In case you did take my warning and skip the second section, here's the upshot: after going through a roster of supporting vampires and werewolves (which you may need for this section as well), I had the pleasure of informing y'all that Bella was massively pregnant with a growth-accelerated half-vampire Death Baby that would come to term after a total pregnancy of about a month, and also, kill her. After it broke Bella's ribs, her pelvis, and her spine, and totally killed Bella dead, no really, I'm so sure it did with 400 pages left in the book, *sob*, etc.,
Also, there was werewolf snark galore, which is pretty much the only thing that kept me from keeling over.
Book Three: Bella
JUST TWENTY MORE CHAPTERS, YOU GUYS.
(By the way: All the chapter titles were and are real. Yes, even the Jacob chapters.)
Preface: "Hi! It's me, Bella Swan again! And people still want to kill me! ONLY THIS TIME BELLA WANTS TO KILL BACK."
Chapter 19: "Burning"
Burning, pain, ow the fire, kill me, silent screams, etc. For the entire chapter. All seventeen pages of it. Plus a few things Bella is able to overhear:
(Carlisle:) “Listen to her heart, Edward. It’s stronger than even Emmett’s was. I’ve never heard anything so vital. She’ll be perfect.”Wait for it… wait for it…
“She’s going to be dazzling.”
Chapter 20: "New"
OH THANK YOU JESUS BELLA IS A VAMPIRE HOW LONG I HAVE WAITED FOR THIS DAY. Well… I only started reading the books, like, two and a half months ago, but you see my point: THREE FOR FOURRRRRR. More importantly, Bella’s first action as a vampire is to FLIP OUT LIKE NINJA!
I flipped off my back in a spin so fast it should have turned the room into an incomprehensible blur—but it did not. I saw every dust mote, every splinter in the wood-paneled walls, every loose thread in microscopic detail as my eyes whirled past them. So by the time I found myself crouched against the wall defensively—about a sixteenth of a second later—I already understood what had startled me, and that I had overreacted.Also, she has never really seen Edward’s face before this moment, godlike angel marble Adonis beauty, etc. And also, even though she’s supposed to be mad and inhuman with bloodlust, all Bella can think of when she touches Edward is… something else. God bless, Bella. I like you better when you let your inner nasty off the chain.
I was stronger than Edward. I’d made him say ow.Man, are they gonna break some furniture tonight.
He kissed me, soft as a whisper at first, and then suddenly stronger, fiercer. I tried to remember to be gentle with him, but it was hard work to remember anything in the onslaught of sensation, hard to hold on to any coherent thoughts. It was like he’d never kissed me—like this was our first kiss. And, in truth, he’d never kissed me this way before.HEY YOU GUYS, YOUR ENTIRE VAMPIRE FAMILY IS WATCHING.
Let’s go ahead, skip around the next couple of chapters, and count all the ways that Bella is a better vampire than everyone else:
1) “You are quite controlled,” Carlisle mused. “More so than I expected, even with the time you had to prepare yourself mentally for this.”Oh--flawless except for the blood-red eyes.
2) My first reaction was an unthinking pleasure. The alien creature in the glass was indisputably beautiful, every bit as beautiful as Alice or Esme. She was fluid even in stillness, and her flawless face was pale as the moon against the frame of her dark, heavy hair. Her limbs were smooth and strong, skin glistening subtly, luminous as a pearl.
3) Edward grinned. “Jasper wonders how you’re doing it.”There’s a part of me that’s pleased for Bella, and a part of me that’s pleased because she’s the reader proxy so we get to be uncommonly beautiful and graceful and good at vampiring too, and then… there’s a part of me that wants to tear my hair out because it’s all so screamingly Mary Sue. Sigh.
“Controlling your emotions, Bella,” Jasper answered. “I’ve never seen a newborn do that—stop an emotion in its tracks that way. You were upset, but when you saw our concern, you reined it in, regained power over yourself. I was prepared to help, but you didn’t need it.”
4) “That [jump] was quite graceful—even for a vampire.”
5) “I’m not laughing at you, Bella. I’m laughing because I am in shock. And I am in shock because I am completely amazed.”
“You shouldn’t be able to do any of this. You shouldn’t be so . . . so rational. You shouldn’t be able to stand here discussing this with me calmly and coolly. And, much more than any of that, you should not have been able to break off mid-hunt with the scent of human blood in the air. Even mature vampires have difficulty with that—we’re always very careful of where we hunt so as not to put ourselves in the path of temptation. Bella, you’re behaving like you’re decades rather than days old.”
Chapter 21: "First Hunt"
YAY IT'S TIME TO HUNT! What's going to be Bella's favorite animal? It’s like a personality test on Quizilla! But what about the baby? Should we really leave Renesmee in the care of Rosalie and a werewolf?
Edward’s lips tightened in an odd way. “Trust me, [the baby] is perfectly safe. I know exactly what Jacob is thinking.”MAN, I cannot WAIT for Bella to find out that Jacob imprinted on her newborn baby.
But what are we wearing on our first hunt? This is an important consideration, you know.
Also, this dress—that Alice must have put me in sometime when I was too lost in the burning to notice—was not what I would have picked out for either jumping or hunting. Tightly fitted ice-blue silk? What did she think I would need it for? Was there a cocktail party later?Oh, Alice.
The ground seemed to move toward me so slowly that it was nothing at all to place my feet—what shoes had Alice put me in? Stilettos?
