I made a horrible mistake. In my review of the last chapter, I pretty much begged Meyer to move on from talking about the See Weeds, and boy, was that a bad idea. “Be careful what you wish for” has never been as true for me before as it has been today.
See, this chapter starts off with Wanderer giving a lecture to her class, and let me tell you, I completely understand why Stryder grows bored when Wanderer is working, because I’m pretty sure I’d rather carve my own eyes out with a spoon than ever read this again. It actually physically hurt my brain to read it. Wanderer is teaching something she’s not familiar with because it’s not something she’s actually experienced, and it’s so fucking inane, and I couldn’t POSSIBLY care any less than I do about it, but here it is, and Meyer is shoving it down our throats, and just…WHY?! What purpose can this possibly serve? Is it just torture for the sake of torture? Please, Meyer, there are better ways! I’m sorry for questioning you before, even though I’ll probably (definitely) do it again; just please, make it STOP!
…I’m sorry for that outburst. I’ll try to contain myself from here on out. It’s just that all of this about the Fire-Tasters is pointless and stupid, and I sometimes feel like Meyer is just killing time when she writes these sorts of things. I know she thinks this whole section proves that the souls always have the best interests of a planet or species at heart, even if they’re doing something horrible like mass-murdering an entire other species, because that only happens when there’s a misunderstanding, but we’ve already seen that that’s not true, so it’s really just more pointless drivel. The only partially useful thing I can glean from this is that Meyer probably smokes pot, and justifies that by saying it’s totally nutritionally beneficial for her, which makes everything up to this point make much more sense.
Other than that, I’m not going to bother getting into anything she wrote about here in terms of the Fire-Tasters, because it’s rife with problems, and it’s so fucking annoying it still feels like my brain is trying to escape my skull, so I am simply not going to put myself through it again. If you’re feeling particularly masochistic, go give it a read.
So after we learn all the stupid crap about Fire-Tasters, there’s mention that one of the students Wanderer is talking to is new to this ‘being a soul’ thing, and that Earth is his home, and a human body his first host. That leads me right back to wondering where the souls come from in the first place, and whether they get a choice at all of where they go to be inserted the first time.
It’s also mentioned that his mother was an ‘Earth-dweller’ before she “gave herself”…did she actually give herself? Can humans do that? And what does that have to do with anything? Is this saying that regular humans and aliens can have babies together, if the human is willing, and when they do, those babies will have brand new souls without going through insertion? Because that doesn’t make much sense. Maybe it just means she decided to become an alien instead of having to be ‘taken’, and Earth is her soul’s first world too. It can’t mean that they made her an alien, because that’s not ‘giving herself’…though I guess they do think they’re doing an awesome thing for the humans, so maybe they always view it as voluntary because it’s ‘better’ than what they were before.
She wonders “what it would be like to be born into the overwhelming sensation and emotion of these hosts with no prior experience for balance“, because, y’know, she’s doing so well at not bitching, whining and crying at every turn about how hard it is, when she’s got all this experience, so that obviously helps a LOT! She’s totally balanced! Hell, if it was your first body and you were born into it (as little sense as that might make), you’d probably do better at it, because you wouldn’t have a prior basis of things being supposedly easier in other bodies! And it’s not like humans aren’t born into it or anything…sure, our emotions and whatnot develop over time, as we age, but since the host bodies apparently age too, and the souls would have to with them if they were *brand new*, and he’d been in the host body “since birth”, he’d have the same experience we do growing into it, not just a random rush of emotions! Use your brain, Wanderer! You’re supposed to be a teacher!
Anyway, Wanderer gets bitchy because this guy who’s supposedly not as good as her because she’s been all over the place calls her out on being a hypocrite, and then Stryder calls her out on being a hypocrite, and a prideful one at that, and of course rather than admit that either of them might be right, Wanderer instead starts blaming Stryder for all her problems again, because Stryder’s so “unbearable”. Thank fucking god we’re all adults here that can take responsibility for our own thoughts and actions, right, Wanderer?
God, this book annoys me. I’m actually looking forward to Twilight and Fifty Shades. (Stay tuned to see me regret that one, I’m sure…)
The Seeker is there in class, because she’s got nothing better to do and she’s still stalking Wanderer, because that’s productive and useful and all the things everyone and everything in this book has been so far. Then there’s more useless drivel, and we’re supposed to feel bad for Wanderer because she has no desire to make friends because they’re strangers. Apparently that’s just the way she is, because she did it in her other forms too, and oh boo fucking hoo, she’s never formed an attachment to anything BY CHOICE…how am I supposed to feel bad for her? If she CHOOSES not to have friends or relationships, she’s made her own decision, and that’s fine; I would feel the same way about any human in real life choosing not to have friends! I’m not going to cry because someone makes a decision that differs from the one that I would make!
The Seeker shows up behind Wanderer, and for some reason we care that she’s wearing black sneakers this time. I don’t know why, because it certainly doesn’t ever become relevant, but there you have it. You’re welcome.
The Seeker irritates Wanderer again, and she snaps at her, saying that the student needs to learn some manners, which is hypocritical yet again, since Wanderer has been VERY rude VERY often in this book. And hey, apparently it’s really dusty in this area of the world, because Wanderer can see dust motes in the salty air outside, and besides being a completely normal thing that happens all the time, that’s also entirely relevant to everything else in this scene! Apparently it pisses her off even more, because she’s now decided to be insulted even when she doesn’t know what she’s insulted by. So mature, this one.
