Chapter Nineteen: Race
Better Title: Are We There Yet?
What the heck is on the cover of this book? I've been trying to figure it out for the past month, and was hoping one of the chapters would be about bloody, upside-down flowers. The cover of the first book made a little bit of sense: The apple represents temptation. But this white and red flower is confusing. I guess an inverted flower represents sadness, or maybe Bella's pollen allergy will be important in the last few chapters. Or maybe the flower is covered in spaghetti sauce from the outdoor spaghetti dinner. Also, there should be a burst in the corner that reads, "Emmett Is Hardly in This Book." In other news, I'm liking the book less and less.
Bella and Alice are sitting on the plane, ready to fly to Italy where the Volturi vampires live and where Edward will attempt suicide. Bella is so nervous that she's bopping up and down in her seat like a caffeinated puppy who just heard the words "Want to go for a car ride?"
Once the plane takes off, Alice calls Jasper while Bella eavesdrops on the conversation. Alice tells Jasper that she's getting multiple visions of what Edward will do to upset the Volturi. He might go on a killing spree or start throwing cars around the city. That sounds pretty awesome. But since I know that Stephenie Meyer hates action, I doubt we will see such carnage. And even if she did include a fight between Edward and the Volturi, she would have Bella describe the clash in a vague, confusing manner. Like so:
"One vampire did some things. And this other vampire was doing other things, including things with his arms. Edward was very fast and did fast stuff. And then more junk happened. And then, an hour later, it was over. It was so thrilling! Edward looked like two gods shoved together to make a duo-god. He's so neat! I'm going to touch his god face."
Alice then tells Jasper that he can't come to Italy, nor can Emmett, because if Edward sees any of his family members, he'll go even crazier. Hold up! Jasper's magical mystery power is the ability to alter one's emotions, right? So why not bring Jasper along, throw him at Edward before Edward does something stupid, and have him make Eddie feel happy and full of giggles? Or bring Emmett along, and he can smack some sense into Ed.
But Alice tells Jasper that Bella is their only chance, and hangs up. Bella asks about the Volturi vampires, and what makes them so powerful. Alice says that the Volturi are the largest group of vampires in the world. There are five of them: Aro, Caius, Marcus, and two other women whose names are probably not Beyonce and Miley.
These vampires are over 3,000 years old and some (or all?) have special powers like Alice and Edward. Aside from the five family members, there are also at least nine vampires who guard the Volturi. The guards also have super powers (of course), and I'll bet that these powers are hard to explain, but deal with emotions, mind reading, or passion. Sadly, I'll also bet that none of the powers will deal with lighting bolts that shoot out from the eyes, fire breathing, or web slinging.
The Volturi and the guards rarely leave the city, and only venture out when they need to enforce vampire rules. They dictate the rules that all other vampires must obey, such as "Don't tell anyone about vampires" and "Make sure your super power doesn't make much sense to Dan Bergstein." When a vamp breaks the rules, the Volturi come after them. (Side note: Does anyone else think "Volturi" sounds like a coffee drink or a hip way of saying "Volleyball Tournament"?)
These ancient vampires are so secretive that even the citizens of their own city, Volterra, don't know of their existence. But Edward plans to change all that by exposing the vampires, hoping this will make the Volturi vamps angry enough to kill him.
Bella realizes that things are not looking good, and she will probably die along with Alice and Eddie. But because she's in her Eeyore mood, she thinks dying might not be that bad. This upsets Alice, who promises that even if they're too late to save Edward, she's still bringing Bella back to Forks safe and sound.
Maybe I missed something, but where the hell is Dream Edward? A few chapters ago, Dream Edward didn't want Bella to ride a motorcycle or go swimming, but now he thinks it's perfectly safe for her to travel across the world and enter a den of bloodthirsty vampires? Perhaps Dream Edward is busy eating Dream Bears or playing Dream Xbox.
Alice looks into the future to see what Edward is going to do. While she is concentrating, Bella prattles on to herself about danger and sacrifice. The plane lands in New York, where they will get a connecting flight to Italy. Alice wasn't able to see much of the future (surprise, surprise) and only knows that Edward will soon ask the Volturi to kill him. (I picture Edward doing this by first tugging on a Volturi's robe, like a child trying to get his mom's attention so he can ask for another cookie.)
They hop on the Italy-bound plane. Alice zones out again. Bella prattles on about danger and passion again. She falls asleep and is woken up by Alice, who has had another vision. In this one, the Volturi deny Edward's suicide request, which is good (if you're rooting for Edward), because this means Eddie will need to anger the Volturi if he wants to die. So Alice and Bella still have a chance to stop him.
