Yay, Hyde! Congratulations on a complete recap. And don’t worry—I have already promised you that, if she ever does somehow finish and publish this, I will recap it. Enjoy, my flist.
Chapter 12: Complications
Here we are. At last, the very end of Midnight Sun.
*doing warm ups* Okay. I can do this. *shadow boxing* I can totally take this, you guys! I am a man of iron!
Say, I might really make it! We open up with Wardo and Bella mercifully not talking! And if that weren’t gift enough, Wardo is petulantly throwing an inner tantrum because ALICE’S VISIONS ARE LIES BECAUSE SHE’S A LYING LIAR WHO LIES!!! This is over her seeing Bella as a vampire, I guess—look, man, you’ve already come out and said that you are so selfish that you’ll change her anyway just to keep her preserved forever and ever. A Rose for Wardo.
*has creeped self*
I need to stop that, or I won’t make it.
Although what’s next isn’t helping. Remember how I kept mentioning that, since Angela is the one lowly human who is worth of Bella’s magnificence, Wardo has decided to buy her off to get rid of her, rather than just cutting her off like all the rest of Bella’s friends? Yeah. Here we are. If that attitude on Wardo’s part wasn’t bad enough, SMeyer herself pipes in. Since Angela has received the benediction of the Cullens, and since she’s a female, how is she to be rewarded? That’s right! With a MAN!!!
Know how she’s together with Ben Cheney after Twilight? Well, as Wardo walks into Bio, he rats around in her head as a matter of course and finds out that the high school junior is literally suffering a broken heart, pining over Ben. Right. After soothing himself by deriding and mocking her situation, he decides that the best way he can thank her and then write her out of Bella’s life is to manipulate her own life and shackle her to an Almighty Male, like every woman should be.
After briefly sparing these condescendingly amused thoughts for Angela, Wardo is back to his usual brooding over himself and how unfair his life is because he can’t do whatever he wants. Asshole.
Anyway, turns out they’re watching a movie in class today. Wardo patronizingly derides everyone in class for their various reactions to this, and then the lights are turned out. And…Wardo is instantly horny for Bella. No, I am not joking. Apparently that’s enough to give him a raging boner for her right there in the middle of class. Well, it’s all couched in urple-prose and it’s never explicitly stated and it’s chastely Mormon and all—but sorry, SMeyer. I C whut you did thar.
Oh, except for one thing—it stinks. It’s not hot at all, even though it’s clearly supposed to be. But as that’s the case with every one of her pseudo-sexytimes, we’re not surprised. We’ll just sit back and watch for the next unintentional slash she tosses out there for us.
This is all incredibly lame—except where it’s incredibly creepy. They’re friggin’ sitting in biology class, watching a movie, and he’s over there slavering over here, obsessing over what she may be thinking, “and was suddenly positive that [he] had been right before, and that she wanted [him] to touch her”. Once again, through sheer badness, we are treated to a terrifyingly accurate characterization of an obsessed erotomaniac. Seriously—does that not sound just like the sort of deluding thinking that prompts stalkers? Only it’s worse, because we know from Twilight that he is entirely correct. And that’s a good thing. Because that’s Romance.
Things are rapidly spiraling downward again. Once again, this time with feeling—it’s the same thing over and over again. Every move Bella makes is analyzed and dissected by this maniac and twisted into some hidden meaning to suit himself. He pantingly tries to think of ways to touch her, is sure in his knowledge that she is thinking exactly what he thinks and wants her to think (ignoring the fact that we know from Twilight that she is, that is still creepy, his usual justification for doing what he wants by assuring himself that she wants it, too, because the author often seems to forget that he can’t freaking read her mind so he doesn’t know), pauses to extol his own magnificence, then simultaneously derides and angsts over her humanity, and selfishly puts his own desires over hers. I’m sorry if the lulz are falling off in my descriptions, guys…but it’s the SAME FUCKING THING YOU’VE SEEN SEVEN HUNDRED AND SIXTY THREE TIMES BEFORE. This book has devolved into nothing but endless purple repetition. And it sucks.
