Blogging Eclipse: Part 13
Chapter Thirteen: Newborn
Better Title: Wasted Paper
This chapter is reminiscent of the scene in The Empire Strikes Back in which Han Solo pulls the Millennium Falcon over and says, "All right. Now we're going to meet Lando. But before we go, I need to tell you about all the wild adventures he and I had. This may take a while, so get comfy."
You remember that part, right? No? Of course you don't. It wasn't in the movie. Do you know why? Because there was no need for Han Solo to explain his life story. We understood that Mr. Solo had been through some crazy escapades. And just as we didn't need to hear Solo's story, we don't need to read Jasper's origin. But since I'm snowed in, and my jigsaw puzzle is being a jerk, I might as well continue reading.
The chapter begins with Jasper showing off his scars and explaining to Bella that vampire venom is the only thing that can scar a vampire. (Werewolves don't leave scars. They leave corpses. Booya!) As Jasper begins his story, Carlisle, Emmett, and the others ignore him and "[turn] their attention to the TV again." How rude! I understand if Emmett doesn't want to listen to Jasper, but Carlisle needs to show a little interest in his adoptive son or else Jasper will grow up with father issues and spend years in therapy telling his therapist, "Daddy wouldn't listen. And Mommy liked Emmett best."
Still, I don't blame Dr. C for being bored. Even Jasper's back story has a back story. Before he gets to the part about his scars, Jazzy prattles on about vampire culture. He explains that for centuries, the South was a wild land of vampire fights. The vamps were never organized or well-trained or strategic. They simply fought like animals over territory. (So far, it sounds like a cool story. Maybe I should give Jasper a chance.)
All of this changed when a vampire named Benito (no, really. That's his name.) arrived in Texas. Benito took over by creating an army of newborn vampires, and forcing the newborns do his dirty work. He was the first vampire to make an army and…screw this.
Enough with these back stories. I don't care about Benito, or Chief Tah Aki, or that rich guy who was mean to Rosalie. I want the story of Bella, Edward, and Jacob to go somewhere. Anywhere. Even if it means this entire series of books ends with the three of them entering a dance tournament to save a whale—at least that would feel like a real story, with a plot.
In any story, an author will need to somehow bring the reader up to speed. But stopping every other chapter just to have one character give a 20-page speech is aggravating (boring, too). I assume the next chapter will move the story forward, but in the chapter after that, Angela will show up, and for no reason at all, begin to tell Bella about the one time she visited her grandma in Ohio.
All you need to know is that newborn vampires are insane, and strong. Their super-duper strength only lasts for one year. I don't know why. I don't care. And I'm not even sure if I read this part correctly. But that's the gist of this entire chapter. So much wasted paper and precious ink was used to print chapter 13. It's a real shame.
Anyway, Benito's army inspired other vampires to make newborn armies. Soon Texas and Mexico were overrun with newborn vampires. The Volturi didn't like this. The humans were beginning to notice. So the Volturi came to America and killed all the vampires. (Though I'm not sure how, since it was my understanding that there are only, like, six Volturi vampires. Maybe the Volturi have interns, or missiles.)
Jasper is thankful that the Volturi handled the situation, because if they hadn't, the world would be overrun with vampires. And then there would be far too many lullabies in the world, and the over-saturated lullaby market would crumble. Once the lullaby industry dies, the global economy soon follows. It's too grim to think about. So yeah, the Volturi did the right thing.
Naturally, after the Volturi left, more vampires moved down South where the hunting was good. At the time, Jasper was a Major in the Confederate Army. One night while patrolling, he came upon three beautiful women. And you know what happened next, right? The women were vampires. They seduced him. They turned him into a vampire. And Jasper's world was forever changed.
It takes Stephenie Meyer about eight pages to tell us this. When my grandchildren ask, "What are trees?" I will tell them it was all your fault, Ms. Meyer, for killing all the trees and using up unnecessary amounts of paper. I will also blame you for the coming war with the super-intelligent falcons (even though it will really be my fault for secretly educating falcons in my basement, part-time.)
The three vampire women, whose names I don’t care about so let's just call them One, Two, and Martha, thought very highly of Jasper. They made him a General of their newborn vampire soldiers. The women trained the newborn vampires. Jasper says, "When we did well, we were rewarded." I wonder with what? Probably with human blood, or maybe computer time.
