Monday, January 16, 2012

Eclipse Chapter 11 - Legend

1. “ ‘Are you gonna eat that hot dog?’ Paul asked Jacob, his eyes locked on the last remnant of the huge meal the werewolves had just consumed.” We’re beginning at the aftermath of something again. I guess watching the werewolves eat dinner wouldn’t have been that interesting, but then that’s not saying much about Meyer’s priorities as to what is worthy of inclusion.

2. Speaking of the banquet, Jacob apparently went a little nuts. “He heaved a sigh and patted his stomach. It was somehow still flat, though I’d lost count of how many hot dogs he’d eaten after his tenth. Not to mention the super-sized bag of chips or the two-liter bottle of root beer.” Because weight gain is noticeable immediately after a meal? And it’s not like the previous book established that being a werewolf burns a ton of calories with the huge meals Emily was making for them. Something else our pro at weird seems to have forgotten.

Jacob also skewers a hotdog and tosses it to his buddy, and “Paul caught it neatly on the right end without difficulty. Hanging out with no one but extremely dexterous people all the time was going to give me a complex.” Love how she says that like this is the first we’re hearing about Bella’s discontent at being normal or something…

“Funny, I hadn’t noticed the sun had set yet.” I know this is another blog’s schtick, and she’ll probably get to it in time, but…LEAST. OBSERVANT. NARRATOR. EVER.

3. After apparently mentioning that Edward plans to go biking with her sometime to Jacob, “he had admitted ruefully that the helmet was a good idea that he should’ve thought of himself.” Wow, if that isn’t the lamest attempt at ass-covering I ever saw (and I mean the author, not Jacob), I don’t know what is. I know Bella doesn’t care about her safety, but don’t the super-powered guys vying for her affections? The ones we keep hearing are so volatile they could just as easily lash out at her? You’d think they’d want to take some steps. Then again, they never do.

Anyway, the bonfire part of the bonfire party gets started and Bella wonders about what the other wolves think. “Would they be angry with Jacob for inviting me? Would I ruin the party?” Were they angry with him for bringing her around before? I can think of plenty of reasons why they’d be mad at Jacob for associating with someone in so deep with the Cullens, but the books never address any of them.

Of course not, it’s Bella! “Embry greeted me loudly. Quil had jumped up to give me a high five and kiss me on the cheek. Emily had squeezed my hand when we’d sat on the cool stone ground beside her and Sam.” Yeah, having your Sue be wracked by insecurity doesn’t make her not a Sue. It also makes her views on danger seem fake. “I was treated like someone who belonged,” indeed.

4. There’s some crap about the tribal elders and the relationships of the tribe members, and all I’ll saying is what I’ve been saying: I don’t know who these characters are or why any of this matters. We have to get a chance to know these characters before you start talking about the status of their relationships and lots in life, or they’re just names and the things that are happening are just things that are happening, not to people. It ends up coming across as more boring filler pretending to be something thought-provoking.

5. Bella brings up that it’s getting late to Jacob, and he tells her the best part of the party’s coming. She asks “What’s the best part? You swallowing an entire cow whole?” Why did you come if you’re going to be an insulting little bitch? Jacob laughs it off so maybe it was joking banter, but with how nearly every meeting they have ends with them getting pissed at each other, well, after a while the playful barbs don’t sound so different from the real ones. Just sayin’.

6. We hear the legend of how the Quileutes gained their wolf-morphing powers. It’s not a bad story, I guess (and there really isn’t a lot to say about it, so my apologies for a short review), but if anything it just goes to show how poorly-etched the vampire-human romance thing that makes up the mainline story is.

The original Quileutes could separate their spirits from their bodies, and one of them found it necessary to inhabit the body of a wolf. His power was thus shifted to being able to assume a human or lupine form, which some of his sons also inherited. This is what I'm talking about when I say the Quileutes are probably the only werewolves.

Also, we find out that vampires’ amputated limbs are still alive and apparently they can put themselves back together unless immolated. It only took two and a half books to say that. Although I don’t see how healing works with that whole “forever unchanging” thing about them.

Bella pays special attention to mention of the first werewolf’s third wife, and how she sacrificed herself when a vampire threatened her family.

7. They wrap up the story by basically saying that the Cullens’ presence really is the cause of their young men wolfing out, although I still say the way it was presented in the actual story makes it seem more like it didn’t happen until after they left and Victoria was free to pursue her vendetta without the sparklepires’ interference.

