And all those people are very talented. Also, they are capable of writing works with mass appeal (even though Card sometimes chooses not to) so that you couldn't tell just by reading what religion they have or how they choose to observe it.
Not so with Smeyer. Not only is she a shit writer, but you can tell that she belongs to SOME sort of religion, and one of the more repressive "old-fashioned" stripes of that religion as well. Not the ones who pretty much function normally in society, but the ones who cluck about family values and fuss about people making out on TV.
Not only the racism and sexism, but little things like Bella regarding a single dose of Nyquil as "drug use" or Edward disapproving of caffeine, the comical overemphasis on family, the before-they-were-born foredetermined "luv," the obsession with never swearing, the inexplicable no-sex rules, and the blinding "wholesome" blandness. The fact that Bella herself is agnostic and the Cullens seem to be vague deists and/or agnostic doesn't erase that those things are in there... which makes them seem really weird, because there is no logical reason for them.
And no, I'm not saying that every Mormon is like this; every religion has its range of adherents, from the super-fanatical weirdos to the people who just fill it in on paperwork.
But hell, I'm just shocked the Twishite characters aren't wearing the requisite underwear.
And those elements have been intrusive, but not enough to be REALLY obnoxious. They stuck out like a sore thumb, but the thumb didn't poke you in the eye.
You could theoretically handwave most of her whatthefuckery as being the product of a woman who isn't very smart, isn't very educated, and clearly hasn't had a lot of contact with the Real World outside her little subculture. I mean, who here thinks that Stephenie Meyer has met a Native American who ISN'T a Mormon?
But this… this is when it becomes obvious that some of her offensive material is VERY deliberate. This is the chapter where we hear about the Volturi. In case you've forgotten the EPIC FORESHADOWING from the early chapters, the Volturi are… well… they're the villains.
And they're Catholics.
A black cat! Clearly a sign of pure evil!
Yeah, it's not even subtle. This is very, very blatant, and it's also obviously VERY deliberate. The way she handles this makes it pretty obvious that, unlike the other stuff, there is no way this can be handwaved under the heading of, "Oh, she's got the brains of burnt toast, so she probably doesn't even know it." This took EFFORT.
Why is this in here? Well, Mormons have a long history of hostility towards Catholics, dating back to Joseph Smith. He taught that all other churches were bad and wrong, but that the Catholic Church was the church of Satan, a "great and abominable church," the "whore of all the earth," Babylon, the "mystery of iniquity," and various dated and disproven accusations like idolatry and crap like that. It's all pretty typical anti-Catholic insanity from the 19th-century, when a lot of people were huge bigots towards Catholics.
The most hilarious part of his rantings against the Catholic Church is when he declares that it "persecuteth the saints of God, that shed their blood" (Doctrine and Covenants). Well, the Mormon Church was founded in the first half of the 19th century... in the United States. You know... the country where the Catholic Church has NEVER had any power, and which treated Catholic minorities like shit (Italians, Irish) for a looooooong time, well into the 20th century. Hell, some of them are still treated like shit. The ones who were persecuting the Mormons were pretty much all denominations of PROTESTANT, which Smith regarded more favorably than Catholics.
Why did he do this? Well, Joseph Smith inserted a lot of popular stuff for the time into his religious doctrine, including the fad for Egyptology, "temperance" and the pseudoscience and pseudosociology of the time. This included anti-Catholic rhetoric, which was a cherished tradition in the US well into the 20th-century, especially in New England (where he grew up). And since Smeyer is old-school Mormon, I suspect she is one of the people who still fixates a bit on those terrible Catholics.
Smith was also descended from the Puritans. For some reason, the Puritans have gotten a reputation for being gentle tolerant people who sang Kumbayah with Natives at Thanksgiving, and were unfairly picked on for their religion. They weren't. They overthrew the English government and executed Charles I, whom they hated mainly because he married a Catholic and they thought the Church of England wasn't violently un-Catholic enough. Most of the Puritans who left for America did so because they were butthurt over losing political power. They HAD actually found a place that tolerated their religion... but it wasn't Anglo, so they didn't want to stay.
Oh, and they had nasty little rules that denied converts land rights and voting rights. Plus there was that whole wonderful WITCH HYSTERIA, which was mostly based on rampant misogyny and bigotry. Yeah, there's a reason "Puritan" is now synonymous with a tight-assed, joyless priss. How did Smith feel about these violent and intolerant people? He thought they were wonderful and God was totally behind them. Including the bigotry, misogyny and presumably the political coups.
Anyway, if you want to know more about the source of this sort of thing, you should check out Fawn M. Brodie's book No Man Knows My Name. It gives a lot of details about why Mormons have a lot of the rules and attitudes that they do. Admittedly some of it has been disproven (mostly her speculation about kids he might have fathered) but for the most part, it's a pretty good read.
How do Catholics feel about Mormons? I haven't done an extensive poll, but the general consensus among people I've asked seems to be "Fuck if I care."
(Also, I personally am of the opinion that Smith had a special hate-on for the Catholics for 2 reasons:
- His weird fixation in the D&C on Catholic decorations, vestments, etc. seems very typically Puritan. "How DARE other cultures have pretty luxurious things in ANY of their churches! Excuse me while I put on my heavily-decorated soldier's uniform and parade around my huge ornate temple!"
- The Catholic Church was pretty much what he desperately wished his religion to be, minus the restrictions like "no sex for the priests." Not only was it a very widespread religion with a lot of devout adherents, but it is led by a single man who is regarded as divinely-guided. PLUS it had the authenticity of having been around for over a thousand years, rather than popping up centuries after all other major religions)
So, having probably pissed off any Mormon readers of this wiki (SMEYER STARTED IT!), I'll get back to the important point of: How is she pegging Catholicism on the Volturi? Oh, I'll point out everything when it comes up. But consider:
- The Volturi have a special city-within-a-city in Italy... just like the Vatican.
- The Volturi love luxurious stuff, Renaissance-style art, etc.
- The Volturi wear robes. Not pants and buttoned-up shirts like the oh-so-righteous Cullens, but ROBES!
- The Volturi have had their organization in place for many, many centuries, which they did by squashing the REAL ruling covens! (Just like Smith claimed)
- The Volturi are the ones who basically run the entire vampire world, except the brave little breakaways like the Cullens who won't let the vampire pope tell them what to do.
- The specific mentions of "white hats" and "saints" in the Catholic sense (a word mostly used in the LDS and Catholic churches, but for different purposes).