And so One, Two, Martha, and Jasper went to war with various groups of vampires. Jasper's scars are a result of the subsequent battles. Am I suppose to feel sorry for Jasper? Because I don't. I must be doing something wrong.
I like Jasper, don't get me wrong. But after he revealed his scars in the last chapter, I assumed he would be a tragic figure who was tortured and whatnot. All he really did was fight other vampires and get nibbled on in the process. I have a scar on my knee that is the result of a much more heartbreaking story. I won't get into it here, but my injury involved a bike, a poorly designed ramp, overconfidence, and a very hard road.
Jasper had enough of the wars and traveled North with his vampire buddy, Peter, and Peter's forever buddy, Charlotte. (Jasper was such a third wheel.) These three would kill humans, but up in the North, they didn't need to worry about starting a war with other vampires, since northern vampires are more civilized. That means northern vampires probably raise their pinkies when they suck the blood from a poor, innocent human.
Jasper didn't enjoy killing people. His power to alter emotions also meant that he felt the emotions of those around him. Moments before he killed an innocent human, Jasper felt that human's sadness and fear. It must be rough to feel someone's sadness. You know what else is probably rough? Listening to someone's scream of pain as she beg for her life. But Jasper didn't care about the screaming. He just didn't like feeling vampire victims' sadness. It bummed him out. Poor, poor Jasper.
He left Peter and Charlotte and roamed around, finally walking into a diner in Philadelphia where he met Alice, who was (naturally) waiting for him. She had seen the future and knew that she would meet her forever buddy at that diner, at that time. She always uses her powers in ways she thinks are cute and funny. Like when she thanked Bella for a present that Bella hadn't bought yet. That would drive me nuts. She does this again when she first meets Jasper, by saying, "You kept me waiting." Ha ha ha ha ha…Alice, you're a riot. An annoying riot.
After they met, the duo went to the Cullens' house, and Alice once again used her cute powers, this time to weasel her way into their family by saying things like, "I'm totally going to live here now. I had a vision. So…where should I put my stuff?" And that's how the Cullens became one big happy clan. This ends Jasper's story.
Jasper mentions that he thinks the Seattle vampire is actually an army of newborn vampires. Everyone is shocked at the revelation, and they try to figure out who would want to create an army of newborn vampires. (It's Victoria, right? It has to be Victoria.)
Carlisle isn't sure what to do, and Jasper says they need to destroy the newborn vampires right away, or else risk involvement from the Volturi. WHAT?
Call the Volturi, you nitwits! Let them come to town and take care of this problem! If the Volturi happen to check up on Bella, well…turn her into a damn vampire. You idiots are planning to turn her into a vampire in two freaking weeks! Two weeks! Why not do it now? I don't see what the problem is. I hate the Cullens so, so much.
But no. They can't alert the Volturi because…of a reason. So Jasper needs to tell everyone how to kill newborn vampires. (Probably with a little salt and a tablespoon of vinegar.)
Why doesn't Carlisle know how to do this? The guy has been alive for centuries, and seems to be pretty smart. If he'd missed the info somehow, why wouldn't Jasper have explained it?
CARLISLE: Hello Jasper. Welcome to the family.
JASPER: Thanks. By the way, I know the only way one can kill a newborn vampire. All you need is a little bit of salt and some—
CARLISLE: Shut up. I don't care. Let me show you my big wooden cross. It's really old.
Edward suggests that this army was created to hunt down the Cullens. The Cullens are the only vampires in the area, aside from Tanya's family in Alaska. (Remember, folks, ROY G. BIV.)
So it would make sense that this newborn army is planning to attack the Cullen Crew. But Alice says, "They're not coming after us. Or…they don't know that they are. Not yet."
Alice's powers have been acting odd lately, as if the newborn vampires are changing their minds often. Of course, if that's the case, why didn't Alice at least know it was an army of newborn vampires? Maybe the army didn't decide to be an army? What the hell is going on?
Edward thinks the army knows about Alice's weakness, so the e-vamps change their minds on purpose to trip her up. That doesn't make any sense either, because Alice should see the e-vamps deciding to be indecisive. It's like a child who wants to take a cookie, but doesn't want Alice to know about it, so he decides to be tricky and think about eating a carrot. Alice should still see the child deciding to be tricky, right? Right? Grrr!