The shoes are “silver satin,” by the way. What, Alice couldn’t get them dyed to match?
Hoping very much that Esme was not particularly fond of any specific trees across the river, I began my first stride. And then stopped when the tight satin split six inches up my thigh. Alice!Sexy. So Bella rips the dress up both the sides on purpose anyway. Edward approves.
(They are totally going to have hot, tree-smashing monkey sex in the forest, aren’t they?)
I swung lightly from the limb and landed on my toes, still fifteen feet from the ground on the wide bough of a Sitka spruce.BELLA SWAN VAMPIRES BETTER THAN YOU!
It was fabulous.
Over the sound of my peals of delighted laughter, I could hear Edward racing to find me. My jump had been twice as long as his.
He was faster than me.Well, thank God he’s still better than you at something. And what does she smell?
Mostly him—his strange honey-lilac-and-sun perfume.Sigh. So anyway, Edward and Bella go hunting, and they nearly run into a couple of hikers so Bella cuts and runs because it might be, actual quote, "someone I know!," and Edward's all like, "OMG HOW DID YOU DO THAT?" because newborn vampires are supposed to be pretty uncontrollable when faced with warm and meaty humans (hell, remember in New Moon when Bella cut herself and Jasper lost his shit and tried to jump her?), and Bella's all surprised because she thought she was going to be a brainless slavering monster for her first year, not able to stand around discussing this rationally and feeling like her old self. And also, can they have sex now?
“I thought I wouldn’t feel this way for a long time?” My uncertainty made the words a question. “But I still want you.”So instead, she snacks on a mountain lion and some deer. Keep in mind, y’all, that all this is happening while Bella’s in a shredded satin cocktail dress.
He blinked in shock. “How can you even concentrate on that? Aren’t you unbearably thirsty?”
Of course I was now, now that he’d brought it up again!
Chapter 22: "Promised"
Let's go see Not-Death Baby Renesmee! Who, by the way: sleeps (vampires don’t), has a heartbeat (vampires don’t), isn’t venomous (she bites whenever Jacob doesn't feed her fast enough, and no one's died yet), has vampire skin, drinks blood and not formula, and… talks psychically to her father:
(Edward:) “She’s intelligent, shockingly so, and progressing at an immense pace. Though she doesn’t speak—yet—she communicates quite effectively.”I won't bore you with another list of quotes, but let it be noted that people always speak of Teh Baby with "religious fervor" or the reverence with which "people talked about their gods." Bella was out burning for two days, so she's totally jealous of the way Edward talks about Renesmee--not jealous of Renesmee for having his attention, but of Edward, for having spent all this time with the baby that she hasn't had. Also: BAAAAAAABYYYYYY.
(Bella:) “Doesn’t. Speak. Yet.”
Also-also, Edward seems to indicate that he’s already got this father thing down thoroughly enough to consider getting a head start on kicking Renesmee’s future boyfriend's ass. Speaking of whom! Jacob puts himself between Bella and Renesmee because he wants to make sure Bella’s in control. Because Renesmee is the center of his universe now. HAAAAAAAAAAA. I don’t know—maybe I just find it hilarious because we’ve gone through two and a half books where Bella was the center of everything, particularly male attention, and now Jacob’s all like STEP OFF MY GIRL, YOU BITCH, I DON'T CARE IF YOU BIRTHED HER.
(First, though, Edward has to put his shirt on Bella because her cocktail dress is so shredded from hunting, and Bella is distracted by his shirtlessness. Focus, Bella, you have to meet your baby before you can have the sex.)
So Bella's all confused because Jacob's trying to protect the baby from what everyone is (reasonably) assuming is Bella's new-vampire lack of control, and Bella appreciates this, and yet... Edward wants to kick his ass, and Bella no longer feels that weird overpowering need to have Jacob near, and Jacob's acting like he'd throw himself in front of a train for the baby, and Edward and Jacob seem to be keeping a secret from Bella and what could it all mean? Excuse me, I have to go make some popcorn, I'll be right back.
Okay, I'm back. Om nom nom. So Bella successfully walks back into the house without flipping out on Jacob, and then Jacob races back ahead of her to PROTECT THE BAAAAAABYYYYYY, and Emmett's in the corner snickering because everyone knows about the imprinting but Bella. But we'll get to that--here's Renesmee! Bella was out for two days, and already Renesmee looks months old. After the completely terrifying horrorshow that the birth was, it’s kind of a naïve fantasy of what parenting could be like (actual quote: “The only parents in the world who don’t need sleep, and our child already sleeps through the night”). Except that Stephenie Meyer apparently has three kids. So… maybe it’s less “naïve” and more “Oh God, please send help, I haven’t slept in three days.”
Anyway: of course Renesmee is a magical vampire baby. She can do “the exact opposite” of what Edward can: showing her thoughts to others by touching them, rather than reading theirs. So she "asks" Rosalie if that's her mom, because she totally recognizes Bella already. Mostly because she remembers being extracted from Bella's bloody corpse. Touching! Also, "Renesmee's fragrance was perfectly balanced right on the line between the scent of the most beautiful perfume and the scent of the most delicious food," in case you were wondering what Vampire Smell the baby has.
