Part of why I hate these stories, they probably don’t deserve the title of book, are the changes to Otis’s vampires. Not because she changed them in general, fictional vampires have been evolving as a meme since Stoker. But because she did it without thinking.
‘Gee, it would suck to be a vampire if I couldn’t go out into the sun. Wait, I know. I’ll change it. Wait, I like all the angst that Anne Rice had in her books but with out a real drawback how do I call it a curse. Maybe if I pretend it’s a curse then no one will notice.’
Apparently it’s too bright for Ed to drive into town. Something about the sun being directly overhead. So the sun is overhead and your car has limo tint. And even if you sparkled a little bit I’m sure no one would just assume that it was your car. Yeah, you should probably hang out around the house and work on your poetry and maybe bite your arms. And if you’re out of eye liner, maybe Alice can loan you some.
Ed thinks it should be easy to track Bella’s friends down. Apparently Jessica’s thoughts are louder than Angela’s. So what you’re saying is that Jessica is better than Bella. Jessica’s mind is strong and well disiplined while Bella’s is a hastily cobbled assmbly of squirrel droppings that aren’t capable of cogitation. Why not pick Jessica, Ed? I’d bet if she were made a vampire she’d have mind beams she could blast into people’s minds. Oh but she’s just some dumb “generic” friend who exists solely to drag the plot forward.
Then Ed finds Jessica’s mind. Hmm, how to convey that she’s stupid, ordinary and mean. Have her focus on how pretty she thinks she is, of course! What other options are there? I mean, it worked to make Rose an unlikable snob, not really, so it should work for Jessica too. Unless she comes across as a better person than Bella which she does. Not by a large margin but I’d bet she has a bit of personality as opposed to Bella the passive-agressive lump of wax.
Ed “tires” of Jessica’s mind and decides to get into Angela’s head. Oh but she’s changing clothes so he ducks out of her head to give her some privacy. Really, Otis? Is that supposed to make up for the fact that he’s always rooting through people’s heads like their public records? Because it doesn’t, not by a long shot. Ed read Jessica’s mind without one moment of regret when he wanted to know what fantasies she was having about him. Did that not involve her getting naked? Wasn’t that invading her privacy? Or is it different if they’re only imagining themselves naked as opposed to seeing themselves nude in the mirror? Riddle me this Otis, hast thou drunk of the fountain of hypocripsy?
Ed hangs out in the “shadows”. Where he found shadows I’m not certain. Is he parked in the lee of a liqour store? Maybe a parking garage? Who cares, this is all about the avatar. Ed keeps ducking in and out of their heads, leaving onlt when he realizes he’s practically touching a woman, gets grossed out and has to drywash his hands for a few minutes.
Then one time he checks in with Jessica who asks ‘who cares about Bella?’ Damnit Jessica, stop trying to become the most likable character in this series. There’s no room for attachement to you. You author just won’t allow it, I’m sorry. I do appluad your sentiment though. Who does care about Bella?
Anywho, that’s the signal for Ed to greasily slide into the next plot point, “save” Bella from a pack of miscreants who are just looking for a place to get some wings and advance the story a few angstroms before devolving into descriptions so purple that the Joker could wear them. Yes, Ed figures out, somehow, that Bella, not being under the care of her handlers, must be in trouble. To the Cullen-Mobile! Cue Batman transition riff.
Blah blah blah, Ed talks about how he should have been paying more attention and how he shouldn’t have let Bella wander off on her own. He says she’s “always doing the wrong thing.” What the hell, Ed? Is she your love interest or a puppy? Who are you to judge mister I’m-only-watching-her-sleep-for-her-own-good-and-not-because-I’m-stalking-her? You’re the guy who violates the minds of anyone he feels like simply so he can watch some ditzy tart who’d be better off being fed to hungry lions than left among the civilised folk. Yes, yes, Ed. You’re all tortured and stuff. It mus be the worst thing in the world to be pretty and rich and perpetually young and gifted with powers beyond mortal ken. I’m pretty sure that was the exact description of the third circle of hell Dante wrote about.
Oh and apparently Bella was “feeling blue” and Angela wonders if it was because of Ed. Huh? How can she know that? Bella never talked about Ed. She asked questions like a curious school girl who’s infatuated. She has no reason to be “blue”! Bella didn’t ask Ed out, she didn’t get rejected, she didn’t write him a love letter confessing her feelings to him, there’s no reason to assume Bella is being depressed because of him! If this were a game of D&D, Otis, the DM would penalize you for using out of character knowledge.
