This would all be very mysterious if we didn’t already know. And if we gave a shit.
So, they sit there in silence while the bit of light that gets into this cave from some an exit on the other side gets brighter. Or rather, is “getting infinitesimally lighter with each second”. Because vampires are so awesome that they can see that. And Meyer is so awesome that she can say that pompous and pretentious mouthful instead of saying it’s just getting brighter. Bree gets nervous about it, and Diego says pshaw, woman, indirect light don’t hurt us. Bree doesn’t buy it, so he says he’s been down here lots of times, and that Riley was peachy-keen with it when he told him about it, which prompts Bree to ponder relationships. …Right. Well. You do that, then. Bree admits that Diego isn’t burnt, but Diego can tell she still doesn’t believe him despite this, so he wanders over and sticks his arm in the tunnel and shows her that it is not a problem at all. She still doesn’t buy it, so he just starts skittering up the tunnel to prove it some more.
She tells him not to, but he ignores her and goes up. The reason she doesn’t stop him like she wants to is because she is “frozen with stress”. I admit, I’ve never heard that one before. Bree hits us with a sledgehammer, saying she doesn’t want to risk herself for “some total stranger”, but then whips around and talks about how he’s her friend and that she would miss him soooooooo. Mostly because she wouldn’t have anyone to talk to at Riley’s. So, mostly selfish reasons.
Yep, they are clearly falling in love. Wasn’t that how Bella started?
Diego then hollers down to her, “No estoy quemando.” No translation, of course, because Meyer is showing off. Fortunately, my wicked translation skillzzz are just as good as hers, and what he’s saying is, “I’m not burning.” Main thing this does, though, is make me revise my earlier assessment of this young man.
Looks like we ain’t just got us darkmeat, folks—we got us a Mexicoon. And yes, I am being deliberately offensive, because Meyer is making no effort to not be—that is exactly what she has written. An insultingly stereotypically black and ghetto-fab man with an Hispanic name who suddenly and randomly shows that he is in fact Mexican by tossing out random Spanish when he knows Bree probably can’t understand it. Even better, Meyer has never actually come out and told us that he is black or Mexican or from Mars. She just throws in all of these random, horribly offensive and yet painfully white stereotypes and leaves us to our own devices, as if she were scared to say, “He was a black man.” Makes me wonder if Meyer hasn’t discovered all of the nasty stuff people said about Maria the White-Washed Mexican, so she’s avoiding explicit skin color mentions in favor of this whole new kind of fail.
(And I would just like to say that, given what is going down in Meyer’s home state of Arizona right now, sticking a stereotypical half-black, half-Hispanic man in her story was not the wisest choice.)
So! Diego plays a joke on Bree, pretending he’s burning and ZOMG BREE GOES TO GET HIM, isn’t that romantic, but he was there and fine and she gets all scowly. He says that Bree needs “to unwind, girl”, taking off his sombrero and putting back on his afro. He continues to insist that indirect sunlight doesn’t hurt ‘em at all, and she jokes that standing under a tree would be fine, then. ZOMG AGAIN—DIEGO SAYS HE ACTUALLY HAS DONE THAT AND TOTALLY ISN’T JOKING.
And that’s when we get some serious fail.
Bree starts to say that Riley said they die in sunlight, and Diego says, “Maybe Riley doesn't know as much as he says he does.” OR MAYBE HE’S LYING TO YOU ALL. DID YOU EVER THINK ABOUT THAT? Bree insists that Riley claims he saw the ashes of all the people who didn’t come home in time. Oh, so only Riley saw the ashes? Clearly, he’s telling the truth or is just misinformed. Bree continues to point out that it’s got to be truth, otherwise Riley wouldn’t go to the trouble of getting them the big basements—“one big group coffin”, and Meyer totally did NOT steal that from The Lost Boys, if it wasn’t true.
Diego then has a revelation—they are in their group coffin, BUT THEY AREN’T SLEEPING IN IT. And vampires sleep in coffins. Also, a ballpoint banana. They are making these leaps like Batman and Robin, dudes. When will the shark pull their legs? And I am also being dead serious, guys—this is apparently first time either of them have considered that the vampire myths they’ve been told are wrong.
*slaps them both* DUMBASSES.
Diego goes into a few others, saying that there is no way a stake could harm them, and Bree says that maybe it has to have magical properties. Diego’s reaction is to condescend to her.