So meanwhile, everyone's like NOOOO DON'T LET BELLA EAT THE BABY and Edward's like "No, srsly, you guys, there were these hikers in the woods" and Emmett's like "AHAHAHAHA I TOLD YOU SHE WOULD EAT PEOPLE" and Edward's like "No, she totally ran away first! It was awesome!" and Jasper's all "EXCUSE ME, I HAVE TO GO SULK NOW." Considering that they're all still calling him "Jazz," I'm surprised he didn't go moping sooner. So FINALLY, they let Bella hold the baby, and lo, it is a religious experience. Except... why is Jacob still holding Renesmee too? Why won't he let her go...? OH SHI--
“You didn’t,” I snarled at him.AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAA. Of course, then Jacob informs her that this is the reason he was so hung up on Bella and force-kissing her and trying to wheedle her away from Edward all this time: because somehow, the very fiber of his being knew that Bella would someday be the mother of his imprinted baby bride. Yeah.
He backed away, palms up, trying to reason with me. “You know it’s not something I can control.”
“You stupid mutt! How could you? My baby!”
“C’mon, Bells! Nessie likes me, too,” he insisted.I actually started clapping my hands at this point. Man, I like Bella so much more as a vampire.
I froze. My breathing stopped. Behind me, I heard the lack of sound that was [the Cullens’] anxious reaction.
“What... did you call her?”
Jacob took a step farther back, managing to look sheepish. “Well,” he mumbled, “that name you came up with is kind of a mouthful and—”
“You nicknamed my daughter after the Loch Ness Monster?" I screeched.
And then I lunged for his throat.
Chapter 23: "Memories"
So then Bella fucks some werewolf shit up:
Edward was still apologizing, and I didn’t think that was either fair or appropriate. After all, Edward hadn’t completely and inexcusably lost control of his temper. Edward hadn’t tried to rip Jacob’s head off—Jacob, who wouldn’t even phase to protect himself—and then accidentally broken Seth’s shoulder and collarbone when he jumped in between. Edward hadn’t almost killed his best friend.Oh, and also, the truce is back on and totally binding because a werewolf can’t kill anyone another wolf’s imprinted on (convenient!) and Rightful Alpha Jacob has Alpha-Ordered all the wolves to step the hell off Bella. Everyone’s happy! All problems are solved! And yet… there are still 300 pages in this book. Dear God.
[Renesmee] had matured from a single cell to a normal-sized baby in the course of a few weeks. She looked well on her way to being a toddler just days after her birth. If this rate of growth held...Um… Alice can plan the wedding? Anyway, Renesmee feeds Bella the memories of everything that Bella missed while she was out burning—
My vampire mind had no trouble with the math. “What do we do?” I whispered, horrified.
Renesmee smiled her brilliant smile, and her memory eyes did not leave Jacob through all the following mess. I tasted a new flavor to the memory—not exactly protective, more possessive—as she watched Jacob. I got the distinct impression that she was glad Seth had put himself in front of my spring. She didn’t want Jacob hurt. He was hers.—and Jasper goes out and sulks some more, because he hates that Bella already has more self-control than he's ever had, squared.
“Oh, wonderful,” I groaned. “Perfect.”
Hey, guess what, you guys? It just also happens to be Bella's nineteenth birthday!
Chapter 24: "Surprise"
AND SHE IS STILL GOING TO BE A HEFFA ABOUT IT.
(Also, Rosalie no longer hates Bella, because Bella had the baby she could never have! Therefore, Bella is all right with Rosalie. I’m glad Rosalie has a broad range of criteria for judging people there.)
Anyway, Edward got Bella a car for her birthday. No, another one (a Ferrari). Carlisle and Esme got Bella a cottage out in the forest behind the house:
It was a place where anyone could believe magic existed. A place where you just expected Snow White to walk right in with her apple in hand, or a unicorn to stop and nibble at the rosebushes.(Are you surprised? Really?)
And in that cottage is a closet of clothes from Alice--a closet pretty much bigger than the rest of the cottage combined. And they're going to need those clothes, because the moment Alice leaves them alone in the cottage, Bella rips Edward's off. No, literally. (Ow, damn! On the wooden floor! All night long! Walk six feet, people, the bed’s right there! Fuck in that general direction, I’m sure you can get there eventually!) And then she asks him if he’s sad that she’s not warm and meaty anymore. He’s not sad, because now they’re both vampires and indestructible and they can break furniture all night long. Unf.
Chapter 25: "Favor"
I would balance this overwhelming, devastating desire [for Edward] so that I could be a good— It was hard to think the word. Though Renesmee was very real and vital in my life, it was still difficult to think of myself as a mother. I supposed anyone would feel the same, though, without nine months to get used to the idea. And with a child that changed by the hour.So that's... that's pretty much where we are right now. Bella gets dressed in Alice's giant closet and Edward puts on the beigest clothes he can lay hands on, naturally, and they go to see Renesmee. Meanwhile, they've been trying to figure out how the hell they're going to stay in town with Bella all vampired (read: visibly red-eyed and marble-skinned) and with, oh, A FULL-GROWN TODDLER and not have anyone notice. Obviously, the Cullens are going to clear out pretty soon, even though that will tear Jacob apart inside omg. Hey, where did Jacob go?
HOSHIT JACOB WENT TO SEE CHARLIE AND FURSPLODED IN FRONT OF HIM ON PURPOSE.
(Okay, I lied: Charlie is in the rest of the book.)
So basically, Charlie now knows about werewolves--Jacob isn't allowed to tell him, but he got around that by showing him, and since they'll be in even deeper shit if Charlie finds out about the vampiring and the Volturi finds out that he found out, Jacob says, paraphrased, "Yeah, something freaky's up with Bella, too, but I can't tell you what. Just trust me on this."