- In fact, Smeyer smugly puts in a mention of a "saint" (obviously meant to be a Catholic saint) who isn't actually dead, and who instead is one of the evil vampires. "HARRR HARRR HEERRRPP DEERRRPP, I is so clever!"
And so on, and so forth. I'll point out the most egregious examples as I go along.
Amazingly, the Cullens with their infinite wealth take commercial flights IN COACH CLASS instead of, I dunno, buying a space shuttle. So Alice and Bella barely make it to their plane. I would have loved to see what would have happened if they missed it. I bet Alice would be snarling and trying to charter another plane, while Bella swooned despairingly and whined in the airport.
Oh, and Bella gets a new annoying trait: bouncing in her seat like she has to pee.
I'm pretty sure everybody on the plane now hates her.
Bella then bitches about how slow everybody is being. I mean, what douchebags! Don't they realize how important Bella is? And that if she doesn't get there in time, she'll lose her chances of sparkly white rich hotness? How selfish!
"It's faster than running," she reminded me in a low voice.
I would think so, especially with that OCEAN in the way. Or does Smeyer think her vampires can prance unharmed through ocean trenches?
I expected some kind of relief when we achieved liftoff, but my frenzied impatience didn't lessen.
"Quick, Alice! I'm still horny!"
So Alice starts making a call on a phone attached to the back of the seat. Fuck, how old is this plane? Did Alice charter a flight for geriatrics who can't handle cell phones?
turning her back on the stewardess who eyed her with disapproval. Something about my expression stopped the stewardess from coming over to protest.
"Sir, there's a girl back there who gawped at me with a blank, slightly constipated expression. I think she might be on drugs."
Alice is talking to Jasper, and basically telling him that her visions are unreliable (NO, REALLY?) and that Edward is considering killing people to get the Volturi to off him. Ah, Edward. He'd never kill humans... well, he'd never kill INNOCENT people.... well, he'd never kill innocent people unless he had a selfish reason to! So there! He's civilized and moral! STOP LAUGHING!
"Tell Emmett no... Well, go after Emmett and Rosalie and bring them back... Think about it, Jasper. If he sees any of us, what do you think he will do?"
- Ah, Alice's perfectly perfect foresight.
- She couldn't even tell that if she chewed Rosalie out over what Edward was planning, Rosalie and Emmett MIGHT just go after him.
- Which a non-precognitive person COULD have told you because, well, LOGIC. Something Alice has never apparently gotten!
- I don't know. What WILL he do? Go on a killing spree? Whoops, he's planning that already. How moral he is! So much better than the werewolves!
She nodded. "Exactly. I think Bella is the only chance—if there is a chance..."
"Huh? Why? Because the author loves the idea of swooping in to save her true love, which somehow makes her more admirable to the readers. Of course it doesn't make sense, Jasper!"
So because the Cullens are a super-tight family who always supports and cares for each other... Alice basically tells the rest of them to stay home and watch TV.
She hung up, and leaned back in her seat with her eyes closed. "I hate lying to him."
Well, you have the best butt-cover ever, don't you? "Uh, I wasn't lying, sweetie. My vision of the future was inaccurate!"
Bella then demands a mega infodump about why they can't bring the other Cullens. The reason, of course, is that Bella needs to be the ONE AND ONLY person who saves her troo lurv! Nobody else can share the glory or be as speshul as she is! NOBODY!
"We could try to stop Edward ourselves—if Emmett could get his hands on him, we might be able to stop him long enough to convince him you're alive."
... and clearly having EVERYBODY in his family clearly broadcasting "BELLA IS ALIVE AND WELL YOU FUCKING MORON" wouldn't even make him pause. Nope. According to Alice, "he'll just act that much faster. He'll throw a Buick through a wall or something, and the Volturi will take him down." Because apparently he's a fucking idiot who is completely convinced that his third-hand information is always right, and he couldn't possibly commit suicide at ANY OTHER TIME.
Also, what kind of person would have a BUICK in Italy?! Yeah, Alice is really well-traveled!
But Alice's real reason is that if the Volturi kill Edward, the Cullens will fight back, and she would be devastated if Jasper were killed by them.
- Remember, Edward has been suicidally mopey for months. The Cullens responded to this by... hanging out at a prestigious New York college and not communicating with him for months.
- If the Volturi killed him, they would probably have sno-cones.
- This whole conversation reminds me of another problem with this series. We're told that Jasper and Alice are Troo Lurvers who care soooo much about each other and chose each other in the pre-existence and all that shit. And yet... I can't think of a single scene where they show the slightest hint of affection for each other... or even really interact. Same with Carlisle and Esme. And Rosalie and Emmett.
- SHOW, DON'T TELL.
- Actually, the only people they seem to interact with are... Edward and Bawla.
- In fact, Alice comes across as far more lovey-dovey and intimate with Bella...
She was protecting Jasper, at our expense, and maybe at Edward's, too. I understood, and I did not think badly of her. I nodded.
Somehow I suspect that if Jessica did such a thing, the response would be "That selfish bitch, putting her slutty vagina ahead of darling perfect Edward!" But because Alice is rich, she can do whatever she wants.... especially Bella's backup plan is to turn lesbian and run off with her.
"Couldn't Edward hear you, though.'" I asked. "Wouldn't he know, as soon as he heard your thoughts, that I was alive, that there was no point to this?"
Silence, fool! That is perilously close to logic, and it has no place in a Twishite book.
Not that there was any justification, either way. I still couldn't believe that he was capable of reacting like this. It made no sense!
"I could totally believe that a weak, pathetic woman could commit suicide. But a white and delightsome man? NEVER! It's just unacceptable!"
I remembered with painful clarity his words that day on the sofa, while we watched Romeo and Juliet kill themselves, one after the other. I wasn't going to live without you, he'd said, as if it should be such an obvious conclusion. But the words he had spoken in the forest as he'd left me had canceled all that out—forcefully.
HOLY FUCK, HOW STUPID ARE YOU?
This is something we're going to be tortured with for the next several chapters: Bella being convinced that Edward really doesn't give a shit about her at all, and he's just trying to kill himself for shits and giggles.
Why? So all the girls can squeal, "He still wuvs you Bella!" right until he makes another cheesy declaration of eternal wuv.
"If he were listening," she explained. "But believe it or not, it's possible to lie with your thoughts. If you had died, I would still try to stop him. And I would be thinking 'she's alive, she's alive' as hard as I could. He knows that."
- If she had already died, why bother trying to save him? He's just going to do it some other time.
- Ah, so there's a convenient loophole in Edward's super-power, which is TOTALLY RELIABLE except when it's not.