Anyway—all those pages tepid and urple angst were supposed to have taken place in the short space between classes—see what I mean, about this crap beating me down? I have to step aside and listen to him going off for pages at a time on this kind of stuff ALL THE DAMNED TIME.
Oh, but there was this creepy thing, too. Somewhere in that steaming pile up there, Wardo is drooling at the thought of touching Bella, and, despite the danger that it would ostensibly be to her, he’s sure trying to write it off—since what he wants is the important part. And, as before, we have a line that would not necessarily be creepy in and of itself, and not even in the context here…but after 250 pages of this psychopath, it was just creepy. He’s whining that he can’t touch her, because he might hurt her, but then starts excitedly assuring himself that it would be okay “[a]s long as [he] was firmly in control”.
But, that aside, he escorts her to gym, and true to form, he manages to talk himself out of his objections for her safety and get his way, and that’s the whole cheek-touching bit. I see where Renesfail gets it. Yeah, yeah, he touches her cheek, and my back nearly broke under the weight of the prose he uses to describe her. Both hands on the keyboard, SMeyer! Then he starts having more of those incredibly lame G-rated naughty-thoughts straight out of a bad romance novel as written by a virgin female.
Wardo is so gay. Seriously, people. He’s queer as a bottle of chips.
And then I had to laugh—he manages to tear himself away from
Wardo of course watches Bella all the way until he can’t see her, and listens in on all the thoughts around her. Poor Mike Newton is there, lamenting that Wardo seems to have ruined his chances with the ever lovely
Anyway, I perked up at this point, because guess who he has class with now! EMMETT!! *glomps* I haven’t fulfilled my Emmett quota—no wonder I broke down and had to call in the reserves earlier. Despite the fact that he too has nothing better to do that fret and worry over Wardo, I forgive him for it because he is so Awesome. Emmett, may I suggest that you rip out Wardo’s stereo for calling you “Em” again? Between that stupid nickname out of nowhere and his emo music, he’ll ruin your street cred.
Wardo fusses about Rose having the nerve to be mad at him for spilling their secret—isn’t that just terrible of her to dare to be angry with him for (ostensibly) jeopardizing their safety for his own selfish desires? What a bitch. Emmett’s all like “whatever” and goes back to ignoring Wardo—good man—who in turn pouts for a bit until his eyes fall on Ben Cheney, the object of Angla’s Pure and True Love. He sees this as his opportunity to toss her her biscuit, so he stops Emmett before they enter the classroom and explains his Cunning Plan.
Of course, he doesn’t explain it to us, to leave us guessing about what’s going to happen, despite the fact that I already have guessed it. Emmett tells him he’s crazy again, but Wardo whines that he wants to do this mysterious thing we’re not supposed to get, and then Emmett says this.
Who are you and what have you done with my brother?
Harmless in and of itself, yes, and not all that bad, but…
DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY TIMES AND IN HOW MANY SUEFICS I HAVE SEEN THAT EXACT SAME LINE???!!! AND DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH IT PISSES ME OFF???!!!
It is so many that it literally stopped me in my tracks. Airhead, for one, uses it ALL THE FREAKING TIME. And I cannot count the number of times I’ve seen it elsewhere. It’s just one more instance where the fact that this is nothing but a bad fanfic written by an amateur writer with all the skills and maturity of a highschooler has slapped me in the face.
And then there’s the other side of that crappy line—the point of it is to accuse someone of behaving out of character. In fanfic, it’s just more evidence that the Sue is warping the canon characters OOC. Here? Emmett is expressing his surprise that Wardo would do something (supposedly) so nice for someone else—and for a lowly human, no less—because it’s so out of character for him.
Okay, I take it back. That line was totally appropriate.
Anyway, after I managed to shake off that unpleasantness, I find Wardo wheedling Emmett into playing along with his little scheme by telling him that it will be “an experiment in human nature”. He is an asshole, and that will not convince Emmett to read Lord of the Flies, Wardo.
