Category: The Host


The Host – Movie Review

Watching this movie felt like the longest two hours of my life, even at only an hour in.  It was the most boring, disjointed, poorly thought out, nigh on unbearable thing I have ever experienced, and that’s saying something, since as you know, I read the book.  This was even more of a waste of time than that was.

Throughout my chapter recaps, I asked multiple times how anyone could actually like the book, but the movie was even worse; it was actually quite different in many ways, but that only left me wondering how even people who liked the book could like the movie.  Given its rating on Rotten Tomatoes (8%), I’m not sure they really did, but at the same time, I have seen some good reviews and comments relating to this movie…I just cannot understand how that is possible.

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This movie was a train wreck.  The things that were wrong with the book were wrong with the movie (aside from the fact that Wanda did not get into any excruciating stories about her lives on other worlds, thank god, and Ian was not an abusive rapist – though he did still strike me as being creepy), but instead of drawing things out too long and providing excessive description, as Meyer did in the book, the movie lacks anything to link one scene to the next, nonetheless delve any deeper than that.  It just jumps from one thing to another, with no rhyme or reason, and without any buildup or tension that the book at least attempted to achieve.

The movie starts with one of the lamest introductory narrations I’ve ever heard, and then jumps right into Melanie getting caught.  It cuts the entire storyline that Meyer used to explain how Melanie got caught in the book, and replaces it with an even less believable one, which has Melanie, Jared and Jamie all stupid enough to stay in a hotel, where they would surely get caught.

There is no explanation as to why Jamie doesn’t get caught after Melanie attempts suicide, as there’s no way he would escape and find Jared (who was supposedly out on a raid when the Seekers found Melanie) by himself with that many Seekers around, but somehow it all works out okay, and in the end, Jared and Jamie get to a place that they would not have known the way to (Jeb’s cabin), because apparently even Melanie doesn’t, since she never finds it, she just gets lost trying to.  Not that it would have mattered, because Jeb wasn’t there anyway.  At least the movie and book are consistent in that they make absolutely no sense.

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I won’t list every difference and difficulty this movie had, because there are far too many, but suffice it to say that almost nothing is portrayed as it was described in the book, or could have been reasonably imagined, so I have to wonder if Meyer actually had any hand in this movie at all.  I know she supposedly did, but why would she let them change so much?  That doesn’t show much loyalty to her fans, not to mention her own story.

Even the basic plotline is different, with Wanderer giving Jamie and Jared up from the start, and I just don’t really understand these changes.  The movie is just as convenient as the book is, though, with things always exactly where they need to be whenever they need to be there, Wanderer/Melanie able to survive things that they absolutely never would be able to in real life, and everyone just going along with whatever random idea is thrown out (usually by the alien they shouldn’t trust), without even thinking about it.  There’s not even a tribunal system this time, so Kyle gets away with trying to kill Wanda without even a scolding, and no one really fights her when she decides she wants to kill herself – at which point, instead of keeping that a secret, she just tells everyone.  So the movie lacks any sort of real conflict, for the most part, and tries to insert its own through lame car chase scenes instead.

The dialogue somehow manages to be even worse in the movie than it was in the book, by a long shot, to the point that almost every single line made me want to roll my eyes or groan, and the one good scene in the entire book is ruined by said poor dialogue and the rushed nature of the movie.  As such, this movie had absolutely no redeeming qualities.  It’s cheesy, it’s boring (I mean, come on; I should not be bored during Wanda’s ‘death’ scene, but I found it to be some of the longest minutes of my life), it’s incredibly poorly written, and there’s no cohesion to it at all.  It feels like it was made by a group of people who don’t even understand how movies are made, nonetheless having ever done it before.

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Oh, and the acting is terrible, if you couldn’t have already guessed that it would be.  None of the characters are even slightly believable, and even the voice acting for Melanie when she’s still in Wanda’s head is horrible; the actress can’t seem to find the proper tone to use for the things she’s saying at any point, no matter how simple the line.  I got the feeling, while watching these actors, that they hated every single one of their lines, which made it impossible for them to deliver them properly, but I don’t know; maybe it’s just that the filmmakers could only get terrible actors to agree to appear in this film in the first place.  Whatever the reason, though, it’s painful to watch.

Because the acting is terrible and the movie is rushed through without giving any character development whatsoever (or, in a lot of cases, even actually introducing who the characters are), it is impossible to feel any sympathy for either Wanderer or Melanie; they both just seem like petulant children, all the time.  At least in the book you could feel bad for one or the other of them some of the time, but nope, not here.  Not for one second.

Because of this lack of character development, I cannot at all understand why any of the individuals in the caves would care about Wanda.  From what we’re shown, she doesn’t actually know any of them, especially not Doc (she doesn’t even seem to really interact with him at any point), so why would he be upset about having to kill her?  And why do any of them trust her?  The movie plays out as though everyone is just innately okay with her because she’s Jeb’s niece…aside from Jared, of course, who’s a dick.  But that’s ridiculous.  And if they were counting on us having read the book to believe these things, well, they might have tried to make the movie a lot more like the book.

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Walter is removed entirely from the movie, which makes less sense than it might seem to, because Walter was supposed to be a big factor in Wanda deciding that the humans were worth living and dying for, because some were actually good…but I guess she never did seem to hate or fear the humans the way she was supposed to in this movie, so maybe it’s irrelevant.  Another thing that’s missing, though, is any indication as to why Wanda and Melanie would love each other, because there’s no buildup to their relationship at all, and Wanda doesn’t actually seem to fall in love with Jared or Jamie at any point, either.  There’s nothing to explain why these two would care about each other, they just do, and we’re supposed to accept it.  And that annoys me, so moving on.

For some reason, in the movie, the characters keep going on raids during the day, when they are sure to get caught.  Why would they change that?  In the book they only went out at night, until Wanda started going to get stuff for them, and that made sense…so I’m just thoroughly confused by this.  No one would believe that the “last surviving humans” would be stupid enough to raid during the day.

And why do the aliens have so many medications when Wanda steals them (we can see the individual names, as listed in the book), but only one ever seems to have to be used on anyone besides Wanda?  Jamie is completely healed by a few sprays of one medication on his cut; that’s it.  So why did she bother to bring the Cool?  I know I saw her take that one.  If one medication can save someone who is dying, what are the rest for?  Oh, and did I mention that the aliens are removed from the human hosts by love?  Yeah.  Not technique, love.  Just…ugh.

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The end of the movie is even worse than the ending of the book, as it’s even less believable and more pointless, and while I could go into so much more detail about the problems with this movie than I have, I think I’ve said enough.  The book was the worst I’ve ever read, but the movie has surpassed even it in terms of horrible writing, so as such, I would not recommend this movie to anyone, ever.  I can’t imagine how anyone could like this movie.  It depresses me to think how much money was spent on making it.

So, there you have it; that’s my review of The Host – movie version.  0/10, two thumbs down, absolutely never will I watch it again, ever.

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(Check out Mike’s review at http://emptystress.wordpress.com!)

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What was the point of this chapter?  I know it’s an epilogue, but I still feel like an epilogue should be worth reading if you’re going to bother to include it in a book, and this really wasn’t.  It was just a whole lotta nothing and then an extraordinarily stupid ending.  Even worse than the first one, if you can believe it!

It starts with Meyer once again using the “life and love went (goes) on” line, which was incredibly fucking annoying the first time, so you can imagine how I feel about it now that she’s used it in almost every chapter since…then explaining how things were not the same after Wanda decided to stay in Pet’s body, because she was no longer the same.

Before I get into that, though, I want to comment on one part of this first sentence.  “The last human outpost on planet Earth” is how Wanda describes the caves, but how the hell can she actually believe that they’re the last human outpost on the planet?? Does she think that every time the aliens were ever scared of humans, it was because of something they (the people in the caves) did?  I mean, I knew she had a big ego, but come on; this is just ridiculous.  They’re in one small area of a fucking desert; they have no idea how many other people could be hiding out just like them, in all corners of the world!  Earth is kind of a big place!

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Wanda reveals that this is the first time she’s been ‘reborn’ into a body of the same species as her last host, which is a little weird considering it seems like a lot of the aliens lived many lives as the same species, just in different bodies…but I guess that’s why Wanda is so ‘unique’, right?

She is not fond of the feeling of being in another human body, though, because she already had ideas in place about what it was like to be human from being in Melanie’s body, and being in Pet’s is different…as well as the fact that she doesn’t like some of the things she ‘inherited’ from Pet, like her mourning for Cloud Spinner and the pain she must be going through, and blah blah blah, no joy without equal pain; whatever.

The thing that upsets Wanda most, though, is that she’s also ‘inherited’ Pet’s body’s physical limitations, since she is so much smaller and weaker than Melanie was, and she’s unbearably shy, to boot.  As a result, people in the caves have started doing things for Wanda because they know she’s not strong enough to do them, and even when they’ve given her the easiest tasks, they’ve often either taken the work from her in the end anyway, or helped her with it because she needed the help because she would get tired too easily otherwise.

So, wow; Pet really must have some sort of medical abnormality that Meyer is just not readily addressing here, because there is no other good reason why she would be so much smaller in both height and features than someone else her age would be, and so much weaker.  Meyer may be trying to play off her weakness as related to her size, but no, that wouldn’t make her too weak to do easy tasks, which I would assume would be things like dishes and food preparation and whatnot.  There’s something really wrong here, but of course Meyer doesn’t care about that, because Wanda is pretty now and that’s clearly all that matters.

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Wanda goes on to say that people also treat her more gently than the others because of her looks, because as Jared had planned, no one is able to fear, mistrust or hate her despite that she’s an alien, because she’s so goddamn cute.  Ugggggh.  Yep, good lessons here; it doesn’t matter how dangerous someone could be, if they’re pretty, you should like them.  Ahh, but isn’t that just a perfect description of Wanda’s relationship with Ian?  He’s too ‘pretty’ to fear or despise, even when he’s abusive.  Oh, Meyer, go to hell.

Wanda says people often touch her, so much so that in some ways, she’s stopped noticing when it happens…which is fucking weird to me, and makes her seem even more like a child, making this all even more creepy than it already was.   Especially because, y’know, it’s STILL UNWANTED TOUCHING, and now it’s not just Ian that’s doing it.  It’s a running theme in this book; getting used to people doing things to you that make you uncomfortable, just because you want them to like you…

Buttt it’s all good, because all this fawning over Wanda means that she finally gets to play with Lucina’s children, which she only cared about that one time when Lacey got to and she didn’t, but Meyer wants us to think it’s important, so hey guys, pay attention.  Things are happening.

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Freedom, in particular, crawled onto my lap at every opportunity, burrowing his face in my hair.  Isaiah was too big for such displays of affection…

Wait a minute here; Isaiah, one of the children, is too mature to curl up on Wanda’s lap, but Jamie, who is fucking fourteen, does things like that all the time and it’s perfectly acceptable?  What the hell is wrong with this picture?  We know Isaiah is young because of the things she mentions him talking about with her, but somehow, Jamie acts like more of a child than him.  Yep, Meyer, you definitely knew what you were doing when you wrote these characters, didn’t you?

Wanda mentions that the kids still won’t go near Melanie, even though she’s human, because of how frightened their mother made them of her, and I have to think that Wanda probably feels pretty damn good about that.  It’s fucking stupid, though, because unless she’s a horrible parent, I would think Lucina would teach the kids not to go near aliens, not ‘people in Melanie’s body’, and Wanda is still an alien, and therefore still a threat.  But again, it’s okay because she’s cuter than Melanie, because of course she is.  Once again, fuck you.  Especially because the kids were fine being with Lacey as soon as she wasn’t an alien, despite that she remained an intolerable bitch.  This makes all of the sense.

She briefly adds that Maggie and Sharon still won’t look at her, but they’re not as ‘rigid’ in her presence…but then she quickly moves on, because hey, who really gives a fuck, right?

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She says the monsoons came late to the desert this year, because that’s just fucking convenient, but at least I was right about the fact that the monsoons would come…and then blah blah blah, descriptions of how things smell when they’re wet which are incredibly weird, a brief mention of the fact that Pet came from Seattle (so they went all the way there to get her, for some reason) and what the weather was like there as compared to in the desert, and how awesome the sky is.  Yay.  See how important it was to add this epilogue?

Extra conveniently, the fact that everyone needs to move to the game room during the monsoons gives them all the perfect opportunity to change their regular sleeping arrangements, because with so many people, they need to use all the room they have available responsibly.  Given this bunch, it seems unlikely that that will happen.

Apparently in the time between the last chapter and the epilogue, Mandy somehow remembered that her name was actually Candy (I have a friend with this name, yet something about it still bothers me; maybe that it’s most likely that Meyer only chose it because it’s both a name and a word that would very likely come up in conversation, so Candy could conveniently make the connection…oh wait, no, it’s because it’s the name of Meyer’s mother -_-), so now that that’s all sorted, she and Lacey can move in together, taking Wes’s old space because everyone else is too sad to.

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It is decided that when the rain ends, Jamie will move into Brandt and Aaron’s room so that Jared and Melanie can have their privacy to make some babies…oh wait, no, Jared and Melanie kicked Jamie out before Wanda was even brought back, so it wasn’t his decision, they just decided they had some celebrating to do, I guess.  He didn’t question anything, as weird as it must have been for him, he just moved into Ian’s room…but now that Wanda’s back, we know Ian’s going to want to sex her up as soon as humanly possible, so Jamie obviously has to GTFO.  So off to Brandt and Aaron’s he goes, because the two of them will obviously be single forever.

Of course, if Jamie can’t stay with Ian, neither can Kyle, so Kyle’s going to widen Walter’s sleeping space so that he and Sunny can stay there together (hardly seems fair; both Ian and Jared’s rooms sounded like they were big enough for more than one bed, yet they get the rooms to themselves and Kyle and Sunny only get a crevice they have to widen…see, they’re already failing at using the space they have responsibly), because Sunny never leaves Kyle’s side, and though he’s not given up on Jodi yet, he still treats Sunny as though he cares about her just the same.