So Ed drives around Port Angeles and, luckily for the plot, he knows it very well. So he drives straight to the bookstore he sees in Angela’s head, the one where Bella said she’d be. Oh, good. Because it makes perfect sense for Ed to be intimately familiar with Port Angeles as he hunts down there all the time. And with how often we see him drive there for shopping in later books, this only reaffirms how much that makes sense.
Like a slow bloodhound with frosted tips, Ed wanders around getting Bella’s scent and then tracking her down. He angsts quite a bit about the whole daylight thing. Oh no, the sun is out and I have to stick to the shadows or else people will see me sparkle like a broken crystal goblet. Quit your whining you goddamned wuss.
Lucky for Ed he has mind powahs! So he pulls out the old tuner and starts spinning through peoples minds like an old timey radio. But remember, he can’t turn it off! Nope, hes stuck listening to everyone all the time. Except right now as he’s looking for Bella. What really cracks me up is that the two minds, because even Otis has to get to the point eventually, we “glimspe” are thinking important thoughts of the day.
Why do authors always do that with psychics? Why are they always thinking about how they’re going to pay the bills or about their significant other? What about the guy who’s just sitting there, waiting for the bus while the Bonanza theme plays over and over in his head? Or how about the lady who just keeps thinking about a painting without mentally articulating it in her head? And then Otis has Ed find one of the flanel wearing bad guys.
Here she comes! Aha!
In the name of all that is written, who says or thinks ‘Aha’? I don’t think anyone in the history of crime has ever looked at a potential victim and thought that, ever. Ed reads his mind and says that Bella would not be his first victim. So then why are his thoughts so chaste and dull if he’s a serial rapist? And how did Ed miss this guy if Ed drives through Port Angeles all the time and can’t shut his mind powers off? And how in the hell does Ed let this guy go, knowing that he’s raped/killed other women? Oh right, because they weren’t Bella.
Ed sees the details he needs and rushes over there. We get the cringe worthy line “Don’t be like that, sugar.” once more. And once more I gagged on the bile coming up my throat when I read it. Did you know even rapists can’t help but pet Bella’s ego?
Brave, this one. Maybe better, I guess…more fight in her.
Yup, even the most despicable person can’t help but recognize the light coming off of Bella and the pure, wholesome goodness that makes her so damn special. I want to stuff Bella in an oil barrel, fill it with concrete and dump her in the middle of the Atlantic.
Ed thinks about how he’s going to torture Lonnie, the guy planning on doing whatever he’s planning on to Bella. Otis never does quite say what Lonnie does to his victims. For all we know he could just like tying them up so he can give them a pedicure. Without a clear idea though, Otis, it still makes Ed seem like the real psychopath. Especially when he tells us, rather casually, that the other guys around Lonnie will simply die.
Which is funny because Ed said, just a moment before, that they’re just drunk and following Lonnie around and they don’t really know what Lonnie’s going to do. Gee, Otis, didn’t you reuse this scene later with Rose? Only Rose actually got raped because she didn’t have the author looking over her. And why is alcohol always involved, Otis? Is it just not possible for people to do bad things while sober? Or is this just your disdain for alcohol showing through?
And why does following Lonnie around mean they have to die? How do we know that one or all of them wouldn’t have stepped in when Lonnie started tearing Bella’s clothes? Let me guess, because Ed wouldn’t want to kill them otherwise, right? Then again, Ed’s talked about killing Mike and Mike hasn’t done crap to Bella. So I’d say Ed is both an unreliable narrator and devoid of a moral compass. Anything he says should be taken as highly suspect.
Anywho, Ed swings his Volvo around and tells Bella to get in, all while doing his best Christian Bale impression.
“Put on your seatbelt.” I ordered. My voice was rough with the hate of bloodlust. Not the usual bloodlust. I would not sully myself by taking any part of that man inside me.
That’s Ed talking about wanting to kill Lonnie but not drink his blood. Ed’s totally into girls, like, a lot. And Ed considers running over all those guys but stops, not because it’s wrong or that he’s still in a public area, but because it would scare Bella. Wow, what an upstanding guy. No wonder Bella like him so much. He resists the urge to kill because it might frighten her. Ed is always trying to keep her at ease. I mean, unless it’s for her own good. Like pulling of the distributor of her truck and sitting in the dark waiting for her.