Emmett decides it’s better to just play along with his manias rather than have to live with him when he goes home and shuts himself in his room and listens to Creed, so he’s all like fine, whatever, and they sweep into the classroom. Wardo tosses out there that despite how much Rosalie annoys him, she gets points in his book for getting Emmett for him to play with, since he only scores people on how they benefit him. Asshole.
SMeyer annoys me by dumbing Emmett down so that Wardo has to coach him exactly what to say for his little stage play here. At least, that’s what I’m sure she’s trying to do, but really it just sounds like GUC Wardo prissily dictating how everyone is going to behave, so I just laughed.
Anyway, Emmett and Wardo proceed to have a badly stiff and stilted conversation, and I can only get the feeling that they sound like 9th grade jocks being forced to read parts of plays in English class, wherein they fake out Ben to think that Wardo is interested in Angela (as if) to make him jealous. They sound so stiff and stilted that anyone with a brainstem would know that it’s not real. This reminds me of Mervin’s bit in Eclipse when Bella is gushing over what a wonderful actress Alice is…when she’s so patently not.
Anyway, this “unrehearsed and natural” conversation is interspersed with Wardo liberally bestowing his contempt on the objects of his little scheme, and is worded to make him sound like as much of an asshole as possible, to make Ben jealous. The funny part? It doesn’t sound any different than his usual speech. And it’s only made more ridiculous with this statement from Wardo himself:
I bit back my smile. Only the haughty Cullens could get away with pretending not to know every student at this tiny school.
From his own mouth, SMeyer, and yet you still don’t see that your little wank fantasy and all his little family are a bunch of smug, arrogant assholes?!!
The scene goes from arousing my amused contempt to my more general disgust, though—turns out Ben likes Angela too, and as their love is Pure and True, is he jealous about the attentions of the Oh-So-Wonderful Wardo Cullen (who even he is apparently lusting after)? No—but he is protective of his One True Love. Since that’s how you know it’s Good and True, when the Big Strong Man doesn’t necessarily like or love you, but does want to carefully swathe his lady love in bubble wrap and keep her safe from the entire rest of the world. Gad, that’s creepy.
There is more idiocy, with SMeyer pissing me off by making Emmett talk just as condescendingly as Wardo (read, she can’t characterize worth a crap and they both sound alike) as well as demonstrating her own shallowness and her copypasta tendencies by making Ben have been previously reluctant to ask Angela out because she was taller than him—the exact same shallow and superficial point that Bella belabors throughout the other books.
This is what Wardo says about that, incidentally:
How silly humans were, to let a six inch height differential confound their happiness.
This as he condescendingly declares that Ben—“this Ben”, he says, not really even giving him the consideration of a person, despite supposedly being privy to his thoughts—might actually “be worthy of a girl like Angela”. Asshole.
Wardo is smugly pleased with himself, having thoroughly enjoyed dictating and directing the lives of the lowly humans around him, and so he “settled into [his] chair and prepared to be entertained”. Meaning, he’s going to spy on Bella through the minds of others and laugh at her as she stumbles her way through gym.
I’m sorry—why in the hell am I supposed to like this guy? It’s things like this that just strike me. I’ve pointed out what a psycho and a sicko this creep is—but on top of that, he’s just a complete douchebag! And I’m supposed to think that this condescending attitude he has toward Bella as he constantly disregards her feelings and takes pleasure in her humiliation is supposed to be love?!
Sorry. Anyway, in order to spy on Bella, Wardo goes back to snooping on the mind of his favorite whipping boy and the real “danger magnet” of his story, the hapless Mike Newton. I think Wardo must have heard me pointing out what an asshole he is, because he now takes pains to remind me that psychopathy is still his dominant character trait. Mike is apparently having an idle naughty thought about the girl he fancies as would any teenaged boy—as he has the misfortune to fancy Bella, Wardo immediately “had to remind [him]self that murdering Mike Newton was not a permissible option”
I want to hear a story about Mike Newton teaming up with Emmett and pre-fursplosion Jacob to kick this guy’s ass. Seriously.