- So I guess Alice couldn't possibly think, "She's alive, the kid was talking about the funeral of someone else, somebody rescued her!" That would be convenient.
- Ah, so this implies that the other Cullens have "lied" with their thoughts to Edward. PERFECT FAMILY!
"Haha! One of us is planning to commit suicide tonight!"
"If there were any way to do this without you, Bella, I wouldn't be endangering you like this. It's very wrong of me."
Typical. On the rare occasions when Bella actually CHOOSES to do something, Smeyer assures us that she didn't do it of her own volition - someone else is responsible!
Alice then reveals that she can't guarantee that the Volturi won't be able to kill her. If only she could see the... oh wait.
"Who are these Volturi?" I demanded in a whisper. "What makes them so much more dangerous than Emmett, Jasper, Rosalie, and you?"
Well, they spent centuries building up a worldwide empire and a personal army of superpowered individuals instead of attending high school a hundred times. That helps.
It was hard to imagine something scarier than that.
Whatever could be scarier than sparkly emo Mormons?! Most terrifying thing ever! The only thing scarier is puppies! OH, THOSE SCARY PUPPIES!
I turned in time to see the man in the aisle seat looking away as if he wasn't listening to us. He appeared to be a businessman, in a dark suit with a power tie and a laptop on his knees. While I stared at him with irritation, he opened the computer and very conspicuously put headphones on.
Wow, this sounds really significant! I bet he has a huge role to play!
"He just said they were an old, powerful family—like royalty. That you didn't antagonize them unless you wanted to... die," I whispered.
"Sort of like the Kennedys... those dastardly Catholics!"
"You have to understand," she said, her voice slower, more measured now. "We Cullens are unique in more ways than you know."
"For instance, we're the only vampires who are obsessed with family, scrapbooking and never having extramarital sex."
"It's... abnormal for so many of us to live together in peace."
"Normally we get together for a weekend, bicker a lot, get pissed off and don't talk to each other for awhile. Family!"
"It's the same for Tanya's family in the north, and Carlisle speculates that abstaining makes it easier for us to be civilized, to form bonds based on love rather than survival or convenience."
- Yeah, bullshit.
- If competing for food is so important, than merely changing the TYPE of prey won't make a difference.
- Just because you only drink from cows instead of humans doesn't mean you're not going to see others as competition for the fucking cows.
- It's doubly stupid because competing for resources is something EVERY species does. Whether it's food, money or territory, every creature fights for resources.
- So according to Smeyer, no animal or human is able to be civilized or form bonds based on love, because they're all competing for something.
- Also... what bonds based on love?
- Seriously. I do not see any love between the Cullens. They either ignore each other (Carlisle and Esme) or actively despise each other (Edward and everyone except Carlisle and Alice).
- Yes, note the little message here. Carlisle came up with a super-enlightened philosophy while moving to the western United States, defying the evil tyrants in their Italian sub-city. No unsubtle message there!
- And of course, the blood-drinking vampires aren't "civilized" and don't love anyone because they aren't SparkleMormons. Even though we know they DO love selected people.
In case you care about continuity, this entire "explanation" will be COMPLETELY RETCONNED in the following books. We'll hear about plenty of previously-existing covens that do NOT drink animal blood, and seem to have no problem whatsoever forming bonds between each other. In fact, there was a powerful coven that existed BEFORE the Volturi.
In fact, several of them will actually be introduced in Breaking Yawn. And yes, all of them but the Denali blondies drink human blood, and NONE of their relationships are affected.
So no, the Cullens' fake-family structure isn't unique at all.
"Our kind travel alone, or in pairs, as a general rule. Carlisle's family is the biggest in existence, as far as I know, with the one exception. The Volturi."
"You see, those dastardly Catholics are the other big denomination well-known for having large families. Except theirs are families of EVIL."
So Alice rakes back up all the stuff that is relevant about the Volturi. Here are some bullet points:
- There are three original Volturi: Aro, Caius and Marcus, aka the three dudes in Carlisle's painting.
- There are also two "females." Not women, "females." Their names are not important because they're girls and therefore useless and powerless.
- They are more than three thousand years old.
- They have a special guard, most of whom have very strong superpowers.
- Because of the very smart approach of assembling a superpowered guard, most people aren't dumb enough to cause trouble with them.
"I'm not sure, but I suspect that their age is what gives them the ability to live peacefully together. They are well over three thousand years old."
So, how did they live together peacefully BEFORE they were three thousand years old? Especially since canonical material establishes that they got together thousands of years ago? And how come their guard has no problem joining up if they aren't that old?
Nothing? Nothing at all?
I guess Alice just needs an excuse for the Volturi being together that maintains the illusion of Special Snowflakiness for the Cullens.
"Or maybe it's their gifts that give them extra tolerance. Like Edward and I, Aro and Marcus are... talented."
"Why did you pause?"
"Well, like us, their talents are for very kinky sex acts involving pineapples."
"Or maybe it's just their love of power that binds them together."
"After all, they ARE Catholics! Clearly they're evil and power-hungry!"
And this attitude really hammers home how weird Smeyer's attitude about people working together is. I wouldn't harp on this if it were an isolated incident, but... it's not. In these books, the ONLY real bonds that people have are familial ones, and any other bond is a hollow, unnatural one. I mean, name an actual friendship Bella has that is NOT with either a Cullen (the family she'll marry into) or a person who will also marry into that family. Hell, name a relationship with any sense of intimacy that ISN'T a pseudo-familial relationship.
You can't. Because there isn't one. According to this series, your fakey little family is supposed to be your entire life and social circle, and anything else is just empty chitchat. Hell, look at the villains! A sign of their villainy is that they don't care about FAMILY! And they got together and stay together... despite NOT BEING FAMILY!
You know what? There are a lot of people who join forces for a LOT of reasons - ideology, religion, politics, social reform, financial profit, etc. Just because those people are not family doesn't mean that their relationships aren't real, or that their shared goals are evil.
See those guys up there, signing the Declaration of Independence? According to Smeyer's worldview, those guys were bad because they were seeking political autonomy and gaining of power from England... and that was the only reason most of them knew each other. And I'm pretty sure most of them weren't there because they loved each other, or even pretended to.
"They stay in their city, leaving only as duty calls."
"Duty?" I wondered.
"Didn't Edward tell you what they do?"
"They tour as roadies for the Rolling Stones. It's shocking, simply shocking! Rock music!"
"No," I said, feeling the blank expression on my face.
