Let’s talk about something that’s been bugging me since Twilight. Vampire powers. Now, I’m not against them in a general sense. It can make character a little more unique when you have legions of people who all carry a base template of powers to begin with. The problem I have with Otis’s is twofold.
Firstly, they serve no purpose. You could subtract the powers from every vampire in Twilight and everything would happen exactly as it did. And don’t chime in aboutAlice’s precognition, that wasn’t needed to advance the plot in any of the books. Nothing they learned fromAlice’s visions couldn’t have been discovered if somebody had been paying attention.
Remember when Edward planning on suicide? Carlisle should have noticed the signs of clinical depression, especially as he’s had medical training. The attack by Victoria? Jasper should have been scouting Seattle and putting his experience in the turf wars to use. All the money they have? The Cullens could put their superior butts to work rather than ripping people off via the stock market and working Carlisle to death.
The only reason these vampires have powers is because Anne Rice was the student Otis was copying directly off of when she wrote this. Hell, Edward is a chaste clone of Armand from his age, the age he was turned anyway, and looks right down to his mind powers. I’d bet if you asked why her vampires have powers beyond super strength and senses Otis would claim it was to make them original which would make her a liar and a bad person.
The only thing Otis uses her character’s powers for is convenience. ‘Gee, I need to find a way to start the action sequence. Uh, how about Alice has a vision that predicts Victoria will attack? Hmm, I need Edward to know Bella’s doing something. I know, Edward will just read the minds of her friends. Hmm, I need the wolf pack to be able to communicate with each other but talking animals are dumb…’
Ed continues his wanton disregard for the boundaries of privacy by rooting through the minds of his classmates like an identity thief roots through your garbage. His brain-rapey powers are still working fine he’s just not picking anything up from Bella, the girl with “deceptively communicative eyes”. Really Otis? How is something deceptively communicative? ‘Oh holy crap! I can roughly gauge what kind of emotions Bella is feeling through her expression! That is in direct opposition to the expressions of everyone else in Forks! Mostly because they all lack the proper musculature required to twist their faces beyond the grim mask of a robot, in no small part due to the botulism that seeped into the groundwater last year.’
Ed hears Bella talk and you’d think he was about to break into song for how moved his is by her dull voice. I guess Ed has spent the last hundred years or so dealing with interesting people and just got worn out on it. Now he’s fascinated by the kind of people who take their oatmeal plain and their water chilled just below room temperature. Oh and of course he’s paying attention because Bella just talked about him. Author forbid she talk about the other students, her old school or even how the chicken nuggets they serve in the cafeteria seem like they’ve been made of feet and beaks floating in gristle.
Jessica takes issue with Bella being dazzled by Edward. Then, allegedly, Jessica thinks some very awful things about Bella and Eddie wishes he could leap in between them and protect the poor, defenseless Bella. She needs protecting? Or maybe Ed is simply assuming that, because he can’t read Bella’s mind, she has no brain and needs help. I mean, he does have a few million hours of community service to work off. Heck, maybe the judge will lighten the sentence if he marries the special needs moron.
Then Ed tells us why he thinks Bella needs protecting, she looks weaker than her classmates. He says her skin looks thin and translucent. Okay, Otis. Is her skin pale like spilled bottle of correctional fluid or is it clear like plastic wrap? You don’t get to have both. And Either way, how the hell did she surviveArizonalooking like that without suffering second degree burns when getting the mail? Then a single line comes by and I boggled.
There was a faint crease between her eyebrows that she seemed unaware of.
What? Did she fall asleep during English class and leave sleep lines on her face? Is she supposed to be so stupid she’s not aware of the expression she’s displaying? Did she get hit in the face with the world’s heaviest pencil? Please say that’s what happened, she so deserves it.
Good god, Otis spends so much time petting her avatar that she’ll be bald midway through chapter two. Ed goes on and on about how he can see what a difficult time she’s having being the center of attention. Oh god, how horrible for Bella. Quick, someone call U2 and see if we can setup a benefit concert for her.
