Well, this chapter was annoying.  Surprised?  Yeah, me neither.  I’m sick right now, so I apologize if this isn’t the most interesting or comprehensive recap; at this point, I just want to get through it, so I really hope it ends up making sense.

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So we start off by learning that the Seeker’s host body is named Lacey, and Wanda thinks that’s a really inappropriate name because it’s too ‘dainty’ for her personality, since she’s still loud and complains a lot, like the Seeker was/did.  So hey, maybe I was right when I said they might not want the host body to live, since it was previously mentioned that the souls start to take on a bit of the attitude of their host…clearly Lacey and the Seeker weren’t all that different.  The Seeker may even have been nicer than Lacey, in actuality.  We will never know!

What’s great is that at the very beginning of this chapter, Wanda expresses her impression of  Lacey, which is basically that she’s annoying and repugnant (which is kind of hilarious since Wanda complains almost non-stop too, she just doesn’t realize that she’s annoying), but we’re also told in the third paragraph that Lacey’s got a lot to say, so right from the get-go we know how shitty this chapter is going to be.  You’re really enticing me to read on, Meyer!  I can’t imagine anything better than willingly submitting myself to complaining that’s bad enough to put even Wanda off!

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“‘That’s why we don’t like you,’ she told me that first night, making no change from the present tense or the plural pronoun. ‘When she realized that you were hearing Melanie just the way she was hearing me, it made her frightened. She thought you might guess. I was her deep, dark secret.” A grating laugh. ‘She couldn’t make me shut up. That’s why she became a Seeker, because she was hoping to figure out some way to better deal with resistant hosts. And then she requested being assigned to you, so she could watch how you did it. She was jealous of you; isn’t that pathetic? She wanted to be strong like you. It gave us a real kick when we thought Melanie had won. I guess that didn’t happen, though. I guess you did. So why did you come here? Why are you helping the rebels?‘”

So, Meyer points out that Lacey doesn’t switch from the present tense or the plural pronoun here…but why?  Why would she do that?  The rest of what she says here explains only why the Seeker wouldn’t like Wanda, not why Lacey wouldn’t.  Lacey could certainly dislike her for other reasons (mostly that she is an alien, and therefore the enemy), but it wouldn’t really make sense for her to dislike Wanda for the same reasons, so I’m not sure why Meyer did this.

Continuing with this quote, I must have misunderstood the way Callings work, because I thought you got one before going to your next planet, or at least as soon as you were put into your host body, but apparently the Seeker chose her Calling (another thing I didn’t think they could do; guess I mistook all of this) long enough after implantation that she knew both that she had a resistant host, and that her efforts to subdue it would always be in vain. So what did she do for a Calling before that, then?  Nothing?

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Also, how did the Seeker know Wanda would have a resistant host before meeting her?  The way Meyer wrote this, the Seeker was around from the very beginning, because she was in the Healing facility when Fords implanted Wanda into Stryder’s body…so the Seeker had already become a Seeker by that point as a result of her resistant host, and wanted to follow Wanda because she somehow psychically knew Wanda would have a resistant host after implantation too, but that she would be able to control it better somehow (even though she never did)?  Why was she there when Wanda was implanted, otherwise?  Did I miss something here?

And even after the Seeker knew Wanda had a resistant host in Stryder, she also knew Wanda didn’t have control over Stryder…so what made the Seeker think Wanda was stronger than her?  From the way I read this book, it was quite the opposite.  I don’t know if anything that I’m saying is making any sense, and even if it is, I’m not sure I’m making valid points right now.  My brain is pretty fuzzy, and doesn’t seem to be processing anything properly, so again, sorry about that.

At the end of that quote, Lacey asks Wanda why she’s helping ‘the rebels’ (seems an odd choice of words for a human, but meh), and Wanda explains that it’s because she and Stryder are friends.  Lacey is not happy about that, and demands to know why they would like each other, so Wanda simply explains that they each think the other is a good person.  I beg to differ.

