I’ve suffered from Twilight-related writer’s block recently. I believe it can be argued that my own ability to put words onto a page has been severely compromised by Stephenie’s very incompetence to do so. Mhm… that is actually a good theory. I’ve got a better one, though: it’s all Jacob’s fault.
Part two of Breaking Dawn is told from the point of view of Jake “thick-as-a-brick” Black, and while I have read a lot of stories featuring stupid, annoying and insufferable characters in my life, Jake really takes the crown in that category without even breaking a sweat. I have this sneaking suspicion that I might have been able to finish the second part of Breaking Down months ago if it had been narrated by, say, Hitler or Genghis Khan or maybe, maybe, even Edward. But Jacob… really? I’ve seldomly encountered a less appealing character in my life. Jake is seventeen and behaves like a five-year-old, no doubt an intentional ploy of Stephenie’s to emphasise just how different were-cuddle and diamond-fang are. Doesn’t really help with making the character more endearing, Steph.
He persists in molesting poor Bella (please consider how bad it has to be for me to call Bells “poor”) and all that despite knowing that she doesn’t want puppy-love and that his potential soulmate is likely to be hiding just around the next corner (cowering in fear, I’d wager). And to add insult to injury I also constantly see Taylor “The Anabolic Steroid” Lautner’s moronic grin whenever I think of the character. Sigh. So can you blame me for trying to avoid the second part of Baking Prawn? Can you??
Anyway. As we all remember part one, narrated from the point of view of Bella Swan (aka The Willingly Abused One), featured Bella’s and Edward’s wedding, honeymoon, sex, feathers and a whole lot of wife-beating (but it’s cool, really, Bella likes it that way). Oh… and Bells got knocked up. What fun.
And what does Jake do while Edward is busy transforming Bells into a symphony in blue? Sharpening his teeth. Or claws. Pick one. He is, not entirely mistakenly, under the impression that Bella will either come back from her honeymoon with a nice new set of fangs and a sparkly disposition, or not at all. Depending on how hungry Eddie gets after sex. So he worries and waits and comes up with a dozen different ways of hunting vampire. Since I find Edward only marginally less boring that Jake, the thought seems almost pleasant.
As it is, Bells comes back and appears to still be alive. Sort of. Maybe. Hard to tell. Better go and check.
She’s alive, but to Jake’s dismay also slightly pregnant. Or a lot, considering that she claimed to be a virgin just a few weeks ago. That leaves us with three possibilities: Immaculate conception (quick, let’s start a religion), a lie (only she’s sort of too stupid to lie) and… *cue dramatic music* unnatural conception. Indeed the fetus, or thing as the baby-daddy lovingly calls it, seems to be growing at an unbelievable pace, probably because it wants to get away from Bella asap. And if Bella breaks a little with all the hurrying that’s going on, then who cares, eh? Bella doesn’t. Were-cuddle cares, which brings Edwardicide right back on the menu, at least as far as the cuddle is concerned.
Edward has a different plan, though. And what a plan it is. Masterful, I would call it, if I weren’t too busy weeping. “How about,” he says, “we talk her into getting an abortion. And then, Jake my friend, you can knock her up instead of me. That’s not gross at all, right?” You must see, abortion is evil, especially if done for paltry and selfish reasons such as saving the mother’s life. It follows that abortionists also endorse adultery, prostitution, second-row parking and possibly sodomy (difficult to tell when werewolves are concerned). The point is moot, since Bells almost has a miscarriage when Jacob confronts her with hubby’s clever plan, but Stephenie is still proud that she mentioned it.
With a vague sense of disgust I turn the page. Edward’s execution has been delayed for now, maybe Jake is hoping that Sparkly can still talk Bells into a little doggy-style action. The rest of the werewolf pack, lead by Sam Uley, are slightly less cool with the whole rapidly-growing-abomination-business and vow to kill the baby right now. Better safe than sorry. Not born yet you say? We’d better kill mom too then. Easier that way. Also she slept with a vampire, that’s unhygienic. Ultimately this leads to Jake splitting off from the rest of the pack to form his own mini-pack. Some sort of Vampire-BF-Club. There’s only two of them, in case you wondered. Jake and Seth (do I smell an instant promotion to pack leader’s second?). All this is possible, and I can’t really be bothered to go back and look up if this was mentioned before at any point, because apparently Jake should be the true alpha. All in the genes, as it turns out, because his grand-doggy was higher up in the social pecking order than Sam’s grand-doggy. Which means that as soon as the two have a disagreement, say about who gets to kill whose girlfriend, just add water and voila: instant alpha. Apparently it isn’t enough that Jake is three meters tall, shoots laser beams from his eyes and turns into a giant telepathic wolf… he has to be the Führer. Ever read any fan fiction, Steph? Or maybe I’m being unfair here… I hear some fanfic is quite nice.
