Well! We’d ended the sporking with someone coming home. Turns out it is Riley. “No one followed.” DUN DUN DUN!!!! No time to consider that—Riley gets one look at the ashes on the floor and has a complete shitfit. He starts screaming incoherently and kicking speakers, picks up Raoul and throws him through the wall (in a basement, no less—that takes talent), then he jumps Kevin and tears off his arm and starts beating him with it, all while calling everybody stupid, stupid people and then he starts pulling out hair and ripping off ears and at that point, I had to stop because I was laughing so hard. This is the funniest thing I’ve ever read in any of her books, I must say. I am not kidding. It’s even got dialogue almost straight out of Plan 9 from Outer Space, talking about their stupid brains.
The only real way to sum that up is just…NARM. TOTAL. NARM.
Meyer decides the best way to follow up something that hilariously bad is to be incredibly stupid.
It became suddenly obvious that Riley was doing a very dangerous thing. There were a lot of us in here. Already Raoul was back, with Kristie and Jen — usually his enemies — flanking him defensively. A few others banded together in clusters around the room.
Didn’t I point out in Part I that it made no sense for these people to be terrified of Riley like this? He is one, he is not a newborn, they are, and they are many—oh, fuck it.
Riley finally calms down and gives the ear back to its owner—no idea what he did with Kevin’s arm. Meyer demonstrates how vampires put themselves back together: “She recoiled away from him, licking the torn edge of her ear, coating it with venom so that it would reattach.” And that makes…absolutely no sense whatsoever. Even if I bought that, how on earth does a vampire who has been completely disassembled put itself back together? I thought it burned like acid. I thought it was supposed to leave scars. No sense. NONE.
Riley stands dramatically in the middle of the room and says that unless they all grow brainstems, everybody’s gonna die. He says now is the time for responsibility, and asks, “Do you think you get to live like this for free? That all the blood in Seattle doesn't have a price?” I’ll be frank in my answer, Riley.
Yes. Yes, they have thought that. Do you know why? BECAUSE THAT IS HOW YOU’VE BEEN ALLOWING THEM TO LIVE. They go crazy and wild and don’t care about the havoc they are unleashing on Seattle BECAUSE THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES. You just yell at them and break a stereo system when they make a mess—YOU DON’T ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING TO THEM. They have absolutely no reason to think or be responsible! And on that note—YOU DIDN’T WANT THEM TO THINK. SO THEY DON’T THINK.
*slaps Riley* DUMBASS.
All the newborns are “mystified” and wondering just what the hell he’s talking about, and we have a moment that Meyer takes far too long on. It’s a dramatic thing, with Riley telling Raoul and Kristie, the two apparent leaders of two separate groups of newborns, to stand by him, they refuse, Riley starts telling other people to step up and do the leader thing instead, and the reverse psychology makes Raoul and Kristie jump over and stand beside him immediately—oh, and where’s Diego? (Strap in and get used to that, folks.) It takes Meyer 300 words to say that. And she has Riley say words like “precarious” and “aptitude”. ‘Cause he’s from the slums and is hardcore. Clearly.
After that nonsense is done, Riley speaks for all of us and says, “That took too long to decide.” No shit, Sherlock. Where is Diego? Riley continues on, saying that they’ve fooled around long enough and he’s done letting them do whatever they want. I cannot see this going over well. Well, couldn’t see that going well if this group wasn’t such a collection of failures. Riley gives them all a nice glare, and then announces that they have a common enemy now, saying that there are other vampires out there, and there is a group that “wants [their] blood”. Why hasn’t Diego shown up yet? Everyone has a nice hissy over that idea, and Riley tells all about this group that used to own Seattle, but they ditched it a while ago and now have randomly decided to change their minds and are gonna come up here and take them out. The newborns have another hissy, and Raoul declares that ain’t gonna happen, and he actually calls Riley “boss”. He’s a member of a gang, Meyer—not a gangster. The door still hasn’t opened up again and Diego still isn’t around.
Riley glares at him and says no, Raoul won’t, because he’s an idiot who’s always tearing apart members of the coven. Riley really starts emphasizing that they are all members of the coven, and that they shouldn’t be at odds. Oh, what a revolutionary concept. Little late to be trying to teach them solidarity, isn’t it? Riley then launches into a description of the Cullens for the group.
"Let me tell you about our enemies," Riley said, and all eyes locked on his face. "They are a much older coven than we are. They've been around for hundreds of years, and they've survived that long for a reason. They are crafty and they are skilled and they are coming to retake Seattle with confidence — because they've heard the only ones they'll have to fight for it are a bunch of disorganized children who will do half their work for them!"
