Jasper leave (spoiler alert: Alice and Jasper leave) and even then the rest of them don’t scatter to the winds. If you’re going to include a quote, make the quote relevant to the rest of the story.
Book 3 opens up with this great bit of nonsense writing:
The pain was bewildering[Matt: Ok, how was it bewildering?]
Exactly that – [Matt: What?] I was bewildered. I couldn’t understand, couldn’t make sense of what was happening. [Matt: Yes, I think that's the definition of bewildered. Did the pain make it difficult to think because of the intensity? Did you not know why or how you got to be in pain? HOW WAS THE PAIN BEWILDERING?!]
What follows after is about fifteen pages of Bella’s burning as the venom courses through her and hearing various insignificant details about the change. Yes, we get that the change is happening but so much in this first portion of Book 3 could’ve been written more succinctly. While Bella’s floating in a semi-conscious pain void, she hears Edward and Carlisle talking about different things, what Edward did to get Bella’s transformation going and if he’s successful in the attempt (which Carlisle assures him he was). Bella pretty much lays there in burning pain, listening to her heart finally give out and then opens her eyes as a new sparklepire.
Next comes a bunch more pages extraneously detailing how detailed Bella’s super detailed senses have become (it’s not just detailed, IT’S TRIPLE DETAILED). We get to see how she marvels at the dust motes in the air or the grain in the wood.
And then we get into the annoyingly lazy writing. Do you remember back in New Moon when Meyer used four pages with the names of the months on them to show that time was passing? We have almost something as bad.
So by the time I found myself crouched against the wall defensively – about a sixteenth of a second later – I already understood what had startled me and that I had overreacted.
I held my pose for an eighth of a second longer, adjusting to the scene before me.
So, one of Bella’s sparklepire abilities is to be able to tell time down to the fraction of a second now? No, it isn’t, this is just lazy writing from Meyer to try and convey the quickness of Bella’s actions/reactions by giving us a detail that Bella, the narrator, couldn’t possibly know. This could have been done so much more creatively but instead we’re given literal fractions of a second as if Sparklepire Bella had a chronometer implanted in her head.
You know which character would be able to actually narrate the passing of fractions of a second? The android Data from ST:TNG, perhaps Bishop from Aliens.
We also get some ridiculous purple prose when Bella hears Edward speak for the first time as a sparklepire.
I could not answer immediately, lost as I was in the velvet folds of his voice. It was the most perfect symphony, a symphony in one instrument, an instrument more profound than one created by man…
Anyway, everyone is watching Bella, waiting for to flip out and she does, sort of. New vampires are more emo than older vampires, since older vampires are more used to the rampant emo that flows through them, typically leaning towards the “I’M GOING TO GO ON A SLAUGHTERING RAMPAGE! BRB, SLAUGHTERING!”. Bella, spurred on by her crazy sparklepire-level desire, pretty much flings herself at Edward, kissing him for the first time as a sparklepire. It was the most amazing kiss, a kiss unlike any other she had before, and one that ended in the uncomfortable shuffling of feet and the clearing of throats by the rest of the Cullen family. This difference between Bella’s experience and, well, every other sparklepire’s experience as a new vampire has the rest of the Cullens, especially Jasper, giving her the skeptical side-eye.
During all of this Alice runs out of the room to get a mirror so that she can see Bella’s reaction to her new sparklepire self. Apparently becoming a sparlepire makes the old you better and Bella is pretty much transformed from plain old (everyone wants to date me) Bella to new and improved, purple-prose-y beautiful sparklepire Bella. Bella asks Edward what he thinks about the transformation and Mister Smooth answers that he’s kind of disappointed. Before Bella can break down into non-existent tears (since sparklepires don’t cry) and Alice tears his head off, Edward explains that he’s disappointed because he hoped that Bella’s transformation would let him hear her thoughts and that isn’t the case. Everyone instantly calms down and we get this great bit of girl empowerment from Meyer.
“Oh well,” I said lightly, relieved that my thoughts were still my own. “I guess my brain will never work right. At least I’m pretty.”
Yes, because it’s so much more important to look pretty.
Also, we find out that Alice played dress up with Bella as she lay recovering from her ordeal by dressing her up in a form-fitting, blue silk cocktail dress and heels. Perfect attire to go hunting in (thankfully, Bella at least tears slits up the side of the dress so she can move more easily and pitches the shoes back in through the window after landing the most graceful two-story drop that Edward has ever seen).
Blah blah Bella goes hunting with Edward, successfully downing some mountain lions and deer and we get more of her exploring her sparklepire body, how fast it can move, how strong it is. Comments are made about how graceful she is, how she moves better than any other new sparklepire, blah blah blah.