WHY IS MAGIC SO HARD TO ACCEPT WHEN YOU ARE A FUCKING VAMPIRE WHO HAS ACCEPTED EVERYTHING THAT RILEY TELLS YOU THUS FAR? YOU DON’T KNOW THAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE SCIENCE-BASED, YOU DUMBASS.
Bree actually agrees with me, but then Diego goes all Mole-Man and starts digging through the cave ceiling, which freaks Bree out a bit, but then he comes back with two pieces of dead tree root. And I’m gonna tell you right now—do not ask me.
He tells Bree to stake him to see if it works, and she refuses. How have you not figured out by now that you are made of marble?! Now I’m REALLY questioning why/how Bree hasn’t been influenced by Raoul, because she’s a FUCKING IDIOT!!! She absolutely refuses to do it and so Diego stakes himself, which of course fails completely. Diego has a good time laughing at Bree, who was panicking, and I actually don’t blame him this time. Bree postulates that maybe a human has to do it, and Diego scoffs at that. She replies that she “didn’t make up all those stories”, and we have a ZOMG DRAMATIC moment where Diego asks, “What if the stories are exactly that? Made up.”
Which prompts Bree to ask back, “What difference does it make?”
*scratches her head* Oh, gee. I don’t know, Bree. Maybe it would mean that EVERYTHING YOU’VE BEEN TOLD IS A LIE AND THAT YOU ARE A TOTALLY INVINCIBLE CREATURE THAT YOU’RE BEING FORCED TO LIVE IN FEAR SO THEY CAN BETTER CONTROL YOU???!!!!
*slaps Bree* DUMBASS!!!!
Diego says that they are just trying to understand what’s going on, and then they gaze into each other’s eyes and have a tender moment about how they help each other think clearly and how glad they are that they met tonight. They then have an INCREDIBLY stupid conversation.
"C'mon, Bree. Be my bestest bud forever. Please?" Still teasing, but his wide smile was natural and… hopeful. He held out his hand.
This time I went for a real high five, not realizing until he caught my hand and held it that he'd intended anything else.
It was shockingly weird to touch another person after a whole life — because the last three months were my whole life — of avoiding any kind of contact. Like touching a sparking downed power line, only to find out that it felt nice.
The smile on my face felt a little lopsided. "Count me in."
"Excellent. Our own private club."
"Very exclusive," I agreed.
He still had my hand. Not shaking it, but not exactly holding it, either. "We need a secret handshake."
"You can be in charge of that one."
"So the super-secret best friends club is called to order, all present, secret handshake to devised at a later date," he said.
*rubbing her head*
- So, are they in their teens, or are they seven?
- These are supposed to be jaded children who were harassed by gangs, starving in the streets, avenging the deaths of their siblings, and generally just leading a horrible life without niceties and have their childhoods stripped away very early on.
- They are also supposed to be vampires that have already murdered dozens, if not hundreds, of people in their months of life.
- Very subtle, Meyer. Vampirism is life—the brief, terror-filled months that Bree is going to be a vampire are more of her life than her humanity ever was.
- Holding hands. I have to admit—that’s more than Wardo and Bella ever did. Maybe this has more romance potential than I thought.
Meyer cannot write. That is all there is to it. SHE. CANNOT. WRITE. THE KING HATH SPOKEN.
Sorry for another quote so soon after the big one, but guess what? Diego asks what they think is up with Riley, and she turns to us and confidentally tells us:
His eyes were on mine as he spoke, wide and sincere. There was no change as he said Riley's name. In that instant, I was sure there was nothing to the stories about Diego and Riley. Diego had just been around more than the others, nothing more. I could trust him.
And at that point, I pretty much declared shaolina the winner because it is more than obvious that Diego and Riley are total butt-buddies and everybody knows it but Bree is in denial. Candy, shaolina?
They wonder if Riley is “clueless”, “misinformed”, “lying”, or if he has an “agenda”. The fact that they cannot figure this out is making me beat my head against a wall. These people are dumber than the Cullens—the ones who ran around for sixteen chapters without figuring out that the Seattle murderer was the one who stole Bella’s shirt and didn’t figure out that it was Victoria until she actually showed up—no wonder all the newborns got killed. Diego declares that they are now going to do another experiment and starts digging some more. Yep, he is definitely digging up. Why they don’t just swim out is beyond me. Or what about that exit he was just crawling through before? Bree is all pleading with him, begging him not to do it, but he keeps going, and Bree holds our hands through her emotions the whole time, because clearly, she cares about this because he is a friend, not because she’s already fallen in love with him after a single night of interaction, most of it spent with her thinking he was Riley’s boyfriend and totally not trusting him at all. *sticks her tongue out* Bleh.