Wanda says that before the rain began, she stayed with Doc in the hospital for some reason…and I was about to say I don’t know why she would when she could easily have gone with Ian and Jamie, since she did that before, buttttt then Meyer started to go on about how well Candy remembers Summer Song’s life (so the human brain does retain the alien’s memories somehow…still not going to say that makes sense, but at least it’s somewhat consistent), so the hospital is so much more interesting to be in because of all the wonderful things she can teach Doc, so her staying with Doc was just a convenient way for her to know about all that.

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After the rain, though, Doc won’t be sleeping in the hospital anymore, because while they were all in the games room hiding from the rain, Sharon randomly decided she wanted to sleep next to Doc, and didn’t even ask him if it was okay, she just did it.  Wanda thinks she only did so because she was jealous of how attractive Candy is, and that she realized that if she didn’t get Doc back, he’d go with Candy…even though Wanda thinks Doc doesn’t notice Candy’s looks because he’s too fascinated by her knowledge.

She (Wanda) considers that maybe Sharon is not jealous, she actually just wants to ‘forgive and forget’, but no, that’s not good enough; she was in the wrong here, she acted like a bitch, so she should damn well have to apologize and make amends before just waltzing back into Doc’s life.  Of course, Wanda doesn’t give a shit about that, and neither will Doc, because everyone here is okay with being treated like shit as long as the person who treats them poorly claims to love them, so fuck you all.

After all that talk, Wanda makes her big reveal: That she will not be sleeping in the hospital anymore either.  OMG SO SURPRISING!  No wait…we already knew that, because why the hell else would Jamie be moving out of Ian’s room?  Come on now, Meyer; this is sad, even for you.  Ian and Wanda are supposed to be in love, so we already knew they’d end up bunking together, even before you went on and fucking on about all this, but if you’d wanted to even try to keep us in suspense over whether or not it would happen, you shouldn’t have mentioned where Jamie was going before talking about anybody else.  I still cannot get over how poor the writing is in this book.  I know I should be used to it, but it’s just so much worse than I expected it would be when I started, and than I’ve seen most anywhere else.

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After said reveal, Wanda explains how it came to be that she and Ian officially decided to bunk up, and apparently it was allllll because of Jamie.  Poor Jamie, getting bounced around from room to room, and it being partially his fault that it happens…

Wanda goes on about how nervous she would get every time she thought of talking to Ian about sharing a room with him, because she was sooooo unsure if she imagined the moments she had with him after waking up, and didn’t know if he would even still love her since Melanie (“the body he’d fallen in love with“) was still around (seeee, I knew that would be a problem!  It would have to have at least been weird, trying to love someone in a totally different body than they were in before, and not love the person that is in that body now!).

She then goes on about putting her jealousy toward Melanie and the “echoes of love” she felt for Jared behind her, because Ian was “the right partner” for her, but that that wasn’t really all that successful, because she’d see Jared and feel confused and whatever.  She mentions that she saw Melanie touch Ian’s arm or hand at times, and then jerk away “as if she’d suddenly remembered who she was“, but that doesn’t make sense to me; whether she had Wanda’s memories or not, she knew them to be two very separate people when they were still both inside the same head, so there’s no way in hell she’d forget who she is and what Ian is to her now.   I would hope especially not after how Ian has acted, but I do accept that this book is so fucked up that even Melanie is never going to hold Ian accountable for his actions.

Wanda also says that sometimes Jared would look at her with a searching gaze, and that makes even less sense to me, because Jared never loved Wanda (at least I hope not, or this is ABSOLUTELY fucked up), so there’d be no reason for him to be searching for her in her new body.  He has Melanie, that’s what he wanted, so stop flattering yourself, Wanda, and accept that Jared does not love you and he never did.  Move on.  But preferably not to Ian, because he’s a douchebag.

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Wanda says that she and Ian were together nearly as much as Kyle and Sunny, but she knew it must have been confusing for him to get close to her in her new body, so she assumed that was why he didn’t invite her to come live in his room…but that just makes me think he’s actually not so sure he’s attracted to her new body, since her being in Melanie’s body was certainly fucking confusing, yet he took every goddamn opportunity he could find to get her into his room then.  I’m sure Meyer will give some fucking bullshit ‘romantic’ reason why he didn’t ask her when she was staying in the hospital, but I’d be willing to bet that’s the real reason.  And if it is, in a way I’m kind of glad, because maybe he isn’t a pedophile, and he just had to convince himself that Wanda is not a child just because of her body.

I put way more hope into this book than it could ever deserve, sometimes.

Further proof of my hypothesis, though, is that Wanda says that while they were together, Ian would touch her the way everyone else did, because of how cute she was, but that he wouldn’t kiss her.  So he would touch her platonically, but not romantically/sexually…so yeah, the physical attraction most likely was not there, so yay a little bit.  It made Wanda sad though, because it made her think he could never love her in her new body, and that weighed on her heavily as he took her cot to the game room, and then section break.  Wheee section break.  That means this book will be done soon, yes?!

Oh wait, there’s still like 7 goddamn pages left.  Well, fuck.

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…And I’m not sure why that section break was there, because Meyer ended the last section talking about Ian carrying Wanda’s cot into the games room because of the rain, and started after the section break talking about Jamie waving her over to where he put his mattress in the games room (next to Ian’s).  So…uh…great job, Meyer.  Useless again.

But wait, this section starts with Wanda saying it’s raining for the first time in more than six months…hasn’t she been there longer than six months?  That’s how I understood the things she said before about how much time had passed.  She made it sound like she’d been there for nigh on a year, at least.  So is she saying it rained before during her time there, and therefore she knew the answers to her questions about what they do when it’s raining, so it was pointless to ask them…or is she saying it rained at some point after she was put in Pet’s body, then more than six months passed before the subject was ever broached about her sharing a room with Ian?  This doesn’t make sense either way.  I can’t imagine Wanda holding out that long without figuring things out; she’s never been patient enough for that before.

Anyway, Wanda’s walking in with her cot, people are laughing and complaining, Sharon is with Doc and Wanda is happy about that because she doesn’t see how horrible they are for each other, for obvious reasons…Jamie calls her over, we find that he still treats her how he did before she was put into Pet’s body, aside from dealing with her strangely small body differently, blah blah blah.

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Jamie tells her that she shouldn’t sleep on her cot, and that they should all just push their mattresses together and sleep in one big bed (her, Ian and himself), because that’s a normal request for a 14 year old to make to his sister…and then he just goes ahead and starts making said big bed before even waiting for her answer, because why should Wanda ever consent to anything?  Especially anything weird?  That would be ludicrous.

He tells Ian that he’s going to move in with Brandt and Aaron (which we already knew), then says he’s tired and lays down to go to sleep, leaving Wanda and Ian to talk, I guess.  Wanda panics, thinking that Ian’s silence means he’s trying to find a way to get out of the situation, because he knows she knows what it means if he’s not sharing a room anymore…and then Jeb tells everyone it’s time to go to sleep, so the lights go out.

Ian reaches for Wanda’s hand, then gets down on the mattress and pulls her down with him so that she’s lying in the seam between the mattresses.  Uh, what?  Why would Meyer add this, if not to make it clear that Wanda is uncomfortable, like she always seems to be when things happen between her and Ian?  Why not let her lay on the actual mattress?  If you want us to be in support of their relationship, Meyer, you might not want to add subtle clues that it’s not a good relationship, like this one.  I do not at all understand why this would have been done in this situation.

Ian keeps holding her hand as they lay there, and asks Wanda if that’s okay.  She says it is, even though she must be uncomfortable lying in that crease, and then Jamie rolls over, accidentally knocking himself into Wanda.  He apologizes, but Wanda moves anyway, accidentally rolling into Ian because he’s closer than she thought he was.  Ahhh, clichés.

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Wanda tries to move away to give Ian his space, but he ‘suddenly’ wraps his arm around her instead, and pulls her against him.  Yaay.  Apparently, being held ‘non-platonically’ by Ian makes Wanda feel as euphoric as the No Pain did, though Meyer of course says that in the most dramatic way possible…and it also takes away Wanda’s shyness, allowing her to feel bold enough that she rolls to face Ian, causing him to tighten his arm around her.  Well, that’s not exactly how shyness works in the real world, most of the time, but sure, Meyer, why not?

Wanda asks him if it’s okay that she’s facing him (really?  Do you need permission for everything, when he needs permission for nothing?), so he kisses her forehead and tells her it’s “better than okay“, then they go quiet for a few minutes until he gets the balls to ask her if she wants to share his room with him.  Well, actually, no, he just tells her it’s “not right” that he has a room to himself now, and that he doesn’t want to be alone, trying to get her to say what he wants to say for him…but she doesn’t, she just keeps leading him to ask by agreeing with him.

Instead, he ends up asking if she’s had enough time to sort things out, because he knows it’s confusing for her with Jared, and I’m just going to say right now that this is fucking bullshit.  There’s no way in hell Ian was keeping his distance from her so she could sort things out about Jared, when before she was put in Pet’s body, he wouldn’t keep his fucking hands off her even though he knew she was in love with Jared.  Dear god, Meyer, how stupid do you think we are?  We’re not going to suddenly believe, after everything Ian has done, that he’s some wonderful, thoughtful, respectful person!  He has NEVER acted that way before; that is NOT the legitimate reason he acted the way he did now!   I gave you my thoughts on why he really kept his distance from her, and I’m holding to that, because I will NEVER, in ALL MY LIFE, believe that it was because he wanted to give her time to figure things out about her feelings for Jared.  FUCK THAT.

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But Wanda giggles when she realizes what he’s saying, because apparently Pet does that (of course she does, she’s small and cute, right?  She MUST have the stereotypical personality of someone that fits that description), and tells Ian that she was giving him time to sort things out, because she knew it was confusing for him with Melanie!  Oh, tehehe, isn’t that fucking hilarious; both of them were just sooooo respectful that neither of them was willing to say what they really wanted!  Isn’t that so fucking cute?

No.  No, it’s not.  It’s annoying.  Thanks for that, Meyer.

Ian is surprised and tells her that Melanie isn’t her, so he wasn’t confused, and she replies with a smile that Jared isn’t him.  Cheesy.  He responds that Jared is still Jared, and she loves him, which pleasantly surprises Wanda because she thinks he’s jealous again, but she tells him that Jared is her past, and he is her present.  Wow, even more cheesy.  This is actually kind of sickening.

Oh, but it gets worse, as Ian responds that he’s her future too, if she wants that, his voice “rough with emotion“.  Ugggggh, this book.  Fuck.  And Wanda responds “yes, please“, and I’m just so, so done.  This is really, really terrible writing.  You have not succeeded at writing a sappy scene from a romance movie, Meyer, you have failed yet again.  Congratulations.  This attempt is even worse than the last.

And then he kissed me in the most unplatonic way possible under the crowded circumstances, and I was thrilled to remember that I’d been smart enough to lie about my age.

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Ewwwwwwww.  Oh god, I so did not need to read that line.  Thanks for that image, Meyer; fuck.  I need to go scrub my brain now.

Blah blah blah, Wanda and Ian will be “partners in the truest sense” when the rains end (I assume that just means they’ll have sex, given that last line), and she feels a bunch of things about that that make her feel “human” (italics mean it’s important)…and then we have another section break.

Wait a minute, section break?  Why isn’t that the end of the book?  All of this was entirely unnecessary, because she could have just left it at Ian and Wanda being in love at the end of the last chapter; we didn’t need to tie up all the loose ends with Jared since this didn’t really actually tie them up anyway, it just went from Wanda still feeling things for him to saying she doesn’t at all cause he’s not Ian with nothing in between, which is the same thing that happened when she was in Melanie’s body…yet we went over all of it, and we’re still not done somehow.  What the fuck.

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So after the section break, she and Ian are more inseparable than ever (ugh), so he goes on a raid with her to “test her new face on the souls“.  She goes on again about how weak and useless she is, as if we didn’t already know that, and then whines about how frustrating it was that no one wanted her to go on a raid when Jared had picked her face just because the aliens would trust it.

Of course, she ends up getting what she wants, because she always does, so this was all more pointless annoyance, so I’m just going to skip over all the crap about considering Sunny and whatever the hell because I do not know why we need any of this stuff in the last few pages of the book.

Useless talk about dwindling supplies and who did and did not decide to go on the raid, they’re going north, Wanda’s new body is too excitable so she’s bouncing around when they get to where the van and moving truck are hidden and Ian is laughing at her and holding her hand while they load stuff into the van, which sounds pretty inconvenient.  Hard to move too much with only one hand.

Was I too loud?  Too oblivious to my surroundings?  No, of course that was not it.

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No, of course not, because that would imply that something was your fault, and we all know that nothing is ever your fault, because you’re the most perfectest thing ever in the universe.  Hate.

Beams of light shine into Jared and Melanie’s faces, but Wanda’s is obscured by Ian’s back, so there are no alien eyes to reflect in the light, and then Wanda sees a group of Seekers that outnumber them standing with guns pointed at them.

One is, of course, pointed at Ian, so Wanda goes all woe is me about why she “let” Ian come with her, and then gets super melodramatic in saying she doesn’t know why life and love go on when there’s no point, when nothing has even fucking happened yet.  God, this is annoying.  And once again, not romantic at all!

Her “fragile little heart” shatters as she tries to get her suicide pill, but then one of the Seekers tells them all to be calm and not to swallow anything.  So I guess others in her group must have gotten their pills out too?  Cause they apparently didn’t see Wanda, and she’s the only one that it’s mentioned pulled out a pill…

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The man shines his flashlight on his own face, so we get a description of him as though that’s going to matter with like 3 pages left, but the point is that he doesn’t have alien eyes, so they’re clearly not Seekers.  He tells them he won’t shoot them if they don’t shoot him, and all his guys put their weapons down, and then he explains that he found their cache and decided to wait there to “make their acquaintance“.  Odd tactic in a post-apocalyptic world; most people would just take the stuff and go…but of course, everything is wonderful in Meyer-verse, so we couldn’t have that, now could we?