Oh Smeyer, it's like you somehow predicted that Kristen Stewart would play Bawla.
Alice looked over my head again, toward the businessman, and put her wintry lips back to my ear.
I swear to Doug Walker, I will repeat this image as often as I have to.
I'm also not sure why Alice is so paranoid about Random Businessman. In a better story he would actually be a human spy for the Volturi, but... I'm pretty sure he's just a guy.
You know, this whole scene would have been way better if Alice had rented a private plane instead of just getting a couple seats on a crowded plane. For one thing, we wouldn't have this lame-ass thing with them trying not to be overheard if they had a private plane. Plus, Volterra has its own small airport, which means that they could have landed WAY closer instead of landing in Florence and having to steal a car.
It also would remove the absurdity of the super-rich Cullens riding in COACH.
And if your characters have more money than God, why wouldn't they do that? The reason: Stephenie Meyer seems to have a pretty vague idea of what limitless money would be like.
"Over the millennia, they have assumed the position of enforcing our rules—which actually translates to punishing transgressors. They fulfill that duty decisively."
- HOW DARE THEY! I mean, punishing people who break laws? HOW AWFUL!
- Also, enforcing rules usually DOES mean punishing transgressors. Because without the threat of punishments, enforcing laws is pretty difficult.
- This is failing to make me marvel at just how evil the Volturi are. It just makes Alice sound really naive. And stupid. Very, very stupid.
- And suspiciously like the Volturi are damned no matter what they do. They could feed orphans and kittens, and Alice would find a way to marvel at how evil they are.
- For instance: the Wardens of the Dresden Files are also in the position of enforcing wizard laws. This usually involves cutting off people's heads. Frequently those of kids.
- Is this an ideal situation? No. Is it necessary? Pretty much, because evil wizards are pretty much unstoppable by other means. Does it mean the Wardens are bad people? Absolutely not.
- It's called moral ambiguity.
More moral ambiguity than Smeyer can manage.
My eyes popped wide with shock. "There are rules?" I asked in a voice that was too loud.
"You mean I don't get to rape, murder and pillage all I like when I... uh... I mean, if I became a vampire? What a shock!"
"Shouldn't somebody have mentioned this to me earlier?" I whispered angrily. "I mean, I wanted to be a... to be one of you! Shouldn't somebody have explained the rules to me?"
"I, your queen, decided that I was going to become a rich sparkly vampire! How dare you not tell the rules to someone so clearly destined for sparkly rich white hotness!"
Seriously, that's like whining that it's not fair that someone didn't explain the rules of Monopoly when you don't own a board! Just cuz you WANT something doesn't mean that other people will immediately pave the way.
Alice chuckled once at my reaction. "It's not that complicated, Bella. There's only one core restriction—and if you think about it, you can probably figure it out for yourself."
I thought about it. "Nope, I have no idea."
Remind me again why people think she's hugely intelligent again. Oh right, Jane Austen! Alice concludes that Bella's vast and complicated intellect isn't figuring it out because it's TOO OBVIOUS for someone so smart. What is this rule?
It's that they have to keep vampiric existence a secret.
Okay, the Masquerade is not a new or unusual policy for vampires to have... or at least, it hasn't been since Anne Rice wrote her early books. But the Masquerade is usually based on the idea that if vampires were revealed, they would be in some kind of trouble. Like, humans would destroy them all or something like that.
But we've been assured that Smeyer's vampires are effectively invincible, and that none of us puny stupid humans could ever harm them... even though we're super innovative at killing things, and I'm pretty sure we could come up with a method or two to kill Sparkly Suburbanites. So... why is it that they have to keep themselves a secret?
And seriously, three thousand years and they haven't come up with more than one major law?
(Also, the Retcon Fairy attacked this later on too, since the Volturi have other laws that Alice left out)
"It makes sense, and most of us don't need policing," she continued.
- No, it doesn't make sense.
- Also, Alice is the last person I would ask about whether they "need" policing, since she likes shooting supersonic ice chunks in crowded cafeterias.
- But we need another chance to remind ourselves how evil the Volturi are for having LAWS.
- And since the vampires have almost no self-control and the "good ones" regularly plan killing sprees, I think they DO need policing. A lot.
Anyway, this is Edturd's plan: he'll reveal himself, and the Volturi will kill him. Oh, and though Alice doesn't mention it, the Volturi will also kill every single person who sees his sparkling ass. So yeah, even if Mr. Morals doesn't kill people directly, he'll deliberately get them killed INDIRECTLY. Because he's such a good person! Behold his saintliness!
"Is planning to flout that in their own city—the city they've secretly held for three thousand years, since the time of the Etruscans."
"I know this because the author looked it up on wikipedia. They had, like, a whole two sentences about it!"
"But you said they didn't leave. How do they eat?"
"They don't leave. They bring in their food from the outside, from quite far away sometimes."
... and who do they kidnap? Remember, Smeyer's vampires can only kill or turn their victims. So they are consuming AT LEAST one human per week or two... and probably way more than that. APIECE. And NOBODY is noticing this or doing any detective work.
Actually, it would make more sense for a vast vampire empire with a network of human servants to bring in BAGS OF BLOOD. You know, that stuff you can donate, and then they give you a cookie and orange juice? That way, there are no people being abducted from Russia and turning up dead in Italian swamps.
But silly me! We need another demonstration of the evilness of the Catholic vampires! So of COURSE they kidnap people for food even though a cooler filled with blood bags would work MUCH better and wouldn't attract attention. Because they're Catholic, and Catholics do evil things for the hell of it.
And where do the fucking bodies go? Have the Volturi bought stock in quicklime? Do they flush them down the toilet like goldfish?
The answer is: Stephenie Meyer got rich off this crap, hahahahahahaha.
Maybe because I wasn't really planning on living much longer without seeing him. Or at all, if we were too late. It was comforting to know that I would have an easy out.
But she's not suicidal! She isn't going to kill herself or anything, because that would be morally ambiguous! SHE'S NOT SUICIDAL, DAMMIT!
"I doubt they've ever had a situation quite like this," she muttered, disgusted. "You don't get a lot of suicidal vampires."
Sounds incredibly unlikely. Smeyer may have a ladyboner for immortality, but the fact is, the human mind isn't meant for immortality. Especially the kind of immortality that the Cullens have, which is just sort of hanging around being emo for eternity and denying themselves constantly. It would get old FAST.
I could buy that SOME of the vampires could somehow cope with immortality and never become suicidal over centuries and millennia of aimless, pointless existence. But the Volturi have NEVER encountered a suicidal vampire before? BULLSHITBULLSHITBULLSHIT.