Not to mention that even watching Mike’s interactions with Bella through the contemptuous and murderous veil of Wardo’s thoughts, I can clearly see that he’s ten times nicer and more attentive to her as a person that Wardo ever was, with the two of them smiling together, and Mike taking pains to prevent her from being embarrassed or doing things she doesn’t want to do (both exactly the opposite of how it is between Bella and Wardo).
We get to watch Bella be LOLCLUMSY, and it really sounds like something out of a cartoon—her mishap with her racquet is frankly ridiculous, but who’s surprised? Is this woman really an adult? I have trouble believing it from her writing. And it only gets more ridiculous (and more GUC) in that because she somehow managed to bonk her head with her badminton racquet, her life is clearly in danger and Wardo must fight to keep himself from rushing to her side to save her from the evil sports equipment (and the evil, random Scary Sue Jennifer Ford that we’ve never heard of and never hear of again who smugly and deliberately set Bella up to humiliate herself with a bad shot for no reason), to whisk her away from the battleground that is PE and to safety.
Anyway, after school is out and everyone is on their way out to the parking lot, Wardo listens in as Mike tentatively broaches the subject of Wardo dating Bella—he wants to know if they really are a couple now. He thinks to himself with some actually realistic teenaged boy jealousy that Wardo is a freak and that Bella is only dating him for his money. Wardo is of course outraged by the “degrading assumption”. Barring the fact that “dating for money” is kind of an odd notion (marrying for money I can understand, as it would then become your money, but dating for money seems so transient and therefore pointless—unless, I guess, you can only date your One True Love Sealed in the Temple for All Eternity who you will eventually marry, so I guess it makes sense here)—sorry, Wardo, but that’s exactly what she’s doing. She’s using you as a means to an end to become rich and beautiful and immortal.
Mike is sensibly concerned for her, as he knows that there is something wrong with Wardo, and his example of “protectiveness” is ten times more realistic, nicer, and less creepy than anything Wardo has ever done—and he makes the “He looks at you like…like you’re something to eat” observation. Bella, ever brainless, laughs. Wardo, sparing a only brief concern that maybe the people of Forks have figured them out (guess that isn’t so important after all, then, is it, Wardo?), goes back to pondering Bella with this:
Why would she laugh at the suggestion that I could kill her, when she knew that it was entirely true? Where was the humor in that?
What was wrong with her?
Well, aside from the fact that no, it wasn’t funny, it was ham-fisted attempt at ironic humor from SMeyer that fell flat—the simple fact of the matter is that BELLA IS A FREAKING IDIOT.
I hate to bombard you with quotes, but then Wardo thinks this:
Did she have morbid sense of humor? That didn't fit with my idea of her character, but how could I be sure? Or maybe my daydream of the giddy angel was true in the one respect, in that she had no sense of fear at all. Brave — that was one word for it. Others might say stupid, but I knew how bright she was. No matter what the reason, though, this lack of fear or twisted sense of humor wasn't good for her. Was it this strange lack that put her in danger so constantly? Maybe she would always need me here…
Just like that, my mood was soaring.
I won’t belabor and analyze everything, as I have said and done it all before, but I really did want to show you that, and I’ll follow with one of Mervin’s beloved little bullet lists on all the continuing delights of Wardo’s sick obsession.
- For his supposed great love, once again Wardo is showing his butt, along with making it more than clear that he doesn’t understand Bella at all—doesn’t know Bella at all. And so how exactly am I supposed to think this is a love story?
…Any time, SMeyer.
- Pasting virtues on Bella won’t make me believe them when I don’t see any evidence of them in the text, SMeyer. Bella is weak and whiny and stupid, not at all brave.