The guy laughs at the surprise that must be showing on the faces of Wanda’s group, and then they all start talking amongst themselves until Jared asks who they are.  Blah blah blah, introductions we’re never going to need to have had, and then Wanda notices someone at the back who doesn’t get introduced, but he’s looking at her, so she looks away.

The man (Nate) shakes Jared’s hand, and Jared introduces himself and everyone else, though Ian tries to obscure Nate’s view of Wanda even more after she’s introduced, because she could be a threat for obvious reasons.

Nate is surprised by how many people Jared says live at the caves with them, because he’s never found a group so big before, and then Jared is surprised because that implies that Nate has found others before.  So yeah, as I said, there was no way in hell the people in the caves were the only human survivors.  It was a stupid thing to say, and this doesn’t make it better.

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Nate tells Jared about the other cells of humans he’s found, and how they trade and whatnot, and then starts into gossip about the blossoming relationships between camps, because this book wasn’t inane enough, before looking to the guy in the back that he didn’t introduce and deciding he might as well deal with him.

La la la, buildup and more buildup, I am so fucking bored, and then it is finally revealed that the guy that wasn’t introduced is named Burns, and he’s an alien who was Nate’s best friend when he was human, so he helps them all out, like Wanda does, so they don’t want anyone to kill him.

Burns points out that Wanda’s an alien too, and says it looks like he’s not the only one who’s “gone native“, and I must say, I find that to be a pretty offensive term to use here, but maybe that’s just me.  Wanda likes the term, of course, so she goes up to Burns, they shake hands and introduce themselves, he’s from the Fire World…fuck, I don’t care about any of this shit.

Burns is surprised that he’s not one of a kind, which Wanda thinks is funny since they also have Sunny, and then he says maybe there’s some hope for the world after all, and she says it’s a strange world, so he agrees, and that’s FINALLY the end of the book.

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And I really have no idea why we needed this epilogue at all, as I said.  None of this was useful or interesting information, and who gives a fuck that there are more groups of humans, and some that have aliens in them too?  We knew Wanda couldn’t be as unique as that, because of Jodi/Sunny, so was this really supposed to be some kind of great revelation?

Why did Meyer spend so much of this book going on and on about how special and different Wanda was, if she intended to introduce characters just like her near the end?  Is this supposed to make it seem like she fits in more now?  Because it’s really just very stupid, and seems to defeat the point of the entire character.

Also, if so many aliens do this, why hasn’t it become a bigger problem by now?  Why haven’t the humans been able to take over again?  Uggh I don’t want to think about this book anymore, so I’m not going to bother with that.

I’m done, finally, and that’s good enough for me.  There is a ‘bonus chapter’ in my book that’s written from Melanie’s perspective, which I will read, but I’m not going to recap it because I know Mike doesn’t have it in his ebook, and because fuck that, I’ve done enough with this book.

So on Thursday I’ll post the movie review, and then that will be it for The Host.  Thank god!

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

What??  Seriously?  This is seriously how this book ends?  Well, aside from the epilogue, anyway, but still, REALLY?   I mean, I knew it was going to be bad, don’t get me wrong, but…wow.  I am honestly almost speechless at the moment.  I don’t even know where to begin here.

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So this chapter has the same title as chapter 1, and almost the same first line, because Meyer is SO FUCKING CLEVER I CAN HARDLY STAND IT.   Surprise surprise, Wanda is waking up in a new body, same as she did at the beginning of the book, and having to go through that body’s final memories.  Because anyone actually believed she was just going to die at the end.  Come on, Meyer.

Blah blah blah, Wanda is surprised more than she’s ever been, both because she didn’t expect to have any memories since she was supposed to be dead, and because of the nature of the memories, which start out with an entirely pointless paragraph about ruffles and Flowers and how boring Earth flowers are but they smell omgsogood… yeah.  Shouldn’t have expected this to start any other way, I guess.  It wouldn’t make any sense if the book stopped being terrible now!

Continuing the memory, there’s a mention of Cloud Spinner, and the way that person is referred to, it sounds as though they would be ‘Wanda’s’ (since this is clearly not Wanda’s memory but we don’t know whose it is yet, just that it belongs to whoever’s body Wanda’s in) mother, and it sounds as if ‘Wanda’ is quite young.   She says she’s “almost grown“, so Cloud Spinner can’t mother her forever, and makes a comment about her mother following her and how she “doesn’t need a jacket” because it’s warm…and acts very much like a child in thinking “I won’t look at her.  Maybe she’ll think I can’t hear and she’ll go home“.

So…the body Wanda’s been put into sounds very much like that of a child, and a child young enough to still have her mother follow her around, at that.  Um…wow.  Really?  Wanda is supposed to be a love interest for Ian, who is older than Stryder is, and she’s being put into the body of a child?  Do we really need to add paedophilia to the list of horrible traits Ian has?

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‘Wanda’ is interrupted by someone speaking to her, so she turns to look, and doesn’t recognize the person before her.  Wanda (actual Wanda) realizes she does recognize the face, though; it’s ‘her’ face, meaning that the person talking to ‘Wanda’ is Melanie (I’m going to call her Melanie now that she’s got her own body back.  I don’t know why, but it just feels right), but Wanda is confused, because she doesn’t remember any of this happening.

Melanie introduces herself to ‘Wanda’ and tells her she’s new to town and thinks she’s lost, so ‘Wanda’ asks her where she was trying to go, and offers her a drive there (offering for her mother to do the driving, I assume).  Melanie turns down the drive, saying she was just going for a walk but got lost, so her destination can’t be far, and mentions the name of the street she’s attempting to find.

‘Wanda’ is excited to hear the street name because it means Melanie is a new neighbour, and she looooves new friends (yep, definitely a child), and tells Mel that the street she’s looking for is just around the second corner, but there’s a shortcut through an alley nearby that will take her straight there.

I choose to picture it like this.

I choose to picture it like this.

Melanie asks ‘Wanda’ if she can show her the shortcut (so if we hadn’t figured out already that she’s planning to kidnap ‘Wanda’, it’s now become super clear), and asks ‘Wanda’s’ name.  ‘Wanda’ agrees to show her the way, making me wonder how she has not yet noticed that Melanie is not an alien, and also why the ‘souls’ are so trusting that it makes it this easy to kidnap them (and if they are that trusting and don’t even notice when someone’s human, why the humans haven’t overtaken them yet – or better yet, how the humans ever lost to them in the first place), and tells Mel that her name is Petals Open to the Moon, but she goes by Pet.

…Pet.  I’m going to have to call Wanda ‘Pet’.  Why do I keep thinking this book has reached its peak in terms of stupidity?  There’s always something else.  Pet.  Fucking Pet.  Ugh.

Pet (seriously, that makes me shudder) asks Melanie where she’s from, and Mel asks if Pet means San Diego or the Singing World, so she’s somehow managed to convince Pet that she is an alien, despite that she would not have the eyes for it, because if Wanda doesn’t remember this, it was obviously done after she was removed.  So…what?  Why would Pet fall for that?  Is she that young, or is this going to be another case of Meyer thinking that people act differently at certain ages than they really do?  Cause she’d have to be like 2 or 3 not to notice…and even then, my 3 year old would…

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Pet tells Melanie that there are two Bats living on her street, so Melanie says she’ll have to say hello, but Pet can tell that Melanie has grown tense when she says it, and notices her glancing toward the alley, where “a man and a boy” are waiting, the boy looking nervous.  So…Pet is observant enough to notice a slight tensing of Melanie’s voice, and connect that to what’s made her feel tense, but isn’t observant enough to see that Mel’s a fucking human?  How???  THINGS ARE NOT THIS CONVENIENT IN THE REAL WORLD, MEYER!

Pet assumes that “the boy” looks nervous because he’s lost too, so she keeps going toward them with Melanie, at which point Wanda realizes that she recognizes the man and the boy as Jared and Jamie, which makes her heart thump…but it apparently does so ‘wrong’ because it feels too small.  Too small?  She really is a young child. I’m sorry, but I can’t get over how incredibly fucking wrong this is already.

Melanie introduces Jared and Jamie to Pet as her friends, so Pet says hello and reaches out to shake Jared’s hand, at which point he grabs her hand tightly and pulls her up against him, which (for good reason) scares her because she doesn’t understand what’s going on.  Did no one warn her about the danger of humans?  Did she really not notice that they’re all human, and think that might be a threat?  Can she not figure out what might be going on here??

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Jared covers Pet’s face and sprays some kind of mist at her, which I have to assume is Still since it supposedly tastes like raspberries, so they somehow got that since Wanda was removed…which makes no sense, unless I just forgot them getting it previously…but no, they couldn’t have, because Doc wouldn’t have used chloroform on Wanda when he put her under if he had Still on hand, so yeah, this is just another case of nothing really adding up that Meyer surely won’t bother to explain.

Pet passes out, and then that’s the end of the memory and we’re back to the present, with someone ‘familiar’ asking Wanda if she can hear them.  Wanda is confused by the fact that they’re referring to her as ‘Wanda’, but also doesn’t feel like Petals Open to the Moon is quite the right name for her either, so she starts to panic.  She pictures Pet’s mother and wonders where she is, then gets confused again because she realizes that Pet’s mother isn’t really her mother, before she hears another voice calling her back.

She says this voice sounds familiar but also not, because it sounds like her, and then she sets to trying to find Pet, but can only find Pet’s memories in the end.  This confuses me for reasons I’ll bring up later, because at this point in the chapter we technically don’t have enough information for me to be confused by it.

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Someone Wanda doesn’t recognize says to use the Awake on her, which is done, and then Wanda feels her mind clear.  At that point, she realizes that she’s lying down, but thinks it doesn’t feel right because it feels like she has shrunk.  She also realizes that someone is holding her hands, and starts to notice the smell of the place, then has to figure out how to open her eyes because apparently it takes actual effort for her to figure out how to move her eyelids for some reason.

Another familiar voice tells her to open her eyes, and the sound of the voice makes her get all tingly inside, which is nothing her body has ever felt before, so that’s clearly Ian speaking, because only the biggest douchebag in existence could make her feel like that.  She wants very badly to see the face that goes with Ian’s voice, and then the colour of his eyes fills her mind and she realizes that her name is, indeed, Wanda/Wanderer.

Someone lightly touches her face, lips and eyelids, so I’d say that’s Ian giving her little kisses that would be totally sweet if they were not from Ian, but from him I continue to just want to stab him…and the kisses on her eyelids help her find her eyelids, so she’s able to open them.  How did she find them when she woke up in Stryder’s body?  No one kissed or touched them then…

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Someone yells out excitedly when they notice she’s waking up, and Wanda realizes that it’s Jamie, which makes her heart jump.  When her eyes focus she sees blue, but not the right blue because it’s not Ian’s eyes (though I don’t know what it is), and then a hand touches her face and says her name, so she turns her head toward the voice (and the movement apparently doesn’t feel like it used to, but does feel the way it always felt.  I hate you, Meyer.  This shit is so fucking stupid) and sees the blue she wanted.

She asks Ian where she is, startling herself with the sound of her own voice, as it’s higher pitched than it was in Stryder’s body…because she’s a child.   She then asks who she is, and Ian tells her that she’s herself, and she’s right where she belongs.  She pulls her hand free of his, intending to touch her face with it, but then gets confused when she sees a hand moving in front of her for a while, because she’s a complete moron and cannot figure out that she’s getting freaked out by her own fucking hand waving in front of her face.  Dear god.

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She studies the hand, which she describes as a child’s hand aside from its nails, which are perfectly manicured, and then notices the colour of her skin, which flashes her into a memory of Pet looking at herself in a mirror.

Blah  blah blah, she’s thrown off by the memories taking place in civilization because she’s not used to it, except that she is, random description of the room she’s in in the memory and the mirror she’s looking into, then a detailed description of how she looks, which I really could not possibly care less about because of course she’s going to be ohhhh so beautiful because Meyer would not let her be average, and definitely not ugly, especially not with Melanie supposedly being so pretty…but no matter what, she’s described as looking very childlike.  She definitely has to be very young to have such small features as Meyer describes here.

Wanda demands to know where Pet is, because she sees Pet as being soooo defenseless and innocent, and Doc tells her that she’s tanked and ready to go, just waiting for Wanda to tell them the best place to send her.  He shows her the tank, and seeing him brings back a rush of old memories for Wanda.  She starts to yell at him, calling him by his real name, asking him why he broke his oath to her, and the misery she feels is apparently new to the body.

Doc tells her that “even an honest man sometimes caves to duress“, which causes someone to scoff, so Doc responds to the scoff by saying that he thinks a knife to the throat counts as duress; a comment he directs to Jared.  Jared says Doc knew he wouldn’t use it, but Doc says he actually didn’t; that Jared was very persuasive.

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Why would Jared have done this?  How did he know Wanda was going to have Doc kill her?  Doc wouldn’t need a knife to the throat to just remove her and put her in a cryotank, which is clearly exactly what he did since they didn’t have Pet’s body then, and that’s all Jared knew was going to happen (and what he wanted to happen)…so why would he ever have threatened Doc?   Did he manage to get Doc to tell him he was going to kill her or something?  Tune in next time to get absolutely no answer to any of these questions because for Meyer, that would simply involve too much brainwork!

Wanda trembles at the thought of a knife, so Ian tells her it’s okay and asks if she really thought she could just leave the way she tried to, then sighs joyfully (creepy).  Wanda feels better knowing that Ian is happy, but still comments that she told him she didn’t want to be a parasite, before being interrupted by Melanie demanding to be let through to see Wanda (with, of course, a description of how Melanie looks, in case we forgot).

Melanie tells Wanda that they know exactly what she doesn’t want to be, but they’re human, so they’re selfish and they don’t always do the right thing, and she might as well deal with it.  Thanks, Mel.  You’re truly a credit to the human race.