While I am on the subject, I would just like to ask you if you notice anything familiar about this situation. Specifically, about how the girl is hand-wringing and frantic and pitiful and begging the boy not to do something, all while he just laughs in her face and does it anyway. *cough*
Diego stops before he breaks all the way through, dropping back down with a root, and he uses that to break through the rest of the way. Sunlight comes bursting through, and Meyer spends far too long describing it. It could have been interesting, a person describing sunlight again after they haven’t seen it in so long, but instead, it’s just bloated with purple prose and just fails. Diego starts reaching for the beam of sunlight, and we get ZOMG, BREE’S LOVE SACRIFICE as she tackles Diego out of the way and accidentally gets her leg into the sunlight, and then she goes total Bella Swan on us, because HER LEG IS DEFINITELY BURNING UP, YES, SHE IS WAITING FOR THE PAIN, but pain never comes, BUT HER LEG IS DEFINITELY FRIED, IT JUST DIDN’T HURT, DIEGO IS OBVIOUSLY SHOCKED BY THE CARNAGE THE SUNLIGHT WROUGHT ON HER LEG, YES YES, and it sounds just like Bella when she was convinced she was dreaming after Wardo came back in New Moon, and it made me Paul there, and it’s making me Paul here.
You knew he’d show up eventually, didn’t ya?
Diego eventually tells her that she’s being stupid, her leg is fine, and she finally realizes that it’s fine. He asks if it hurt when she got into the sunlight, and she says, “Not yet.” *almost Paul, but not quite* Diego says to watch what happened, and reaches into the sunlight with his own hand, and we get our first sparkle of the book.
The second his fingers entered the beam, the cave was filled with a million brilliant rainbow reflections. It was bright as noon in a glass room — light everywhere. I flinched and then shuddered. There was sunlight all over me.
"Unreal," Diego whispered. He put the rest of his hand into the room, and the cave somehow got even brighter. He rolled his hand over to look at the back, then turned it palm up again. The reflections danced like he was spinning a prism.
There was no smell of burning, and he clearly wasn’t in pain. I looked closely at his hand, and it seemed like there were a zillion tiny mirrors in the surface, too small to distinguish separately, all shining back the light with double the intensity of a regular mirror.
Yes. Unreal. Not, “What the fuck?!” Honestly—think about it. What would you do if you stuck your hand in sunlight and suddenly became a prism? You’d spaz. To say nothing of how that’s just bad characterization—Bree is supposed to be a fifteen-year-old girl from the slums, and then she breaks out into that purple prose?
I’d also like to point something out to Meyer. Reflection and refraction are two very different things. Reflection does not create rainbows. It never has, and it never will. It can reflect a rainbow if a rainbow is what is bouncing off of it, but it does NOT refract light. Refraction occurs with the light passes through a crystal. So unless vampire cells are crystal put over a mirror, you are not going to get this effect. FAIL, Meyer.
They both start making rainbows together (I have now invented a metaphor for Meyerpire sex; you can thank me later), and they both spend some time wondering if Riley knows. Because they are STUPID. They just cannot figure out why, if Riley did know, he wouldn’t tell them. Because they are STUPID. Bree utters a line—“So we're walking disco balls”—that, were this any other author, would make me think was a nod and a wink to the audience, except I know this is Meyer, and I have a feeling it’s more of a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Then I get it confirmed when Diego laughs and says, “I can see where the stories come from. Imagine if you saw this when you were human. Wouldn't you think that the guy over there just burst into flames?” Well, I don’t know, Meyer. Lemme think about that.
Diego does some palm-reading, and it feels exactly like chapter thirteen of Twilight, complete with unrealistic reactions and mild touching. Then Diego jumps up and declares that they are gonna get out. Of the hole, that is. He starts climbing, and Bree breaks the fourth wall.
You'd think I would have been over it, but I was still nervous to follow.
I am not reading Bree’s journal, Meyer.