So they are soooo awesome, everybody got that? Because that’s the main thing you need to understand about the Cullens in any context.
Riley says that they are going to be ambushing them in four days time, and that there is no way they can lose, because guess what? There are only seven of ‘em down there! Where’s Diego? Riley says that just because there are only seven doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous, because they are AWESOME, do remember that. Raoul gets over-eager, and Riley shuts him down, saying that’s just silly, this coven doesn’t know everything it needs to know about the Cullens. He explains that some vampires have abilities, pointing out Fred. He lets loose a big juicy one to drive the point home, and Bree talks about how it doesn’t affect her at all, and it reads just like Bella Swan gloating about how she’s immune to vampire abilities. Has Diego shown up yet?
Riley continues, saying that the enemy coven has some serious talents going for it, and talks about how rare and speshul they are, and that each ability is unique and speshul as well (which is a lie; there are two vampires that are trackers and two vampires that are lie detectors in canon). And who should he bring up first but surely the most unique and speshulest—Wardo! The “mind-reader”, as he says, and when people don’t react the way
Riley mentions that that was the reason they’ve been so secretive about Victoria—they didn’t want Wardo to read anybody’s mind and figure out she was the one behind it all, and he makes it pretty clear that if he did, the whole coven would be killed because he’d know she was making it. Nevertheless, Bree whips out that ballpoint banana again, saying that that makes no sense because the only one it seems to protect is Victoria, not them. You aren’t paying any attention right now, are you? Nope, too busy wondering where Diego is. Speaking of—where is he?
We get the final climax of the speech, Riley promising everyone lots and lots of hunting afterwards, because once they kill the Cullens, people will know their strength and won’t question them anymore. Everyone has a growl-fest about that, because doesn’t that just rule, but Bree and Fred are quiet.
I was not with Riley because his promises sounded like lies. Or else my whole line of logic had been wrong. Riley said it was only these enemies that kept us from hunting without caution or restraint. But that didn't go along with the fact that all other vampires must have been discreet, or humans would have known about them long ago.
WHY CAN’T YOU REMEMBER THE CONVERSATION THAT WENT DOWN BETWEEN VICTORIA AND THESE PEOPLE.
Oh, ‘cause she’d rather wonder where Diego is instead of thinking about that. Anybody seen Diego?
Riley finally says he’s gonna start teaching them some fighting techniques. He says at nightfall, they’re gonna go and start practicing, and that if anyone tries to kill another member of the coven, he’ll take them to Victoria “and hold you while she tears off your legs and then slowly, slowly burns off your fingers, ears, lips, tongue, and every other superfluous appendage one by one”.
I had to write a very tiny spitefic in response to that little threat.
Silence pervaded for a moment, and then Kristie spoke up.
“Except we’re all newborns, stronger than you or her, and we know you aren’t talented,” she said matter-of-factly.
Riley had a single moment to blink before that sank into every single person’s mind, and the silence was finally broken by Riley screaming as they all tore him to shreds.
So, naturally, it doesn’t happen. Bree talks about how TERRIFYING that was, because he smiles when he does it. *rolls eyes* You really need to get out more, Meyer.
And with that, pep talk is over, and he tells everyone to split into groups and prove that they can cooperate peacefully with one another. They start splitting up, and Riley takes a roundabout way to stand by Bree, who has a stink bubble still around her. Unfortunately, the bubble doesn’t give her brains, because Riley starts talking just like how she says he did when he was luring her to Victoria’s house with a cheeseburger, saying he’s got a message from Diego about ninjas. And that is exactly how he puts it—remember, Bree and Diego do nothing but talk about how they are ninjas. Because she’s spent this whole time wondering about Diego and where he is (where is Diego, anyway?), she doesn’t think at all on how suspicious that is, and willingly leaves Fred’s stink bubble to go talk with Riley about Diego’s message.
They go upstairs, where it’s all dark because they’ve got the windows covered, and Riley pokes her about that, saying he didn’t think she’d come up so easily in the daylight, even if everything’s covered. She pretends to be casual, and he asks her just how close she is with Diego. Bree decides now is a good time to emphasize how awesome vampires are as a result: “…he asked, just breathing the words. Probably, if everyone were silent in the basement, they would still be able to hear him, but it was pretty noisy down there right now.” That has such bearing on the subject right now. Bree says Diego saved her life, and Riley talks very fondly about his boyfriend and how he wishes he “had two of him”. After all, double your pleasure, double your fun.