At one point while they are hunting Bella gets a scent of some human hikers. For a split second she goes feral but the next moment she not only doesn’t attack but has control enough to know she should leave the area, which shouldn’t have been possible since new sparklepires shouldn’t have that level of self-control. This is further reinforced when she doesn’t immediately try to rip Jacob’s throat out and drink his blood when she sees him for the first time (as a test to see if she can safely be around her daughter).
And then we see Renesmee.
Renesmee, despite being only two days old, is about as physically old as a child several months more advanced. If she’s holding herself upright then she’d be about four months old physically or so (kids are different, some kids can sit up earlier, some a little later). She’s more intelligent, understands what people say, and telepathic, able to project images and feelings into your head by touching you (which she uses to communicate with people since she can’t talk. Yet).
Everyone is expecting Bella to try to eat her daughter. Guess what she doesn’t do? Yep, not only does she not go after her daughter like she’s Scooby-Doo scenting a Scooby Snack, she’s pretty much perfectly calm.
Until she learns that Jacob imprinted on her daughter, which she figures out based on how Jacob is treating Renesmee like she’s his. Because being weirdly possessive of what should be a newborn infant isn’t not creepy at all.
It’s at that point Bella starts to go feral, but in a controlled (and I’d argue understandable) way. The Cullens all stand around and marvel that Bella, while shouting and snarling and royally pissed, hasn’t attacked Jacob in a mindless fashion. Meanwhile, Bella is shouting and snarling and royally pissed as Jacob tries to say something, anything, to make the situation regarding him falling in love with an infant (to eventually bone her, let’s not forget) ok.
And then he calls Renesmee “Nessie” and Bella loses her god damn mind.
“You named my daughter after the Loch Ness Monster!”
And in usual Meyer fashion we see none of it after Bella lunges at Jacob. We get that Jacob wouldn’t phase to protect himself and Seth had to interpose himself between Bella and Jacob to save his pack leader and suffered a broken collarbone because of it. Bella, as usual, feels guilty about her actions. Bella spends time with Renesmee, bonding with her daughter, and then she is reminded by Alice that the day is Bella’s nineteenth birthday when Alice and company give Bella a gift, a key.
The key opens the door to a cottage in the woods that Esme had rebuilt and remodeled for Bella as a birthday/wedding present. Edward shows Bella around the cottage and then they get to the bedroom.
Where Bella and Edward have sex. Lots of sex. In some ways better sex than when they were human because now neither of them need to hold back and things feel all kinds of better now that they have sparklepire senses. The only time they stop having sex is to briefly talk about how new sparklepires are capable of NOT having sex, since it feels so good, and Edward pretty much says that it takes years for them to get past it (Emmett and Rosalie weren’t “normal” until after a decade, implying that they pretty much spent most of the time, when they weren’t hunting, having sex). Then they go back to having sex until the sun is almost up when they go back to see Renesmee and find out that Jacob has screwed up yet again by telling Charlie some of the truth.
This is a screw up because Jacob doesn’t know about the Volturi killing anyone who lets mortals in on the secret. Jacob didn’t stop to think about the dangers that would possibly come down on Charlie by cluing him in. He also didn’t think about what Bella might want, or the fact that Charlie being around her might be dangerous because her self-control might not be as good as it has been. Or the fact that Bella looks radically different than when Charlie saw her a little less than three weeks ago and Charlie, despite how he acted in Eclipse, isn’t a complete idiot and would know that something has fundamentally changed his daughter.
And how did Jacob clue him in?
Well, because he’s a pack Alpha he can ignore the command to keep werewolves a secret and changed in front of Charlie, nearly giving the old guy a heart attack. He then went on to tell Charlie something along the lines of “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Charlie, to his credit, does see what’s going on and gets firmly on the “only tell me what I need to know” train and hangs on for dear life. It also helps that he is totally infatuated with Renesmee in that way that people are around totally adorable kids.
Things got to be pretty good around Casa de Cullen. More of Jacob’s friends left Sam’s pack to join up with Jacob; Charlie and Sue Clearwater started hanging out with the supernaturals more; Bella, Edward, and Renesmee became more of a family; Bella made Emmett look like a punk by beating him at arm wrestling. Everything was going along pretty well until Irina surprised Bella, Edward, and Renesmee in the woods one day, saw Renessme, thought she was an immortal child (of the very bad kind that the Volturi exterminated years and years ago), and left to go tattle on the Cullens, thus ensuring the destruction of their family group and all who knew about them.
And that’s where I’ll leave off for today!
Only one more write up, ONE MORE, and then I can put all of this to bed.
Just in time to write about Touched by Venom..