- Once again, Wardo is observing behavior in Bella that he doesn’t approve of with the implication that he is going to have to put a stop to it. But now, it isn’t simply her actions—it’s actually aspects of her personality that he doesn’t approve of. Not only does he not know her, he’s going to mold and remake her into what he wants. Romance, clearly.
- Aaaaaaaaaaand then we have that wild leap from simply thinking about Bella to suddenly making excuses as to why she clearly needs him to stalk her every step. Does that not read like a seriously delusional nutjob? SMeyer should switch to writing fictional confessions of stalking serial killers and she’d be hailed as a genius.
- You know, I hadn’t thought about it, but Mervin noticed it and when she pointed it out to me, I had to admit that she’s right. Did you know that Wardo here speaks in nothing but interrogatives? He just sits there asking himself and the audience stupid questions about Bella and himself, and then answers with more questions. It gets very old—not to mention that it sounds very much like hand-holding.
- And, last but not least—Wardo is happy to find that Bella is a danger to herself, and doubly so from him—because it gets him what he wants.
Anyway, Bella finally shows up where Wardo is lying in wait for her like a spider. We now lapse back into the urple, with SMeyer beating us over the head with how right these two are together, how happy and peaceful and complete they both are when they are together after a whole hour’s separation.
And we’re also back to the pointless, stupid rehashing of the same dialogue from Twilight, with nothing that is actually new added. All we get is Wardo spelling out what is going on, just in case we missed it when Bella spelled it out for us in Twilight. Only Wardo is all the more patronizing about it. You know, for all that SMeyer insists that her fans are oh-so-intelligent, she sure treats them like idiots. Or maybe she’s simply doing unto others, and all.
Wardo tauntingly asks her about her gym class, and has the nerve to call her a poor liar when she says it was fine. Mike’s thoughts interrupt their Moment, with him angrily calling Wardo names and petulantly saying that he wishes he would just die. While it is a bit extreme, yes (but I can actually overlook that, in that as a Sue, Bella will always inspire such ridiculously EXTREEEEEEEEEEEME EMOTIONS in other characters), do you notice a difference between his thoughts towards Wardo and Wardo’s own towards Mike?
Mike: I hope he dies.Now—one of these is normal and healthy, and the other is not. Can you spot which is which, class?
Wardo: It is only the fact that Carlisle would be disappointed in me that is staying my hand from ripping his head off and bathing in his blood.
Wardo tells Bella that Mike is annoying him—I wonder how she would respond if she knew he wanted to violently murder him for it? Pfft. Who am I kidding? She wouldn’t give a rat’s ass. In fact, she’d probably be flattered.
Bella realizes that Wardo was spying on her and gets angry. He ignores her anger and follows her as she stalks off, and rather than feeling any sort of remorse for upsetting and embarrassing her, instead makes this telling observation: “She was usually quick to forgive me.”
Yeah, and you milk it for all it’s worth, don’t you, you controlling asshole?
The come out into the parking lot, and turns out that a crowd has gathered around Rosalie’s car. Remember, she drove in with all the others in her BMW, as Wardo drove Bella to school in his nice little Mormon-Mobile. We literally have to pause and listen to all the thoughts of the people around them lusting after the car, and this really just reeks of new-money SMeyer gloating about all her rich stuff again.
And Wardo has the nerve to once again smirkingly call it “ostentatious”. Blending in—right.
They get into the Mormon Wagon and head off towards Bella’s house. Wardo then wants to know if Bella is still mad at him for being a dick. She says yes, so he sighs, wishes that he hadn’t mentioned he was spying (not that he hadn’t spied in the first place, you’ll note), and asks, “Will you forgive me if I apologize?”
Meaning he isn’t sorry at all. He’s only going to apologize to get his way. And he comes right out and says it, too! Bella says she’ll forgive him only if he means it and won’t spy on her, and he tells the audience that there is no way in hell he’s gonna do that—he is so freaking not sorry! And he doesn’t care! He wants what he wants, and what Bella wants comes second.
