I’ll be honest: The title of this chapter pretty much terrified me when I read it. I mean, we’ve had countless pages of pointless description up to now that Meyer seems to think were interesting, so if she thinks a chapter is boring enough to call it “Bored”…that’s scary. We only just recently found something resembling a plot here; can’t the book stay interesting for a little while? Please?
The chapter is aptly named, though, as it is pretty damn boring. Even the parts that should be interesting are boring, and nothing really happens in this chapter until the very end. 9 and a half pages, and the only action is on the last page, and even then, it’s not enough action to really be interesting. Yayyy. Most of the chapter just feels like filler, which is something we clearly don’t need with over 450 pages left to go.
450 pages…dear god. I don’t know if I can do this.
Anyway, at the end of the last chapter, Wanderer had just scrambled back into her hole after the argument between Jared, Jamie and Jeb, so she starts this chapter still inside the hole, after many hours have passed.
As usual, Meyer wastes time describing a brief but unimportant interaction between Wanderer and Jeb, and then how boring and uncomfortable it is for Wanderer to be stuck in the hole, followed by more of Stryder and Wanderer worrying about how they’ve hurt Jamie and shouldn’t have come here, like in the last chapter.
Out of boredom, the pair apparently flip through their joint memories, which can’t be many since it’s only been a few months…unless Meyer is trying to tell us that all of both of their memories are now considered joint, so when Stryder remembers life before Wanderer, or Wanderer remembers her stupid past lives, they are considered ‘joint memories’. If that’s the case, on one hand I feel relieved that Meyer for once actually spared us from hearing more of Wanderer’s past life stories, so I don’t have to stab myself, and on the other, I think that that concept is incredibly fucking stupid and so very wrong.
Either way, I hate Meyer’s description of this:
“We flipped through our joint memories apathetically, like switching TV channels without stopping to watch anything in particular.”
I’ve talked about something similar to this before, when Wanderer was driving to Tucson, but I’ll say it again: Memories do not work that way. They just simply do not. Stop saying things like that, please, Meyer.
Eventually, Jeb shows up and offers to take Wanderer out to use the bathroom again, but before they can go, Jared butts in and decides he wants to take her instead, probably because he doesn’t really trust Jeb with her and is disgusted by their amicable relationship. He takes Jeb’s gun, and though Wanderer is wary about going with him, she does after Jeb reassures her that it’s okay.
The next bunch of paragraphs basically just describe Wanderer’s trek through the cave with Jared, and how much harder it is than it was when she went with Jeb, because Jared doesn’t wait for her or help her out at all. At one point in the journey, Wanderer accidentally touches Jared’s back, and he hisses angrily in response. Because, y’know, that’s a thing that humans do. We’re just like cats.
It’s nighttime while they’re making this journey, so we are treated to a description of what the lighting system in the big room looks like at night, which is apparently “a hundred tiny moons” shining their light from the ceiling in “patternless clusters“. It sounds like it’s just holes in the ceiling that allow light in from outside, but that doesn’t seem like the most practical idea, so I have no idea what the hell is going on here. The fact that it keeps coming up still makes me think Meyer will explain it eventually, but who knows?
When Jared and Wanderer finally reach the bathroom, he does not give her a flashlight to get through to the toilet, so Wanderer begins to think about what would happen if she slipped and fell into the hot spring. She thinks Jared would see it as a “kind intervention of fate” (again, because people think like that), but Stryder disagrees, saying she thinks he would be sad. Wanderer retorts that Jared might be sad in that he’d be reminded of the pain of losing Stryder the first time, but that that would be overwhelmed by the happiness that Wanderer was gone.
Sadly, Wanderer is probably right in this scenario. For Jared, the absolute finality of knowing Stryder was gone for sure would be painful, and Stryder is right that he would be sad, but ultimately, it would bring him relief because he would finally have closure. Before she showed up, he didn’t know for sure if she was dead, but this way he’d know she was, and he wouldn’t have to be the one that chose to kill her or live with knowing she was at least part alien.