Things progress at a leisurely pace from here onwards, which means that nothing really happens for the next 150 pages or so. Jake and Seth, later to be joined by Leah Clearwater, camp out in the woods near Casa Cullen. Edward is cranky because he sort of knocked Bells up with a killer fetus. Rosalie would rip said fetus out of Bella without a moment’s hesitation if she could be sure that the thing would survive while the mother wouldn’t. Carlisle is kind. Alice is spunky. Emmett is dumb. Nothing strange happening at all. Okay, so Bella starts drinking blood, because that’s the only thing that the baby can process, but who cares. Blood. Mixed pickles. Where’s the difference? (Well… it all depends on whether or not there are onions in the pickle.)
The Rosalie situation bears some thinking about though. I’m not quite sure what the book is trying to say here. Abortion is bad. Okay, that seems obvious enough. Abortion is bad, but try not to be too happy that the mommy is going to croak? Maybe. Edward can read minds (what is it with bad fan fiction and telepathy, btw? Anne McCaffrey does that too). He seems to indicate several times that he is well aware of the fact that Rosie wouldn’t be too bothered if Bella didn’t make it. He disapproves, not only of the pregnancy, but also of Rosalie’s callousness. Edward is clearly meant to be wrong about the abortion issue, and will as a matter of fact see the error of his ways in just a few pages, but what about his thoughts on Rosie? He is, after all, the infallible, sparkly He-vampire of Righteousness. Can he be wrong on both counts? The vibe that I get from Stephenie on the matter is that Rosie is a Bad Girl for not caring about Bells enough, but surely she only deserves a little slap on the wrist for that, because it’s all for the good of the baby really.
And I won’t even go into the whole killing the mother for the sake of the unborn child thing here. I comprehend that Bella wants to have the baby no matter what, even if it means her death. I’m also aware that in sparkly-vampire-land she just needs a few gallons of vampire venom and she’ll be right as rain. In real-people-land things are a little different, however.
As it is with most things, pregnancies included, they sooner or later come to an end. With Bells and her demon-baby this happens just a four or five days into the second part of Raking Lawn. With immaculate timing she moves in the wrong way at the wrong time and… her spine breaks and… oh sod it… whatever… she goes into labour. Her timing is further perfected by the fact that Carlisle, who is as we all remember a doctor, is out that day. Killing some endangered species for elevenses, no doubt. Just paragaphs before Edward has made telepathic (*sigh*) contact with the demon-child and is now totally pro-pregnancy, yay, let’s all kill Bella together! Which makes him the ideal volunteer for gnawing through Bella’s abdomen. (That’s right! Three applications of eating-someone-out in one book… astounding, Steph, really.)
As it turns out the demon-baby-uterus is made from demon-baby-vampire-skin and can thus only be cut by really sharp demon-vampire-sparkly-teeth. Funny thing, that: I always thought the uterus was a mommy-thing and not a baby-thing. Biology… go figure. In any case this means that Edward will literally (and trust me, I wish I was joking) have to open her belly with his teeth. Images I did not want in my mind, #143: Edward nibbling at Bella’s blood-splattered, pregnant belly button.
The baby is, of course, delivered without problem and Bella also makes it, sort of. By the time this segment of Quaking Fawn ends she is already well on her way to sparkly, vampire deadness. It’s what she wanted, so who am I to argue?
Jake is downstairs and will, in the course of the next few pages, make a wonderful discovery of his own. That’s all in the next part, of course, so I won’t spoil it now. That will be Bella’s narration again, so don’t any of you worry your pretty little heads about whether she’s going to make it or not. And I didn’t think I would say this, but I kind of look forward to reading her whiney voice. And there’s some really nice things that I am looking forward to talking about. Wildlife conservation issues, racial stereotyping and pedophilia, to name a few. But all that and more in the next part of the Twilight Experiment and the final part of Faking Yawn (I wish; the yawns were all 100% real).