Bree follows, and talks about how she’s freaking out even though she knows it won’t kill her, why didn’t they just take the exit Diego was crawling around in before, or would that not have appropriately shown off how they can tunnel through solid limestone, and they jump up into the full sunlight and it’s just sooooo amazing, not, you know, laughable or weird.
OH. HELL. NO.
"Wow," I muttered.
Diego grinned at me, his face beautiful with light, and suddenly, with a deep lurch in my stomach, I realized that the whole BFF thing was way off the mark. For me, anyway. It was just that fast.
His grin softened a little bit into just the hint of a smile. He touched my face, the way he'd touched my hand, as if he was trying to understand the shine.
"So pretty," he said. He left his hand against my cheek.
I'm not sure how long we stood there, smiling like total idiots, blazing away like glass torches. The inlet was empty of boats, which was probably good. No way even a mud-eyed human would have missed us. Not that they could have done anything to us, but I wasn't thirsty, and all the screaming would have ruined the mood.
Eventually a thick cloud drifted in front of the sun. Suddenly we were just us again, though still slightly luminous. Not enough that anyone with eyes duller than a vampire's would notice.
As soon as the shine was gone, my thoughts cleared up and I could think about what was coming next. But even though Diego looked like his normal self again — not made of blazing light, anyway — I knew he would never look the same to me. That tingly sensation in the pit of my stomach was still there. I had the feeling it might be there permanently.
HELL. FUCKING. NO.
DO YOU SEE THAT?
I WAS KIDDING WHEN I SAID THAT SHE WAS ALREADY IN LOVE WITH HIM UP THERE. OH SWEET CHRIST. THAT IS TEN TIMES WORSE THAN EVEN BELLA AND WARDO DECLARING THEIR RESPECTIVE LOVES. THERE WAS NOTHING THERE. THEY DIDN’T EVEN KNOW EACH OTHER UNTIL A FEW HOURS AGO!!!!! HALF OF THE TIME THEY SPENT TOGETHER WAS BREE TALKING ABOUT HOW SHE DIDN’T TRUST HIM, HOW HE WAS IN RILEY’S POCKET, AND HOW SHE THINKS HE’S GOING TO KILL HER. THEY MEET, THEY KILL PEOPLE, THEY HAVE A RACE, THEY TALK IN A CAVE, AND BAM, THEY ARE NOW IN LOVE. OH, EVEN BETTER—SHE ONLY FALLS IN LOVE WITH HIM AFTER SHE SEES HOW HOT AND BEAUTIFUL HE IS.
AND LOOK AT HOW SHE TALKS ABOUT IT, ALL WHILE TALKING ABOUT HOW PATHETIC HUMANS ARE. YOU SEE THE IMPLICATIONS THAT SHE WOULD MURDER ANY HUMAN WHO CAME ACROSS THE SCENE JUST SO THEY WOULDN’T RUIN THE MOOD? OH, SHE WOULDN’T EAT THEM—SHE’D JUST KILL THEM AND LEAVE THEM THERE, BECAUSE THEY ARE RUINING THE ROMANCE. AND I AM SUPPOSED TO THINK THIS IS SWEET. I AM SUPPOSED TO THINK THIS IS REALISTIC. I AM SUPPOSED TO LIKE THESE PEOPLE.
WELL, YOU KNOW WHAT, MEYER? I AM JUST FURIOUS. I AM SO ANGRY. YOU HAVE NO IDEA. I THINK I JUST TORE MY OWN LEG OFF AND ATE IT IN MY FURY. I CANNOT TELL. BECAUSE I CAN’T SEE RIGHT NOW, BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS RED. MY HATRED HAS OFFICIALLY CONSUMED ME.
OH MY GOD. I WILL END YOU.
Aaaaaaaaaaand we’re gonna wrap it up here. I went Mervin the Terrible, nuked and downgraded myself into Mervin the Destroyer, wet myself in sheer fury, and have now downgraded all the way down to Mervin the Pissy in Two Ways. I cannot look at that book again for the rest of the day. Anyway—that’s page fifty. It’s a good stopping point.
Do I really need to give you any final thoughts on what I think of this so far? *looks up at the vid again*
No. I don’t. So why don’t we all just go eat some fruit or something.
(Or write porn. That is what I did to detox when I recapped this bit.)
Part II | Table of Contents | Part IV