Styder replies to Wanderer’s retort with “Because he doesn’t know you“, but I don’t know, Wanderer is a selfish bitch, and I’m not sure Jared would really be into that. Especially not with some of her views on things. But maybe Wanderer has changed more than we know, and Stryder knows that because she’s been there to hear her thoughts about everything, so Jared would be able to bear her a little better.
Still, though, I don’t think getting to know her would make him feel any better about the fact that she stole his girlfriend’s body and put her and everyone else through so much. She’d still be in the way of what he wants, which is Stryder…just Stryder, as he had her before, not Stryder v. 2.0, with 100% more alien implantation.
I also think it’s unrealistic that Stryder would feel this way, no matter how much she ended up ‘connecting’ with Wanderer. Wanderer has still ruined her life and her family, and at this point, there’s still no proof that anything will ever fix that, so I don’t think Stryder getting to know her would make her feel much better either.
Anyway, Wanderer is shocked by Stryder’s compliment, even though it’s not the first, but she can’t stop long to think on it because Jared apparently thinks she’s been in the bathroom too long, so he rushes her out.
Amazingly, Meyer skips describing the trip back to Wanderer’s ‘cell’, cutting straight to their arrival there, where Jeb is waiting. He’s brought two sleeping bags and two pillows, and asks if he’s sleeping there or Jared is. Of course, Jared decides that he will stay, but he won’t allow Jeb to give Wanderer a sleeping bag or pillow, despite Jeb’s protests. Jeb calls Jared cruel and apologizes to Wanderer, which pisses Jared off, and then he leaves and Wanderer hurries back into her hole.
Jared sets up camp where Wanderer can see him through the hole’s opening, making a show of getting his bed ready, as though to flaunt it. I want to say I understand why he’s doing this, because I know he’s really angry, but still, it’s starting to seem petty. Some of the things he does are just more immature than I’d expect of a grown man. I don’t want to start disliking Jared, Meyer; don’t do this…
Jared threatens that he will kill Wanderer if she tries to sneak past him while he sleeps, which offends her because she can’t see why he’d think she’d be stupid enough to try to sneak out, knowing that it would lead only to her death either at the hands of one of the humans in the cave or starvation and dehydration in the desert, like before.
She wonders what he thinks she can do that would make her powerful enough to survive if she got away, especially given how she was found and her reactions since being amongst the humans, but I don’t think he threatened her for that reason; I think he was just trying to make a point. He was trying to talk tougher than he actually felt, whether it made sense or not.
Wanderer notices that Jared has fallen asleep because he twitches restlessly, as she’s seen in Stryder’s memories, so hey, I guess they did end up sharing a bed after all. Go Stryder! Guess you must have figured out that birth control situation at some point.
There’s another of those lovely little section breaks here, and then apparently days have passed; perhaps even enough to make up a week. So glad we didn’t have to suffer through all that. Apparently Jared has been silent throughout all that time, and has not allowed anyone else to come anywhere near where Wanderer is being kept, because Meyer describes all this isolation for a while, and then finally sums it up as being like a sensory deprivation chamber.
Stryder and Wanderer are both worried that they’re going to go crazy because of the monotony, which is valid, but then there’s this from Stryder:
“We both hear a voice in our head, she pointed out. That’s never a good sign.”
…What? At first I thought that was supposed to be a joke, but then Wanderer responds in a genuinely worried manner. Is Stryder kidding here or not? I hope she is, because otherwise that’s absolutely the stupidest thing I’ve seen in this book so far…
Wanderer worries that they are going to forget how to speak because it’s been like four days since anyone spoke to them, and then Stryder chastises Wanderer for biting her nails, because that was entirely necessary to add into this story.
Meyer describes that instead of Jeb bringing food, the food is brought to the end of the hallway by someone, and Jared collects it. She bothers to go on about the special treats Jared gets, that seem to be just to flaunt in front of Wanderer, and again, what’s the point of this? And why doesn’t Wanderer understand how humans got those kinds of food, when she’s seen in Stryder’s memories that they foraged from the aliens?
Because Jared’s being petty with the food stuff, I’m kind of glad that it entertains Wanderer and Stryder when they hear him eat the special treats. I’m glad they think it’s funny that he’s trying to rub it in, instead of falling for his immaturity and getting annoyed or upset, or wishing they could have what he does. Maybe that’ll make him grow up a little.
