Blogging Breaking Dawn: Part 11
Chapter Eleven: The Two Things at the Very Top of My Things-I-Never-Want-To-Do-List
Bella's Title: Blah Blah Blah Dreams Blah Blah
This chapter picks up where the last chapter left off, as Jacob tries to defy Sam's order to kill the Cullens, Bella, and the unborn Optimus Beyonce. Sam's sudden change into villain who wants to kill pregnant ladies is too funny to take seriously. But Jacob doesn't think it's very amusing at all, and though a werewolf must obey the Alpha Male, Jacob has Alpha Male blood running through his veins. So get ready for a wolf smackdown! Just kidding. Sam and Jake don't fight. They just talk and show off their sharp teeth.
Showing off my teeth is how I win most fights. Well, to be honest, I was only in one fight and it ended with her saying, "Stop smiling at me, weirdo. Just give me your damn wallet." I gave her my wallet, and that's the last I time I ever saw Halle Berry. (I miss you, Berry Blossom!)
Jacob finally and firmly tells Sam that he will not follow the order to kill the Cullens. And then Wolf Sam and Wolf Jacob have a heated argument that almost becomes exciting, but ends with Jacob running into the woods alone, for about the 900th time in this series. Jake always runs into the woods. He does it when he's mad. He does it when he's sad. He does it no matter what happens.
DENTIST: It looks like you haven't been flossing, Jake.
JACOB: Oh yeah?
[JACOB RUNS INTO THE WOODS]
SANTA CLAUS: And what would you like for Christmas, Jacob?
[JACOB RUNS INTO THE WOODS]
MAN: Flammable and inflammable mean the same thing.
JACOB: I'll never stop loving Bella! NEVER!
[JACOB RUNS INTO THE WOODS]
As Jake races to warn the Cullens of the attack, this chapter has the potential to become a real page-turner, an action-packed, tense episode that will certainly spice up the otherwise sleep-inducing plot of this glorified piece of vampire fan-fiction.
Think of it: Jacob has only a matter of moments to get to the Cullen house and warn the vampires. Once he gets there, the tension builds as everyone waits for the wolf attack. It's quiet. It's…too quiet. Jacob's mind is no longer connected to the other wolves because he left the pack. He's blind now. His only friend is Seth. He doesn't know where or when his former brothers will strike. He rushes through the forest trying to spot the wolves. Time is running out!
It's the stuff adventure stories are made of. You have a likable character faced with a real problem. The stakes have been raised and the hero is presented with an obstacle that seems insurmountable. You have betrayal. You have romance. And you have GIANT FREAKING WEREWOLVES! So how did Stephenie Meyer screw up this scene?
Put aside the fact that for some idiotic reason the werewolves are now the bad guys. This chapter is poorly written. Ms. Meyer knows that using short sentences can fool the reader into thinking things are exciting, but she forgets to make these sentences coherent.
All the tension, all the excitement, all the possible fun grinds to halt thanks to someone's inability to write a good action scene. I'm not asking for transforming robots that destroy entire planets, but surely Ms. Meyer could have written something more action-packed than this conversation between Seth and Jacob after Seth finds Carlisle and Esme in the woods:
"Boy, were they surprised to see me! They're probably inside by now. Carlisle said thanks."
"He's a good guy."
"Yeah. That's one of the reasons why we're right about this."
WHAT?! In the Dark Knight, as Batman and Commissioner Gordon race to save Rachel and Harvey Dent, Gordon didn't call Batman to say:
GORDON: Hey Batman, saving Rachel is a good idea. She's really nice.
BATMAN: I know. She's nice and does nice things. But Harvey Dent is a nice man, too.
GORDON: I sure hope we can save both of them in time.
BATMAN: That would be great. For reals!
GORDON: Anyway. I'll let you go. Hey, did you hear that Justin Bieber is going to be on CSI? Totally TiVo-ing that!
You don't stop a tense scene like this to let characters chit-chat. And you also don't write vague descriptions of what's going on, such as, "We'll run patrols," and "I'll take half the circle. Move fast—we don't want them to have a chance to sneak past us." Tell us what's going on!
I read this chapter twice, trying to figure it out. As near as I can tell, Seth is running around the Cullen house in a circle, looking for the evil wolves (or e-wolves), while Jacob runs in a half circle that somehow overlaps Seth's circle, but then Seth howls for some reason that I still don't understand, and Edward thinks something is wrong, but doesn't really care because something is happening with Bella. But for all I know, this chapter is about Jacob and Seth buying strawberry preserves from the local farmer's market.