“After a few minutes, he asked, real quietly, if you turned into an animal, too. And I said, ‘She wishes she was that cool!’ ” Jacob chuckled.AND HE TOLD CHARLIE ABOUT THE BABY. WHAT? WHAT?
“She’s your orphaned ward—like Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson.” Jacob snorted. “I didn’t think you’d mind me lying."AHAHAHAHA. Oh by the way, CHARLIE IS ON HIS WAY OVER. Fortunately, Alice got Bella contacts to hide her blood-red eyes! At least someone was thinking ahead here. Of course, Bella will still have to change them out frequently because the venom in her eyes will dissolve them, holy crap. And then Edward sits Renesmee down v. v. srsly and asks her to behave while Grandpa's here and not to bite him or scare him shitless with the thought-showing.
And then Edward kisses Bella supportively and she gets horny again. Good God. And here's Charlie!
I read the emotions as they scrolled across [Charlie's] face. Shock. Disbelief. Pain. Loss. Fear. Anger. Suspicion. More pain.Yeah, so pretty much they're not fooling anybody; Charlie immediately notices that Bella looks really, really different. Also, he immediately figures out that Renesmee is Bella's kid and not "Edward's niece," and also, holy crap, HIS WEIRDLY HOT DAUGHTER GAVE BIRTH TO A TODDLER. Hey! Hey! You know what's worse? This:
Charlie’s scent was a fistful of flames, punching straight down my throat. But it was so much more than pain. It was a hot stabbing of desire, too. Charlie smelled more delicious than anything I’d ever imagined. As appealing as the anonymous hikers had been on the hunt, Charlie was doubly tempting. And he was just a few feet away, leaking mouthwatering heat and moisture into the dry air.OH GROSS.
And then Charlie sits down with Emmett and starts watching football. The more things change, I guess.
Chapter 26: "Shiny"
"Hey, were you thinking of telling your mother about your weird sudden hotness and your toothy magical toddler?" "Nope." "Good."
So the whole time Charlie was there, Emmett kept making allusions to Bella and Edward's sex life, so now, it's time for a bet mentioned all the way back in Eclipse: can Bella beat Emmett at arm-wrestling now that she'll be super newborn-vampire strong for the next full year? At stake: the cessation or marked increase of sex jokes. So they set up on a boulder and Bella pwns him, like, immediately. And then she starts smashing boulders and having the best time ever while her vampire in-laws crack up. Omg, Bella being a vampire is everything I have ever hoped for and dreamed of. And Renesmee (or "Nessie," if you're willing to risk Bella's wrath) can also crush rocks a little but not really yet.
Hey! Nobody’s sparkled yet in this book! I say it’s high time to remedy that:
Renesmee stroked the smooth diamond-bright facets, then laid her arm next to mine. Her skin had just a faint luminosity, subtle and mysterious. Nothing that would keep her inside on a sunny day like my glowing sparkle. She touched my face, thinking of the difference and feeling disgruntled.Wait for it… wait for it!
“You’re the prettiest,” I assured her.
[Edward] was both dazzling and dazzled.Dazzled by Bella, of course:
So this was really different. I was amazing now—to them and to myself. It was like I had been born to be a vampire. The idea made me want to laugh, but it also made me want to sing. I had found my true place in the world, the place I fit, the place I shined.The place where BELLA SWAN IS BETTER THAN YOU.
Hey, wouldn't that be a great place to end the book?
Chapter 27: "Travel Plans"
No? Really? Twelve more chapters? Seriously?
(You know how long this book is? "Renesmee" is starting to look like a really cute name.)
HEY LET'S HAVE A MONTAGE CHAPTER FOR THE NEXT THREE MONTHS, I AM TOTALLY OKAY WITH MOVING ON A LITTLE FASTER.
So: Leah’s cranky but the beta wolf in Jacob's mini-pack. Seth and Leah's widowed mom, Sue Clearwater, has gotten closer to Charlie and they're probably doing it. Also, Bella is still obsessed with sex:
And I was euphoric the vast majority of the time. The days were not long enough for me to get my fill of adoring my daughter; the nights did not have enough hours to satisfy my need for Edward.Oy.
On the less happy-shiny end of things, Renesmee speaks her first word at one week old (uh, technically she says “Momma, where is Grandpa?”). And then she watches Alice do her little dancy-dancy walk and copies it almost perfectly… at the age of three weeks.
At three months, Renesmee could have been a big one-year-old, or a small two-year-old. She wasn’t shaped exactly like a toddler; she was leaner and more graceful, her proportions were more even, like an adult’s. Her bronze ringlets hung to her waist; I couldn’t bear to cut them, even if Alice would have allowed it. Renesmee could speak with flawless grammar and articulation, but she rarely bothered, preferring to simply show people what she wanted. She could not only walk but run and dance. She could even read.Tennyson, specifically. Man, I thought Claudia was creepy.
You know what really creeps me out about all this, in a weird way? That Bella’s only nineteen. Bella’s still a teenager, and she’s got, like, a full-grown toddler. Who can jump fifteen feet in the air to catch a snowflake—and might age-accelerate to “an old woman” in fifteen years. So... that kind of sucks.