Bella realizes that she hasn't been whiny and emo enough in this chapter, so she cries out in pain, and then wanks about how she wants to die if Edward croaks.
"Knock it off, Bella, or we're turning around in New York and going back to Forks."
YES. PLEASE. At least the book would end then.
"You know what. If we're too late for Edward, I'm going to do my damnedest to get you back to Charlie, and I don't want any trouble from you. Do you understand that?"
Yes, if her darling beloved Edturd is doomed, she's going to devote herself to saving that chick he dry-humped for six months instead. Or they can just run off to Vegas.
"Scout's honor," I muttered.
She rolled her eyes.
Even Alice doesn't buy a promise from the pathologically-lying cliff-jumper.
Then Alice decides that she's going to try to see into the future. Yeah, she never had to "try" before, so I'm assuming that this is just a way of making Bella stop audibly whining.
I couldn't allow myself to consider the horrors we were headed toward,
Say it as much as you want, Smeyer. The Volturi are not scary. None of your sparkly vampires are scary. Nothing in your books is scary except your tiny, bigoted, misogynistic mind and the thought that there are morons who agree with you.
You want a vampire "horror?"
And that picture doesn't even show what that slit on his chin is for. Oh, how I would love to tie Smeyer to a chair and force her to watch that whole movie. She'd scream in horror the whole time.
Maybe, if I were very, very, very lucky, I would somehow be able to save Edward.
Yes, it would surely be a triumph if Edward Cullen, casual murderer of random innocent people, were saved.
But I wasn't so stupid as to think that saving him would mean that I could stay with him. I was no different, no more special than I'd been before. There would be no new reason for him to want me now. Seeing him and losing him again...
This kind of stupidity makes me want to set Bella's walnut-sized head on fire.
- Bella never has been special. She never will be special. Ever.
- Stop fishing for fucking compliments, you selfish cow.
- No, there is no new reason for him to want her now. But he will anyway, which any person with a brain could tell you. Bella will remain oblivious to this for maximum wankage, until Edward vows his undying love to her AGAIN.
- Also, a relationship based entirely on how "special" one person is... is about as shallow as Edturd and Bawla's relationship.
- And you notice what Bella focuses on?
- Does she think in horror about the fact that her boyfriend is trying to kill himself?
- Or that he's probably going to succeed?
- Or that this only happened because of her cliff jump?
- Or that he might kill dozens of innocent people?
- Nope. She only thinks about how he still won't date her even if she saves him. Because she's Bella Swan, and becoming a sparklepire is her one and only concern.
I fought back against the pain. This was the price I had to pay to save his life. I would pay it.
Wank all you like. I still don't care.
So the plane ride is about as boring as an actual IRL plane ride is, but takes longer. Bella tries to watch her neighbor's movie because she's too cheap to pay for her own (being a skinflint is just another enchanting quality!), they land in NYC and get on another plane, and Alice updates us on what Edturd is doing.
"Not exactly," she breathed in a voice I could barely catch. "He's getting closer. He's deciding how he's going to ask."
"He's planning to ask pretty-pretty please with sugar and a cherry on top!"
I also am not sure why she doesn't try to call the Volturi, and ask to speak to Edturd when he turns up. Worst case scenario, they don't do it, and things will be just as bad as they are now.
I was grateful that I'd had so many months' practice with controlling my thoughts.
Yes, those many months of catatonic stupors, shrieking tantrums and constant whining about having a hole in her chest. Her mental control is airtight.
Instead of dwelling on the terrifying possibilities that, no matter what Alice said, I did not intend to survive,
"Bella! Good news! We stopped Edward from committing suicide, and the Volturi aren't causing any trouble!"
"Nooooooo! I don't want to live! I don't have a boyfriend!"
I concentrated on lesser problems.
"Like, there are two whole boys in the school who aren't besotted with me! Somebody said they were gay, but I know better! They must be demons!"
"This is why I'm spending the whole flight in a trance."
Like, what I was going to say to Charlie if I got back?
She doesn't NEED to say anything. She is an adult, and she didn't buy the tickets on his credit card.
And Jacob? He'd promised to wait for me, but did that promise still apply?
I hope not. Some consequences would make me happy.
Would I end up home alone in Forks, with no one at all? Maybe I didn't want to survive, no matter what happened.
"I'd rather DIE than NOT have men constantly fawning over me! ANYTHING BUT THAT! ANYTHING BUT SELF-SUFFICIENCE!"
"It's not wrong." She smiled fiercely. "It's right. They're deliberating, but they've decided to tell him no."
"And he's going to pout and stamp his feet and throw himself on the rug for a screaming tantrum."
"The Volturi?" I muttered, groggy.
No, the MPAA. Who do you think?
"They're interested in him—they think his talent could be useful. They're going to offer him a place with them."
What, they don't have any mind-readers in their guard? That seems like it should be a pretty common power!
So this is considered a good thing because the Volturi don't wanna kill him, which will force Edward to "get creative." If he has to sit around and formulate a plan in order to walk out and create a scene, then clearly he's stupider than even I thought.
It wasn't enough to make me hopeful, to make me feel the relief she obviously felt. There were still so many ways that we could be too late.
"Also, he still won't date me, so life is bleak and meaningless, and I plan to die."
"Did you know you're talking out loud?"
"I'm confused. How are you seeing this so clearly? And then other times, you see things far away—things that don't happen?"
Her eyes tightened. I wondered if she guessed what I was thinking of.
I suspect she's trying to come up with an excuse for the fact that her supposed precognition is less reliable than a Magic 8 Ball.
Alice BSes about how she can see things if they're close, and if she sits there making her Serious Face. The rest of the time, she just sees little glimpses of what MIGHT happen. So, naturally, her "family" assumes she's always right.
Oh, and she sees vampire futures more clearly than human ones. Why? Because REASONS.
"You see me sometimes," I reminded her.
She shook her head. "Not as clearly."
And yet when she sees Bella jump off a cliff, everyone immediately assumes that Bella is dead.
Also, I don't know why Bella thinks this is significant. Alice never said she couldn't see human futures, just that they weren't as clear as vampire ones. But I guess Bella will grasp at any "I will totally be white and sparkly!" straws.
Bella keeps dropping whiny hints about how Alice once foresaw that Bella would become a vampire, and it becomes very clear that Alice is not as emotionally invested in all this crap as Bella is. Why? Because she's considering ending all the wangsty buildup herself, for reasons that have nothing to do with Bella's wants.