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Lacey assumes Wanda has Stryder brainwashed, which prompts Wanda and Stryder to have a brief discussion about how Lacey is worse than the Seeker, at which point Wanda makes pretty much the same point I did about the effect that Lacey had on the Seeker…and then Lacey launches into complaining about the living conditions in the caves.  Yay, I really needed to be reading about this this late in the book.  Couldn’t bother fleshing out the potentially interesting/exciting/relevant scenes, but you had to go on about all the things Lacey doesn’t like about living there so we can see just how much she’s a self-entitled, greedy bitch, eh Meyer?

Jeb apparently gave Lacey a tour of the caves the day after the Seeker was removed from her, and wished she’d been killed instead of saved throughout the whole thing.  Everyone else wanted to see Lacey, though, and welcomed her in even though she was being incredibly bitchy and whatnot, which made Wanda slightly jealous, even though she understood why Lacey was better received than she was.  Okay, I’ll give her that.

It also seems that Wanda explained to Ian and Jamie what happened with the Seeker/Lacey, and that it went a lot better than she’d expected because neither of them realized that the fact that the removal was successful meant that she would be leaving.  I’m not sure why she ever expected that they’d assume that it would mean that; again, no one wants or sees the sense in her ‘leaving’ but her, so why would they jump to that conclusion?

But Wanda thinks the reasons Ian and Jamie don’t realize what she’s going to do are that Jamie sees her and Stryder as a ‘package deal’, so he doesn’t see the need for the two to separate, and that Ian is too caught up in the potential changes being able to remove the souls might bring to notice.  Or…maybe Ian sees you as a package deal too, or thinks that if you’re removed at all, you’ll be put into another body.  Ever think of that?  Because it’s stupid to cut yourself out completely, no one thinks of it.  That’s really the only reason.  Ian and Jamie are both giving you more credit than you deserve, because they think you’re too smart and caring to plan to do what you are planning to do.

But we're supposed to believe she is.

But we’re supposed to believe she is.

She then mentions that Ian is ‘enraged’ over something, and it quickly becomes obvious that that ‘something’ is Kyle, as Ian starts going on about how he or their mother should have killed him.  Apparently everyone is angry at Kyle, Jeb because whatever Kyle did is going to keep him from going on the next (and Wanda’s last, supposedly; she makes sure to point this out, but again, she’s not going to leave.  We know that.) raid to send the Seeker’s soul off to space, which he was excited about doing, especially because not going on the raid means he’s stuck with Lacey in the caves.  I’d assume he’s not the only one staying behind, though, so it’s not like he has to spend 24 hours a day with her.

It turns out Kyle has put them all in danger by taking off on his own in the night, stealing the Jeep, and going out into the world to find Jodi, his girlfriend who was taken by the aliens and is apparently in Oregon.  I’d think it’d be a little more difficult for them to pull off the raid they’re going on without the Jeep, as it sounded like the other vehicles were stashed incredibly far from the caves (since they had to walk a long time just to get to the Jeep, and then drive to the other vehicles)…but I’m sure that won’t end up being a problem at all.  Meyer will likely just skip over it.

Another useless tangent here where Meyer talks about how Jared and Jeb wanted to put off the raid to send the Seeker off planet until Kyle got back, and how there was another place they could have evacuated to temporarily, but they didn’t do any of that because Wanda was in a hurry to get the Seeker out, because she was afraid someone would kill her if she didn’t soon.

The only part of this worth noting at all is where Wanda says the Seeker deserves a “mild, pleasant new life with the Flowers“, despite that she doesn’t know how much of the Seeker’s personality was influenced by Lacey, and the Seeker still was the one who killed Wes and attempted to kill Brandt (and really, everyone else), by her own choice, not Lacey’s, so she still doesn’t deserve anything good.  I hate the way Wanda thinks.

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Wanda considers it ironic that Ian helps her to speed the raid along, because he’s really just speeding up the time until her death, but either way, she’s grateful that he helps her convince Jared to get the raid done while Kyle is gone, because she’s confident that they can make it back before they have to make a decision regarding what to do about Kyle.

