Blogging New Moon: Part 13
Chapter Thirteen: Killer
Better Title: Attack of the Misunderstanding
There are no werewolves in this chapter, and I'm starting to worry that I read the best part of this book already. I was tempted to go back and re-read Chapter Ten and blog about the werewolf scene in the meadow one more time. But then I'd be no closer to finishing the series, and if I complete these blogs by 2010, SparkNotes is going to throw me a rollerskating party. (Which is an odd choice, since I can't rollerskate. But I just love the up-tempo music and walking around public places in my socks.) So, to keep things moving, here's another chapter where Bella frets for twenty pages.
Bella is on her way to warn Jacob that everyone in town is hunting wolves. She's still not sure that protecting werewolves is the best thing to do. If Jacob is a killer, then she will end the friendship. But she wants to see him in person to get this sorted out.
She arrives at his house, and Billy is surprised to see her. She doesn't come right out and say, "I know about the werewolves, Billy Boy." Instead, she tells him about the wolf hunt that's going on. He seems to understand the subtext and tells her that Jacob is sleeping in his room. One more reason why werewolves are better than vampires: They sleep. Things that sleep include astronauts and doctors who cure people. Things that don't sleep include filing cabinets and bacteria (presumably). So you tell me which group is better.
Bella opens the door to Jacob's room and sees him, still shirtless, stretched out across his bed. Because he looks so peaceful, she doesn't bother waking him. That's a good idea, because even though I'm not a werewolf (yet), sometimes I growl and slash about when woken up early. I also bite the air ferociously with little regard for a person's innocence. Don't believe me? Ask my alarm clock when it returns from the clock hospital.
Bella leaves, asking Billy to let Jacob know that she'll be down at the beach waiting for him. She drives to the beach and walks around nervously. Eventually, Jacob shows up, and she tells him she figured it all out, as if she's some sort of remedial Sherlock Holmes.
He's glad that she finally figured out his secret, but he senses some apprehension in her voice. She's obvious not glad that Jacob is a werewolf. He says she could have simply called him, but she says it's better to talk in person. Bella is about to warn him there are wolf hunters in the woods, but he cuts her off. He already knows about the hunters, and tells her not to worry about it because werewolves are astonishing and can take care of themselves. By the way, if Pretty Night Things That Bite are so great, why don't you ever hear about seeing-eye vampires? Just throwing that out there…
Jacob says the hunters are making things more difficult, and that soon, these people will go missing too, just like the hikers. Bella gets upset. To clear things up, they are talking about two separate things. Much of this chapter is one big misunderstanding, and is like something you'd see on a poorly written sitcom.
Bella is under the impression that the werewolves are killing the hikers. Jacob knows that the werewolves are actually trying to protect innocent people, and that something (or someone) else has been killing the hikers, but he's angry because Bella is making it sound as though she hates werewolves. Instead of simply writing that, Stephenie Meyer toys with the reader for three pages of confusing dialogue.
The only fun part of this back-and-forth comes when Bella yells at Jacob for being a killer, and he responds with, "Well, I'm so sorry that I can't be the right kind of monster for you, Bella. I guess I'm just not as great as a bloodsucker, am I?" I high-fived the book after reading that. I've read in the comments that in a later book, my admiration for Jake might dwindle because he does something bad. But unless he starts beating up babies or making fun of people who can't rollerskate, I can't imagine turning in my Team Jacob membership badge, sash, and tiara.
Because Bella is talking trash about werewolves, Jacob gets angry during this confusing conversation. Dream Edward's voice once again warns Bella to keep Jacob calm. But then Jacob realizes that Bella isn't upset at the werewolves, but instead is upset at the mystery killer (whom she assumes is a werewolf). Jacob hugs her tightly.
He starts to laugh, and tells Bella that he's not the killer. He explains that the werewolves are protectors and that they are trying to track down the real killer, but have been showing up too late at the crime scenes. (That would explain the wolf prints and the eyewitness testimony.)
He says the only reason werewolves exist is to protect people from vampires. Bella realizes if there isn't a giant bear killing people in the woods, and if the werewolves are good guys, then the real killer is a vampire.
She first suspects Laurent, but Jacob just laughs, saying one puny vampire is no match for a pack of werewolves, and that they killed Laurent easily. Of course, we don't get to see the actual fight, but in my mind, it's in glorious slow-motion during a midnight snowstorm and the scene is accompanied by a lush Beethoven symphony and the soothing rumble of jet pack engines.
He was happy to kill the vampire that was going to kill Bella, and doesn't think this makes him a murderer because vampires aren't people. I don't consider myself a murder either, since I only kill bugs and vampires that have taken the shape of bugs.
Bella is shocked that the wolves not only ate Laurent, but that it was easy for them to do so. In her mind, nothing could kill vampires because they are too pretty and special and super-duper. She's so happy that Laurent is dead, and she no longer needs to worry about her and her dad's safety.
Jacob puts his amazing arm around Bella and tells her that werewolves are pretty tough. Since werewolves are super great and strong, Bella wonders why Jacob warned her last night that things were not safe. He says he was worried about losing his temper, and that if he gets too angry he could turn into a werewolf and then gobble up Bella in fit of rage. She says she thought werewolves were only activated during a full moon, and Jacob says that's just a Hollywood story.