Then it’s off to class, biology if you must know, and Ed whines about being bored. It seems he has two medical degrees and won’t learn anything from a high school teacher. Well, then. Why don’t you get off you leather clad ass and do something productive rather than live out a lame versions of 17 Again for the rest of your life? Could it be that you’re cripplingly afraid of change, ol’ Eddie? Is that why you’re looking for a woman that reminds you of your mom?
Then Bella wanders into the room and the only available seat is next to Eddie. Gee, is this seat taken? Or she should be asking that but Bella is so timid she had a heart attack when first saw a bunny. Did you know you can make her run for the cracks in the walls by turning on the lights? Anywho, she sits down next to Ed and then her scent hits him.
Her scent hit me like a wrecking ball, like a battering ram. There was no image violent enough to encapsulate the force of what happened in that moment.
Really? So is that because it’s just that strong or because the author hasn’t the imagination to picture a grey elephant? I hate vague crap like that. The whole “there were no words” is so sickeningly cliché. I get it when authors run into patches they have a hard time articulating but even a bad description is better than none.
When they pull that old gem out what they’re basically saying is ‘Hey, I don’t really know/care to describe what’s going on so you just go on and fill in the blanks yourself. What do you mean why? You’ve got a damned imagination, use it already.’ To which I say, thanks loser. Why don’t I just put your book down and go imagine a story by myself and cut out the middleman. What they hell do you get paid for anyway? To look pretty at book signings and smile a lot?
And suddenly Ed really, really wants to pop a straw in Bella and drain her like a juice box. He starts planning on how best to kill everyone in the room and then dine on her. Oh and he says his throat burns like fire with thirst. As opposed to burning like menthol, I suppose. Hey Otis, I was sick of being told that back with Bree and I’m doubly sick of it now.
And how is this guy admirable, again? See, I could understand the desire to feast on Bella. That’s supposed to be a natural instinct, to consume the easy and sweet meal. It’s why people will talk about cutting down on their diet when New Year’s Eve rolls around and start making promises to visit the gym more often. Two days later they’re back to buying a dozen day old donuts and making them into buns for a Double Down.
It’s a simple matter of desire plus opportunity. Powerful desire, like hunger, coupled with opportunity, like free cheesecake at work, equals eaten food. But when you start planning it, you don’t have any excuse.
There’s no reason for Ed to start planning out the murder of innocents. I can only come up with two scenarios where that makes any sense. Either Ed doesn’t care about anything and exists to fulfill his desires and is only held in check by threat of destruction atCarlisle’s hands. Or, Ed killed so many people in premeditated ways that it’s become second nature. Either one paints him as a dangerous psychopath who should not be allowed near anyone.
Ed goes on and on about how many people he’d have to kill to get away with Bella’s murder and skips over the fact it would be the worst school massacre in Forks history, until Demonspawn starts attending school at any rate. Then he sees two faces, himself as the vampire he was from when he killed a whole swath of folks for food as a form of rebellion, and then Carlisle. Damn, those prescience treatments must be taking effect. This is why I don’t read ahead when I write these.
Blah blah blah, good versus evil spelled out so plainly it might as well be written out in plain oatmeal on beige walls. Long story short,Carlisle’s influence wins out. Oh but it’s just so hard for poor Eddie. And of course it’s all Bella’s fault. How dare she exist and taunt him. Yes, and when the judge asks why you did it, Ed, just tell him she had it coming and that she wanted it. Otherwise she wouldn’t go around dressed like a hooker.
Then Ed comes to the realization that he doesn’t have to breath. Uh, duh? And by not breathing he won’t have to smell her, Yay, problem solved! Except then he goes back to plotting her demise. He starts planning on asking to walk her to her next class and then taking her somewhere secluded.
But, there’s a hitch. Other people are paying attention to Bella. Mike Newton(remember him?) is watching Bella like a hawk. So Ed figures there’s no way he can kill her there. Instead he’ll follow her home because she’ll be alone. Ed says he knows exactly where Charlie’s house is and Bella will have no chance to scream.
Okay, a few things. First off, why was Ed such a dick to Mike if it turns out he saved Bella’s life? Even if only by delaying Bella’s immediate demise and giving Ed the time to come to his senses? It’s because you didn’t plan on it, did you Otis?