She’s also grateful that Ian helps her play bodyguard to the cryotank with the Seeker in it, and he ends up being the only one she trusts to hold it when she needs her arms for something.  That seems a bit ridiculous, since she’s had at least Jared, Doc and Jeb all promising to do nothing to hurt the Seeker, and Doc has yet to learn how to do the procedure so he’s sure to keep his word on that…but meh, whatever; we’re supposed to see this as her relationship with Ian growing, I assume, so fine, he’s the only trustworthy one.  That’s absolutely consistent with his personality and the story thus far.

“He was the only one who could see, in the shape of that small container, a life to be protected. He could think of that shape as a friend, something that could be loved.”

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This, however, I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit on.  He doesn’t think the Seeker is “a life to be protected” or “a friend“, and definitely not “something that could be loved“; if he can’t even see those things in his own brother for attempting murder, he’s sure as hell not going to see them in someone/something that did murder someone he cared about.  The only reason he doesn’t harm the Seeker is because he wants to sleep with Wanda, and she’s a complete fucking idiot for not seeing that.  She thinks Ian is oblivious for not seeing her plan, but she’s even more oblivious for not seeing his.  He doesn’t give a shit about your Seeker, Wanda, he just doesn’t want to lose the chance to bone you.  Simple as that.

“He was the best ally of all. I was so grateful for Ian, and so grateful for the obliviousness that saved him, for the moment, from pain.”

Yeah, Ian is the best ally of all.  I’m pretty sure I’ve given about a hundred reasons so far why that’s not true, and it’s pretty damn awesome to see Wanda forgetting about what everyone else has done for her because she’s decided Ian is oh so great.  Wasn’t it Jared that took you to get the supplies for Jamie that saved his life, Wanda?  Wasn’t it Jared who went with you, without questioning you at all, to get the cryotanks?  Wasn’t it Jared who helped you when you performed the removal on the Seeker?  Did Ian have any part in any of those things?  No.  Ian is not the best ally.  Stop being blinded by your complete and utter stupidity.

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So anyway, they go to Phoenix because, conveniently, there’s a shuttle field just southeast of it, with several Healing facilities nearby that Wanda can snatch a Healer at.  She wants to do a removal on one of those so the humans will have someone with them who may retain at least some knowledge of the Healing practices that the souls that were put into them were able to perform, so that they can help the humans identify and use the alien medicines properly, and point them to better (unattended) stashes of medical supplies.

Wanda describes the shuttles she sees coming and going, as well as the ones that aren’t going anywhere, which are clearly the ones she wants.  She tells the guys that everything’s labelled, because of course it is, and that they should avoid ships that are going to the Bats and See Weeds, because the See Weeds are just one system over, so it only takes a decade to make a round trip, which is too quick.  She says the Flowers are the farthest away, and the Dolphins, Bears and Spiders all take at least a century to go one way, so they should only send tanks to those, and I’m just not going to bother going into any of this crap about space travel.  I’m sure Mike will get to it when he comes to this chapter, and he’ll do it better than I could even if I wasn’t somewhat deliriously ill, so I’ll just…move on.

Oh, but I am somewhat surprised that they would label the ships by the species of the host, not the name of the planet, since the planets do seem to have names (Bears would be Mists Planet, unless I completely misunderstood all that crap)…but hey, whatever.

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Wanda explains that getting the Seeker on the correct ship will be easy, because the aliens have all kinds of delivery vehicles there, so they will blend in.  In the van.  What kind of van is this that it blends in with airport delivery trucks?  Man, I wish I cared.

She starts describing an alien she can see getting ready to load some tanks onto one of the ships, and then decides to circle the ship to give him time to get inside it, so she can ‘make her move’.

I pulled past, examining the scene in my mirrors.  There was a lit sign beside the tube that connected the head of the ship to the terminal.  I smiled as I read the words backward.  This ship was going to the Flowers.  It was meant to be.

Yes, Meyer, it was fucking meant to be, like every fucking other thing that has happened so far.  Have I said yet how sick I am of all this convenient bullshit?  WHY does this always have to happen?  Why can’t you make ANYTHING even the SLIGHTEST bit interesting?  And then to just sum it all up as “Oh, it’s meant to be”?  Fuck you!