Despite how pleased I am about their reactions in that way, I still think it was completely unnecessary for Meyer to go on for half a page about one instance where Jared ate a Cheeto. Yes, I get it, it was hilarious to them, and the fact that it was hilarious to them caused him to move away from them, and that’s supposed to be important for some reason, even though it’s not at all in this chapter, but still. It’s a Cheeto; we didn’t need to hear that much about it.
Jared takes Wanderer to use the bathroom twice a night, apparently, which seems…like it would be hard to manage for her, potentially, but hey, I guess you’d get used to it after a while, especially if you had no other choice. Wanderer enjoys those trips because she gets to stretch her legs, but she doesn’t enjoy that people keep coming to ‘visit’ during the night, especially since at least one of them was Kyle, still being douchetastic and saying unrealistic lines that sound like they were pulled directly from a cheesy movie.
Jared scares off everyone that shows up, until someone shows up claiming that they “come in peace” (haha, because it’s an alien story; I get it…-_-) and just want to talk. Jared is defensive at first, but very quickly relaxes when the guy says he would have brought more people if he wanted to fight, which seems far more trusting than Jared has seemed to be since he met Stryder the very first time. These characters really do not hold consistent positions on anything at all, I guess.
Jared sits down to talk to the guy, and it’s revealed that said guy is Ian, the one who previously attempted to strangle Wanderer…so definitely someone to trust really quickly, right? They talk briefly about Kyle, and Wanderer notes the camaraderie between them despite that Jared still has the gun pointed at Ian, and then says that their bond would be thicker than blood. Again, yeah, I don’t think so, but whatever, Meyer. You might want to think of another way to describe bonded connections, at the very least, since it’s pretty spectacularly annoying seeing that one more than once.
Ian sits down and there’s a random description of him and his nose, then Jared asks him what he wants, and Ian starts talking about how the aliens have given up the search for Wanderer. Apparently this knowledge causes tension, but I have no idea why, because I’d think Jared would be relieved that they weren’t searching for her anymore, because that would keep the aliens away from their hideout. Maybe I’m completely misinterpreting what’s going on here.
“We’ve been keeping a close watch for some change, but they never seemed overly anxious. The search never strayed from the area where we abandoned the car, and for the past few days they were clearly looking for a body rather than a survivor.”
And now I’m confused. They never seemed overly anxious? They lost one of their own, and they are supposed to be all loving and wonderful, but they weren’t anxious about the loss of her? How does that make sense? And if that’s not what he’s referring to, what is he referring to?
Also, “we” abandoned the car? What car; the car Wanderer was driving? How did they abandon the car? It was Wanderer that abandoned it, in the ditch. Did they somehow find it, move it, and then abandon it again for the aliens to find? If so, why? If not, wtf? And how did they know about the car in the first place, if it was some amount of days away from where they are?? Unless they mean a car of their own, in which case why would they have abandoned it, and what does that have to do with anything at all?
Ian goes on to describe that the alien search party left some garbage out in the open at one point and a pack of coyotes was drawn to it, which led to one of the Seekers being dragged into the desert. Apparently the Seeker was fine, because that’s realistic, and because “the other Seekers were armed, of course“. “Of course“, he says! Of course they were, just like they were when they chased Stryder down, except that oh no the aliens do not USE weapons because they do not use force and blah blah blah peaceful bullshit! My god, the contradictions!
Anyway, that experience apparently solidified for the aliens that Wanderer must be dead, because the coyotes would have gotten her, so they gave up their search for her. Wanderer wonders how Ian and the other humans can know so much about the Seekers’ search, and it makes her uncomfortable to realize that the humans could watch the ‘souls’ all along without them knowing it.
Jared and Ian agree that Wanderer being considered dead is pretty much the end of it, except that Ian knows something else that’s “probably nothing” but obviously isn’t.
“Jared tensed again; he didn’t like having his intelligence edited.”
Having his intelligence edited? What the…ugh, I’m not even touching that one. Just..no.