Riley continues talking about how wonderful Diego is, and then he abruptly changes the subject, saying that he needs Bree to talk with Fred and convince him to really exert his ability during the fight so the Cullens will really be crippled. Bree is doubtful he’ll do that, considering he mostly just sits out and doesn’t actually do anything (and I guess they don’t make him either because they can’t or because they want to keep him complacent because of his speshulness), but Riley continues saying that if she could just work their weird friendship, surely he’ll help out. And then he brings up how wonderful Diego is again, prompting Bree to finally ask just where he is—seeing as she’s been asking that for HOW many pages now?
Riley says that because Diego is so awesome, he’s on special assignment—surveillance. He’s scouting the area ahead of everyone, and Bree is a horrible liar, trying to act casual and it really is fake. Faker than Bella when she tries to lie. Riley says he also has another message, saying that Diego will be giving her a secret handshake in four days (doesn’t that just sound like he’s offering some kind of sexual favor). Bree pretends to not get that, and I just want to shake her because MY GOD, YOU ARE SO STUPID. Riley says something particularly ominous:
Riley chuckled. "Poor Diego."
"I think that kid likes you a lot more than you like him."
"Oh." I looked away, confused. Was Diego giving me this message as a way to let me know I could trust Riley? But he hadn't told Riley I knew about the sun. Still, he must have trusted Riley to tell him so much, to show Riley that he cared about me. I thought it would be wiser to keep my mouth shut, though. Too much had changed.
"Don't write him off yet, Bree. He's the best, like I said. Give him a chance."
Riley was giving me romantic advice? This could not get weirder. I bobbed my head once and muttered, "Sure."
And, as you can also see, Bree is still a complete idiot. He wasn’t giving you romantic advice, moron—he was trying to get you to do what he wants by working trust with you. And why can you not tell that Diego and Riley are so totally butt-buddies? More importantly—why doesn’t MEYER seem able to tell that she wrote it? I guess she was too busy pretty much repeating the Bella/Wardo relationship, talking about who likes who more.
They head back down to the basement, and we are suddenly rocketed forward very unexpectedly when Meyer opens the next paragraph with “the training lasted all day”. I have serious whiplash. There isn’t even a horizontal line or an obvious section break! Bree goes on to say that she and Fred did not take part in any of the training at all. How intelligent. Him I can understand—he doesn’t necessarily need to fight, because, while his ability is strictly defensive, it is also a powerful defense, driving away his enemies and making himself invisible (as stupid and nonsensical as it is). You, on the other hand? You are just stupid. No wonder you surrendered—you couldn’t fight at all. Bree seems to have heard me, saying she’s not going to fight—she is gonna get Diego and they are going to run for it. DIEGO. IS. DEAD. Even if you didn’t know that, Riley obviously took on the smiling viper role again, and YOU BOUGHT IT AGAIN, and considering you believed it, that means that DIEGO IS IN TOO TIGHT WITH RILEY. LEAVE ON YOUR OWN, YOU IDIOT! Bree even mentions that she doesn’t buy what Riley says when he mentions Diego is chilling with Victoria, and yet she still just sits around and waits! Of course, all of that falls apart when you finally have to ask, if you plan on finding Diego and making a break for it…WHY DON’T YOU JUST LEAVE NOW AND GO OFF AND TRY TO FIND DIEGO SO YOU CAN MAKE A BREAK FOR IT.
Oh good Lord. You are such an idiot. There is no other way to state this.
So Bree sits down to watch the training, and—OW!
In the end, watching was boring, thirsty work. Riley didn’t give his army a break for three days and two nights straight.
*rubbing her neck* Meyer, goddammit, that HURT! Haven’t you ever heard of a section break?!
And once again, as you can see…no training. In fact, it’s even worse than it was in Eclipse. Meyer at least tried to make up an excuse for that—they were moving too quickly for Bella to see. Here? She literally just skips it—and not even with any pretense of finesse! She goes from Bree sitting down on her can to THAT. So not only does our narrator once again sit out and just stare stupidly at everyone else who is trying to take measures to defend themselves against an aggressor, BUT SHE ONCE AGAIN DOESN’T EVEN BOTHER TO DESCRIBE IT. This is just Bella sitting down with Jacob in Eclipse, just between two vampires instead of a human and a werewolf. As such, I am going to double one of the predictions—there will DEFINITELY be a battle skip. She’ll come in late, she’ll hide, I don’t know. But we will NOT be seeing the great battle.