So then the Cullens are planning a trip to Brazil to research Ticuna legends about hybrid vampire-human children when a wedding present from Aro arrives. Aro! Yay Aro! I love that dotty old vampire. Imagine Dumbledore on a really space-cadet day as a vampire: that’s how I think of him. Anyway, he sends her an ancient medieval gold necklace with a giant diamond, and Bella's thinking about how she needs to go back to Volterra (you know, the capital vampire city in Italy) alone so that the Volturi won't find out that the Cullens have a TABOO VERBOTEN BABYPIRE NOOOOO. But then one day she and Jacob and Renesmee are hunting (Nessie seems to dig elk if she can't get donated human blood from Carlisle's hospital), and hey, there's Irina! She decided to come visit after all! You know, Irina! Whose vampire not-mother was burnt alive over the issue of OH SHIT. Apparently Irina is also still pissed about what happened to Laurent (look, it's a long story and I don't think I actually included it, so: Laurent was one of James' buddies in the first book, and James decided to kill Bella for the lulz except that the Cullens tore James to bits first, so then James' life-mate Victoria got mad and stalked Bella for two books, but then Edward tore her head off while bonding with Seth, and... you know, I don't even remember what Laurent had to do with it. He was traveling with them, cut out to hide in Alaska with the Denalis while the James shit was going down, got attached to Irina, then came back and tried to kill Bella for... some reason, but the werewolves intervened and snarfled him), so here she shows up at the Cullens' and there's a werewolf and a child vampire playing right there. Fuck. Aaaaaand now the Volturi are coming for all of them.
Chapter 28: "The Future"
And now the plot has deigned to show up. Again: the Volturi are totally coming for them. By Alice's clairvoyant estimate, they have about a month before the Volturi can mobilize.
What would Irina tell the Volturi that would result in Alice’s appalling vision?DUH BELLA YOU HAVE A VAMPIRE KID.
Hey, wouldn't it be nice if Alice could look into the future and figure out what to do? Hey... Alice? Alice...?
Chapter 29: "Defection"
ALICE LEAVES THEM? She and Jasper LEAVE THEM?
But wait! Alice has left a note! The substance of which is, "Bye! Sucks to be you." ALICE, I AM REVOKING YOUR AWESOME CARD. I don't care that you left Bella a sekrit message in a copy of The Merchant of Venice ! YOU ARE HEREBY DEMOTED FROM AWESOME. And don't even talk to me about "Jazz."
The note, by the way, is an address followed by the words "Destroy this," which Bella takes to mean that Alice doesn't want Edward to know. Know what? I don't know. Something. Bella Googles the address, and then she and Edward have sex.
Chapter 30: "Irresistible"
Wait, the sex is in this chapter. Anyway, Bella and Edward have sex. Vaguely. Again.
Okay, so, let me break it on down for you. The two Volturi vampires they're really worried about are Jane, who can taser you with her mind, and Alec, who can mentally incapacitate everyone--i.e., make them really not care that they're getting their asses chomped. Bella has already shown herself to be immune to Jane even before she was a vampire (God, can I just tell you how happy it makes me to write things like "before she was a vampire"? I am just ridiculously full of glee that we don't ever have to listen to Bella whine about wanting to be one anymore, ever), and presumably she'll be immune to all the other Volturi thugs as well. Except that... none of her friends or family will be immune, so... that's kind of a problem. And Demetri's the Volturi's super-special-better-than-James tracker, so even if Bella runs with Renesmee, he'll find her.
What the Cullens are hoping to do, rather than fight, is to gather as many friends as they can to "witness" for them--basically, you spend an afternoon with Renesmee, she'll be like three inches taller by the time you leave. Thus, clearly, she's not a created, eternally-childlike vampire, which, as you recall, is TABOO AND VERY BAD. This is, of course, assuming the Volturi aren't just looking for an excuse to wipe the Cullens out for fun (they, uh, kind of are), but, you know: you do what you can. Except for Alice, who RAN AWAY.
Okay, let's be fair: Alice did say in her note, the one that everyone read, to go look up a bunch of their friends and make sure to show them Renesmee. And here's the first batch, the friends who came to the wedding:
Eleazar: A gentle former Volturi. Power: He can sense what everyone's gifts are.
Tanya: Irina's not-sister from the Denali clan who had (has?) a thing for Edward. Power: Not sure I saw it mentioned.
Kate: Irina's other not-sister from the Denali clan (Note from the future: who ends up being totally awesome. Power: electroshock skin).
Carmen: She's... she's with Eleazar. And she throws a lot of random Spanish into her dialogue ("May I hold you, bebé linda ?"). I don't know.
And then Renesmee shows them all her memories of growing up in, like, two weeks and they're all instantly charmed and on the Cullens' side. Obviously, Nessie gets her Mary Sue from her mother. Of course, they're also being bombarded by cuteness assaults like this:
“I’m not dangerous at all,” Renesmee interjected. I listened to her high, clear voice with new ears, imagining how she sounded to the others. “I never hurt Grandpa or Sue or Billy [Jacob's father]. I love humans. And wolf-people like my Jacob.” She dropped Edward’s hand to reach back and pat Jacob’s arm.I... I kind of love Renesmee. I think I'm developing Stockholm Syndrome. Please send help.
Chapter 31: "Talented"
Guess who's more talented than you? BELLA SWAN, DUH:
“Excuse me,” Edward said in a stunned voice. He reached out and caught Eleazar’s shoulder as he was about to turn again for the door. “What did you just call my wife?”Hey, remember how Edward could never read Bella's mind? And Aro couldn't either? And Jane could never crucio her? Well, now it turns out that Bella has the bestest, strongest power of anyone! No one can get around her shield!