"Honestly, I think it's all gotten beyond ridiculous. I'm debating whether to just change you myself."
YES. HELL YES!
YES. YES. YES. FOR THE LOVE OF FUCK, DO IT!
You may be wondering why I want the conniving little gold-digger to get exactly what she wants, but I have my reasons. Here they are:
- It would frustrate and piss off Edturd, which gives me joy.
- We would be spared the next two books of whining and wangsting.
- It would be a simple, straightforward solution instead of Edturd's needlessly complicated bargains.
- NO FUCKING RENESMEE.
"Oh, Alice, do it now! I could help you so much—and I wouldn't slow you down. Bite me!"
"Bite me hard! Harder! Faster! YES, OH YES! OOHHHHHHH ALIIIIIICCCEEEE...."
"Bella, people are staring."
Alice points out that she can't do it now, because Bella would be writhing in agony for a few days, which might cause some commotion on the plane.
"Miss? We're going to have to ask you to stop shrieking and whining and rolling in the aisle. You're disturbing the other passengers."
"Silence, fools! Can't you see that she's becoming a sparkly white vampire who is superior to all of you?"
"I don't really care, miss. Just stick the flight menu in her mouth."
Plus Alice is not even sure she can do it correctly. I don't know why the vampires are convinced that this is so complicated; we've already been told that any schmuck can do it accidentally. But she is basically doing this because she's sick of Bella wangsting about it and Edturd refusing to do it. So she's willing to turn Bella, and doesn't give a shit about how mad Edturd will be. Alice is dangerously close to worming her way back into my good graces.
But on the other hand, consider this: like in other Sue vampire series, vampirism is used as a metaphor for sex in Bella and Edward's relationship (like how he won't bite her until they're married). But I don't think we're supposed to see anything sexual in ALICE biting Bella, because that would be LESBIANISM and OH THE HORROR!
"You have too much faith in me, Bella. I'm not sure that I can. I'll probably just end up killing you."
What exactly is so complicated about turning someone into a vampire? Bella was almost turned by a single bite in the last book, except her sparkly prick boyfriend freaked at the idea of a girlfriend he couldn't intimidate. Carlisle was turned by freak accident. Why are they convinced that this is a complex process that could easily fail?
"I'll take my chances."
"You are so bizarre, even for a human."
"What's so weird about wanting to live forever, be super-white and sparkly like a toy pony, and becoming automatically rich when I leech off your family forever?"
"... you need to just stop talking."
If Alice made good on her promise—and if she didn't kill me—then Edward could run after his distractions all he wanted, and I could follow.
Because stalking means love! And it's perfectly okay, impressionable tween girls! If you just stalk a boy long enough, he will finally fall in love with you! And if that doesn't work, chain him to a bed and kneecap him if he tries to escape! Eventually Stockholm Syndrome will kick in!
I wouldn't let him be distracted.
I wish I knew what she meant by "distractions." Does she mean sex with other women? She keeps using that word as if it's a euphemism.
Maybe, when I was beautiful and strong, he wouldn't want distractions.
Got that, tween girls? To snag a man, change who and what you are! You're not good enough! People told you you ARE good enough and that a man who doesn't appreciate you for who you are is missing out? Well, they are are WRONG! Now get going on those eating disorders and plastic surgery ASAP, you bitches!
Bella then takes a nap, presumably to dream of her future upgrade.
"What's happening?" I mumbled.
"They've told him no," she said quietly.
"Fuck that! I mean, when are you gonna bite me?"
"There was a bad hour," she whispered. "He'd decided to go hunting."
This is Smeyer's half-assed whitewashed way of trying to say, "Edward decided to go off and murder innocent people just to piss off the Volturi."
Hey, remember back in Chapter 14? I do: Even in his darker past, he’d never been a murderer of innocents, at least. Yeah, clearly THAT is true. Oh wait, it isn't, BECAUSE HE'S PLANNING TO MURDER INNOCENT PEOPLE RIGHT FUCKING NOW. And what's more, this isn't the first time he's planned this.
"In the city," she explained. "It got very close. He changed his mind at the last minute."
"He wouldn't want to disappoint Carlisle," I mumbled. Not at the end.
- That's right. Mr. Moral Vampire Who Hates That He's A Monster And Amazes People With How Good And Pure He Is has no moral compunction against murdering innocent random people.
- The ONLY reason he isn't killing innocent people... is because it would disappoint your father/lover.
- If only Jeffrey Dahmer had realized that murdering, raping, eating and liquefying those young men would DISAPPOINT HIS FATHER. I'm sure he wouldn't have done it then!
- Wait, he's MORE inclined to not disappoint Carlisle before killing himself? Wouldn't it be more likely that he'd think, "Fuckit, he's gonna be disappointed anyway, so who cares?"
- Then again, this IS the same world where you can angst for a century about what a ghastly monster you are... and feel no resentment toward the person who turned you into a monster, merely because he said "Call me daddy."
I suspect Smeyer would try to handwave away Edward's plans to murder innocent people for his own selfish ends by pointing out that Romeo also killed people. Except... those were different. Here's who he killed:
- Tybalt. Of course, Tybalt had just murdered Mercutio when Romeo tried to stop a duel on his behalf, so it was at worst a crime of passion. In fact, Shakespeare errs on the side of "it was a just execution."
- Paris. This can be perceived as self-defense, since Paris technically ATTACKED Romeo.
So if you are as dim as Smeyer and can't tell the difference, let me spell it out: one man only kills people during fight scenes, either to save himself or because someone was murdered. The other plans to publicly murder people who have done nothing wrong, merely because he wants attention.
Here's an idea, you sparkling shitbag: swallow an acetylene torch. Jump into an active volcano. Leap into the Marianas Trench. Find SOME way of killing yourself that DOESN'T involve the deaths of innocent people. Apparently ALL his ideas involve innocent humans being immediately and horribly killed by the Volturi, and for some reason we're supposed to only care about EDWARD's well-being. Fuck Edward. He can die.
In fact, I'm not clear on why he needs the VOLTURI to kill him. Why not track down some random roving band of vampires and ask THEM to take him out?
So how has Edward decided to kill himself? Go ahead! Guess!
- Attacking Aro.
- Eating a welding torch.
- Blast himself off of Earth with a rocket, right into the sun. (It's not like the Cullens don't have the money)
- Threatening Rosalie with another century of ceaseless whining.
The answer is: None of those, because all of those make sense. Okay, what is it?
"He's going to keep it simple. He's just going to walk out into the sun."
