So Ariel’s currently traveling to England to start grad school and in between Ariel being on an airplane, Ariel suddenly becoming an ephemeral being who has suddenly traveled forward in time by five hours which are now lost to time and space, and me forgetting to work ahead, Ariel couldn’t contribute to this post so it’s just me this time. While it’s pretty easy to say this is my “fault”, I’d like to point out once again that Ariel has traveled through time, which is not a problem we typically deal with here.
Chapter 45: Succeeded
The last chapter ended with Wanderer in the middle of her plan to steal Soul medicine (or whatever the fuck she wants to call it), in a hospital room having filled her backpack with stolen supplies, when suddenly she hears two sets of footsteps coming back to her room! Aaaahhhh-
Healer Knits Fire and Cerulean walked through the door together. […] She handed me a flat rectangle with a handle [note: you could just fucking say “mirror”, Meyer. Your constant need to write fluffy paragraphs with important words that actually describe what’s going on kind of make it hard for me to find quotes to summarize your awful, excessive writing]
“I thought you would want to see,” Knits Fire said with a warm smile.
The tension flooded out of me. There was no suspicion or fear.
Aw, man! Meyers Goosebumped us! Wanderer leaves with the goods, gets back in the car, and drives off. She also thinks a lot about the comparative natures of souls and humans, but when isn’t she doing this? As Wanderer and Jared drive back, Jared reveals his amazement that the plan worked and about how he trusts Wanderer and stuff. They get back to the cave and all the main characters fall into their rigidly unchanging and static roles in the story. Let’s see if you can guess!
The answer was the first one of every poll, but I bet that last one actually tripped you up a little bit! Because Jeb has two things he does all the time! What a deep character!
The rest of the chapter is Wanderer and Doc using the Soul medicine to cure Jamie and it works. There’s really nothing to say about it. It’s like a medical drama, but with characters I hate bringing another character I hate back into the action.
“Hey,” Jamie croaked. His eyes were open wide, roaming the room until they found my face. “Hey, Wanda. What’s going on? What’s everyone doing here?”
Chapter 46: Encircled
They keep healing Jamie, because for some reason this takes more than one chapter, and then Wanderer and Jared explain the raid they went on. Most people are impressed and pleased, except for Sharon, who storms out of the room all pissed off because she’s on Team I Hate Wanderer Because She’s An Alien. Per usual, Wanderer spends a page or so telling instead of showing:
How sad. How frightening. To be filled with so much hate that you could not even rejoice in the healing of a child…. How did anyone ever come to that point?
Because god forbid the reader is left to think “wow, this character might be too angry!” on their own.
Anyway, Wanderer’s harem starts being weird:
“You should have seen her,” Jared repeated in a low voice, still stroking my arm.
Ian’s fingers brushed across my cheek.
Jeb brings out some food and Jamie is back to being his insufferably pure-at-heart self:
“Wow, yum!” Jamie said, pawing through the box of dehydrated meals of the sort that hikers used. “Spaghetti. Excellent.”
There isn’t a single word of Jamie-dialogue there that doesn’t make me want to punch him in the face. Now, I realize that my hatred of Jamie for being a cute kid who’s actually one of the more reasonable characters in the novel is kind of unfair, but I want you to understand, that whenever Jamie says anything in this book, I don’t think this:
I think of that fucking kid from Shane:
Wanderer thinks about love for a couple hundred words while everybody’s eating their food. Then Ian and Jared get into an argument about whether Wanderer should go on any more raids. Ian’s point is pretty much “but she could get hurt!” for a few pages before Jeb’s like, “Oh my god, she can make her own goddamned life decisions! Shut up!”
“You can’t leave it up to her, Jeb,” Ian protested.
“Why not? Seems like she’s got her own mind. ‘S it your job to make decisions for her?”
Of course, this is a Stephenie Meyer novel, so Ian comes up with a reason why, yes, the female character shouldn’t make her own decisions:
“Do you want to go on raids?”
“If I can help, of course I should go.”
“That’s not what I asked, Wanda.”
I was quiet for a moment, trying to remember his question to see how I’d gotten it wrong.
“See, Jeb? She never takes into account her own wants – her own happiness, her own health, even. She’d do anything we asked her to, even if it got her killed. It’s not fair to ask her things the way we’d ask each other. We stop to think about ourselves. She doesn’t.”
Dear Ian. You have not been reading hundreds and hundreds of pages of Wanderer talking about literally everything you just described. Hundreds. And hundreds. Like, a few pages earlier in this very chapter even?
What was it that made this human love so much more desirable to me than the love of my own kind? Was it because it was exclusive and capricious? The souls offered love and acceptance to all. Did I crave a greater challenge? This love was tricky; it had no hard-and-fast rules – it might be given for free, as with Jamie, or earned through time and hard work, as with Ian, or completely and heartbreakingly unattainable, as with Jared.
Are you even paying attention?