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Wanda is excited to see that Melanie is okay, so Melanie smiles and gives her a hug.  She says of course she’s okay, and Wanda will be okay too, then reassures her that they didn’t just “grab the first body they saw“.  Jamie butts in then, saying he wants to tell Wanda the story, and when she sees him, Wanda grabs his hand and says his name excitedly.

Jamie talks like a kid again about how ‘cool‘ it is that Wanda is smaller than him now, to which she responds that she’s still older because her birthday is in two weeks, stopping herself from saying the truth, which is that she’s only sixteen, about to be seventeen (she tells them she’ll be eighteen on her birthday).  She doesn’t want to say her real age because she doesn’t want to go through what Melanie did with Jared in terms of convincing him she’s old enough for him, because “Ian was every bit as honourable as Jared“.

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What?!?  How is Ian anywhere close to as honourable as Jared?? He backstabs and abuses anyone who doesn’t do exactly what he wants all the time, he is the only one who’s significantly physically hurt her on any occasion aside from Kyle, he would not let up on touching and kissing her even when she directly TOLD him to stop, he didn’t give a shit that he was doing inappropriate things with Jared’s girlfriend, and even seemed to think he was more justified than Jared in his feelings, he took away Wanda’s power to make her own decisions entirely, etc. etc. etc.!

He would definitely sleep with her, even if she was too young, because he’s FUCKING CREEPY AND HORRIBLE, and he’d tell himself and her that it was okay to do that because she, the alien, is not as young as her body is.  HE IS IN NO WAY HONOURABLE, AND TO EVEN COMPARE HIM TO JARED IS A HUGE OFFENSE!

Does Meyer actually believe this statement to be true?? I can’t see why she’d put it in otherwise!  It scares the shit out of me to think that ANYONE in the world could see Ian as an honourable person, and to know that Meyer is enforcing to young girls that that kind of behaviour is honourable!  That is atrocious!

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Wanda notices that Melanie and Ian both react to the mention of her age with surprise, because her body looks so much younger than eighteen, so…what is the deal with Pet’s body?  Why is it so small?  By the age of 16, which she technically is (and definitely by 17), most females have grown to their full adult height, and their facial features have developed into a much closer approximation of what their adult features will be than Meyer described here…so does Pet’s body have some kind of disorder?

Even if it does, though, why would she act so childlike if she was actually in her late teens?  This really must be another case of Meyer not knowing how individuals act at certain ages, because she acts even younger than Jamie does, when Jamie is both younger than her and was written too young even before considering that.

And why would Pet’s mother have been following her around? From what Wanda said, when a soul is put into a child’s body (and as we know, this one isn’t even young enough to be a child), the child does not act like a normal human child, it acts like a grown human in a small body.  That’s how she was able to tell that the baby in the park was human; because it was acting like a baby, not an adult…so Pet would never have acted as immaturely as she did here, and her mother wouldn’t follow her around, because even if she wasn’t legitimately almost of adult age, she would still be considered to be grown enough that she wouldn’t need her mother watching her constantly.  Especially since even human mothers don’t follow their 16/17 year olds around, for the most part, because they can take care of themselves well enough by that age, and humans are supposedly less trusting than aliens are.  I can’t make any sense of this.

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Wanda realizes that the fact that she lied about her age in order to make sure she wouldn’t encounter any frustration in trying to get Ian to bone her means that she has “claimed” him as her partner, which means that she will be staying on Earth with her ‘family’.  She starts to get choked up about that, but then Jamie pats her face (O.o what the fuck?  I’ve had that done to me; it’s the most annoying thing ever, and it’s usually only done by YOUNG children) to get her attention.

He tells her that Jared and Melanie let him come with them on the raid to get her body, which she says she knew because Pet remembered it, then glares at Melanie (I assume for tricking Pet the way she did).  Jamie goes on to explain that they tried not to scare Pet because she looked so fragile and nice, and then describes how they picked her out.

He says Melanie thought they should get someone who was young so they would have a bigger percentage of their life spent as a soul, but not too young, because Wanda wouldn’t have wanted to be a child.  So why go with this one if Melanie herself was surprised to find that Pet was as old as she is?  Obviously, Melanie thought that Pet was younger, so did she intentionally pick one out that she thought might be too young, to dissuade Wanda from Ian or Ian from Wanda?  I hope so, but I also think that’s a bit too much to hope for…

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He goes on to say that Jared picked Pet’s face because no one could distrust it since she doesn’t look even slightly dangerous, so they’d be more apt to try to protect her (I thought the aliens did that anyway?  Are they talking about getting humans to protect her?  Cause either way, she’s still an alien…), and then he (Jamie) got the final say in who was picked, because he wanted to pick someone who looked like her (meaning her personality, I assume; making the face match the disposition).

“‘And I thought this looked like you.  Because she sort of looks like an angel, and you’re good like that.  And real pretty.  I knew you would be pretty.’

Yeah, of course she’d be pretty; there’s no room for anything other than prettiness in Meyer’s world, as I mentioned before…but an angel?  Really?  Damn, Jamie, she’s got you fooled; spend 5 minutes inside her head and you’ll see that she’s far from an angel, and a pretty face would not actually match her personality all that well.  This is disgusting to me.

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Jamie says that Ian didn’t come with them because he didn’t care what she looked like, so he just stayed with Wanda’s cryotank.  Apparently, Ian wouldn’t let anyone else touch the tank, so Jamie wasn’t allowed to help with the removal procedure, but he was allowed to watch it.  I can see Ian guarding Wanda’s tank like it would save his life, but I can’t see him not caring what she looks like, given the stuff she asked him before about what would happen if she was in a different body.  He would care what she looked like, because he’s not oh so wonderful and only attracted to her personality, as Meyer would like us to believe he is.

On that topic, shouldn’t it be pretty uncomfortable for Wanda to know that Ian has been attracted to Melanie’s body, and that he may still be, if he finds it more his ‘type’ or just generally more attractive than Pet’s body (which I kind of hope he does, because otherwise he IS a paedophile)?  She’s been pretty damn jealous before, so I can’t see how that wouldn’t cross her mind at some point.  She also knows he’s touched and kissed Mel’s body, and I’d have to think that would be weird/uncomfortable/upsetting too, but of course Meyer won’t get into that because it would be inconvenient.  It wouldn’t fit her storyline where everything is great and everyone loves each other.

Ian squeezes Wanda’s hand and tells her that he held her in his hand and she was so beautiful, and that line just sends a shudder right through me.  I get what he’s saying, and yes it is the truth of the situation, but it sounds like something a creepy stalker would whisper to their victim, or like we’re about to launch into some kind of horror movie.  The fact that I’m supposed to find that line romantic, beautiful and touching is even more disturbing.

Yep, disturbing like this.  Very much like this.

Yep, disturbing like this. Very much like this.

Wanda gets teary-eyed over it, though, and then Jamie asks her if she likes the body, and if there’s anyone in there with her.  She says she can’t find anybody else, just Pet’s memories, because Pet’s been in there so long that she can’t remember any other name for the body, or a time that Pet wasn’t in it.

But…wait, how does she have Pet’s memories?  Did Pet’s memories transfer to the human brain?  I mean, I knew the human brain and the alien one could communicate, but does this mean Melanie still has all of Wanda’s memories of her past lives before she was a human?  How does that make sense?  At the beginning of the book there was discussion of Wanda pretty much ‘uploading’ Melanie’s memories, but does it go the other way as well?  That’s the only way I could see the human body retaining the alien’s memories after the alien was removed.

Pet is still alive, with her own brain and memories, in the cryotank, and Wanda took her memories with her into every other body she went to, so Pet obviously would have taken hers with her too…so if Pet’s body has no memories from before Pet, shouldn’t it just have no memories?  Why can Wanda access another alien’s memories?  I dunno, I’m just going to assume Pet loaded them into the human brain or something, cause otherwise there is zero sense to be made of this.

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Melanie pipes up and tells Wanda that she’s not a parasite because though the body didn’t belong to Pet, there was also no one else to ‘claim’ it.  She says they waited to make sure, which means they kept the human body alive without an alien in it almost as long as they did with Jodi, waiting to see if the human would wake up.

This comment makes Wanda question what happened to Jodi, and she feels so anxious she decides she has to sit up, so Ian helps her do so.  From her new position, she can see everyone that’s in the room, which is Doc, Jeb, Mandy, Jamie, Melanie, Jared…and then we get stuck on Jared, who has his arms around Mel’s waist, which Wanda decides is the only way it would ever feel right to see him; touching her and not wanting anything to ever come between them.

She realizes seeing him like that with Melanie still causes her pain and heartbreak, and she’s upset because that means she still loves Jared, even though she barely seemed to give a shit about him before she left Mel’s body, because she was so distracted by Ian.

Why do we have to see Wanda’s jealousy of Melanie and Jared’s relationship instead of the happy reunion that must have taken place between the two of them when Melanie woke up a human again?  That would have made a much better scene, and a story between them would have made a much better book, but instead we’re stuck with this crap, supposed to believe Wanda loves Jared when she spends most of her time fawning over an abusive fuckwad.

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Annnd then we get to know who the rest of the people in the room are, but I’ve completely lost interest in that, so moving on.  Doc says Jodi never did respond, though they tried as long as they could, and Wanda begins to get upset, thinking that Jodi must have died.  She keeps looking around the room at the people there, as Doc describes how they kept the body alive through hydration, but they had no way to feed her so they were worried about atrophy…and then ohhh my god it’s a miracle; Wanda sees Sunny (in Jodi’s body) standing next to Kyle, so everyone gets a happy ending.  Realistic book is realistic.  And it wasn’t rude at all to completely avoid eye contact with Doc while he was talking about something potentially serious.

Wanda calls out to Sunny, who comments on how she got to stay like Wanda did, and then sadly says she’s still trying to find Jodi, and she’ll keep looking.  Doc explains that Kyle asked them to put Sunny back in when it got to the point where they thought they might lose Jodi, and again, I have to ask:  How the hell did they know how to perform an insertion?  Did Mandy show them?

…Oh, I see what Meyer did here.  She had Mandy show Doc how to do an insertion on Jodi’s body to put Sunny in, because otherwise Jodi would have died, so Mandy would be willing to insert an alien to keep her alive…which would mean that Doc would know how to do an insertion, so he could perform one on Pet’s body to put Wanda in, which Mandy might have been less okay with, since they did abduct Pet to use as a host and all.  So she made it necessary that Doc do one so she could justify one being done on Wanda.  Convenient.  I hate it.

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Wanda stares at Sunny and Kyle for a minute, then continues looking around the room, which makes Ian a bit nervous, so he asks if she’s okay.  She responds that she doesn’t know and that she feels weirder than she expected to, like she does when she switches species, but then she looks into Ian’s eyes and feels all lovey dovey, which makes everything okay.

Ian asks if she thinks she can tolerate staying on Earth, then Jamie squeezes her hand and Melanie and Jared put their hands on top of his, and other people touch her and smile at her.  Reassurance, I guess?

Wanda wonders how much No Pain Doc gave her, because everything’s glowing, and I know this is supposed to be like…she’s glowing from happiness or some shit, but given how much medication Doc supposedly gave to the gunshot victims, he probably did give her way too much.  And I have no idea why that’s so amusing to me.

Ian brushes Wanda’s hair away and touches her cheek, which causes a jolt of electricity to go through her skin.  I had no idea Ian had lightning powers!  That’s so cool!  Y’know, if Ian is actually a supervillain, I may be able to forgive all the ways he’s been an abusive asshole up to this point, cause that’s kinda how supervillains are supposed to be.  If only he could use his lightning powers for good instead of evil!  He should just zap all the aliens to death!

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…Yeah, I’m clearly losing it, thanks to this book.  Sorry about that.

Wanda starts to blush at Ian’s touch, feeling her heart begin to fly (ugh), and finds herself feeling shy, which is new, so it must be a trait the body had or something.  She says she supposes she could stay if it will make Ian happy, but Ian says that’s not good enough; it has to make her happy too.  Umm…since when do you care if she’s happy?  And since when does she actually get a choice in this sort of thing?

Remember, Ian, you’re the one who forced her into a tribunal because you decided she couldn’t make decisions for herself; what is she supposed to do here?  If it doesn’t make her happy to stay, are you going to actually let her go?  I highly doubt it!  Meyer, come on, we’re not falling for it; Ian will never be a nice, caring, considerate guy.  He doesn’t give a fuck if she’s happy or not.  Stop pretending he does.

Wanda looks at him for a second, but then gets too shy again and looks away, saying she thinks it might make her “very, very” happy.  She runs over a list of different emotions in her mind, thinking how she’ll get to feel all of them, and then Ian pulls her face up to his so she’s looking into his eyes again, and says, “Then you will stay.”  And Ian has decreed it, so it shall be, right?

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Ian kisses Wanda, neither of them caring about the audience they have, and Wanda is pleased with how easy and ‘right’ it feels, because there’s no other person in her head dividing her from him.  She tells him she’ll stay, and the chapter ends with her remarking on how this begins her tenth life.

See?  It was supposed to be impactful, and the end was supposed to feel like one of those climactic, romantic scenes from movies where everyone cries tears of joy because the characters they wanted to get together got together, and they said all the right scripted lines, and whatever the hell…but that’s not what this feels like.  Not at all.

The end feels cheesy, contrived and clichéd, because it is, and these are not characters I wanted to see get together, because Ian is abusive, creepy and horrible, as previously outlined, so I do NOT approve of their little love scene!  I’m not happy for them!  I might have been happy for Wanda if she had been sent off planet, never to return, as long as she learned to be less of a bitch in her next life…but with regards to Ian, I’d only be happy if he died!

I don’t know why Ian still hasn’t had to deal with any repercussions for what he did, and why no one is concerned about deliberately setting Wanda up to be with him!  He could be dangerous.

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God, I hated this chapter.  There was literally nothing about it I liked, and so much I hated.  What a fucking terrible ending.  I know there’s an epilogue, but this is technically the last chapter, so…ugh.  Let’s just say I’m not looking forward to the epilogue, because I can’t imagine it’s any better than this piece of shit.

