At the end of the last chapter, someone was in the room with Melerer when she was about to go to sleep. This would scare the ever loving shit out of me as I’m always convinced a demon will be standing next to my bed. Or a serial killer. Or a serial killer who is also possessed by a demon. I guess that probably isn’t going to happen in a series that is already about aliens, but hey, you never know.
It’s just Jamie! He said Jeb was snoring too loud so he left that room. Turns out this is actually normally Jamie’s room…AND JARED’S! Man, this chapter is already full of crazy twists, I just don’t know what’s going to happen next. Melerer thinks that Jared will kill them over this, but somehow I think that’s a bit of a leap. So far the extent of Jared’s anger has been to yell, storm off, or spitefully eat Cheetos. I think Melerer will be just fine.
Jamie starts asking if Melanie is still in the body with Wanderer, and after literally two seconds of worrying that Jeb is using Jamie to get this information, Wanderer just tells Jamie that Melanie is indeed there. Meyer usually takes about twenty pages to explain Jared’s facial expressions and the way he eats Cheetos, but this worrisome situation gets one paragraph? What the fuck?
“Do you think…” He paused to sniff.
“Do you think that maybe Dad is still there, too?” I swallowed , trying to move the lump farther down my throat. It didn’t work.
“No, Jamie. No, I don’t think so. Not like Melanie is.”
“Because he brought the Seekers looking for you. Well, the soul inside him did. Your father wouldn’t have let that happen if he were still there. Your sister never let me see where the cabin was— she didn’t even let me know that you existed for the longest time. She didn’t bring me here until she was sure that I wouldn’t hurt you.” It was too much information.
Only as I finished speaking did I realize that the doctor wasn’t snoring anymore. I could hear no noise from his breathing. Stupid. I cursed myself internally.
It’s like, Melerer spends all this time being so careful but then she fucking forgets the doctor she is so scared of is two feet away? Man, Jamie’s tears must be magical or something.
Anyway, Wanderer admits that she now loves Jamie and Jared too, and she tells Jamie that Melanie doesn’t even hate her anymore. Awwww. Jamie says he’ll make sure no one tries to kill Melerer. His reasoning about why Jared won’t kill them is that even though Jared won’t believe the situation, he won’t kill them just in case. Romantic!
The next morning, Jeb sends Jamie off to class and tells Melerer it’s time people stop babysitting her and that she has to come along to do chores with him. Man, I sure hope we get forty pages of description about each and every fucking chore! That would certainly explain why there’s still over three hundred pages left of this book.
Jeb tells Melerer she’s stinky, so he’ll make sure she has time to bathe later. Haha.
I was almost right about taking ages to explain the chores. It’s not quite chores, though. Instead we get a shit ton of unnecessary details about the other people who live in this cave.
Once we got to the big plaza cave, we started passing humans. They all stared, infuriated, as usual . I was beginning to recognize most of them: the middle-aged woman with the long salt-and-pepper braid I had seen with the irrigation team yesterday. The short man with the round belly, thinning sandy hair, and ruddy cheeks had been with her. The athletic-looking woman with the caramel brown skin had been the one bent to tie her shoe the first time I’d come out here during the day.
That’s just the start of it. My favorite, though, is that last bit about the athletic-looking woman. The fact that Meyer takes the time to remind us that this woman was tying her shoes the first time Melerer saw her is so hilariously absurd. How does this elevate the reading experience at all? Am I supposed to be going, “Aha! That woman tying her shoe earlier has returned! What incredible attention to detail Meyer has!”
No wait, I was right, we get a long description of shoveling dirt to get ready for more planting crops! But no fucks are given here, so let’s move on to Wanderer continuing to wonder why Ian is suddenly being nicer to her. Remember Ian? He is some guy who lives in the cave who at first wanted to kill Melerer but now for some reason doesn’t. He’s shirtless in this scene, but because Meyer doesn’t talk about how sexy he is, I’m not sure if he will be a love interest or not. Also they finish creating the new field, which was apparently worthy of multiple pages.
You know it’s going to be a fascinating chapter because it opens with Melerer saying, “It was true I did not smell good.”
So far it’s mostly about taking a bath. No, really. Melerer just described taking a bath to us. Oh, twist, it’s also about eating. They go back to the main dining hall and eat. And in every scene, Melerer keeps on reminding us that when other people pass by, they stare at her or stop talking. Ian also seems to be lurking around every scene, so perhaps he will be a love interest after all. I just can’t tell because in every other book the love interest is mainly signified by the main character telling us how irresistible he is and her being extra clumsy around him or something.
Jeb leaves Melerer at one point to knead bread alone with three women who apparently don’t realize or care that Jeb isn’t there with his gun anymore. And yet they don’t shove Melerer’s head in an oven! What do ya know!
Jeb finally stops carrying his gun at all after a few days, which gets Melerer worried.
“Jeb…” I hesitated, trying to find a polite way to put it. “I… well , maybe it’s stupid of me, but I sort of thought we were friends.”
I scrutinized his face , looking for any change that might indicate that he was about to lie to me. He only looked kind, but what did I know of a liar’s tells?
“Of course we are, Wanda.”
“Then why are you trying to get me killed?”
His furry brows pulled together in surprise. “Now, why would you think that , honey?”
I listed my evidence. “You didn’t take the gun today. And yesterday you left me alone.”
Jeb explains that this is like “boiling a frog,” he’s just letting everyone get used to the situation,
Jeb explained. “If you throw a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will hop right out. But if you put that frog in a pot of tepid water and slowly warm it, the frog doesn’t figure out what’s going on until it’s too late. Boiled frog. It’s just a matter of working by slow degrees.”
I wish Meyer would just release a book of Jeb sayings. I’d write about that on here. I get what he’s saying, but it sounds like he’s trying to slowly kill his own people by letting them get used to the evil alien that has taken over Melanie’s body. Just saying.
When asked why he wants to be Melerer’s friend, Jeb explains that being friends with a soul makes him feel “super special.” Direct quote, y’all.
Melerer also confronts Ian about why he hasn’t killed her to which we get a really long, rambly response from Ian explaining that she’s probably harmless and a misfit of the souls and blah blah. He says that he’s been going on errands with Melerer because he and the doctor want to make sure no one tries to hurt her even though things seem to be calmed down. WOAH! The doctor who didn’t do anything to make himself seem evil except be feared by Melerer for no reason is actually not evil?!?!? TWIST!