God, finally done with Eclipse and I can start doing the write-ups for Breaking Dawn.
750+ pages of Breaking Dawn.
Edward takes Bella home and they have a talk about how everyone but him, including Jacob the Jerkface, can give her presents but she won’t take any from him, which I think is a good point when you get down to it. Edward also shoots down Bella saying that she likes Jasper’s plan, because if there’s one thing that would be totally in character for Bella, it’d be putting herself in mortal danger by intentionally going to meet a band of twenty or so feral sparklepires bent on turning her into a CapriSun juice packet. Edward then fills Bella in on some of the dirt in the pack, like how Leah and Seth Clearwater have joined the pack, that Leah Clearwater is using the pack telepathy to be a major bitch because Sam left her for Emily, and that Embry is apparently the illegitimate child of either Jacob, Quil, or Sam’s father.
Bella at that point starts to freak out over the idea of being separated from Edward as he goes into a life-threatening situation. She emotionally blackmails him by bringing up when he left her in the last book and more or less gives him an ultimatum: Edward can either bring her to the clearing where the main fight will happen or he has to sit out the fight. This is also totally in character for Bella as she’s thinking only for herself and ignoring how her actions will possibly impact other people in that the Cullens, even with the werewolf pack, are still outnumbered and Bella is making it worse for them by taking away one of their fighters. Edward, however, takes it well and continues on his path toward…I don’t know if he can be redeemed but he’s at least not acting like a jerk anymore.
“…Besides, that’s not what you asked. You gave me two alternatives that you could live with, and I chose the one I could live with. That’s how compromise is supposed to work.”
Alice gives Bella a cover-story with Charlie about how Bella’s going to spend the night over at her house so that Bella can be away during the battle and Charlie won’t suspect anything is wrong. Later that night there’s more vampire sparring, Bella has another freak out about how she’s taking Edward and putting the rest of them at risk (but, you know, isn’t concerned enough to actually do something about the risk), and cuddles up next to a wolfy Jacob.
The next day Bella is all packed up to go see “Alice” and by Alice we mean Edward. She drives out to the Cullens’ house and Edward greets her there; it’s just the two of them in the house because everyone else has gone off to hunt to be prepared for the battle. Edward finally manages to give Bella a gift she doesn’t freak out about and then Bella makes her move. See, Bella’s been thinking about how she’s graduated and in two days time the fight with Victoria’s group will happen, and so becoming a sparklepire is not that far away. And, being honest, she isn’t sure how being a sparklepire might change her physically or change who she is emotionally, and that’s a concern because she’s never had sexy fun as a living person, let alone a sparklepire, and what if she doesn’t want Edward like that, or he doesn’t want her after she’s changed, or what if the sex is different? She tricks him into a promise that he’ll give her any mortal, human experience before she’s changed and he agrees because he thinks it’ll give him more time with her breathing. When she makes it clear what she wants, to ride him like a pony, he pulls a Meatloaf and says he’ll do anything for love, but he won’t do that.
However, Edward doesn’t tell her no completely, just that he’s concerned that if he gives her the sex now she’ll run off to Carlisle as soon as the fight is over and demand her sparklehood, and if Bella remaining a virgin is the key to avoiding that scenario, then Edward will continue his record as:
So, in order to get her groove on, Bella has to concede to his demand of marriage to which Bella agrees. A ring is given, his mother’s engagement ring, which made me consider something.
We’ve learned in this book that newly created sparklepires are unstable, often uncontrollable monsters; it sounds like they’re super-strong, super-fast, murderous ids in human form. When Edward’s mother died of Spanish flu, she was in a hospital and Carlisle changed Edward shortly thereafter, which meant that Carlisle and Edward probably had to leave town so that people didn’t see the new, sparkly Edward walking around when he’d been on death’s doorstep (especially an unstable, blood-drinking Edward). Considering how long it takes for a sparklepire to grow out of their “newness” (which is counted in years), Edward’s mother would’ve been long since buried with the ring, in theory on her finger, which meant that at some point Edward dug up his mother’s corpse and stole the ring off her finger because it wasn’t like someone took it to hold it in trust for him (he was probably believed to have died back then). Maybe someone took from her body and he acquired it later on but somehow I doubt it. So, he’s a creepy, grave-robbing sparklepire.
The next day is the big day of the fight and so they start to get ready. Bella kits herself out in some of the hiking and camping gear the Cullens own (purchased to maintain their charade of being avid hikers and campers). Alice totally guilt trips Bella into letting her plan and run Bella’s wedding and then it’s time for Bella to lay her out her scent in the clearing of ambush. Edward hands Jacob off to Bella and leaves so he can meet them at the SEEKRIT HIDING PLACE.
Jacob and Bella head out and he starts to get pushy again. He brings up that she hasn’t been by the reservation in a while and Bella tells him she’s been busy, but if she wasn’t busy she wouldn’t hang out with him anyway. He brings up that she should look at all of her options, and by look at all her options he mean pick him.