Eleazar looked at Edward curiously, his manic pacing forgotten for the moment. “A shield, I think. She’s blocking me now, so I can’t be sure.”
I stared at Eleazar, my brows furrowing in confusion. Shield? What did he mean about my blocking him? I was standing right here beside him, not defensive in any way.
“Momma, you’re special,” Renesmee told me without any surprise, like she was commenting on the color of my clothes.From the mouths of babes! Half-vampire babes! It must be true. And then Eleazar realizes that that's what the Volturi does : kills and burns and devastates, and then accepts "repentant" vampires into their numbers. And of course the "repentant" ones, the ones they just magically let live, are the most talented. And which family is full of talented Mary Sue vampires? OH SHIT. And that's why Aro's taking a full month to march the entire Volturi down (over?) to Forks to administer the "punishment" for having an alleged child vampire in person: to add to his collection. And that's why Alice got the hell out of Dodge. Oh, Dumblevamp, how could you?
Chapter 32: "Company"
Can I get a witness? Roll call!
Peter and Charlotte: Jasper's friends. Nomads? Don't hear much about them.
The Irish clan: Carlisle's friends. Siobhan can will things, like goals or events, to happen. I mean, maybe not immediately, because that would be too helpful. But, you know. Eventually. Her partner Liam is "territorial." This is apparently a power. Their other companion, little Maggie, always knows when she's being lied to, which immediately gets any doubt about Renesmee out of the way. Convenient!
The Egyptian vampires: Amun is a cranky bastard who apparently has the power of being an unhelpful jerk. His mate Kebi has the power of... being his mate. Cute young (but not too young) Benjamin can actually control physical elements, like Captain Planet or something, I don't know. He also has the power of never taking any shit from Amun, no matter how bad Amun wants to boss him around or weaponize his elemental powers. Benjamin also has a mate named Tia, but if she has a power, I don't know about it.
Garrett: Emmett's friend. (Okay, Bella says "Emmett and Rosalie's," but I'm sorry, this is totally the kind of guy Emmett would hang with.) A hot adventuresome nomad vampire; sadly, he has no gifts... except the gift of being awesome. You'll be seeing more of him.
Mary and Randall: Not interesting enough to get more than "they were nomads, and they decided to hang around."
Alistair: Another grumpy bastard, this time British, who prefers sulking in the Cullens' attic to socializing. Powers: tracking; wimping out on friends.
The Amazons: Sent by Alice, so at least she's working towards getting her awesome right. I would like to say that Zafrina is totally fierce, because she is, except that I mean in more of the "righteous chick I look up to" way, and I think Stephenie Meyer may mean it more in the "exotic Amazon heathen, let's stare at her" kind of way. I hope not. Zafrina and Senna are "like two limbs of one organism," and I don't know that we get any evidence as to what Senna's gender is, although Senna being "a mirror image" suggests female. Interesting. Anyway, Zafrina can make you see anything she wants you to see--literally, the power of illusion. Renesmee instantly takes a shine to Zafrina (MOAR PRETTY PICTURES, basically). Also, Kachiri is out there somewhere, but s/he's not here yet.
The Romanians: Vladimir and Stefan, who weren't actually invited, but are really, creepily eager to see someone take the Volturi down. Apparently their grudges go back 1500 years? Damn. Jacob calls them "Dracula 1 and Dracula 2." Man, it's good to love Jacob again after the four-hundred-page aneurysm that was Eclipse.
So meanwhile, Bella is having to learn vampire fighting techniques, the way Jasper taught the Cullens and the wolves in Eclipse, but Edward's not very good at teaching her because he can't bear to raise a hand against her, so he ends up making himself useful as a guinea pig while Bella shield-trains with Kate. Basically, Bella's trying to learn to extend her mind-shield around Edward, and they'll know she's succeeded when Kate's electroshock stops hurting. "Is it around you now?" "Owww." "Is it around you now?" "OWWWWW." Hey, why not get Zafrina to use her Skillz of Illusion instead of having Kate shock him? Well, because Edward's pain is a better motivator than Edward's "Hey, this rainforest is really pretty," that's why. Hey, you know what would be an even better motivator? NO NESSIE NO!
“But Momma, I want to help,” she said in a determined voice. Her hand rested against my neck, reinforcing her desire with images of the two of us together, a team.As it turns out, this is exactly what Bella needs to visualize what her mind-shield actually looks like and how it actually works, and before you know it, she's shielding Renesmee and Edward and hey, let's shield the whole damn house! Bravo, Bella.
(Note from the future: A lot of angry Twilighters have complained that Bella has a magical "shield of love." See, the thing is, the phrase "shield of love" is never used, and I don't think it even has anything to do with love at all--the mental block is something she's been doing unconsciously ever since the very first time Edward laid eyes on her in Twilight and couldn't hear her thoughts. Obviously, she's going to use it to protect people she loves. But she also uses it to protect people she met all of three weeks ago. Hell, she uses it to protect Dracula 1 and Dracula 2. You can complain that she's a Mary Sue because her power is the bestest and strongest of all, but it really does call back to the first book, and it doesn't have anything to do with love. In fact, I might argue that it's the most logical thing in all of Breaking Dawn.)
Meanwhile, Kate and Garrett start steaming up the practice session:
Garrett continued toward Kate despite [Edward's] warning, his lips pursed in speculation. “They say you can put a vampire flat on his back.”Again, I'm just... putting that out there.