Jared asks Ian to explain what the thing that is probably nothing is, and Ian says that only Kyle is worried about it, so basically no one gives that much credence to it, but Ian wants Jared’s take on it because he has “the best instincts for this kind of thing“. I don’t really know what the hell that’s supposed to mean. Is this something they deal with often? It sure didn’t sound like it was.
Ian explains that there’s one Seeker that packs a Glock, and somehow Wanderer is able to figure out what that is despite that it’s not in Stryder’s vocabulary, even though that makes absolutely NO sense if the aliens are supposed to be non-violent and hate weapons, because she shouldn’t have ever experienced a Glock before. Especially since they’re a human invention. They’re either into weapons or they’re not, Meyer; take your pick and stick with it for once. It can’t make her ill that he’s envious of the Seeker having one if she knows what it is independent of Stryder, and therefore knows weapons well. Come on now.
Ian describes the Seeker in a very confusing way, because he says that the humans couldn’t hear what the Seekers were saying, yet he seems to know exactly what they were talking about, at the same time. He says that this Seeker did not have decision-making power in the group, and that said Seeker didn’t seem important to the others in the group, which again doesn’t add up with their supposed view of each other, since they’re supposed to be non-judgemental, and therefore would need to consider the opinions of everyone equally. Frustrationnnnn. I thought we were done with these problems a few chapters ago, but they all seem to be back at once in this one.
Anyway, Ian explains that when the search was called off, this particular Seeker was not happy about it, and then he goes into how they’re all supposed to be so pleasant, which we’ve just seen contradicted, but he needs to say it so Meyer can point out that this one wasn’t like that (which makes complete fucking sense), because it tried to start an argument with the others. The other Seekers apparently disregarded this Seeker’s attempt to argue and left, but the unhappy one drove halfway to Phoenix, then back to Tucson, then west again.
…Okay, yeah, so the point here is that the Seeker is obviously still searching for Wanderer, as Jared points out, but now we’re getting ridiculous. In a world where humans would have to work very hard to get the fuel necessary to run the few cars they may have access to, there’s no way they’d care enough about what ONE Seeker was doing to follow it around like that. And because they wouldn’t follow it, they’d have no clue where it went, or in what order.
Yeah, they may be able to keep tabs on the Seekers in their general area, even though that in itself is hard to believe, given how large their area is, but they would not be able to keep tabs on the amount of distance they claim that Seeker covered without wasting a lot of precious resources. Stupid. Stupid, stupid, poorly thought out book.
Ian goes on to say the Seeker stopped to question the ‘parasite’ at the convenience store Wanderer stopped at, but that nothing came of that, so it went for a hike up the peak. He refers to the Seeker as a “stupid little thing“, because it would be burning alive since it was wearing black from head to toe, and this comment leads Wanderer to the OH MY GOD moment when she realizes who the Seeker is.
Oh, come on, it was so obvious that this was our still stupidly unnamed Seeker from the first however many chapters; is Wanderer really stupid enough that she didn’t figure that out until he described the clothes? Who else would be so determined, and care after everyone else gave up??
Wanderer basically throws herself into the wall and curls up into a ball when she realizes it’s her Seeker, and then she hisses like Jared did earlier, and I really want to stab Meyer because once again, THAT IS NOT A THING THAT HUMANS DO. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, we do not hiss unless we’re possessed or secretly actually snakes or cats (or Hannibal Lecter). She would make a sound, sure, but NOT a hiss.
That hiss is necessary, though, because Ian’s got to hear something to make him look into the hole, and when he and Jared do so, they can see that Wanderer is terrified. Wanderer can’t stop shaking as Jared surveys her, and she and Stryder share a quick exchange regarding how the Seeker will never give up, then Wanderer gets very upset that the Seeker won’t just let her be dead like the others did.
Jared realizes that she must know something about this Seeker in black, since she didn’t react to anything that was said before that point, so he yells at her to tell him who the Seeker is. She says nothing because she is still afraid of him, but he presses her, saying that he knows she can talk, so she’s going to talk to him. He climbs into the cave to intimidate her, and demands to know what she knows, and that’s the end of the chapter.
Dun dun dun….what will happen to poor little Wanderer now?! Guess we’ll find out soon…
(See Mike’s take on this chapter at http://emptystress.wordpress.com!)