So, in true abuser fashion, he starts bartering for his goodwill and permission for her to behave, manipulating her to keep her compliant. He counters her demand with his own—he will apologize (and won’t mean it, but he doesn’t tell her that) and agrees to allow her to drive on their planned Saturday excursion (he’s not happy about that, but, well, he has to make a few concessions to keep her happy. At least until she’s safely ensconced in the pit in his basement).
Being the doormat she is, Bella says fine and agrees to his arrangement. Once again, these two remind me of the power dynamic between abusive husband Tom Rogan and his wife Beverly Marsh in Stephen King’s novel IT. “You were a good girl—so you get your
So, since she’s been a good girl, he gives her this:
Now for my apology… I'd never tried to dazzle Bella on purpose before, but now seemed like a good time. I stared deep into her eyes as I drove away from the school, wondering if I was doing it right. I used my most persuasive tone.
"Then I'm very sorry I upset you."
…did you guys just see that? Did you?
He just deliberately dazzled her in order to get his way and make her believe his obviously false apology.
HOW IN THE HELL DO PEOPLE NOT SEE THAT HE IS AN EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE, MANIPULATIVE, INSINCERE LYING BASTARD??!!!
So, they get to Bella’s house. As usual, they have to linger in the car and have Meaningful Conversation while staring into each other’s eyes. Wardo says he’ll be there to pick her up, smugly informing her that he’ll walk/run to the house so his car won’t be there—they’re keeping this all secret from Charlie, after all. Charming. Doubly so in that when Bella asks how they’ll hide the car, before he answers Wardo amusingly thinks “how little she still knew [him]”.
YEAH. WE KNOW. AND YOU DON’T KNOW HER EITHER.
Great Romance, my foot.
Before getting out of the car, Bella whines that she wants to go back to their conversation at lunch today (the one that Snape blew to smithereens last time *scowl*). Specifically, when she eagerly (and rather disturbingly) want to watch him hunt, he became violently angry with her and snarled her into submission. But now she wants to know what his problem was about it.
He goes into his another purple, question-filled monologue in which he clearly states that he’s hiding his true “monstrous nature” from her. Your love hasn’t changed the bad boy AT ALL, SMeyer. You lose!
Wardo purply describes their hunting, exactly the same as in Twilight, so it’s all very boring, of course. Then we have another one of those G-rated, girlish, Mormon pseudo-sexytimes, which is equally boring. Then he has to once again talk about how fragile Bella is, since she’s a lowly human—and then out of nowhere insists that his whole family would give anything to go back and be lowly humans again, which is total mooseshit and we all know it.
He has one of his mood swings over his tepid angst and so kicks Bella out of the car. Bella, of course, “obey[s] at once, without comment”, as she is his obedient little slave (it is really creepy how he always tells us every instance when she “obeys”, as he puts it. It’s like he’s turning to the audience every time and going, “See how well-trained I’ve got her?”). But she stops and turns to him again, and he knows that she wants to ask him questions. But that’s not fair, he says—and I tell him to stick that crap where the sun don’t shine.
Jareth does not approve. But I approve of Jareth. *is dazzled*
Mervin: *iz dazzled from across the intarwebs*
Wardo ignores me, much as he does Bella. See, he’s allowed her to ask him all these questions today and supposedly revealed his secrets (although he’s done nothing of the kind, only allowing her to know what he wants her to know), so before she can speak he (creepily) informs her that tomorrow he’s the one that gets to ask all the questions, and then dismissively leaves her there before she can respond. The chapter ends shortly after, with him literally laying out something like a battle line—that he is going to “hold [his] ground” and refuse to yield to her, because they will have a strong and healthy relationship if he remains in control and dictates all the terms of their interactions.
And that’s it. This is as far as SMeyer got before she leaked her own work and subsequently flounced over the fact that other people didn’t hold sacred the work that she herself spread all over everywhere because she needed some quick ego stroking.
…That means I’m finished. I made it through Midnight Sun. There isn’t any more.