“Yes,” she agreed. Then, with a sly smile, she wiggled her fingers playfully at him. “Curious?” [...] “You look strong, though. Perhaps you could withstand my gift.” She stretched her hand out to him, palm up—a clear invitation. Her lips twitched, and I was pretty sure her grave expression was an attempt to hustle him.
Chapter 33: "Forgery"
Hey, what was that sekrit note from Alice all about? Well, through a complicated series of redirections, she's trying to get Bella to go to a lawyer's office; the lawyer's so shady that he goes by three different names, but we'll stick with J. Jenks. So Bella drops Jacob and Nessie off at Charlie's and goes downtown to find this guy, who, it turns out, has done business with the Cullens before. Unfortunately, he usually does it through Jasper, and we don't know what Jasper did to him, exactly, but apparently he's willing to say "HOW HIGH??!?" when a Cullen says "Jump." But before J. Jenks' sleazy, uh, receptionist (well, someone has to hang around in front of his secret ghetto office all day) bothers to tell J. his new client's name, he describes Bella thusly over the phone:
“She looks like . . .” His eyes ran from my face to my shoes appreciatively. “Well, she looks like a freaking supermodel, that’s what she looks like.” I smiled and he winked at me, then went on. “Rocking body, pale as a sheet, dark brown hair almost to her waist, needs a good night’s sleep—any of this sounding familiar?”Ah, remember the pre-vampire, pre-wish fulfillment days when Bella was "too pale," "slim," and had all the boys fantasizing about her? ... Wait.
Anyway, the actual point of this trip is that J. Jenks supplies forged papers--exactly what Renesmee will need if she (and Jacob, Bella decides) need to flee the country. And that's why Edward (or anyone else) couldn't be allowed to know, because Aro would read it in his mind; Aro can't read Bella's, so only she can know.
(Side note: the papers are made out for Jacob Wolfe and Vanessa Wolfe. Heh.)
Chapter 34: "Declared"
And while she was out, she also bought Renesmee an antique locket with a French inscription that translates to More than my own life. Before you get something in your eye (no, really, it's nothing), check out what else Nessie got for Christmas:
Renesmee wore the locket I’d given her at dawn, and in her jacket pocket was the MP3 player Edward had given her—a tiny thing that held five thousand songs, already filled with Edward’s favorites. On her wrist was an intricately braided Quileute version of a promise ring.AHHHHHHHH.
Anyway, by the time they get back from Christmas lunch at Charlie's, Alistair's pussed out and made a run for it, and Carlisle and Benjamin are arguing with Amun, who threatens to join the Volturi, and everyone else is like WE STAND UNITED! I... am not united. I am tired.
Chapter 35: "Deadline"
Bella goes to a super secret private room in a fancy restaurant to pick up the papers from J. Jenks, and it seems that Edward's penchant for beige is catching:
[The waiter] took the calf-length ivory trench coat I’d worn to disguise the fact that I was wearing Alice’s idea of appropriate attire, and gasped quietly at my oyster satin cocktail dress.So Jenks has the papers. But he seems really nervous about something, and you know what it is? He's afraid that Bella's kidnapping Nessie from "Mr. Edward" and running away with her (and another man, presumably), and he knows that, if she does, "Mr. Jasper" will break him. Heh.
So: the day has come. The Cullens and company go out to the snow-covered clearing that Alice foresaw, and Bella has packed up a little black leather backpack/purse for Renesmee with the papers, money, letters for Nessie and Jacob and her parents, and a scrap of paper with RIO DE JANEIRO written on it, on the off chance that Alice would foresee Bella writing the words down and know to look for Jacob and Nessie there. Also on the off chance that Jacob will find the scrap of paper in the backpack and go there, or even have any clue what it means. Always be prepared!
Chapter 36: "Bloodlust"
So the Cullens and the vampire houseguests and the werewolves are all lined up and please, please do something, anything to wrap this up, I'm losing my will to live over here. Here come the Volturi! And the Volturi brought their entire guard (and... their wives?) and an angry mob of their own witnesses! And in response, the Quileutes now have sixteen wolves instead of ten, because so many vampires have been in town the last month that another crowd of teenagers fursploded. Man, that must have been awkward. And they must be eating the rez out of house and home.
More children dying. I wondered why Sam had allowed this, and then I realized he had no other choice. If any of the wolves stood with us, the Volturi would be sure to search out the rest. They had gambled their entire species on this stand.OH NOW YOU'VE JUST MADE BELLA SWAN CULLEN MAD:
And we were going to lose.
Abruptly, I was furious. Beyond furious, I was murderously enraged. My hopeless despair vanished entirely. A faint reddish glow highlighted the dark figures in front of me, and all I wanted in that moment was the chance to sink my teeth into them, to rip their limbs from their bodies and pile them for burning. I was so maddened I could have danced around the pyre where they roasted alive; I would have laughed while their ashes smoldered. My lips curved back automatically, and a low, fierce snarl tore up my throat from the pit of my stomach. I realized the corners of my mouth were turned up in a smile.(Note from the future: You see? I would actually characterize her power as more of a BELLA SMASH! than a "shield of love." And I do like Bella when she's angry.)