If you read or watch any vampire or werewolf story made in the past twenty years, there's always a scene like this, where the monster explains the rules and says that Hollywood movies and horror novels are always wrong. But if that's true, than this book would be wrong as well, since it too is a story. How are we ever to know what the real rules of vampires and werewolves are, if the books and movies keep telling us lies? This is what I call the Modern Monster Paradox, and it will be the subject of a paper I'm submitting to major philosophy journals around the world.
Jacob then reassures Bella that he will take care of the problem and he and the other werewolves are keeping an eye on Charlie. This news doesn't make Bella feel any better, because it means there is still a vampire out there. And since Laurent is now wolf poop, the monster still lurking in the forest is none other than the evil Victoria.
Jacob says that Victoria's attack pattern is unusual, as if she's trying to test the werewolves' defenses. She keeps running away and coming back. The werewolves aren't sure what her motives are. The thought of Victoria prowling the forest, trying to find a way to get to Bella, makes Bella nearly pass out. She almost falls on the ground, but Jacob grabs her and asks what's wrong.
She explains who Victoria is, and tells Jacob that the Cullens killed her mate James last year and now Victoria wants revenge. But Victoria doesn't know that Edward and Bella broke up, and that she's all alone now (unless Vickie is secretly Marshmallow Mike in disguise).
Jacob says this news is wonderful, because now the werewolves have some solid information on the enemy. He needs to tell the other werewolves, and leaves Bella alone for a minute while he darts into the woods. While he's busy in the woods, Bella worries about Victoria and thinks the vampire would destroy Jacob, despite his werewolf powers.
I'm confused again. (Big surprise, right?) Why does Bella assume Victoria is some sort of super vampire? In the last book, Vickie was second in command after James. James was more powerful than most vampires because he was a tracker, but even he was killed thanks to Emmett and Jasper. Victoria is just a normal vampire. Bella never saw Victoria do anything special, like eat a whale or fight an Emmett. So why is she so scared? The werewolves ate Laurent without a problem, so Victoria should be no different. Does Victoria have a missile launcher? Can she transform into a tornado? What's the big deal?
Jacob returns to a petrified Bella. He tells her not to worry, but she can't help it. She asks why he went into the woods just now, and he says he had to turn into a wolf to call the others. Werewolves can read each other's minds, but only when in wolf-form. Mind reading? Again? The only reason Stephenie Meyer uses mind reading powers and future predicting abilities is because it's easier than trying to write realistic solutions to problems. Good idea. I'm going to use similar writing tricks when I write my teen horror romance story, tentatively titled Early Evening. Here's a sample:
Tracy was scared, but the mighty wererhino Lan Lergstein, who was strong, galloped up beside her and said, "Don't fear, for I used my ability to predict the future to figure out where the gang hideout is located. Then, using my mindreading abilities, I learned the location of the secret formula. After that, I used my x-ray eyes to find danger and then defeated the danger with my strength. Also, my ability to communicate with plants came in handy when I was trapped inside a giant, plant-filled cage. So basically, you're safe forever. Now let's grab some jet pack fuel and soar away majestically." The End
You can write your way out of any conflict if you just throw in some super powers. Powers make everything great. War and Peace would be significantly shorter (and better) if Napoleon could read minds and run fast. (Full disclosure: I've never read War and Peace, and there's a slight chance that in the story, Napoleon can read minds and has super speed.)
Jacob says he's taking Bella to meet Sam. He kept his wolf message short, because if Sam found out that he was bringing Bella, he would probably order him to leave her out of this. Bella doesn't understand why Jacob must follow Sam's orders, but Jacob reveals that since Sam is the leader of the pack, the other wolves must do as he says. This is why he couldn't tell Bella his secret last night.
Apparently, there are a lot of wolf rules, such as following the leader, and Jacob is still learning the ropes.
Since full moons don't trigger the change, how do these wolves activate their powers? Is there a certain muscle you need to flex? What if I'm a werewolf and I just don't know it yet? What if all I need to do to become a werewolf is flex my calf muscle in a secret way and then POOF, I'm a wolf? Now I'm looking at my calves with a mixture of fear and excitement. Hold on. Let me try something.
Damn. Nothing happened. But now my legs hurt and I have headache. Maybe the process takes time, and I will become a wolf slowly, over the next fifteen to twenty years. I'll keep you updated.
Bella asks if Sam will be angry that she tagged along, and Jacob says he probably will be, but the pack needs the inside scoop on Victoria, so Sam will have to listen. They arrive at the meeting spot and talk about Edward for a bit. The other werewolves show up and Bella is nervous.
Prediction: The werewolves kill Victoria. Later, Bella spots a spider in her room, and freaks out, not knowing what to do. She's too scared to tell Jacob, because she doesn't want him to get hurt. She can't go to her mom's house in Florida, because the spider might follow her there. After weighing all of her options, she burns down the house in an attempt to kill the spider. She changes her name and runs away to Alaska, hoping that if the spider lived, it won't be able to find her.