Is this meant to be taken seriously? Please tell me this is meant to be a joke.
It's not, is it? I should be so lucky.
Yes, Edward's idea for committing suicide... is to just walk outside in the middle of the day, in the main plaza in Volterra. In other words, he's going to commit suicide... via PUBLIC SPARKLING. I just... I.... I can't deal with how LAME that is, how PATHETIC that is! I cannot deal with the idea of PUBLIC SPARKLING being a suicide attempt! I FUCKING REFUSE TO TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY AS A DRAMATIC SCENE BECAUSE IT INVOLVES PUBLIC SPARKLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
walks in again with blood-smeared hands
Okay, I have now released a little of my rage. So back to the story.
No human who saw that would ever forget. The Volturi couldn't possibly allow it. Not if they wanted to keep their city inconspicuous.
- Meaning they're also going to kill all those humans.
- No, I'm not just supposing. This is canonical.
- This is later confirmed IN THE SAME FUCKING BOOK, where we find out that the only options for humans who find out about vampires are to kill them or turn them. And when hundreds of people are watching, you cannot reasonably turn them all. The Volturi know this from experience.
- So... yeah, those hundreds of innocent people, INCLUDING CHILDREN, are all going to die because Edturd wants a big splashy dramatic suicide. Even when Edward isn't DIRECTLY murdering people, he's more than happy to kill them indirectly! No guilt required!
- And you know what? Alice and Bella could not give less of a crap.
- Nope, the only person they waste ANY worry about is Edturd.
- EAT A FUCKING STICK OF DYNAMITE, YOU SACK OF SPARKLING WANKING MEDIOCRITY!
See these people?
See the sweet old Italian couple who have probably been married for like sixty years, and are hobbling off into their twilight years together? Maybe they have some grandchildren, a nice little herb garden and a cat?
Well, not anymore, because now they're fucking dead! Edturd flashed them, and then the Volturi tore their heads off! Don't worry, I'm sure that if Bella saves Edturd, it will be a great comfort to their children and grandchildren.
Hmm, who else is there?
Awww, how cute. Some boys playing with a soccer ball in the street, while the little girls watch on. Maybe they have some cute prepubescent crushes going on. Maybe that kid with the white sleeves dreams of being a soccer player when he grows up.
... not no more they don't! They saw a sparkly prickwad dancing around with his shirt off because his girlfriend "died," so the Volturi slaughtered all those children. But I'm sure that their moms will be deeply comforted when Bella is sparkly, white and rich.
It amazes me that NOBODY noticed this about this series. It's obvious that Smeyer had the Volturi laws laid out, since this very law is brought up in a few more chapters. She just literally does not want us to care that Edward's "suicide" would also kill a lot of innocent people, merely because Bella doesn't give a shit about them. After all, the only people that matter are people the protagonist personally likes!
I'm sorry, I just cannot get over what despicable people our "protagonists" are. None of them, including oh so unselfish Bella, care that Edward is planning to kill as many people as a small army of suicide bombers. We are ONLY meant to worry about Edward's survival, and no one else's, because all those innocent humans don't make Smeyer horny.
And it's not like this is his only option. Alice SPECIFICALLY MENTIONS that this is just the most "melodramatic" option: "Right now, he's leaning toward the melodramatic. He wants the biggest audience possible, so he'll choose the main plaza, under the clock tower. The walls are high there. He'll wait till the sun is exactly overhead."
Die in a fire, you sparkling cockgoblin.
And speaking from experience, people who really want to commit suicide aren't searching for the most "melodramatic" way to do it. They generally are in too much pain to care about being dramatic.
Who tries to be dramatic? The attention-seeking fakers who want everyone to marvel at how tortured they are.
"How far is it from Florence to Volterra?"
“That depends on how fast you drive... Bella?"
She eyed me speculatively. "How strongly are you opposed to grand theft auto?"
Well, brutally murdering some virtual prostitutes MIGHT make me feel better. I'll let you know.
Oh, wait, I'm supposed to give my stamp of approval to yet another crime. Whatever. After Alice failed to care that Edward was murdering hundreds, she sort of peaked.
Also, why do they need to STEAL a car? Can't Alice just phone ahead and get a rental car? Actually, getting a rental car would probably take LESS time than stealing one, because they conveniently place a rental agency right next to most airports. Or, you know, they could have gotten a private plane and landed in Volterra... but again, Smeyer has a pretty loose idea of what super-rich people would do.
So of course, the only car Alice considers worthy is a bright yellow Porsche with "turbo" painted on the side.
I feel dumber just reading this.
So yeah, apparently Alice used a time-warp to steal a car from the 1980s. Why is the fastest car there also so damn tacky? Because Smeyer has horrible taste.
"Hurry, Bella!" Alice shouted impatiently through the open passenger window.
That is funny when you consider the meaning of "bella" in Italian. And the constant homoeroticism. Are we sure they AREN'T eloping?
Bella bitches about how conspicuous the car is, but Alice shrugs it off because she found a super-fast car. Smeyer's car fetish is showing again.
The interior was black leather, and the windows were tinted dark. It felt safer inside, like nighttime.
We've never seen any indication that Bella feels "safe" during the night. In fact, she's never shown ANY liking for the nighttime. She certainly never seems to be AWAKE during it, let alone outdoors.
Oh wait, this is another clumsy hint at how Bella is so totally destined to be a vampire.
"I'm sure that will be very comforting at the roadblock."
Oh, shut up. Supposedly this is to save your worthless boyfriend, so you can at least quit whining.
Oh, wait, this is another moment where we're supposed to marvel at how moral Bella is. See, you can ignore her being okay with hundreds dying, because she's opposed to stealing and swearing!
She trilled a laugh. "Trust me, Bella. If anyone sets up a roadblock, it will be behind us."
Yes, because vampires driving automatically makes a car go faster.
And it's not like Italy has speed limits and presumably police watching the roads.
And yes, I did check. Italian speed limits are not really that different from American ones. So if the police there see a yellow sports car with "turbo" attempting to break the sound barrier, they will fucking notice.
So Bella doesn't bother looking out the window at Florence, ancient city of culture and the birthplace of the Renaissance. Nor does she bother looking at the Tuscan countryside, one of the most beautiful regions in the entire world. Allegedly it's because Alice's driving scares her and because she's too tortured with anxiety to pay attention. Me? I think she doesn't like Italy because not only is it full of Catholics, it has culture, flavor, fun, a sense of history and people who don't mope around hating their lives. So basically the OPPOSITE of the "perfect" Cullens.