*dies and iz ded*
So. My final thoughts on Midnight Sun, the woefully unfinished companion piece to Twilight, which is hailed by the fans as SMeyer’s finest work to date.
I mean, seriously. We all know that this series is really bad, but this one is a particular gem, in my mind, and not only with regard to the actual writing, but also the work itself as it fits into the series.
On the writing: Nothing terribly new here. I feel it necessary to give a tiny amount of slack with regards to mistakes and word usage and punctuation, because this was an unedited copy. However, I can’t write off the fact that the entire piece was written in that same dry, toneless, pompous narration that characterized Twilight—clearly the writing of an amateur with delusions of grandeur. You have no feel for the characters’ voices, and it doesn’t read like first person narration at all, but rather like third, and is positively bloated with purple prose that puts even Bella’s Twilight raptures of Wardo’s beauty to shame. We’re talking literally half again as many words to say the exact same things that SMeyer said already in Twilight.
Which brings me to another point—she literally said the exact same thing as in Twilight. The whole point of rewriting a story from a different point of view is to give the readers a different look at the story. We did not get that. This was not a retelling—it was a recap. Wardo had the exact same reactions, thoughts, and opinions that Bella did in response to every event in Twilight, right down to the point that some of the same sentences and phrases were repeated—and so what were ridiculous and unrealistic from Bella alone become doubly so from Wardo. SMeyer is so utterly in love with her own writing that she can’t even bring herself to change it in the name of characterization. And when we aren’t listening to Wardo thinking all the same things that Bella did, we are just eavesdropping on her from across the school with Wardo’s power, and thus getting exactly the same events—even the ones in which he took no part in canon—also slavishly recapped. We get nothing new added to what we’d already read in Twilight, which completely defeats the purpose of an alternate point of view and renders the whole story utterly pointless.
Which leads me into my next beef: Characterization. The fact that there was nothing new, that Wardo reacted exactly the same to every situation as Bella did in Twilight, most clearly indicates that he has no characterization. There was no distinct voice or change in wording or writing to differentiate Wardo from Bella. Those reactions and responses that were repeated? The very reason they jumped out so badly was because they could have been copied and pasted from one book to the other and no one would have been the wiser. He sounded exactly like Bella—meaning, that despite the fact that he’s supposed to be from 1917 and is a mix between a 100-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy, he instead sounded like a modern, whiny teenaged girl with Thesaurus Syndrome.
The lack of individual voice in Wardo’s character would be bad enough—but then you actually look into the substance of said character, and that’s where things really go bad. In between his repeating of Bella’s reactions, we get our only real original material in the form of throwaway comments from our protagonist, and the image we get is not at all pretty. And that is because Edward Cullen, teen idol and romantic ideal of Stephenie Meyer, is a misogynistic, abusive, rude, psychopathic asshole. His every thought, word, and action is dripping with disdain for the people around him, his motives are entirely selfish and self-serving, he holds humans in contempt and doesn’t even regard them as people, he treats everyone—including and especially his supposed love interest—as his inferior, he carelessly manipulates the emotions and lives of those around him, he is cruel and mocking to everyone he speaks to, he has absolutely no conscience, rather deciding how he will behave with regards first to himself and secondly to make sure that the right people like him, he displays no remorse for the lives he has taken in the past, fantasizes about causing grievous bodily harm and violently murdering the people who annoy him, and in general displays a wanton lack of regard for human life and doesn’t seem to think killing people when it suits his purposes is wrong at all. He is a complete monster—but we are supposed to think he is a good guy?! If Bella Swan is a Sparklypoo Mary Sue, Wardo here is the quintessential god-moding Bitchiwitch Gary Stu—brooding and angstful for no reason, and violently sociopathic. And yet he’s supposed to be the hero. I’m not sure if I should simply pity SMeyer for a terrible lack of characterization skill, or if I should be horrified at her obvious case of hybristophilia. Either way, I find myself grossly insulted that she expects me to think that this bastard is a good guy.