If Stephenie Meyer wrote the script for the next James Bond movie, it would read like this:
James Bond drives his car in a northern direction. Then he turns the wheel and steers the car slightly west. Then he does something with a gun.
JAMES BOND: I'm using a gun now.
James Bond then does something else. Also, there are other cars on the road. James Bond hits some of the cars. But other cars are not hit at all. Then James Bond moves in such a way that he is no longer in the same position he was before. His arm isn't on fire. He turns to his enemy.
JAMES BOND: I'm mad at you!
James Bond then flies an airplane. Did I mention that there's an airplane? Because that's kind of important. Anyway, James Bond then uses his arms somehow and something happens. The bomb doesn't go off. (Did I mention there was a bomb?) James Bond then begins to date a 5-year-old, and no one thinks it's weird.
This chapter should have been awesome! It should have read like an episode of 24. Instead, reading it is like listening to a little kid describe an episode of 24, after tasting Mountain Dew for the first time. "And then this guy did this thing with this other thing, and then it was, like, WOOOSH!"
So Jacob and Seth leave the wolf pack and form their own "Good Guy" pack. They want to save Bella from evil Sam. They run up to the Cullen house, and Edward reads their minds and understand that Jake and Seth are here to help. Jasper and Emmett don't trust the good guys at first, and there is another boring standoff.
Emmett is here! Hi Emmett! Hey Emmett, I tried to kill a bear for you, but it wouldn't hold still and the tour guide at the zoo was being a total ass about it. He also said my karate chop was too weak to kill a bear. So instead, I killed a cup of yogurt for you. Yogurt is alive, so technically I'm a hunter, just like you! I am…a yogurt slayer! (Can someone toss me a towel? My karate hand is covered in yogurt.)
After scoping things out, Jacob thinks the e-wolves are going to call off the attack tonight because they know the Cullens are ready. Plus, the e-wolves have lost the mighty Jacob and the somewhat goofy Seth, so they need to plan things out before they attack again.
So, if the wolves aren't going to attack, you'd think the Cullens would try to…I don't know…make a preemptive strike? Maybe pick up the phone and call Tanya and her crew down for the night? Or grab a few guns.
Why do they always have to fight hand-to-hand? Guns can kill werewolves, right? I love werewolves, but I know they're not immortal. Werewolf skin isn't hard like that of vampires. So why couldn't the vamps just shoot the wolves, or have Emmett chop their heads off with his sword-skis? By the way, "Sword-Skis" is Russian for "Emmett."
The chapter ends with Jacob looking into the Cullens' window and seeing a very ill Bella in a hospital bed with lots of medical equipment stuck into her body, so it's just a matter of time before Optimus Beyonce is born. That means moving Bella someplace safe is probably out of the question.
You know what else is obviously out of the question? Diplomacy.
Why isn't Carlisle picking up the phone to talk to Sam? Why is no one willing to use logic? If Sam understood that Optimus Beyonce is not a threat to the La Push crew, then Sam will have to call off the attack.
And why aren't Emmett and Jasper out running in circles with Jake and Seth?
And why were Carlisle and Esme walking in the woods?
And why don't the werewolves ever use their jetpacks?
And who's making Charlie's dinner!?!?!
Murmurs: 2 (Book total: 23)
Mutters: 1 (Book total: 16)
The battle between the wolves and the vampires begins, and Stephenie Meyer lets Bella describe it thusly:
I could hear the wolves galloping in the distance. They were running to a place, the same place that I stood. I stood in this place not knowing what would happen. Everyone I loved was more beautiful than I could ever be. I loved two people, and yet those two people were somehow not the same people that I once knew. The hour grew late, and my life was like a drop of water on the back of serpent that dwelled inside a cloud made of hope and ice. People are things that I know.
The vampires stood with their smooth muscles reflected in the pale moon, like warriors standing on a leaf in Poland. Soon, the war would begin.
And then the war happened.
The next day, I awoke to find Edward had given me a check for $100,000, and built me my own ark. Yet, how can I ever be happy in world where two people that I love were people that I could not un-love with a love that wasn't true? The darkening sky was my answer. Loam.
Has Dan ever written a funnier Smeyer parody? There's only one way to find out.