“Some people will go to any lengths to delude themselves.”
“I’ve noticed that werewolves in particular are prone to that mistake – do you think it’s a genetic thing?”
“Does that mean he’s a better kisser than I am?” Jacob asked, suddenly glum.
“I really couldn’t say, Jake. Edward is the only person I’ve ever kissed.”
“But I don’t count that as a kiss, Jacob. I think of it more as assault.”
“I did apologize about that,” he reminded me.
“And I forgave you…mostly. It doesn’t change the way I remember it.”
Go, Bella. It’s a shame that, in the scheme of things, this really doesn’t matter.
Jacob then tries to push the “But you’ve only kissed one person in your life, how could you possibly know he’s the one for you?” route. Bella keeps batting him away. Eventually they make it out into the middle of nowhere just as the storm that’s coming, which looks super ugly, is about to hit. Bella has a freak out about the fact she asked Edward to stay with her, expressing her possible guilt if anyone is hurt because he wasn’t there to help the fight, and then she tries to get Jacob to stay too, because when it comes to her selfishness vs. the good of the others, Bella’s got needs that need to be met, yo. Jacob, however, really wants to fight because the idea of finally getting to kill sparklepires, even if they aren’t the sparklepires that he wants to kill, is too appealing.
Later that evening the temperature is dropping drastically and, despite all the high end camping gear, Bella is freezing. Jacob shifts back into human form and manages to make almost everything he says into some kind of Quagmire-esque, skeezy double entendre as he suggests he crawl into the sleeping bag with her to warm her up (due to his increased body temperature). He crawls into sleeping bag with her, suggesting that she’d warm up faster if she took off her clothes (but just as joke, just kidding guys, seriously), and takes every opportunity to rub it in Edward’s face that he gets to cuddle with Bella and keep her safe in the storm while Edward, cold-exuding Edward, has to sit there and watch it. At one point, trying to twist the knife, Jacob asks about when and why Edward decided to play the “good guy” and Edward explains that if he did anything to force Bella to chose she might not chose him and also that he was worried that she might hurt herself trying to escape to see him; by just accepting it, and being accommodating, he wasn’t driving Bella to extremes so there was less of a threat of danger. Jacob even goes so far as to ask Edward to step out of the picture for a year to give Jacob a shot with Bella and Edward tells him no, because he doesn’t want to put her through what she went through in New Moon. Have to admit that Edward’s building up the “good guy” points in this chapter.
The next morning Jacob leaves the tent so he can get some more sleep as Bella has woken up. She and Edward get into another round of “I love you more” “No, I love you more” which Jacob overhears and flips out about, racing off into the woods. It turns out that Edward pretty much crafted his conversation with Bella to take a nice, deep stab at Jacob, knowing that he’d be in wolf-form and able to hear them talking, which is kind of a dick move but Jacob’s been a troll the entire time so I’m torn between thinking Edward lost some of his good guy points and that Jacob had it coming. Bella starts to freak out, blaming herself for the fact that Jacob can’t distance himself from her for his own good, and Edward, feeling a little guilty (or at least saying he’s sorry) for what he did, goes after him. Bella continues to freak out until Jacob and Edward come back.
Edward takes off with Seth to talk for a bit, leaving Bella and Jacob by themselves. Bella tries to apologize, Jacob gets emo, and while he tries to apologize back for being a PITA, he drops this nice little bit of emotional blackmail:
I won’t let you claim all the blame here, Bella. Or all the glory either. I know how to redeem myself.”
“What are you talking about?” I demanded. The sudden, frenzied light in his eyes frightened me.
He glanced at the sun and then smiled at me. “There’s a pretty serious fight brewing down there. I don’t think it will be that difficult to take myself out of the picture.”
Yes, Jacob tells Bella he’s going to go throw himself into the battle with no intention of coming back out again in some kind of f’ed up attempt at atoning for being a jerk. Bella, of course, loses it, begging him not to go, begging him to stay, begging for him to do anything but commit suicide. Bella offers him a kiss as a bargaining chip and you know the saying of giving someone an inch and them taking a mile? Well, Bella offers him a kiss and we have Jacob Face Attack v2.0, only this time Bella’s fight response awesomely manifests itself in kissing him back. Yep, she’s totally not wanting it, tries to pull his hair off, and then her mind…snaps somehow and she’s kissing him back. Only the kissing doesn’t have the effect she wants and Jacob goes skipping off to join the fight.
And it takes Edward all of thirty seconds, once he’s back, to explain just how Jacob totally played her. Jacob, do some kind of noble sacrifice so that Edward and Bella could be together, free of Jacob trying to stand between them?
Bella is so not the sharpest tool in the shed.
There’s more emotional flailing back and forth between the two of them and then, far away, the fight kicks off. Because Seth is tied telepathically to the rest of the pack, Edward is able to relay what is going on through Seth by reading his mind. The fight seems to be going well for the sparklepire-werewolf coalition and then something happens in the fight that makes Edward send Seth away…just in time for Victoria and her friend to show up.