At least, though, the next chapter will be my last…then it’s the movie review, and I’m finally done.  Thank god for that.  I need to figure out what to do with this book after I’m done…any suggestions?

See you next time.

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

So this was supposed to be a very monumental, emotional chapter that the reader was supposed to connect with and possibly even cry about because it’s so sad, but…yeah, I got none of that from it at all.  It was not touching, it was annoying, and it was very clearly written by someone who thinks she’s got far more writing talent than she actually does.  It reeks of trying too hard, and I’m so glad it was short, because it was incredibly lame and not even the slightest bit believable.  Ah, let’s just get it over with.

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At the end of the last chapter, someone put their hand on Wanda’s shoulder and asked if she was going somewhere, and I guessed it was Jared, which it turns out it is.  Wanda apparently shrieks when he touches her, but she is “so terrified” that the shriek is only a “breathless squeal“.  Well, that’s not the way I’ve ever heard of things happening in real life; generally when you are legitimately surprised and terrified by something, you scream louder…but hey, whatever.  I’m too close to the end of this book to really give a crap.

Jared apologizes for scaring her and puts his arm around her.  She asks what he’s doing there, and he says he’s following her, like he has been all night.  Okay, that’s a little creepy; at least he was keeping an eye on her while she was with Ian, which is better than no one caring to watch out for her after what happened, but still, the way he did it was creepy.

Wanda doesn’t seem too phased by it, though, as she just tells him to stop following her, and doesn’t say anything about the fact that he was.  I guess that’s consistent with how she reacted to Ian, though, so she must just not see when people are doing things that are not completely okay (or are very, very wrong).

Jared doesn’t say anything but he doesn’t move his arm from around her either, so she pulls away from it, and he grabs her wrist tightly, then asks if she’s going to see Doc.  Wanda can tell he’s asking in the context of what he knows she’s going to do, so she says she is, then asks what else she can do after what happened with Ian.  She’s panicked as she talks, so she’s a bit more of a bitch than she needs to be, but in this scenario that’s understandable.

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She tells Jared that things aren’t going to get better and that it’s not Jeb’s decision to make, but is still hurt when Jared says he agrees with her on that.  She tries to think about Ian to distract herself from the pain of the moment (yeah, Ian’s definitely a better thing to think about; long for his abuse, Wanda), but Jared is still touching her, and she finds that and his scent too distracting to be overshadowed by Ian.  Good.  He may have been creepy here, but he’s better than Ian.

Wanda tells Jared to let her go, saying she wants to be alone, but Jared says he should come with her.  She was already angry before he said that, so she shoots down the suggestion immediately, telling him that he’ll have Stryder back soon and she’s only asking for a few minutes alone.  Jared tries to tell her he would come with her to be with her, but that just makes her cry, so she tells him there’s no point in him coming because it wouldn’t feel like he was coming for her.

Wanda thinks about the truth of why Jared can’t come; because only Doc promised to kill her, no one else knows that’s what she intends, so she can’t risk someone she doesn’t trust to off her to be there while Doc is doing the procedure.  She goes on about how she won’t go on to live as another species, always grieving for what she left behind, and how that means that earth is her planet, so she intends to stay in the dirt in a human grave (for the human she has become – hahah), and I’m sorry, but this is really fucking boring and melodramatic already.  I’m almost falling asleep just writing about it.

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Jared tells Wanda there’s “so much” he needs to say to her, but she says she doesn’t want his gratitude, so he asks what she does want, saying he’d give her anything.  What?  Since when?  Jared was just fighting for Wanda’s removal during the tribunal; why does he suddenly care so much about her that he’d give her anything?

Wanda tells him to take care of her family, which Jared says he, of course, will do, but that wasn’t what he meant; he wanted to know what he could give her.  She says she can’t take anything with her, but Jared won’t let up, asking if she could take a memory, and then asking a few more times what he can give her.  This is annoying, needy, desperate behaviour that does not fit Jared’s character at all, and I don’t see why it’s even happening.  It’s almost like Jared feels guilty, which I could see him doing to a minor extent, but not enough to act like this…

Wanda finally tells him to give her a lie and tell her he wants her to stay, and I’m kind of surprised that’s her request, given that she’s so into Ian now and had, up to now, pretty much ignored Jared for the past while.  She made it quite clear the emotions toward Jared were Stryder’s, not hers, so this can’t be about her wanting to be loved by Jared because she loves him; it must be strictly ego that’s making her want that.  That’s reasonable, though, given how strongly motivated she’s been by her ego in the past, so okay, go for it, Meyer.

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Jared wraps his arms around Wanda and pulls her into his chest, then kisses her forehead, while Stryder apparently tries to make herself not exist for a minute so Wanda can have her ‘freedom’ with Jared.  Wanda thinks she’s doing so because she doesn’t want the memory of Jared doing these things to Wanda when Wanda is gone, but even then, I don’t really understand this.  It’s still not okay, and it makes me veeeery uncomfortable…

Jared tells Wanda to stay with him and that he doesn’t want her to go because he can’t imagine her being gone.  His voice breaks as he talks, which makes it sound like he’s actually fucking upset here, but I both think and hope he’s just a really good liar/actor, because what the fuck if he’s not.  Wanda does think he’s just a good liar, but she relaxes into him anyway and thanks him.  She tries to pull away after that, but he says he’s not done, and now I’m very sad not because of the moment but because this chapter is going to drag on longer.

He’s lying, Meyer; that doesn’t make this a sweet, emotional moment, it makes it weird, uncomfortable and wrong if anything he says is not a lie.  The way Jared has acted in this chapter just does not fit with what he’s been like up to this point at all, and it’s only getting weirder and weirder, which isn’t making me feel the things you want me to feel here.  Besides, your wording of things is just so emo, dramatic and over the top that I’ve already grown incredibly tired of it and I’m only halfway through the chapter, so I wish it would just…stop.

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Our faces were only inches apart.  He closed the distance, and even here, on the edge of my last breath on this planet, I couldn’t help responding.  Gasoline and an open flame – we exploded again.

See what I mean by dramatic and over the top?  It’s just too much, Meyer.  You didn’t need to describe things like this, and it doesn’t add anything that you have; in fact, it takes away from the impact this chapter should have had.  Not that I think, given what you chose to have happen in it, that it would have had any significant impact, no matter how you’d written it…but writing it like this just makes it feel even more tedious.

I know it’s supposed to be romantic, but it’s not; especially not when it’s between these two.   Even if it was written well enough to feel romantic, that would feel wrong and kind of disgusting, because it would feel like Jared was betraying Stryder, and I’m not okay with that, especially not when Stryder is really just right there trying to pretend she doesn’t know it’s happening.  It makes me feel a bit sick just thinking of it.

Why do so many readers find this stuff romantic?  This book is not romantic; it had one chapter where it seemed like it could be (chapter 8, if I recall correctly), and then after that it was just fucked up, abusive, annoying, and now kind of sickening.  And it’s not even well written to get there.  I just don’t get why people love it so much.

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It wasn’t the same, though.  I could feel that.  This was for me.  It was my name that he gasped when he held this body – and he thought of it as my body, thought of it as me.  I could feel the difference.  For one moment, it was just us, just Wanderer and Jared, both of us burning.

See, yeah, I am not okay with this at all.  Again, it’s dramatic and over the top in its writing, and absolutely wrong and uncomfortable in its content.  This is not written like Jared is lying, it’s written like Jared has actually fallen in love with Wanda, and I can’t handle that for so many different reasons I can’t even list them right now.  Please just be a really good actor, Jared.  Please.  Please let her ‘feeling the difference’ be all in her head; please don’t let it be true that you really, for any minute particle of a moment, think of Stryder’s body as Wanda’s.  Man, I can’t even do this anymore.

Wanda is grateful for how well Jared is able to lie to her, even though she knows she can’t take the memory with her because she’ll be dead.  She believes that he’ll miss her, and she’s glad for that even though she knows she shouldn’t be, and that gives her enough peace that she’s able to pull away from him and thank him.  I’m skipping the part where she goes on about time, because it’s extraordinarily emo, so for my purposes, that’s all that happens here.

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Jared tells her to wait, but she says she can’t bear anymore, which he accepts.  She tells him she wants him to let her “do this” (the removal) alone, saying she needs that, so he says he’ll stay and wait.  He reminds her that Ian is going to try to kill him for letting her go through with it, and that Jamie will never forgive either of them, then considers that maybe he should let Ian kill him.  Is this more of the lie?  Again, I hope so.

Wanda says she can’t think about them (Ian and Jamie) and asks him to let her go, so he does, seeming just reluctant enough to do so that it makes Wanda feel a bit better.  He tells her he loves her, so she thanks him and tells him she loves him too, with her whole heart, thinking to herself that her heart and her soul are different things now because of being divided for too long.  So Ian gets her soul, Jared gets her heart…yeah, okay.  I’m not going to delve any deeper into that, or the fact that Jared said he loved her.  I just want this book to be over.

Emoness about having to create one whole person even if it excludes her, emoness about the time again and how cold it is walking away from Jared, but that’s in her head because it’s summer and it’ll always be summer for her because emo, and then Wanda decides to ask Jared where the people in the caves sleep when it rains.  Yay, this is getting so much more riveting now.

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Jared’s teary-eyed answer is that they all sleep together in the game room, so Wanda thinks about that for a bit, wondering what it would be like, before explaining that she only asked so she could imagine how it will be…which, of course, was so she could continue to be emo about how “life and love go on” without her.

She says goodbye to Jared and tells him that Stryder says she’ll see him soon, though Stryder calls her on that being a lie, proving that she was conscious of everything that just happened with Jared but didn’t say anything at all.  Obliging girl.

Jared tries to get Wanda to wait for a second, but she takes off down the hall because she’s afraid if she stays, Jared might convince her to stay with his lies, when she knows his happy ending will come if she doesn’t stop running.  For that reason, his pain doesn’t hurt her as much as Ian’s did.

She gets to Doc’s and sees Kyle sleeping with one arm around Jodi and one around Sunny’s cryotank, which makes her wish she had some way to tell Sunny how caring Kyle was to her after she was removed.  She says hi to Doc, and he looks up, already crying, having set everything for the removal out before she arrived.

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Wanda begins to feel brave, knowing the hard goodbyes are over and that she’s been through this procedure many times before, though those times she always came back eventually.  She sits on the cot and gives herself some No Pain, then asks Doc his real name, which he says is Eustace.

Wanda tells Doc that Jared is waiting and that she promised him that Doc would tell him when it was over, but asks that he make sure she’s not moving anymore before telling him, because she doesn’t want Jared to have a chance to interfere with her decision.   Doc responds that he doesn’t want to do the procedure, so Wanda thanks him for that, but says she’s still going to hold him to his promise.

Doc attempts to beg her to change her mind, but she’s having none of it; she simply tells him to keep his word and let her stay with Walt and Wes.  Doc asks if she will be in pain, and she tells him she won’t, but apparently that’s a lie…though I’m not sure how, because I’m pretty sure Doc meant physical pain, but oh well.

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I waited for the euphoria to come, for the No Pain to set everything glowing the way it had the last time.  I still didn’t feel any difference.

It must not have been the No Pain after all – it had just been being loved.

…Seriously?  No.  It was the No Pain, you just noticed it then because you had been experiencing something unpleasant before taking it, so the pleasant feeling it gave you felt amplified…whereas now, you’re in no physical pain, so the emotional pain you feel is free to overwhelm a drug that’s only there to remove physical pain.  I don’t assume Tylenol doesn’t work because I don’t feel it fixing problems I don’t have when I take it without having physical pain; the same would apply here.  Stop trying to make everything emo and overdramatic, Meyer.  Being loved doesn’t take away physical pain, at least not enough to erase it after you’ve stabbed yourself.  So fuck off with that.

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Wanda lays down on the cot and tells Doc to put her under, so he does, using the chloroform again (oops, guess Wanda forgot to tell him about the Still; wonder if that’ll come up later -_-), but not until he’s said this:

“‘You are the noblest, purest creature I’ve ever met.  The universe will be a darker place without you.’

No, Doc.  No.  You should know better than this.  Why is everyone in this book so stupid?  She is far from the noblest or the purest anything ever.  Agggggh, fuck.

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More emoness, and then Stryder thanks Wanda and calls her her ‘sister’, saying she’ll never forget her.  Wanda tells her to be happy, and to enjoy and appreciate everything for her, which Stryder says she will, and then they say bye to each other.  Because that’s a realistic conversation for them to have.  Once again, this is too fucking overdramatic!  I’m not feeling anything emotional here, I’m just annoyed at how fucking lame, unbelievable and melodramatic it all is!

Blah blah blah, Wanda sees the stars she saw in Ian’s room as she passes out, it’s all very overdramatic again, she drifts into some kind of warm blue, whatever the fuck that’s supposed to  mean, and then the chapter is over.  Yeeeeah, didn’t feel emotional about this one at all.  Not even a little bit.  Epic fail, Meyer!

The end of this chapter is followed by two completely blank pages, which are probably supposed to signify time passing, but might look like the end of the book to people of lower intelligence (to put it nicely).  I wish so badly that it was the end, but no, we all know Wanda must live because how could this actually end in her death, so cue chapter 59.  Fuck.  Not excited at all.

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Well, that’s it for me for this one.  There’s really nothing more to say when you’ve just spent the past few pages feeling nothing but annoyed, uncomfortable and disappointed.

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

This chapter jumps right into the tribunal, because apparently Ian had no trouble at all convincing anyone to come have one after his freak out, because this is the most realistic book ever so no one has to feel the repercussions of their actions unless doing so can somehow be completely centred around Wanda.   God, I hate this.

Ian only brings Jeb, Doc and Jared with him to this tribunal, and Wanda mentions that he specifically left Jamie out for good reason, but she does not mention why no one else came, she just rambles on about other crap instead, in the hopes that we won’t notice that a tribunal should involve more than 5 people, and certainly more than just Wanda’s own best friends.