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The man Wanda was watching disappears into the ship, so she tells the boys to get ready and pulls up between a ship’s wing and the tank truck the man she was watching was using, then turns off the van and opens up the back, where the Seeker’s tank is.  She takes the tank and begins to walk casually toward the truck, but finds that she feels more and more nervous as she goes, and finally starts to worry that the humans won’t be able to pull this off once she’s gone.

Stryder, for some reason, assures her that it’ll be okay, because if Wanda really does go, she (Stryder) will still be there, and she’ll do it herself.  I don’t see how that’s any better, because she’s still not an alien so it would still be a problem if anyone saw her…and besides, I’m not sure Jared would ever let her do something like that again after Chicago, so she’s probably not right here at all.

Wanda thanks her anyway, and puts the Seeker’s tank into the truck.

The addition, one among hundreds, was not noticeable.”

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Hundreds?  Why are hundreds going from just this one little location?  I thought they didn’t get sent off planet very often?  Is there some schedule as to when they take all of them for a flight off planet, and they just stock the tanks up until then?  Because if so, your precious humans might need to know that, so they don’t show up when they’re not even going to be able to complete this task.

And hell, even if it’s not just specific days that they do this, it was pretty fucking conveniently timed that someone was doing this right when you showed up needing to add one, and again, if not many go off planet I doubt they’re back and forth loading these things all day, so even then, the guys would need a schedule to know when to show up.  So this plan just would not work at all, in reality.  Not even a little bit.

Especially not if they had to load more than one at a time, which might be noticeable and would definitely be more difficult to carry, so they’d need either to make multiple trips or to have multiple people carry them…and again, doing only one at a time would be even riskier, because it would mean more trips.  So there is just nothing about this idea that is intelligent.

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Wanda says goodbye to the Seeker and wishes her better luck next life, then goes back to the van and drives away.  Ian climbs into the passenger seat and starts talking to her once they get far enough away, saying it doesn’t look too hard, which is fucking stupid.  Wanda says they were lucky with the timing (yep, it was definitely luck -_-) and that they might have to wait longer next time, which again would be WAY more of a problem than she’s making it out to be, and I’m not sure why none of the humans see that.

Ian irritates me again by calling Wanda “the good luck charm“, but she ignores that, only responding to him when he asks if she feels better knowing the Seeker is safe, which of course she says she does, but she’s lying.  Because Ian is oh so smart, he notices she’s lying, but she manages to divert his attention by saying they should go catch some Healers, so he says nothing about the lie.

We find out that Wanda’s plan was to lead a Healer or two out of a Healing facility by telling them that she had a friend in her van that was injured, but surprise surprise, she doesn’t even have to go that far, because when she gets to the Healing facility, there are two Healers getting ever so conveniently into their car in the parking lot.   Again, Meyer, fuck you.

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She pulls up behind their car, catching their attention, and then gets out of the car, all weepy because apparently she feels soooo bad for doing what she’s doing.  Ugggggh.  She tells them that she has a friend in the back and she doesn’t know what’s wrong with him, so they go with her to the back of the van, where Jared chloroforms them as soon as the door is opened.

Jared pulls the Healers into the van and off they go, Ian driving this time.  He apologizes to Wanda and holds her hand, then calls her a fucking “excellent charm“, pissing me off yet again, while Wanda gets emo because apparently their ‘missions’ went too well, and she feels that fate is rushing her.  SHE was the one who said she was in a hurry to do this shit, why the hell is she bitching about it happening too quickly?  And did she really not want the ‘missions’ to go easily?  If they hadn’t, chances are some of her friends would be either implanted or dead right now!  Stupid fucking bullshit.

They keep driving, and Wanda decides she wants fast food because how could anything be more fucking important and relevant to the storyline, so they go through the drive thru for fast food, where she gets WHO THE FUCK CARES?!

Wanda considers this her ‘last meal’, because she’s an overdramatic twit, and then we get a bunch of fucking paragraphs about her dipping a fry into a milkshake because that’s SUPER FUCKING IMPORTANT, and doesn’t make her look like a bitch at all, since she apparently only started doing it to piss Stryder off.  Yaaaay inane crap!  Why the FUCK is this shit included in this book?  No one cares about your obsession with food, Meyer!  MOVE ON!