It seems that Victoria just, as a spur of the moment decision, decided to go looking for Edward, thus nullifying Alice’s ability to see her. Honestly, with how much planning Victoria was doing regarding this whole attack I’m a little skeptical that she didn’t once think about how she’d go about finding Bella or consider looking for Edward before the fight kicked off.
Regardless, Victoria starts to distract Edward, trying to circle around him to get to Bella while her special friend Riley goes the other way, only to be hit by a large, tan Seth werewolf who starts ripping pieces off of him like he was nothing.
I’m not going to give a play by play of the fight. Suffice to say, Seth disarms Riley (literally) and Edward, eventually, chews Victoria’s head off, just latches onto her back like a sparklepire Yoda and goes for her throat from the backside. The thing that gets me in this fight is that A) Meyer continues the stone analogy with the vampires in that Seth “crunches” off pieces of Riley and that there’s no blood. And if there’s no blood…
And even with the fight happening RIGHT IN FRONT OF BELLA, MEYER STILL MANAGES TO KILL RILEY OFF SCREEN. *deep, cleansing breath* Ok…I’m better now.
Seth and Edward dismantle the two sparklepires, put them in a pile, and light them on fire. Apparently, even burning sparklepire smells like something good, burning incense in this case. Jesus.
All of a sudden two things happen: one, a newborn vampire surprises Jacob at the scene of the other fight and nearly crushes him to death and, two, the Volturi show up and everyone starts telling each other “Don’t panic, just don’t panic!” in that way where they are totally talking to themselves.
Out of everyone in the group Bella should probably take such advice to heart but then, if she did, the story wouldn’t be as dramatic, right? Bella collapses in a dead faint and comes to in the clearing surrounded by Cullens and one, young female newborn sparklepire. The newbie was smart enough to realize that things were going to go really, really poorly for her and her coven and instead of trying to fight and dying for the effort, she surrendered. Just one small problem: the Volturi don’t really care about white flags. Bree, the vampire, is summarily executed and burned with the rest of her coven.
The Cullens and Bella head home, pretty much safe and sound. Bella heads back to her house with Alice to complete the sleep over lie and she has a touching, loving scene with her father for a bit before she leaves to go see Jacob. Jacob tries more of the same shenanigans, even admitting that he kissed Bella in the hope that Edward would give her some kind of ultimatum that would make her leave him and chose Jacob instead. Bella is over-come with emo angst about Jacob being hurt, emotionally by her not his physical pain, and asks him to yell at her. Yeah, I don’t get it; maybe she thinks if he yells at her then she’ll feel like she did something bad. If you have to get yelled at in order to feel guilt, you’re doing it wrong.
In the end, however, Jacob concedes that he’s “lost” and says that’ll he’ll stop trying to interfere and make Bella chose one or the other of them (ignoring the fact that she’s been very clear that she’s already made her choice…) by mangling a story out of the Bible. However, Meyer does give what I feel is a nice turn of phrase in the scene with this exchange:
“…But I would have been healthier for you. Not a drug; I would have been the air, the sun.”
The corner of my mouth turned up in a wistful half-smile. “I used to think of you that way, you know. Like the sun. My personal sun. You balanced out the clouds nicely for me.”
He sighed. “The clouds I can handle. But I can’t fight an eclipse.”
The rest of the book is various levels of wangst. Bella wangsts at Edward because Jacob’s not hers and she had to sort of break up with him. She angsts about her future wedding but makes Alice happy by agreeing to let her plan it. She wangsts at Edward about the wedding and he wangsts at her back, before trying to sex her up (which she then turns down because she wants to “do it right”). She agrees that getting married is the “right” way to do things. And Bella’s part of the book ends with her getting her engagement ring put on her finger.
But the suffering isn’t over yet, folks!
No, we cut to the epilogue from Jacob’s perspective. He’s contemplating Bella, of course, and the choices she will soon be making and possible ways he can get to kill Edward.
It’s about this time that he gets one last kick in the balls from Bella, who, for some reason, thought it would be a good idea to send a wedding invite to a certain emotionally damaged and hurting werewolf . Jacob goes a little crazy, leaves his house, shifts into wolf form, and flees.
And that’s the end of Eclipse. Sorry it took so long to get written, work was crazy and my son turned one over the weekend so it’s been a little nuts.
While I did finish New Moon on time, I’ll be doing the write-ups later this next week. Hey, I said I’d read them all in a month, not review them all in a month.
Eclipse really was what I was told to expect with people behaving horribly throughout. There were scenes that I liked, such as the stories Billy told and little snippets of description here and there, but it’s still not a good book.
Anyway, now to wrap up New Moon and put this Twilight crap to bed. Tyler and I will be doing our New Moon podcast on Tuesday next week so look for that.