Oh, and Alice is using her precognition while driving. At excessive speeds. Can this book just end in a fiery car crash?
"There's something going on," Alice muttered. "Some kind of festival. The streets are full of people and red flags. What's the date today?"
... the Holi festival?
"Well, that's ironic. It's Saint Marcus Day."
I don't know. There were multiple Saint Marcuses/Saint Marks.
She chuckled darkly. "The city holds a celebration every year. As the legend goes, a Christian missionary, a Father Marcus—Marcus of the Voltun, in fact—drove all the vampires from Volterra fifteen hundred years ago. The story claims he was martyred in Romania, still trying to drive away the vampire scourge. Of course that's nonsense—he's never left the city. But that's where some of the superstitions about things like crosses and garlic come from. Father Marcus used them so successfully. And vampires don't trouble Volterra, so they must work." Her smile was sardonic. "It's become more of a celebration of the city, and recognition for the police force—after all, Volterra is an amazingly safe city. The police get the credit."
"HAR HAR, SEE WUT I DID THERE? See, the Catholics think they have this super holy saint who was martyred, but actually he's an evil vampire! They don't even really celebrate their holidays; they just have them as secular celebrations of the CITY! Their teachings are like SO FAKE compared to our stories of invisible gold plates with a disproven pseudo-Egyptian language! LOL! I'm so smart! That'll teach the Catholics to steal the word 'saint' from us Mormons!"
See, this is what I mean when I say Smeyer's bigotry is very deliberate here. You could theoretically consider the previous stuff I mentioned about the Volturi as being the subconscious projection of a bigot. But she actually dreamed up a fake story where we find out that a fictional Catholic saint is actually a giant fake, and all those poor stupid evil Catholics are honoring an evil vampire. Ooooo, I c wut u did thar, Smeyer! That means that Catholic beliefs are all stupid stories and we should all follow
And really, she had to go out of her way to make this story about a Catholic missionary. It couldn't be about a Roman general or a great medieval politician... it could ONLY be a Catholic "saint."
Oh, and Smeyer lucked out on the "saint" thing, because in the fourth century people were still being "locally canonized." I doubt she understands how saints are declared, because it's actually pretty hard to get someone canonized these days. There is a LOT of paperwork involved, AND there have to be documented miracles (with spontaneous, lasting action that the experts can't explain) before anybody gets their picture on a little card or a medal. She probably just thinks, "They find someone evil and make him a saint! Cuz they're CATHOLICS! I'm so clever!"
And by jamming this bit of nonsense in, she also totally undermines the whole idea of the Volturi. This story sounds like he was a missionary who got turned into a vampire... except he became a vampire in the 1300s BC. So please, explain to me why in the 500s an almost 2000-year-old vampire was randomly pretending to be a Catholic missionary, long after he had secured power and influence? Did he do it for shits and giggles? EXPLAIN, YOU DUMB TWAT.
And for fuck's sake, if he and the others had been in charge since the Etruscans were in power, WHY would he only try to grab glory as a SAINT? Why not pretend to be a god? I'm pretty sure that gets you a lot more than pretending to be a martyr!
Oh, and as the final indignity, Smeyer made all this shit up.
Yes, the most famous and beloved "St. Marcus" is the Apostle Mark from the fucking Bible. I think Smeyer is too stupid to realize what she implied there.
- He's the patron saint of Venice, not Volterra.
- Volterra's patron saint is St. Justus, a Catholic bishop.
- Also, Mark's feast day is in late APRIL, not March.
- Why did Smeyer change this? I have no idea. There is no real reason.
- And no, St. Mark did not die in ROMANIA, which didn't resemble modern Romania AT FUCKING ALL, and wasn't even a proper country back then. According to early Christian folklore (aka the ONLY source of information on him), he was martyred in EGYPT.
- And if we're meant to think that this Saint Marcus is a DIFFERENT Saint Marcus/Mark... well, Catholic saints with the same name tend to have additions to their name, like surnames or place names, so you can tell them apart. This is especially true of saints important enough to be patrons of cities. Guess how many "Saint Marias" there are!
- There are some interesting folklore traditions about St. Mark and the undead, actually.
- For instance, folklore said that the spirits of the soon-to-be-dead would walk through churches and cemetaries on his feast day.
- And there are romantic traditions like giving roses or doing rituals to pray for romantic success. You know, because Catholics don't believe that you choose your love in the preexistence.
- So yeah, wasted opportunities.
- If you want to read a GOOD book about St. Mark's Day and the undead, try The Raven Boys. That book uses real folklore... AND IT DOESN'T SUCK.
So Edward's little plan will piss them off doubly, because it's on "St. Marcus's" Day. Me oh my, it's just SO convenient that Bella tried to commit suicide right before this particular day! Imagine if she had waited a week! Then poor wittle Edward would have to hang around Volterra for almost a year before he could commit suicide and take hundreds of people with him.
Hey, Edturd? You know what else would piss them off into killing you? Trying to attack the Volturi leaders. THAT way, you won't kill any innocent people.
I looked away, fighting against my teeth as they tried to break through the skin of my lower lip.
... fighting against her TEETH? How the hell do you do THAT?
"Yes. He's decided to wait. And they're waiting for him."
"He wants to make sure the maximum number of people are brutally massacred right after him!"
"Oh, I'm swooning over how hot, rich and selfless Edward is!"
And... if they're waiting for him, and they KNOW what he's gonna do, can't they just dive in and apprehend him before he succeeds? Oh right, Catholic and evil.
"Tell me what I have to do."
"Well, you need to dash in at the last second in the most melodramatic way possible. It will look SO good in the movie!"
I groaned. That would be just like me—ruin everything, destroy the world, in a moment of klutziness.
Yes, the world will blow up if Edturd gets torn apart.
And yet, now, as I stared at the ancient sienna walls and towers crowning the peak of the steep hill, I felt another, more selfish kind of dread thrill through me.
I suddenly was filled with fear that my ex-boyfriend wouldn't fuck me silly and turn me into a rich white sparklepire! MY WORST NIGHTMARE!
I supposed the city was very beautiful. It absolutely terrified me. "Volterra," Alice announced in a flat, icy voice.
OMG, so horribles! A beautiful historic city in the middle of the Tuscan region! I'M SO SCARED! Wait, no I'm not.
Smeyer is kind of the queen of taking things that are utterly unscary, and insisting that they're bone-chilling horrors. See, THIS is scary:
THIS is not.
Not that hard to tell apart. But I guess if an innocuous historical city is being used as a bigot's stand-in for the Vatican...