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They make it home with nothing of note happening at all, and even the Seekers are apparently no longer around, because they’ve decided people just disappear and die in the desert for no reason all the time, and Kyle must have gotten away scot free, so that’s not even a thing they have to worry about.

We’d had a saying like that on the Mists Planet: Cross too many ice fields alone, and wind up a claw beast’s meal.  That was a rough translation.  It sounded better in Bear.

This…is an actual line that’s in the book.  It’s lines like this that make me wonder how this book ever got published.  That is one of the dumbest things I have ever read.  Nothing would make that sound better, Wanda.  I’m just…actually baffled by how stupid that is.  Wow.  Just wow.

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When they get back to the caves, a bunch of people are there waiting for them, but not the people that are dead (obviously) or Lily, which makes Wanda sad and think that maybe she’s better off not living on a “sad planet with so much death“.  Well maybe your kind should have left the humans alone, and then these things wouldn’t have had to happen, eh Wanda? The death of one of your ‘friends’ there was caused by the woman you just sent off to have a happy life elsewhere, so you should feel good knowing you prized a murderer you hated over a friend you supposedly loved.  You should leave, but not because you want to avoid death.

Wanda is also sad because random background character I don’t care about number 5’s son is being held on Lacey’s hip, which means Lacey is already trusted more than Wanda ever was, just by virtue of being human.  This is kinda unrealistic to me, given that Lacey supposedly has such an obnoxious personality and they think Wanda doesn’t, but Meyer once again needed something else for Wanda to whine about, so I’m not at all surprised she added this shit.

Jared and Ian carry the Healers they caught down to the hospital, and Wanda and Doc go through all the prep measures to perform the removals they plan to do, while Jared shows Ian how to use the cryotanks.  Wanda has Doc swear that he will follow through on all of her terms, which he does, and then we repeat that process with Jared, Ian and Jeb, because she couldn’t have just asked them all at once, before Wanda starts to show Doc how to do the procedure.

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I’m going to skip over all this, because she went through it all before when she did it, so it’s just repetition, but in the end, Doc is successful at removing the soul from the female Healer.  It is mentioned that the host is losing a lot of blood during the procedure, so I guess I was right about it being damaging, but Wanda thinks the aliens must have something to stop that, which of course they will, because they have everything.

When he’s got the soul out, Doc gives it to Ian, who is “the perfect assistant” (-_-), and he puts it into a cryotank after admiring it with wonder, which makes Wanda all sappy toward him.  Wanda feels better once the tank is closed, because she realizes that everyone really will take care of the souls as well as she would have, so it doesn’t make it as bad that she has become a traitor, I guess.

But right when Wanda is starting to feel good about everything, Jeb cries out and lifts his gun because the male Healer is on his knees on his cot (amazing he managed to get that far up without anyone noticing).  Why they didn’t think to give one of the Healers more chloroform than the other when they knew they could only do one at a time, I don’t know, but hey; stupidity seems to run rampant here.

Jared tackles the Healer and pins him to the cot, intending to use more chloroform on him, but he’s too late; the Healer stares at Wanda, clearly feeling betrayed, asks her “Why”, and then collapses onto the cot, clearly having done the brain shredding thing that Wanda was so afraid the Seeker would do.

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Wanda jumps toward him and cries out in anguish, and that’s the end of the chapter.  So yay, now we’re back to Wanda feeling guilty about shit again, and it’s gonna be another “back to square one” situation.  Really, Meyer, continually bringing your main character back to square one on various subjects is not a good way to flesh out a plot.  It’s lazy, stupid and boring.  I’ll be on chapter 54 next recap, and there are only 60 chapters, yet the story still hasn’t gotten interesting, fun or romantic.  What a waste of time this has been.

Still, I’ll see you next time, because I’m going to continue to waste my time until this book is done, because I said I would.  I’m sure you’re just as excited as I am to see what happens from here!  (Spoiler alert:  It’s nothing good.)

(See Mike’s take on this chapter at http://emptystress.wordpress.com!)