Why doesn’t it?  Because we all know that if the entire ‘community’ were to come to the tribunal, despite what Ian said to Wanda about how they need her, realistically a lot of them would vote to have Wanda removed, for obvious reasons.  It wouldn’t be an easy decision for some of them, but I’m not sure we know the majority of the people that live here, which means Wanda doesn’t know them overly well either, so Ian would quickly be outvoted and he knows it.

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So basically, this tribunal is just bullshit, because Ian only brought the people he knew liked Wanda the most (aside from Jamie), because they’d be the most likely to vote for keeping her around.  Well, and Jared, most likely only because Jared was in the room at the time when Ian would have had to get Jeb and Doc to come, and he couldn’t exactly tell Jared not to.  Jeb likely wouldn’t have gone through with it without Jared anyway, though…and Jared would have killed Ian if he found out Ian had a tribunal about his girlfriend behind his back…so yeah, Jared is there.

Annyway, during Wanda’s attempt to distract us from the fact that this is not a legit tribunal, she goes on about how Stryder will have to make Wanda’s goodbyes to Jamie for her because she can’t face doing it herself, no matter how cowardly that is.  It’s not just cowardly, Wanda, it’s cruel; you’re going to break his heart, and you care more about not having to deal with the situation than you do about how he feels.  So much for really loving him, and your alien nature making you care so much more than humans are capable of; selfishness totally won out this time.  You don’t even care how it will effect Stryder herself to have to do this to Jamie.

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Wanda mentions that Jeb brought his gun to the tribunal “as if it were a gavel and would make this more official“, but I honestly cannot imagine that that’s actually why.  I hope Jeb brought it because he finally had the presence of mind to realize that Ian might be a danger, so he might need the gun to defend himself and everyone else.  Though I’m still not ever going to be even the slightest bit okay with how he didn’t come to Wanda’s aid during Ian’s freak out, and neither did anyone else.   The only way he can even begin to make up for that now is by shooting Ian by the end of this book, which I know damn well won’t happen, so I guess nothing will ever make up for it.

More emo crap from Wanda, then she asks Doc how “she” is before complaining about how much of her precious time is being wasted by the tribunal, because she keeps going back and forth between wanting everything to be done faster and whining about how things are going too fast, because she is incapable of not whining about everything.

Doc asks which “she” Wanda means, and Wanda realizes that that means that he already performed the removal on Sunny.  Doc says Kyle thought it was cruel to make Sunny suffer longer, which I agree with since she was clearly miserable, but good ol’ Wanda only thinks of herself again, and how she didn’t get to say goodbye.

She asks how Jodi is, and Doc says she hasn’t woken up yet, so she asks about Summer, who Doc says left with Trudy so they could get something to eat and figure out a temporary name for her.  Wanda says she’s sure they will both be fine, but she’s lying again, so Doc just ignores that and says he doesn’t want to be away from Jodi long.

Wanda agrees with Doc, but not for Jodi’s sake; she only agrees because she wants the tribunal sped along because she believes it’s moot since Doc already agreed to kill her.  She hopes there’s a way for her to avoid dying that will still allow everyone to be happy, but she can’t see what it would be, so she gives up on that pretty quickly, and then Jeb is asking her what her side of the argument is.

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She says she’s giving Stryder back and leaves it at that, so Jeb asks Ian’s side, and he says it’s that they need Wanda to stay.   Wanda thinks he’s copying her short answer tactic by saying that, when he’s really probably just answering that way because it’s all he needs to say at the moment, butttt of course she needs to make everything all about her, including other people’s methods of speech, so there you have it.

Jeb says it’s a tricky decision, then asks each of them to explain why he should agree with them, with Wanda answering that if it were him (Jeb), he would want his body back, so Stryder shouldn’t be denied that, and Ian talking about all the great things Wanda has apparently done for them, and how vital she is not just to their community, but to the human race.  Right.

He says one person can’t stand in the way of the greater good, and for some reason Stryder agrees with him on that.  Wanda tells Stryder that nobody asked her, so of course Jared does ask Wanda what Stryder thinks.  Wanda looks at Jared, and suddenly all the emotional crap she felt about Ian is pushed away and replaced by Stryder’s overwhelming love for Jared, which makes Wanda decide that the body belongs to neither her nor Stryder, but to Jared.  Well, that’s a healthy way to look at things, now isn’t it?  Fuck, Meyer.

Wanda lies and tells him that Stryder wants her body and her life back, and won’t tell the truth even when Stryder tells her to.  Ian points out that she’s lying, saying that he can see her arguing with Stryder, and that Stryder is a good person who knows how much the humans need Wanda.  Yeah, you think she’s a good person now that you believe her to be backing up the cause that gets you to sleep with her body, but you think she’s a completely selfish buzzkill the rest of the time.  It’s not hard to remember how you’ve disrespected her in the past, and the things you’ve said about her, so you’re fooling no one with this “she’s a good person” shit, Ian.  Just fuck off.

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Wanda argues that Stryder knows everything she knows and will be able to help as well as she could, and reminds them that they’ve got Summer now, who knows Healing, which is more than she ever knew.  She points out that they survived before her, but Jeb still says he thinks Ian has a point, which elicits glares from both Wanda and Jared.  Jared should be doing more than glaring, after what Ian did to him.

Wanda turns her gaze to Doc, and she can tell he’s in emotional pain because he knows what he has to do, regardless of what the tribunal decides.  Except…if the tribunal decides that Wanda is not to be removed, and Doc removes her, isn’t that defying Jeb’s house rules?  Because y’know, Wanda, if Doc breaks the rules, especially by killing you instead of saving you in a cryotank, he will be either killed or kicked out of the caves, because those are the rules Jeb made.  You’re really going to force him into that position, and risk him losing his life and others in the caves losing theirs because he’s not with them, all for this?  Why don’t you actually think about how this is going to effect things?

Jared and Jeb argue over whether there’s “only one decision” or not, with Jeb stating that the body is Wanda’s body too.  If if he truly believes that, though, then how can he have any problems with the alien invasion as it is now?  If he wants to claim that all the aliens who have stolen humans’ bodies now have claim over those bodies just as much as the humans whose bodies they were do, then he can’t, in good conscience, remove any of the aliens from their bodies, because that would be the same as doing it to Wanda – taking her from what he considers to be her own body.  Is Jeb really this stupid?  I didn’t think so, but Meyer apparently does.

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It’s not Wanda’s body, it never was Wanda’s body, and it never will be Wanda’s body, so take your head out of your ass, Jeb, unless you want your friends to leave an alien in you if you get implanted, because you told them it’s the alien’s body too so it would be cruel for them to remove it.

Jared tells Jeb it’s like murder to leave Stryder trapped as she is, so Ian gets pissed again, insinuating that Jared is trying to murder Wanda, and everyone else in the caves in the process.  Again, Ian, you did survive before her; you’re not all going to suddenly die when she’s gone.  It’s not like her death will call the Seekers down on everyone, and besides, at this point all you know is that she’s going on to live another life; that’s not murder.  The fact that she does intend to die is moot here, until Ian knows that that’s the case.  Not to mention that the only one who’s put Wanda in any real danger lately was Ian, just before this tribunal.

Jared points out that Ian doesn’t care about the rest of them, he just wants to keep Wanda at Stryder’s expense, which is true, but Ian argues the same back at him about Stryder.  He claims that that makes everything equal between the two of them, which brings the question down to what’s best for everyone else, but Jared still does not agree because it’s Stryder’s body.

I’m sick of this argument already; sure it’s one they would potentially realistically have (though not like this, and not right after what Ian did; that would need to be dealt with first), but it’s just boring.  I want this chapter to be over now, but it’s sooo fucking long, so I just get to sit here through more of this pointless argument that is never going to end in Wanda’s death anyway.  Maybe if this book was a little less transparent, these sorts of scenes would be halfway interesting, but when it’s clear what’s going to happen, they’re really just not.  Get on with it, Meyer.  Wanda doesn’t die, Ian is happy, then what?

I really don't, but unfortunately I have to finish this.

I really don’t, but unfortunately I have to finish this.

But no, we just get more of this.  So Ian and Jared are mad, but Jeb shuts them down, telling them they have to keep calm if they’re going to have the tribunal, because they have to consider every side.  He starts to give his position on it, but Ian jumps up angrily because no one should be allowed to say anything that he doesn’t think backs up his side of things, so Jeb has to wait for Ian to sit the fuck back down before he can finish his sentence.  I really, really hate Ian.  So much.

When Jeb does get to talk, he says he thinks Wanda is right that Stryder needs her body back, but he also thinks the people in the caves need her (Wanda), because they have Seekers looking for them, and Wanda can talk to them while no one else can.  He says he has to think about the welfare of his “household”, and she saves lives, but…if the Seekers found their caves, I’m pretty sure they’d all be screwed regardless of Wanda.  The Seekers would want to come in, and Wanda is just not smart enough to stop them from doing that, so they would find the humans anyway.

Besides, if Seekers are out looking for them, don’t they have bigger concerns right now than this stupid tribunal?!  Forbid Doc from removing Wanda until such time as they are free of Seeker stalking, so Wanda has to face the fact that she’ll be the death of Doc if she makes him go through with his promise, and then they can have their damn tribunal after they’re safe.   But no, that would make sense, wouldn’t it?  We can’t have that.

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Jared suggests (angrily) that the obvious solution to Jeb’s predicament is to get Wanda another body, which is an idea Doc is very glad to hear, and Jeb and Ian both seem somewhat intrigued by.  Wanda freaks out at that idea though, because she says she’s tired of being a parasite, and she doesn’t want to start this whole thing over in another body.  She says she’d feel guilty forever if she took another person’s life away from them and that she’s barely a soul anymore because she loves the ‘brutish humans’ (*urge to kill rising*) too much for that.

She follows that up by saying it’s wrong for her to be there and she hates that feeling, and then asks what would happen if things changed; if she went into another body and things went wrong, such that she found herself pulled back to the souls for some reason, which might cause her to betray and hurt the humans she loves.

But…that’s stupid, because a human is not going to pull you toward loyalty to an alien invader, Wanda.  This plan seems ill advised for other reasons, not the least of which are the questions as to where they’d get a human willing to have an alien inserted or if they’d just kidnap a human and force them (which would make them just as bad as the aliens), and how they’d do an insertion in the first place when Doc doesn’t know how, and neither should Wanda if she’s not a Healer (I doubt Summer would agree to this plan) but oh wait she probably does know how because if it’s convenient she knows everything…but that is a stupid thing to say might happen.

Annnd apparently Wanda knows that doesn’t make sense and wouldn’t be something that would happen, because she was lying when she said she was worried about it happening.  So lovely.  She says the reason it wouldn’t happen is because she would never hurt them because “what happened to her” with the humans is permanent…butttt it’s really just because it’s stupid, and a human would never influence her that way.

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This isn’t relevant here, I’m just bored, so I’m adding it to amuse myself.

She says she lies to them in saying that because she thinks if they fear she’ll betray them, they’ll be more likely to accept her decision, and apparently that works, because they all do appear afraid, because none of them have used their brains here at all.   But wait, Ian’s not afraid, of course; no, he just puts his arms around her and pulls her to his chest because she’s crying and he’s ohhhh so sensitive when he’s not kicking and punching people in the face and holding her arm so tight that she loses all circulation in it.  Yeeep.

Ian tells her nothing’s going to change and she doesn’t need to be anyone else, and then Jeb pipes up, asking Wanda how going to another planet would help her, because she’d still be a parasite.  Only Doc knows that’s not what she’s planning and therefore knows the real answer to that question, so Wanda has to make up a bullshit one so no one else finds out she’s planning to off herself.  She tells Jeb that it’s different on other planets because there isn’t any resistance (you know, aside from the stories she told before in which there was resistance, like that whole species that killed themselves so the aliens wouldn’t implant themselves in them) and the hosts are less individualized than humans, so their emotions are milder.  She says it doesn’t feel like stealing a life then, because no one would hate her, so there again we see that she doesn’t actually give a shit about anyone but herself.

She doesn’t want the host to hate her because then she’ll have to feel that, and she doesn’t want it to have emotions because she doesn’t want to feel those, but otherwise, she doesn’t feel guilty at all about stealing the host’s life, because in her mind, it’s not taking someone’s life unless you have to suffer for it.  For supposedly selfless beings, that is the most selfish mindset I have ever heard of.

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Jeb stares at Wanda after she says that, and Doc looks miserable again, which it seems to Wanda like Jared may have picked up on and figured out the meaning of.  If he did, that makes him better at reading people than anyone else in this entire fucking cave system, since he’s the only one that ever seems to figure anything out that isn’t completely spelled out for him, so good for you, Jared.

Jeb says the situation is “a pickle“, Ian and Jared start to act like children, and Wanda gets annoyed about her precious time being wasted again, because she’s decided that she only has a few hours left now.  She tells Jeb that he doesn’t have to decide right away, because she and Doc need to check on Jodi, and she wants to get something to eat.  She suggests that Jeb sleep on the decision, saying they can discuss it in the morning and that they have lots of time to think about it.  Obviously, she’s lying about all that.

In any other book (or real life situation), she would be called on those lies because we’ve heard time and again what a horrible liar she is, and no one would let her go anywhere until a decision had been made. But because we’re reading this book, Jeb just says it’s a good idea, tells her to go get some food, and says they’ll all sleep on it (the decision, not the food), so off they go.

Seriously, no one noticed she was lying?  Not Jeb, not Jared?  They’ve both apparently been able to tell when she was lying before, especially Jared, but now all of a sudden they can’t tell, because it wouldn’t be convenient if they did.  Or maybe Jared can tell, he just doesn’t say anything because he wants Wanda to go through with her plan, and Jeb just genuinely doesn’t notice she’s lying somehow…but I feel like that’s an awful lot to hope for from Meyer.  I mean, that does require forethought, after all.