So anyway, there's three head vampires: deceptively dotty old
Chapter 37: "Contrivances"
Interesting factoid: We learn that the Quileutes are not actually werewolves, but rather shapeshifters:
"The choice of a wolf form was purely chance. It could have been a bear or a hawk or a panther when the first change was made. These creatures truly have nothing to do with the Children of the Moon. They have merely inherited this skill from their fathers. It’s genetic—they do not continue their species by infecting others the way true werewolves do.”Huh. Maybe I can shapeshift into someone who's gotten to the end of this book already. Please? Please.
Hey, Irina! It's time for Caius to do his bad cop routine! Irina fully admits that she jumped to conclusions and made a mistake, and that Renesmee is not a child vampire, so Caius has his guards TEAR IRINA TO PIECES AND BURN HER BODY ON THE SPOT, WHAT THE HELL. Apparently this is supposed to provoke her not-sisters Kate and Tanya into attacking so that the Volturi will then have a pretext to kill everyone, but Garrett and Zafrina and the Cullens restrain them, and the Volturi witnesses are starting to shift from foot to foot all like, "Wait... what just happened? That... that was kind of not cool," and Aro starts filibustering about how, okay, Renesmee is biologically half-human but they don't know what she'll grow up to be like and ONLY THE KNOWN IS ACCEPTABLE, SHE MUST BE DESTROYED FOR THE GREATER GOOD (THE GREATER GOOOOOOD), and then Garrett stands up and CALLS ARO OUT ON HIS SHIT, oh my Lord, thank you, Garrett, for ensuring that maybe we'll all get to go home sometime this century. So Aro's like, fine! Whoever doesn't like the Volturi, GTFO! And some of the Volturi witnesses start slinking away. HA! So... uh... what do we do now, Dumblevamp? "Let us counsel." NO! NO COUNSELING! NO MORE COUNSELING! I'VE BEEN HERE WRITING FOR TEN HOURS, MY FINGERS ARE CEASING TO FING!
Okay, look, I'm skipping ahead. Blah blah tell Jacob to run off with Nessie, blah blah Edward finds out Bella's secret plan, blah blah--wait, hold up, you gotta see this:
Edward leaned his head against the same shoulder where he’d placed Renesmee. “Goodbye, Jacob, my brother... my son.”So that... well, that happened. Uh. So... everyone says goodbye and I love you, and Garrett tells Kate (actual quote) "I’ll follow you anywhere, woman" and I spontaneously start shipping them.
Chapter 38: "Power"
OH MY GOD PLEASE FIGHT ALREADY. Wait! It's already started!
“Chelsea is trying to break our bindings,” Edward whispered. “But she can’t find them. She can’t feel us here. . . .” His eyes cut to me. “Are you doing that?”So they haven't even delivered a verdict and already Jane's trying to crucio them, but Bella has her shields up and starts taunting Jane and Alec sends over an invisible mist of not-caring and Bella holds it off and Aro starts filibustering again and then all of a sudden ALICE SHOWS UP BECAUSE SHE IS AWESOME with Jasper and Kachiri the Amazon and some Brazilian vampire chick and HER NEPHEW NAHUEL THE VAMPIRE-HUMAN HYBRID WHO CAN TOTALLY VOUCH FOR NESSIE GROWING UP NORMAL:
I smiled grimly at him. “I am all over this.”
We had forever. And Nessie was going to be fine and healthy and strong. Like the half-human Nahuel, in a hundred and fifty years she would still be young. And we would all be together. Happiness expanded like an explosion inside me—so extreme, so violent that I wasn’t sure I’d survive it.POW! WHAT NOW, MOTHERFUCKER!
“Forever,” Edward echoed in my ear.
So Aro and the Volturi put on big smiles and shuffle off like it was their idea and they just suddenly have better things to do. So of course, Bella responds the only way she knows how these days, which is to be horny:
I couldn’t speak anymore. I lifted my head and kissed [Edward] with a passion that might possibly set the forest on fire. I wouldn’t have noticed.Hey, I like it better than the whining of yore.
Chapter 39: "The Happily Ever After"
Man, I don't know whether the best part is that I got everything I wanted (FOUR FOR FOUR! *victory lap*), or that THE BOOK IS FINALLY OVER. And of course, it turned out that Bella saved everyone all by herself and none of the other X-Men even had to deploy their powers, and everyone goes back to the Cullens' to celebrate (except, uh, Kate and Tanya, whose buzz has kind of been harshed by the sudden immolation of their not-sister, but Garrett goes with them because he and Kate are totally forever now), and Nahuel no longer feels like he caused his mother's death, and Alice is like, "So wait, what was in Rio?"
Oh! OH! And then Bella shows Edward how Zafrina showed her to move her mind-shield outside herself, so now Edward can finally hear her thoughts (which, of course, are about sex):
I pressed my hands to his face again, hefted the shield right out of my mind, and then started in where I’d left off—with the crystal-clear memory of the first night of my new life... lingering on the details.
I laughed breathlessly when his urgent kiss interrupted my efforts again.
“Damn it,” he growled, kissing hungrily down the edge of my jaw.
“We have plenty of time to work on it,” I reminded him.
“Forever and forever and forever,” he murmured.
“That sounds exactly right to me.”
And then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our forever.
And they sexed happily ever after in their magic cottage while their half-vampire toddler slept in the next room, and it was the best series starting with a teenage girl in love with a mysterious boy in her class that ended up with a teenage girl defending her growth-accelerated mutant hybrid baby from an ancient clan of evil vampires with her magical psychic shield that I ever read, THE END.
(More Twilight recaps.)