The Volturi think Edward is cool, especially because of his mind-reading capabilities. So they will offer him a position with their guards. Since the Volturi dig Edward, they won't want to kill him because it would be a waste of a perfectly good vampire. Who knew vampires were so stingy? They're like my uncle who saves ketchup packets.
Bella then asks a very sensible question: How does Alice's power work? Unfortunately, the answer is basically this: It works because it works. Alice tries to explain it, saying that she can see vampire futures more clearly than human events, but it all boils down to the fact that her powers are silly, ambiguous, and silly.
Then Bella asks why Alice's vision of Bella becoming a vampire never came true, and Alice says the vision was only one of several possibilities at the time. But now, Alice is seriously thinking of turning Bella into a vampire because everything has gotten out of hand. Bella gets excited and asks to be turned into a vampire right now, but Alice can't do it on the plane because it would take a few days for the change to occur, and she needs Bella healthy if they want to stop Ed-weird. Plus, most airlines frown upon biting fellow passengers, and those that don't charge a significant biting fee.
Alice says they can talk about this later. Bella is happy with the news that she will become a vampire, because then she will be "beautiful and strong" and Edward will not be able to resist her. To all the female readers, please don't change yourself just for some guy. Bella landed the hottest guy on the planet, has a super hot werewolf yearning for her, and she still has the world's lowest self-esteem. I've said it before, but she will never be happy. Even if she won the lottery, became a vampire, won the lottery again, married Edward, got a perfect bowling score, and saved the life of a wish-granting leprechaun, she would still be miserable.
Alice has another vision. After the Volturi deny Edward's request to die, he will think about hunting humans out in the open to anger the Volturi and force an attack. But he will decide against this because it would upset the human-loving Carlisle. He needs a way to irritate the ancient vampires, but at the same time, he doesn't want to kill innocent people.
So Edward's brilliant plan is to walk out into the sunlight and let the citizens of Volterra see his shiny skin. This will expose the vampire secret and obviously piss off the Volturi. Or will it?
If I saw a shiny guy standing in the sun, my first thought wouldn't be, "Agh! Vampires are real!" Instead I would probably think, "What's up with that guy? I think I'll have chicken salad for lunch…"
This plan makes no sense at all. No one has ever heard of vampires' ability to sparkle in the sun. Most people assume sunlight kills vampires. So if anything, Edward standing out in the sun will prove to the people of Volterra that he's not a vampire at all, but just a guy with a flamboyant personality.
Since Edward, (or the author) wants to do this in the grandest way imaginable, Eddie will step out into the main courtyard at exactly noon to expose the secret to as many people as possible. Hmm…I thought Eddie was in a rush to commit suicide. It makes me wonder how he'll spend the rest of the morning. Maybe he'll do some shopping, eat a breakfast bear, and then watch and (finally) return some Netflix movies.
Again, I'm confused. Edward wants to kill himself immediately. He flew directly to Italy to do just that. Now that the Volturi said they won't kill him, he needs to enrage them somehow. I understand this. But why doesn't he just start attacking the Volturi? What's he waiting for?
He's such a wishy-washy, gutless, emo kid. I guarantee you that if Jacob or Emmett wanted to kill themselves, they wouldn't waste time with such theatrics. Instead, they'd get it done fast, and probably take down a few evil warlocks and bank robbers in the process.
The plane finally lands in Florence, Italy, and Alice steals a car to drive to Volterra. Since this book is mean and refuses to show us anything even remotely exciting, we don't see how Alice stole the car. She simply drives up with a stolen yellow Porsche. If Stephenie Meyer had written "Titanic," the entire movie would take place in Wyoming, and the film would be nothing but two hours of people saying, "Did you hear about that boat?"
Alice speeds down the road and tells Bella that today is St. Marcus Day, a festive day in Volterra that celebrates Marcus (of the Volturi). But the people think that St. Marcus drove away all the vampires and then was killed in Romania. They don't know that Marcus and St. Marcus are the same person. The truth is that Marcus never left the city, and vampires are still everywhere. This part of the story is actually interesting, but only lasts a few sentences.
Bella wants to know how to stop Edward from stepping into the sunlight at exactly noon, and Alice says that if Edward simply sees Bella, he will probably end his death wish. Alice will drive as close as she can to the plaza, but then Bella will need to run the rest of the way. She warns Bella not to trip. They finally approach the city and Bella gets scared when she sees the castle.
Prediction: Edward is disappointed that his sparkling skin failed to convince people that vampires are real. He then tries to prove that he's a vampire by playing baseball loudly. Everyone reacts in horror, screaming, "Vampires! They're real! And they're athletic!" The Volturi kill Edward instantly.