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Where’s Ian’s ‘tribunal’, though, for his behaviour?  Is that seriously going to go completely unpunished?  Jeb has to at least say something about it!  He can’t reinforce that kind of behaviour in his house, that’s for damn sure!  Or is he just letting Jared and Kyle deal with it?  That wouldn’t make sense, since it involved Wanda too, and they (Jared and Kyle) don’t actually seem to be doing anything about it, but I just don’t want to believe Ian’s getting away with this scot free…even though I bet he will.

Wanda tells Doc she’ll be along to help with Jodi after she eats, and then silently criticizes Doc for his response to her, because she doesn’t think he’s being casual enough.  She thinks he should be a better liar than he is because he’s human, which proves she has STILL learned fucking NOTHING, and of course Doc has shown himself to be a totally immoral person up to this point, so obviously he must lie all the time.  If she didn’t want to risk him giving her away, she shouldn’t have said anything to him.  There was really no need to.

Ian asks Wanda if she’s hungry, despite that she just said she hadn’t eaten all day and most people don’t bring that shit up if they’re not hungry, so Wanda nods, and he helps her up.  Wanda thinks about what a tight hold he takes of her, and how she’s sure that will continue, but she’s not worried about that because he sleeps deeply…so she’s clearly planning to sneak out in the night and off herself.  If only that would actually happen.

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They leave and Wanda eats (apparently because she doesn’t want Stryder to be ‘uncomfortable from hunger” when she regains control, but really it’s just because Meyer is obsessed with food and needs to mention it whenever possible, and Wanda just wanted to eat but she couldn’t admit that because that would be selfish and she is SO NOT hahahaahah), hiding in the corn field as she does so so Jamie won’t find her.  Wouldn’t Jamie be a bit suspicious about her disappearing?  He’s always cared significantly before; I can’t see why he’d suddenly stop now, especially after the whole ordeal with Kyle.  He’d want to know what happened, so he should be out looking for her.  I’d also think Jared would be out looking for her, at least to find out if Stryder is okay, but nooooo, that wouldn’t be convenient.

Ian of course agrees with Wanda hiding from Jamie, because they both care oh so much about Jamie and how scared and upset he’ll be by the decision that they just can’t bear to do the RIGHT thing, and then after they’re done eating, Wanda goes to see Sunny and Jodi.  She’s startled to see that there are still only 2 occupied cryotanks on the table, so she goes to freak out on Doc and Kyle, but then she notices that Kyle is cradling the other cryotank (with Sunny in it), so instead of freaking out she makes a cold comment toward him about being gentle with the tank.  She’s just…so nice.

...No.

…No.

It turns out Kyle is holding onto the tank because he doesn’t want Sunny to be alone, which Wanda says she’s sure Sunny would appreciate.  He asks if there’s anything he can do to help Jodi wake up, so Wanda tells him just to talk to her about things she might remember and even about Sunny, since that helped with the Healer’s host.

Doc pipes up saying that the Healer’s host is being called Mandy, because though it’s not what her name actually was, it’s close.  Wanda asks where Mandy is, even though we already know because he told her at the beginning of the tribunal, and then Wanda says she thinks Mandy will be okay.  Doc says he hopes so, then Wanda looks back at Jodi and wonders if Stryder will be as slack and vacant as Jodi is when she (Wanda) is gone.

Stryder tells Wanda she’s still there, so Wanda tells her she’ll be fine, and they both cringe about Lacey, just so we wouldn’t somehow forget that they don’t like her because that’s an important plot point, except not at all.  Blah blah blah, description of Jodi and how much better she is than Lacey, Wanda babbles on to Jodi about the trouble Kyle went to to get her, and then Ian interrupts, talking to Jodi as well about how Kyle was always in trouble and how good it is to see her again.

Apparently Ian has been there all along, but no one noticed him until he started making ‘teasing’ jackass comments about Kyle to Jodi, as though he has any right to do that after what he did to Kyle the last time he was there.  But of course Kyle teases Ian right back and greets him, asking only for an apology, and not really acting like he actually thinks he deserves one.

Ian won’t give him one, either, despite that he admits that he didn’t have any good reason to kick Kyle in the face, and I am not at all sure why this isn’t unattractive to Wanda.  I wouldn’t want to be with a guy who could lose control like that and not even be willing to take the slightest bit of responsibility for his actions.  He won’t even apologize?  That does not bode well!  And why are they all buddy buddy after this?  Kyle should be PISSED at Ian!  This is fucking ridiculous!

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Wanda tells Kyle to keep up the way he’s interacting with Jodi and assures him she’ll come around, then gets sad about how she’ll never get to see what Jodi is really like.  She begins to wonder what it’ll be like for everyone to meet Stryder, unsure if it’ll feel the same to them as when Wanda was still there, or if it’ll be entirely different and they’ll have to adjust after knowing Wanda for so long.

She thinks Stryder will fit in in a way she never did, and begins to picture that, but that’s stupid because Wanda always goes on about how many friends she has there, and how Stryder doesn’t care about them the same way she does.  But whatever; obviously it would be different and people would have to adjust if it happened, because she and Stryder are two very different people, but Meyer was overdue for an emo rant, so I’m not surprised this was added.

Wanda wonders if it makes her petty that she’s upset by the idea of Stryder fitting in better, and Stryder tells her she’s not petty, though I’d argue that she is.  Stryder tells her all the best people in the caves will miss her and feel her loss, and Wanda is surprised that Stryder seems to have accepted her decision to leave.  Stryder clarifies that she hasn’t accepted it, she just doesn’t know how to stop her, and she knows it’ll happen soon.  She admits to Wanda that she’s scared, and Wanda admits the same to her.

Kyle suddenly speaks up, apologizing to Wanda for trying to kill her and admitting he was wrong.  So…so far, we’ve seen more maturity and growth in Kyle than in Ian.  Great.  Nice choice, Wanda.

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Ian, of course, has to ruin the moment by making a stupid joke about recording Kyle saying that, making him even less attractive to me, and he and Kyle go back and forth talking to Jodi, continuing to tease each other, even though Kyle’s nose may be broken (and he could have been killed) by Ian’s complete and utter (selfish) stupidity.

Wanda is glad for their teasing each other, and for having won Kyle’s acceptance before she leaves, which puts her at peace enough to realize there’s no point in her sticking around anymore, because she’s done all she can…so because she just can’t wait to lie again, Wanda lies to Ian, telling him that she’s tired.  She then wonders if she is lying, because she likes to convince herself that she’s not lying as much as possible when in fact she definitely is, and then Ian asks her a pointless question, and they both say goodnight to Doc and Kyle as Ian pulls Wanda out the door.

Doc glares at Wanda as she leaves, because she’s sure to say her goodbye to him in a way that communicates to him that she’ll be back later, and then Wanda and Ian walk silently down the tunnel to Ian’s room, Wanda feeling sick as she goes because of what she’s going to do.

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Blah blah blah, dragging things out until we get to something actually happening, Wanda going on about how Ian’s freak out proved to her that she needed to go sooner than later because otherwise it’ll only be more upsetting for people and Jamie might find out, and then Stryder sarcastically thanks Wanda for thinking that it’ll be better for Stryder to tell Jamie the truth than for her to.

Wanda apologizes and acts like she cares if Stryder minds, even though she doesn’t, and Stryder responds that she’d do anything Wanda asked her to.  Ohhh my goddd, no, Meyer.  Stryder wouldn’t do that, because she SHOULD NOT love Wanda after what she’s done to her!  I don’t care about the bond you want to tell us they created, Meyer, it’s RIDICULOUS!  Stryder would NEVER love Wanda this much, even if she did love her at all somehow!  I hate this so much!!

Wanda asks Stryder to take care of “them” for her (I don’t know if she means Jared and Jamie there, or all her friends), and Stryder says she will, even agreeing to take care of Ian too if Ian will let her (because she thinks he won’t like her very much, which I could see being the case cause he’s a horrible person).  Wanda tells her to take care of him even if he won’t let her, and Stryder says she promises she’ll do what she can.  I really hope she’s lying here, and that she plans on straight up killing Ian the second she has control of her own body, but Meyer really believes in her stupid unbelievable love affair here, so I know that won’t be the case.

Disappointment.

Disappointment.

Ian silently asks Wanda if she’s going to sleep in his room, and she silently agrees to, thinking Ian believes her to be staying there because she’s hiding from Jamie, when Ian does not give a single fuck about that, he just has no chance of sex with her if they don’t sleep in the same room.

Ian opens the door and Wanda goes straight down onto the mattress and curls up into a ball, which lets Ian know right away that there will be no sex, so he gives up on that (I’m just saying what I’m sure he’s actually doing in his head) and curls up around her, holding her tight and telling her everything will be fine.  Wanda tells him she loves him with her whole soul (all she is is a ‘soul’, so I’m not sure if that’s more or less significant), and she considers this expression of her love to be her goodbye to him.

He returns the favour, saying he “truly” loves her too, and then nuzzles her until he finds her lips, making out with her until she stops shaking from fear.  He tells her to get some sleep, so yay no sex scene thankfully, and she agrees.

In no time, Ian is asleep (because he’s an idiot who somehow didn’t see her plan at all) and Wanda is staring at the stars, thinking about how little she wants to be with them, which is good since she won’t be either way.  When Ian’s arms fall away from her in his sleep, Wanda decides that she should go right away, before she gives in to her desire to stay with him for one more day.  Yep, who wouldn’t want to stay with a selfish, creepy, abusive asshole for one more day?  So fucking tempting.

Like this...except not at all.

Like this…except not at all.

She slides off of the mattress, kisses Ian’s forehead and leaves the room, hearing voices echoing through the caves as soon as she gets out the door.  Blah blah blah, people passing as they always do, and Wanda avoiding Lily because even NOW she can’t be a good friend to that poor girl, though she pretends to care that Lily is standing taller now than before…and then she runs to the southern corridor, intent on heading to Doc.

She tells Stryder she’s afraid, but before Stryder can respond, a hand touches Wanda’s shoulder and a voice asks if she’s going somewhere.  That’s the end of the chapter.

Well, we know it’s not Ian, because that would be fucking impossible, so it’s either Jeb, Jared or Kyle.  It’s probably Jared, because that would be the most dramatic, so I’m gonna log that as my guess and end this recap because this chapter was really boring and I want to be done with it now.  See you next time!  Only 3 more to go!

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

WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST READ??

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Sorry for the outburst, but I am so absolutely infuriated right now.  No, no, no, no, no.  HOW did this book get published??  Why aren’t people LIVID about this chapter?   I don’t know how I’m going to write about this.  I really don’t, because I am just far, far too angry about it.

When I first flipped through this chapter, I thought, ‘Great, a short chapter; this’ll be easy!’  But no, of course that was too good to be true.  This chapter is so much more horrible than I could have imagined.  It is straight up fucking abuse, and Meyer tries to make it seem ROMANTIC, which is just…I just…aggh! I can’t even think straight!

It starts with Ian furiously glaring down at Wanda, Kyle and Sunny, and the look is both bad enough to scare Sunny and bad enough that Wanda actually feels like Ian and Kyle have switched faces.  But what does she add on to that thought?

Except Ian’s face was still perfect, unbroken.  Beautiful, even though it was enraged.

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WHAT?!  He just eavesdropped on a PRIVATE conversation you were having, heard something he didn’t like, and is now looking at you in a way that is TERRIFYING and reminds you of the face of someone who TRIED TO KILL YOU, and you’re thinking about how fucking beautiful and perfect he is?  What the fucking hell is wrong with you??  HOW IS THIS NOT GLORIFYING ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS?  And this is only the beginning!

Kyle asks Ian what’s wrong, but Ian doesn’t respond to him, he just grits his teeth and says Wanda’s name, holding out his hand for her to take.  Wanda says it appears as though he’s having a hard time keeping his hand from making a fist as he holds it out, which is always a good fucking sign, and Stryder seems to realize the danger, but Wanda just feels ‘miserable’ because she doesn’t want to say goodbye to Ian and now she has to.

The one good thing here is that she finally does realize that it’s wrong to just slip out without saying goodbye to anyone, but she doesn’t seem to see that Ian isn’t sad or feeling betrayed, he is fucking PISSED, and acting scary already.  Maybe it’s because I know there’s worse to come that this bothers me so much, but it bothered me the first time I read it too, so…I dunno.

Because Wanda doesn’t move the second he puts his hand out (she literally had time to think one thought before Ian was “tired of waiting“), Ian grabs her arm and HAULS HER UP FROM THE FLOOR.  Sunny hasn’t even had a chance to let go of Wanda yet, the movement is so sudden, so Ian shakes Wanda until Sunny lets go.  WHAT THE FUCK.

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Kyle asks Ian what’s wrong with him, so Ian fucking KICKS HIM IN THE FACE, because of course THAT was the logical, reasonable thing to do there, because it is allllll Kyle’s fault that Wanda didn’t tell him something that Kyle wouldn’t have even known himself until that moment!  Sunny throws herself in front of Kyle to try to shield him from Ian as Kyle tries to stand, which results in her accidentally knocking Kyle back onto the floor, while Ian DRAGS Wanda away from them.

Wanda tries to cry out to Ian, but he pulls her along so roughly that she can’t even speak…which we can tell is fucking horrible, but Wanda says it’s “fine” because she “has no idea what to say“.  THAT IS NOT THE POINT, WANDA.  Tell him to stop, tell him he shouldn’t have kicked his fucking brother in the face for no reason, tell him to LET YOU GO and STOP DRAGGING YOU, tell him to CALM THE FUCK DOWN FOR A SECOND, tell him he’s scaring you…ANYTHING!  The problem is, though, that he’s NOT scaring her, and that’s really the WORST part!  She’s totally okay with this!  WHAT THE FUCK KIND OF EXAMPLE IS THIS SETTING, MEYER?  WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO TEACH YOUR READERS??