But it doesn’t stop there—every one of her precious Cullens are the same way. Even Emmett and his Awesomeness is not immune. For her Mormon Avatars and symbols of all that is Pure and Good, I’m sorry, but they are simply evil.
In comparison to them, her flat, insipid, and shallow side-characters who are totally one dimensional in their puppylike devotion to her self-insert are paragons of virtue and delightful to read about. I found myself sympathizing with them and the danger that stalks their lives in the form of the violently sociopathic Cullens.
And what of our heroine, the object of Wardo’s thoughts and obsession?
…there isn’t anything. Seriously. The book is nothing but Wardo whining and angsting about himself; what little description abut Bella is limited to superficial observation and Wardo’s own interpretations of her character based on nothing but his own wants and opinions. If I’d read this book alone, rather than after reading Twilight, Bella would be nothing to me. There is nothing that indicates the slightest facet of her character. She is a placeholder, a MacGuffin—an empty shell upon which Wardo has projected his own wants and desires.
Which segues neatly into my issues with the “plot.” I have that in quotes, because we know from Twilight that the plot doesn’t actually show up until the last quarter of the book, and she hadn’t gotten that far in this one. Ostensibly there is supposed to be a love story in here, but I didn’t see a bit of it. If nothing else, this book was all the more horrible with regards to a supposed love that came out of nowhere and is based on nothing—but in reality isn’t love at all, but a selfish obsession marked by controlling abuse. For all of Bella’s doormatism in Twilight, we couldn’t get a real feeling for just how sick Wardo’s side of it was. Bella was whiny and shallow and pathetic—Wardo is dangerous. Bella at least pretends to think about Wardo rather than herself—he does nothing of the kind. He follows her, stalks her, makes decisions for her, directs and manages her life, autocratically dictates how she will behave, all the while obsessively assuring himself that it is what she needs and wants—but even if it isn’t, he knows what she needs better than she does, and is selfish enough to ride roughshod over her wants to accommodate his own. I’ve stated it before, so I won’t hammer at this issue here, but the truth of the matter is that this book simply seals my opinion that this isn’t a love story at all—sorry, SMeyer. Your book is not a great love story.
What it is is an amateurish, poorly written hackjob straight out of the Pit of Voles. This story—and I don’t say book, because it doesn’t deserve the name, whether it ultimately gets published or not—is rife with Mary Sue fanfic tropes and clichés—right down to the very concept of the story itself. How many Suethors, in the grips of their slavish devotion to their little avatars, feel the need to write an aside or an alternate point of view from another character in which they can praise their SI to the skies (without having the SI do it herself so she can maintain her façade of humility)? How many Suethors are so utterly enamored of their own idealized creations that they have to write fanfics of their own fanfics in the ultimate arrogant self-indulgence of self-aggrandizement? Let me count the ways—and that is exactly what we see here. When Wardo isn't concentrating on himself, he’s extolling Bella’s virtues—most of which are entirely absent from her character as presented in the text of Twilight. Even what little pretense Bella herself makes to show that she has flaws are skipped over here—to Wardo, she is perfection—she is a Sue. And while the eyes of a lover can render a flawed subject improved, this does not read like that. No, this is nothing but Wardo and thereby SMeyer telling us that no, Bella is mistaken about all her supposed flaws—she really is that perfect, and that anything she says that is wrong about herself is just a product of her humilty and low self-esteem. Wardo’s musing in Midnight Sun reads like it should be titled “Why Bella Swan is Gorgeous, Awesome, Hot, Intelligent, Beautiful, Angelic, Stunning, Witty, Sexy, and Simply Better than You (and Beautiful, don’t forget that)”. And given that we are all well aware that Wardo is SMeyer’s ideal man and Bella is SMeyer herself? This fic is in essentials just one big circle-jerk, with SMeyer getting off on her dream man getting off on her.
So, yes—I stand by my previous statement.
Midnight Sun totally sucks.
Mrs. Hyde, signing off.