I really, really hate Alice and her awful power.
They try to figure out who would know about Alice's powers. Edward thinks the Volturi are behind the threat. Aro, the leader of the Volturi, is insanely jealous of Edward and Alice's powers and desperately wants them to join his crew in Italy. So maybe this is how he plans to nab them. That makes sense…except…If Aro really wanted Edward and Alice, why didn't he keep them in Italy when everyone was, you know, in Italy?
Carlisle doubts the Volturi are behind the newborn army, since they are sticklers for vampire rules, and these attacks are drawing too much attention from humans. Hey Carlisle, it's Victoria. I know it.
Emmett speaks up. (Hi Emmett! Hey Emmett, we should form a crime fighting team and call ourselves Dan and Emmett, or Da-Mett.) He thinks they should all just go to Seattle and take care of business. And for once, the others agree with Emmett. However, before they all hop in the Cullen Cruiser, Jasper says they will need more good vampires on their side, so Carlisle calls up Tanya in Alaska. Don't waste time, Carlisle. Call the Volturi, you doofus!
Tanya's family isn't keen on the idea of helping out. Way back in book one, Laurent hung out with Tanya's family while James and Victoria tried to kill Bella. During that time in Alaska, Laurent had a fling with Irina, a member of Tanya's clan. After hearing that the werewolves killed Laurent, Irina is acting like every other female vampire in this book: she wants revenge for her lover's death. She refuses to help unless she's allowed to kill all the werewolves. You think you can kill the werewolves, Irina? Ha! Why don't you try to eat a piano or get health care reform passed while you're at it. I say let Irina go after the werewolves. It will be awesome.
Carlisle doesn't agree to the terms, and the Cullens are left outmatched by the newborn vampires. Call the Volturi! If you idiots don’t call the Volturi, I'm going to do it myself. I'm serious. I'm picking up the phone. I'm dialing the number…
I'm only kidding. I sent them a text instead. (I'm out of cell phone minutes.)
So the Cullens need some help. If only there were a group of incredible beasts nearby, monsters as strong as they are charming, who could help the Cullens out. Hmm. Oh well. I can't think of any. And then the chapter ends.
(BTW: This week marks my one-year anniversary writing for SparkNotes. Thank you all so much for the support! To celebrate, rice pudding will be served in the SparkNotes solarium at noon. Bring your own folding chair.)
Glowers: 0 (Book total 10)
Murmurs: 1 (Book total 35)
On the trip to Seattle, Alice continues using her powers to act cute and charming.
BELLA: Are we there yet?
ALICE: No. But here’s that juice box you wanted.
BELLA: How did you know I wanted a juice box?
BELLA: Oh right. Heh. Good one, Alice.
ALICE: And here's the magazine you'll want to read later. I ripped out all the articles you weren't going to read.
BELLA: Um…gee, thanks.
ALICE: You're welcome! [GIGGLE] By the way, I brought some ice for your black eye.
BELLA: Black eye?
ALICE: [GIGGLE] You'll see. [GIGGLE]
BELLA: I'm going to get a black eye?
ALICE: [GIGGLE] Also, I'm sorry I can't attend the funeral in a few weeks. But I love the dress you'll wear.
BELLA: What funeral?!
BELLA: Stop! You don't giggle about that. What funeral?
ALICE: I can see the future, and you can't. [STICKS TONGUE OUT. GIGGLES.]
BELLA: Who dies? Is it Charlie? Oh god!
ALICE: And when your house burns down and you run screaming into the night, don’t forget to wear slippers. [GIGGLE] Your feet will be cold. [GIGGLE]
BELLA: My house burns down? Why can't I stop that from happening?
ALICE: [SHRUGS] I dunno. I guess you didn't decide to not have your house burn down.
BELLA: Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!
ALICE: [GIGGLE] Don't order the ham salad tomorrow. It will make you gassy. [GIGGLE] Ooh, and you have a cavity, there's a hole in your jeans, and you will die on a Thursday. [GIGGLE]
EMMETT: Both of you shut up! I'm trying to drive, and mount a machine gun to a surfboard!
BELLA: Sorry Emmett.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, DAN!