Anyway, “And so the sons of our tribe again carry the burden and share the sacrifice their fathers endured before them.” Okay, so let’s roll with this based on the books tell us. The Cullens are the reason there are so many werewolves. Carlisle, the great, wise, beneficent Carlisle, forced this upon them with his insistence on staying in Forks. Sure, most of them seem to be okay with it, but as I said before, these aren’t characters we know, and it’s explored about as deeply as anything else. Meaning all we really see in regards to most of these characters is they’re all “Wolf powers are awesome and vampires suck!” What about the part about being forced to do whatever the pack leader tells you? To face the possibility that you’ll be forced to fight someone you consider a friend or something else you object to? He doesn’t have to threaten you or anything, you just do it. It’s part of being a werewolf.

The only time the intricacies of that are gotten into, it’s just to show that Jacob doesn’t have to take those orders and anymore, and the reason for that is he was supposed to be the leader but didn’t want it. When he claims his heritage, he stops having to take orders What about the wolves who might have objections and don’t have a chief somewhere down their family tree? Yeah if there turns out to be more than one leader the wolves can follow whichever one they want, but since only the wolves who go with him start getting development and even then it’s only about what they want to do after this is over, it’s as I said mainly just an excuse to get Jacob out from under the pack’s thumb.

But all that functional slavery, all that imprinting nonsense, the books are saying we’ve got Carlisle to thank for that. Carlisle who’s such a great guy he’s even got friends among the Volturi. Somehow I don’t think that occurred to the author. Or maybe it did, but based on how imprinting’s ultimately treated as a good thing, she thought it was just another saintly act on his part.

Then again, since his insistence on staying is based on Bella's insistence on staying, maybe we can thank her for that crap.

8. Bella thinks about the third wife and how she was able to make a huge contribution to a desperate battle, and spare the people she loved despite being an ordinary human. She’s in fact bummed that somebody who didn’t something that great didn’t have her name remembered by the legends. Yes, that’s set up, and what it’s setting up is just saaaaaad.

9. Turns out Jacob actually called Edward to come pick Bella up and take her home. “I figured if I played nice, I’d get more time with you.” I’m sorry, but with how they really don’t seem nearly as friendly as Bella insists, and with how she’s chosen Edward by this point, this really comes across as stringing Jacob along.

After Edward does get her (while pacing at the edge of Quileute territory, which might seem like a flaw if there was anything to him but), he says she’ll have to tell him the stories sometime. “I won’t get it right,” she replies. Fnck her. We’re almost halfway through the third of four books. Time for some character development to start showing.

In fact once she goes to bed she has another nightmare. I don’t care what, listening to her moaning while she’s awake is annoying enough. Thinking about it while Meyer’s trying to be symbolic would be giving these books a dignity they do not deserve.

10. She wakes up to find Edward was reading her copy of Wuthering Heights, even though he voiced distaste with it earlier in the book. This one, I mean. He thinks, “the more time I spend with you, the more human emotions seem comprehensible to me.” What’s the difference, may I ask? All I really know about Edward is he’s paranoid, reactionary, possessive, singleminded and hung up on opulence. Those are hardly traits unique to the undead. That implies vampires have different emotions, and we really never see that. The drive to feed, just because it’s on something different, isn’t a difference. Humans can do crazy desperate things when they get hungry enough too.

“I’m discovering that I can sympathize with Heathcliff in ways that I didn’t think possible before.”

11. “I dressed quickly, low on options. Whoever had ransacked my hamper had critically impaired my wardrobe. If it wasn’t so frightening, it would be seriously annoying.” If Bella didn’t seem like the kind of person who just throws on anything that’s clean, I might sympathize. Double that since the only people whose opinions matter to her wouldn’t care if she wore a potato sack. Double, double that since she’s always reminding us how she can never look anything but totally out of place next to somebody as perfectly perfect as Edward.

12. What part from the book was Edward talking about specifically? Well, the whole passage is copied onto the page, but the specific bit is where he says “The moment her regard ceased, I would have torn his heart out and drank his blood!” Edward’s supposed to be smart, right? Smart enough to know that wasn’t meant to be taken literally, right? Right?

I’m pretty sure that’s the part he was talking about in spite of the chapter closing on Bella assuring herself that’s not what Edward meant. The book could’ve fallen open to any page. She sucks so bad she can’t even lie to herself convincingly.

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