Wanderer and the Seeker talk about how Wanderer pities the humans, though you’d never know it by the way she treats Stryder both throughout the book and later in this same goddamn chapter, then there’s more random description about the ‘golden’ air and whatnot (personally, I think golden air would terrify me; that’s some end of the world bullshit right there), and we find out this is the Seeker’s first world too, which probably explains why she’s so fucking bad at her job.
The Seeker tells Wanderer that she spoke with Wanderer’s Comforter (-_-), they have another little argument about invasion of privacy, which couldn’t possibly be more ironic, and the Seeker accuses Wanderer of becoming sympathetic to her host. If she is doing that, she’s doing it in the bitchiest way possible, but hey, she does seem to generally just be kind of bitch, so why am I surprised? Oh wait, it’s supposedly happening unconsciously, because that makes sense.
Anyway, the Seeker once again suggests that Wanderer switch to a different body, because it wouldn’t be right to get through the whole chapter without having that same goddamn argument again, and then says that she’s been given permission to take over the host body to find out the information instead, which won’t fly because again, Wanderer is not a skipper. Annnd I’m back to why the hell do they care so much about this ONE person’s information that they’re willing to go to those kinds of lengths, knowing the risks? Especially now; it’s been months since Stryder’s ‘accident’, so I’d imagine any information she’d have would be completely useless by this point anyway!
It’s admitted, right in the chapter, that it’s probably too late to get anything from Stryder’s memories, but then the Seeker says that when Stryder takes control, she might lead her (the Seeker) to “them” (Jamie and Jared, presumably). How?? She would have NO way of knowing where they would be at that point, with all the time that had passed, especially if there was nothing in her own memories that would help with that!
This also raises a whole bunch of questions about how they can just switch hosts and go back to the previous ones, and what damage that would cause, and etc., but I just cannot be bothered right now. Sorry.
We have a bunch of scare tactics by the Seeker, then she says that there will be no more adult hosts offered because they’re losing souls, which makes me think both THANK GOD because of all I said before about how they shouldn’t be bothering with that, and makes me wonder how many they were even finding in the first place, given that there are apparently so few humans left on earth that four years ago, Stryder and Jared were the first humans each other had seen in two years.
More scare tactics and threats and whatever, the Seeker suggests that Wanderer consider Motherhood, that’s apparently offensive and impolite, though I have no idea why, and we find out why the Seeker does her work and are supposed to care about that, even though right after saying something meant to make Wanderer see things from her point of view, she goes ahead and insults her again. I can’t get over how childish EVERYONE in this book is! How old is Meyer, that these are the things she comes up with?!
Wanderer and Stryder have another conversation/argument, and we learn that the way the aliens run things is incredibly fucking stupid and useless, which is probably the first consistent thing in this book, and this whole section is once again rife with dialogue that no one would ever actually say!
“I know – let’s kill her!”
Oh, wait, someone would say that…a child. A 5 year old, maybe; certainly not a 20 year old, or even a 16 year old, which is the youngest age at which we meet Stryder. None of this dialogue is realistic, because real people don’t talk OR think like this, and I have to wonder who Meyer was listening to or studying when she wrote this that would lead her to word things this way. She must have been surrounded by children all the time, and never a single adult. It’s the only way it makes sense.
Here’s a question: How does Wanderer think about things that Stryder is not aware of? How can Stryder be surprised when, at the end of the chapter, Wanderer is planning to kill her (somehow; let’s see how little sense this plan makes), if they are sharing a consciousness? Wouldn’t she be able to hear Wanderer’s thoughts? She’s already proven that she knows what Wanderer thinks and feels at other times before, and vice versa, so how is anything truly secret between the two of them?
The only way I could see it working is if Wanderer can block some of her thoughts away from Stryder, like Stryder does to her, but if she has enough control to do that, how the hell can’t she just block Stryder out entirely? Or at least ignore her to enough of a degree that she would stop being such a problem ALL the time, and they wouldn’t have to go through with the whole murder plan.
“I’d never thought about how you all carry on your species. I didn’t know it was like that.”
“We take it very seriously, as you can imagine. Thanks for your concern.”
What is this referring to? Is it just more mysterious lead up for things that are probably going to be disappointing or frustrating in a chapter or two? It sounds like it’s probably about the whole Motherhood thing, but it’s quite a bit after that, and provides absolutely no further explanation, so it continues to be exactly as useless as the reference was in the first place. There’s such good writing in this book.
Anyway, as I said before, the chapter ends with Wanderer revealing to Stryder that they’re going to Chicago to see Fords – because her own Healer wherever they are isn’t good enough I guess – so that she can talk to him about her decision to kill Stryder, somehow. Unless that means Wanderer will switch to a different host (which she’s repeatedly claimed she would never do) and make sure the host body dies, I don’t know how she could possibly kill Stryder, and how she could get away with it if she tried, if it’s so important that the Seeker have access to Stryder and her memories. Besides, if the aliens could live in the host bodies without the host’s consciousness intact, why wouldn’t they have done that with all the host bodies once they’d accessed the memories they needed?
This book makes zero sense and I just cannot be bothered with it anymore. I really tried to be patient with it, and find things to like, but Meyer makes it impossible.
…And yet, I’ll be back on Tuesday with another chapter. *sigh* I’m gonna throw a random gif in here to cheer us all up.
(See Mike’s take on this chapter at http://emptystress.wordpress.com!)