Riley mostly keeps the training as nothing but repetition: “Work together, watch your back, don’t go at [them] head-on..” Repetition is right—straight from Jasper’s school of vague “go fast and attack sideways” newborn training, isn’t it? Bree says a highly amusing line about her reactions to watching Riley’s training : “It was kind of ridiculous, really, and made the group seem exceptionally stupid.” “Seem”, Bree? I recommend becoming more aware of your current company. And yourself.
And after Bree spends about a day watching this, she decides the best thing to do is to…start playing cards with Fred. Oh, great. Coming down to zero hour, Riley’s starving everyone for days, so they should be getting hungry, the situation just turned very tense, Diego is missing, and you’ve only got about fifty pages left? PLAY RUMMY. THAT’S A GOOD IDEA FOR THE PACING OF YOUR STORY.
*slaps Meyer* DUMBASS.
So. The action is going on where we can’t see it because our narrator is PLAYING CARDS, and yet it STILL drags on for much longer than it should. Finally, when everyone is all crazy with thirst (mind, we aren’t shown at all—just told), Riley says it’s time to be rewarded because behavior has been good. It’s time for a good meal. Bree takes note that everyone is a little more unified than normal—nothing like the Volturi, of course, but still, much better than it has been before, and this is the point where I pause and finally ask it of Riley and Victoria.
WHY HAVEN’T YOU BEEN DOING THIS FROM THE BEGINNING??!!! IT OBVIOUSLY TOOK VERY LITTLE TIME AND EFFORT TO GET THEM EVEN THE SLIGHTEST BIT UNDER CONTROL!!!
*HAMMERS BOTH THEIR HEADS WITH A SHOVEL*
YOU FUCKING DUMBASSES!!!!!!
*growling* Meyer then returns the favor and whacks me about the head and shoulders with the Cricket Bat of Subtlety, saying that Riley mentions they will be going off to fight tomorrow, and when Raoul out of nowhere clarifies that it’ll be tomorrow night, right (still calling him “boss”), Riley says sure, but is all crafty-looking, and because Bree and Fred are just that awesome, they are the only ones that notice. So much for Bree mentioning that she was getting crazy with thirst.
Riley says it’s time to go out and “get a taste of what [their] world will be like when [their] competition is out of the picture”. And then all of them go out. At once. Not in separate groups, like they have been, but all at once.
This should be good.
Bree takes the time to point out what I just did, mainly why the hell they didn’t start this EARLIER. They travel a while until they get to a beach, Riley says that they are to eat as much as they can when they hit their destination, and then they jump into the water, swim a while, and Riley shows them their all-you-can-eat buffet.
It’s a ferry. Riley knocks the power out, and then the whole army goes over and eats up, and then sinks the boat.
Let’s repeat that.
This group of vampires just ate an entire ferry full of people. They ALL died. Ferries can carry up to 150 people at a time. Meaning up to 150 people are just going to vanish. And these aren’t “dregs,” either. These are people that will be missed. There were probably children on that ferry; infants, probably. Innocent men, women, and children. There is absolutely no justification for this.
But it’s all right. Because Meyer doesn’t try to justify it. Bree talks about how she eats even beyond the point where she stops being hungry. Meaning she ate like a king, too. Ate just like Raoul, just like Riley, just like everyone else. Killed dozens of people, eating even when they weren’t hungry anymore. Just eating to eat. Eating to kill.
Should I really point out why it’s just beyond stupid to think that Meyer expects me to believe that it will not take long for people to realize that the people on that boat did not drown, and that the boat obviously could not have sank like that unless something actively sank it?
Should I really point out how suspicious it would look that absolutely no one survived, that no emergency call ever got out at all?
And should I really point out how sick it is, sicker than before, that Meyer truly expects me to like Bree after she does all of that up there and offers no remorse, no reason, and not even the worthless justifications, leading me to believe that Meyer did not put them in because she felt she didn’t need them?
If I have to, because you don’t understand why I am once again rendered speechless from disgust, well…you need help, too.
And with that, I am done for Part VII. That was the end of page 120. We have just spiraled into depths of depravity and sickness that I didn’t know Meyer was capable of. Our heroine, the one we were supposed to be cheering on, feeling sorry for, feeling sympathetic towards, and identifying with, just took part in the systematic slaughter and eating of up to 150 innocent men, women, and children.
And does not feel the slightest bit bad about it.
Part VI | Table of Contents | Part VIII