Also, why does he know where Charlie lives? Better yet, why does Ed know that Bella will be going home to an empty house? Couldn’t Chaz have remarried? Might Chaz be renting out a spare bedroom? Might he take the afternoon off to come pick up his daughter? Maybe he’ll swing by while working to that anyway because he wants to see her more now that she lives with him. Oh, wait. I figured it out. Ed was stalking Charlie because, he too, smelled indescribably good.
And again, Otis, Ed is not romantic. This is the kind of guy that has a collection of dresses made from human skin. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he keeps the remains of ground up hookers in a freezer bag so he can occasionally do hits of powered prostitute off the stomach a live one who has just enough presence of mind to wonder what that odd smelling pink stuff is before Ed jams a shrimp fork into her eye.
The bell rings and Ed gets off just fantasizing about murder for once. Then he runs off to his car to listen to a “CD of music that usually” calms him. Really, Otis? Did you just feel it would offer too much characterization if you told us just what CD that is? Not even a hint as to the genre? Do you wonder why I say your characters are flatter than cardboard stands that got flattened by a steamroller parade?
Ed decides to take the smart way out and get his schedule changed. This will be that last, almost intelligent thing he ever does. He goes up to the office and talks to some lady in the office and “charms” her while she keeps reminding herself that he’s too young.
“Of course, Edward. How can I help?” Too young, too young. She chanted to herself. Wrong of course. I was older than her grandfather. But according to my driver’s license, she was right.
You pretentious dickhead, she’s not wrong even in the slightest. You’re just a lying sack of crap. That’s like telling your friends you love tuna rolls and then complaining they don’t know you that well when they take you to a sushi bar. You can’t blame them for not knowing you’re allergic to shellfish when you tell them you love crab cakes.
The lady says there’s nothing she can do and then Ed decides to frighten her by leaning closer so she can really notice his black eyes. Somehow, black eyes frighten people. Apparently they won’t just assume the lighting is bad or that they have really dark brown eyes, no they’ll piss themselves and run around screaming that the end times are here. Ed only leaves when Bella shows up behind him, sending him running and screaming.
Then Ed meets up with Alice who sees what’s about to happen and asks that Ed drop them off first. Why? Why not just walk patiently until no one can see them and then run home? And if they have so much damn money why don’t they drive their own cars?
Ed dropsAliceoff and she says he’ll do the right thing. Oh and Bella is Charlie’s only family and it would kill him if Bella died. Right, because Charlie cares so much about Bella. You can really see how close they are, the way they do things together like fish and go to poetry readings at coffee houses. Ed then speeds back to Forks so he can start the long process of stalking Bella into loving him.
And he still claims Jasper is the one with control problems, hmmmm?
I forget – can people have black eyes naturally? I think both Snape and Hagrid from Harry Potter are referenced as having black eyes. Even if it’s not normal, maybe the secretary would have read Harry Potter or something? And thought black eyes were rare but normal? And why is he showing off his amazing technicolor eyes to people if he has a cover to keep? And why does EVERYONE think Edward is super hot, instead of some people being turned off by his freaky-pale skin? And did Bella take a parasol with her everywhere in Arizona to stay so pale? And would anyone really consider this for publication? And why did he give up on killing Bella when he remembered she was Charlie’s only family if he’s such a sociopath? And…And…And… *hack* *cough* *loses voice*
(Crap… I miss Chompers and Scruffles more than ever now…)
i think black eyes do occur, but it’s not like it would be scarey or intimidating. at the most they would be a passing curiosity or the secretery would assume he’s trying to be all emo/goth and found contact lenses.
unless the entirity of his eyeball is black, which would be rather freaky, but based on people’s non-reactions, i’m guessing this isn’t the case.
True, most people would ignore it. But Sue authors seem to have an obsession with eye color that borders on the pathological. Like somehow the color of someone’s eyes detemines everything. Of course in this case it does because Otis is, if nothing, transparent.
The whole Arizona exposure versus her skin color baffles me. I know someone who has gotten second degree sun burns and they’re not that pale, they just don’t tan. If Bella is as while as Otis purports Bella would either have to stay indoors all day or go around under an umbrella like Marlon Brando’s Dr Moreau.