Wanda says she sees everyone’s startled faces flash by in a blur while she stupidly worries about how Summer feels seeing this violence instead of worrying about what’s going to happen to her (NOT REALISTIC), but why the FUCK isn’t anyone DOING ANYTHING??  He’s dragging her across the floor by her arm, against her will, he just fucking kicked Kyle in the face, and everyone is just standing there watching??  Jeb is there, and though he said he’d dispose of his gun for Summer’s sake, he HASN’T YET, or if he has it’s just sitting in the hall close by; WHY hasn’t he or Jared grabbed that yet and held it to Ian to get him to fucking stop??

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At the very least, why hasn’t anyone intervened in any way whatsoever?  Why hasn’t Doc gone to Kyle, or ANYONE gone to Wanda to try to get her free from Ian, or gone to Ian to get him to let go of her?  This doesn’t make any sense!  These people have DEFINITELY moved quicker than this before for lesser reasons; they would NOT all just STAND THERE while Ian did this shit!!

Jared blocks the entrance so Ian can’t leave with Wanda, at least, but all he does is ask Ian ( far too formally; again with the crappy dialogue) what he’s doing to her, which we know damn well is NOT all he would realistically do in this scenario.  It may be Wanda that Ian’s after, but Stryder is still in that body, and there is no way in hell Jared would let her be treated that way.  He’d have all out attacked Ian by now.

Ian shoves Wanda in front of him and shakes her at Jared, asking Jared if he knew about ‘this’, which Jared ignores, yelling at Ian that he’s going to hurt her.  Ian asks if Jared knows what Wanda is planning, but again Jared doesn’t answer, so Ian takes that to mean that Jared does know, and punches him in the face.  PUNCHES HIM IN THE FACE.  He has now physically injured TWO people, and NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT THIS, and we’re supposed to think he’s completely justified in doing this because he’s upset about Wanda’s plan.

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Why isn’t Wanda upset about him punching Jared??  She begs him to stop, but he just says “You stop” (FUCK YOU) and pulls her into the tunnel, almost running down the hallway with her as Jared calls out to him.  After that, Wanda doesn’t seem to think of Jared again, which she certainly should have if she cares about him so much…and Stryder definitely should have spoken up here!

“‘O’Shea!’ Jared shouted after us.

‘I’m going to hurt her?’ Ian roared back over his shoulder, not breaking pace. ‘I am? You hypocritical swine!‘”

Ahhh fuck, I hate this.  Firstly, Jared JUST GOT PUNCHED IN THE FACE; he would NOT be referring to the person who did that to him by his last name when he usually doesn’t, because now is NOT the time for casual, friendly ‘nicknames’.  Secondly, “hypocritical swine“?  Seriously, Meyer, who the fuck says that?  EVER??

Thirdly, Jared is NOT being hypocritical, because HE is not going to hurt her.  Whether he figured out her plan or not (which has neither been confirmed nor denied, and even if it was confirmed, Ian doesn’t know WHY Jared hasn’t said anything about it), JARED is not the one that intends to do anything to Wanda.  You said it yourself, Ian; it’s HER plan, not Jared’s, so Jared sure as hell does not deserve your wrath and cannot be blamed for ‘hurting’ her.

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Besides which, doing this would be LESS painful for her, emotionally, in the long run!  You wouldn’t know that though, because you immediately jumped to whipping her around by her arm, yelling at everyone and punching and kicking people!   YOU are the only one that’s currently hurting her, the way you’re dragging and throwing her around!  Don’t act like it’s worse if someone else is hurting her (especially since they’re not)!

Ian takes off down the tunnel with Wanda, running so fast she stumbles to keep up, until her moans of pain from the grip he’s got on her arm (she describes it as being as tight as a tourniquet, which is horrible, and I mean either her arm is some fucking small or he’s really holding on THAT tight, if his fingers are overlapping while wrapped around her arm and her arm is going numb…so how can she not be afraid of him at this point?) and the fact that he keeps jerking her along when she already can’t keep up are too distracting for him to let her keep running.

He stops, and she tries to say something to him but she can’t get her breath and doesn’t know what to say besides, because he’s so angry, so he just grabs her and…okay, now I’m confused.

His arms caught me abruptly, yanking my feet out from under me and then catching my shoulders before I could fall.  He started running forward again, carrying me now.  His hands were not rough and angry like before; he cradled me against his chest.”

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…What?  I am trying so hard to picture this, but it’s like the scene with the crumbling floor and the pillar; I just can’t make sense of it.  So she’s standing, because she was just running and it did not, at any point, say she sat or fell down, and he…catches her somehow…in a way that pulls her feet out from under her…and then he catches her shoulders and carries her cradled against his chest?  Is he supporting her legs, or just holding her out in front of him by the shoulders?  But that wouldn’t be cradled…I can’t picture this at all.  I don’t know what the fuck is happening.  Maybe this is clearer to someone else, but I’m completely lost.

Oh, and I absolutely do not believe that his hands aren’t rough and angry anymore; I think she just can’t tell cause he’s not squeezing all the blood from her this time, so it feels better now than it did before.  Low fucking standards for care there.

He runs through the caves, carrying her past all the people that are of course listed because they always are, who are surprised by and suspicious about what he’s doing.  Wanda says it disturbs these people to see Ian doing what he is, especially looking as angry as he does, so they go after Ian and try to stop him to find out what’s going on…

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Oh wait, no, that doesn’t happen; that’s a different book.  You know, a book where this scene makes some fucking semblance of sense.  No, in this book, Ian keeps running and no one does fucking anything.  Jared and Jeb aren’t pursuing, Kyle isn’t pursuing, and NO ONE that they pass on the way pursues them either, despite that they all have VERY good reasons to, and they’re ALL apparently disturbed by what he’s doing.  He just injured TWO PEOPLE, and everyone is just fine with him running off with her in a blind rage?  What the hell kind of people are these?

Considering what’s happening, it can be easily assumed that either Ian’s doing something wrong or Wanda is doing/has done something wrong, so they SHOULD be trying to figure out what happened either way!  But no, no one does ANYTHING.  They all just stay where they are and think, ‘Well fuck, that was weird’.  WHAT THE FUCK???  Why isn’t Jared at least doing something about this?  She could be killed!  Considering how violent Ian’s just been, they have EVERY reason to think he WILL hurt her!

Ian keeps running until he gets to the door of his room, where he KICKS THE FUCKING DOOR IN and drops Wanda onto a mattress on the floor.  When the door hits the ground, it is described as making an echoing boom, yet AGAIN, NO ONE COMES TO CHECK AND MAKE SURE EITHER OF THEM IS OKAY.  THIS IS FUCKING BULLSHIT!!  There is NOTHING about this chapter that is okay AT ALL!

Ian angrily pulls the door back in place, which would be fucking TERRIFYING to me if I was in Wanda’s position, and then stands above her, glaring at her.  She fucking KNEELS before him, holding her hands out in the hope that something will magically happen that will calm him down, and isn’t THIS just fucking indicative of the nature of their relationship.  On her knees, willing to give him whatever he wants just because he threw a fit over not getting what he wanted.  FUCK THIS BOOK.

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“‘You. Are. Not. Leaving. Me.’

WOW.  Fucking WOW!  He actually fucking SAID that!  This is the kind of shit psychotic exes say before they rape and kill a girl; this is NOT something that someone who LOVES you will EVER say!  You do not INTIMIDATE and SCARE people into staying with you!  This is seriously fucking psychotic, and Meyer is playing it off as a reasonable way for Ian to behave!  HOW CAN YOU PROMOTE THIS SHIT, MEYER?!  It’s fucking TERRIFYING!!  How can you sleep at night knowing you may set young girls up to be treated like this??

Wanda sheepishly tells him that he has to see that she can’t stay, but he yells at her again, which makes her cringe.  At that, Ian collapses to his knees and buries his head in Wanda’s stomach, ‘locking’ his arms around her waist, and begins to sob.  This guy has some SERIOUS fucking issues if all of this is how he reacts to even the vague MENTION of something he doesn’t like.  I’m absolutely willing to bet that if he ever had a girlfriend before Wanda, she’s fucking dead now for trying to break up with him.  He clearly cannot handle people leaving him.  This is INCREDIBLY fucked up.

Wanda begs him not to cry, because apparently crying is ‘so much worse‘ than his anger, which is another fucking GREAT message, Meyer; THANKS for that.  If he found out she was going to do this and broke down crying and begged her to stay, that would be one thing; I might even have sympathy for him DESPITE all the creepy ass crap he did before…but to INJURE people, INCLUDING HER, lose his shit entirely, DEMAND that she not leave him and then have a complete fucking breakdown…no! This is NOT acceptable behaviour, he needs SERIOUS mental help/counselling, and Meyer should NOT be spreading a message that showing sadness and heartbreak is WORSE than BEING FUCKING ABUSIVE AND INCAPABLE OF CONTROLLING YOUR ANGER.  FUUUUUCCCCKKKK!!!!!!!!!

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Wanda continues to beg him, then FUCKING APOLOGIZES TO HIM, after how HE acted, as she begins to cry too.  He tells her she can’t leave, but she says she has to, and then they cry for a long time, and THIS is what SHOULD have happened at the beginning, not any of that other fucking bullshit!

Ian eventually stops crying and pulls Wanda into his arms, and when Wanda stops crying too, he apologizes for being ‘mean’.  MEAN?  You think that ‘mean’ is an accurate description of what you were?  Again, you were fucking PSYCHOTIC!  You were not mean, you were ABUSIVE and TERRIFYING!  There is a BIG difference!

But what does Wanda do?  SHE APOLOGIZES RIGHT BACK.  Because THAT is what we should teach girls to do when someone acts like this toward them.  Don’t run away, don’t get help, don’t hide, don’t defend yourself, no, APOLOGIZE to the person who abuses you and makes you fear for your life (or at least WOULD if you were a normal person who reacted to these situations with half a brain cell).  I know she’s apologizing for not telling him because she should have, which YES, I agree with, because she should have and it WAS selfish not to, as she says, but this is NOT the time to be apologizing for that!  His actions went FAR beyond yours, Wanda!

This seems fitting.

This seems fitting.

He tells her they need to talk about it because it can’t be a done deal, but she says it is, so he asks how long she’s been planning it.  She tells him since the Seeker, and he nods, suddenly figuring out everything.  He says he understands why she thought she had to give her secret to save the Seeker, but Doc knowing how to perform removals doesn’t mean she has to leave.  He says if he’d thought for one minute that it did mean that, he never would have let her show Doc how to do the procedure, and then the brief moment of calmness from Ian is over, as he starts yelling again.

He says no one is going to force her to have it done, and that he’ll break Doc’s hands if he tries to touch her, which I’m SURE Meyer thought was a romantic thing for him to say, but when that becomes what’s truly considered romantic, I’ll be officially fucking done with society and probably go on a killing spree.  He has NO control over his rage, at all, and he really fucking needs to get some.

He yells that no one can make her do it, so she tells him that no one is making her do it (thank fuck she finally admitted that so she can stop talking about how she ‘has to’ do it), and explains that she didn’t show Doc how to do the procedure to save the Seeker, she did it to save Stryder; the Seeker’s being there just made her have to decide to do it sooner.  Again, this is fucking bullshit.  She clearly had no intentions at all of doing this before the Seeker.  I get what Meyer is trying to make us believe here, but no.  There should have been SOME indication beforehand.

Ian gets even more angry at the mention of saving Stryder, which is again fucking scary, so Wanda goes on to explain how Stryder is trapped, telling him that it’s worse than prison for her because she’s like a ghost.  She says she can free Stryder and give her herself back, so Ian argues that she (Wanda) deserves a life too, but Wanda says she loves Stryder.  Yep, you really love her.  It was really obvious, all those times you were a bitch to her and fucked her over.  And this is still not about her, it’s about your guilt, so again, fuck off.

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Ian tells Wanda that he loves her, and asks if that matters, which she says it does, but that only makes it more necessary. He takes that the wrong way and asks if it’s so unbearable to have him love her, which it FUCKING SHOULD BE GIVEN ALL OF THIS CRAP, and then says that if it is, he can keep his mouth shut about loving her so she can go be with Jared if she wants, but he just wants her to stay.

Yeah fucking right, Ian.  Not buying it, given your previous comment when she told you to stop kissing her and you didn’t; remember how that time you said you would have the rest of your lives together and that you would change her mind on Jared instead of respecting her wishes?  You never fucked off before when she wanted you to, so you sure as hell wouldn’t fuck off now.

Wanda doesn’t see that, so she’ll go right ahead and buy your bullshit and think you’re sooooo sweet and selfless, and that you love her soooo much, but in reality, I know you still just want to fucking bone her, and you will NOT give up if she stays.  There is NO way.  Even if she begged and pleaded, you would never leave her the fuck alone, and this chapter just proves it.  YOU HAVE FUCKING PROBLEMS.

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Oh, and this is YET ANOTHER TIME when Meyer is giving her readers some wonderful fucking lessons.  SO FUCKING GLAD YOUNG GIRLS READ THESE BOOKS.  This is not AT ALL a contributing factor to why teenagers have such COMPLETELY FUCKED UP relationships nowadays, is it?  Maybe if they weren’t constantly reading crap like this that makes abusive, manipulative, creepy, stalking behaviour from partners seem ROMANTIC, girls would stop staying when men treat them that way., and actively SEEKING OUT partners like that!

Wanda of course can’t stand that Ian thinks she thinks it’s unbearable to have him love her, because POOR FUCKING MANIPULATIVE JACKASS, so she cradles his head in her hands and tells him that that’s not it.  She says she loves him too, which makes my fucking skin crawl, and then explains that it’s her that loves him, meaning the silver worm in the back of her head, but her body doesn’t and it never can, so it pulls her in two.  She says it’s unbearable, but she seemed to bear it pretty well before by just not associating with Jared at all.  Didn’t even seem like Stryder was getting in the way of Wanda being with Ian, despite not liking it.

When the hell did Wanda fall so deeply in love with Ian, anyway?!  I know we’re supposed to believe she did, though it never really made sense to me, but how the hell did it become so involved that she’s not just willing to put up with abuse from him, she DOESN’T EVEN SEEM TO SEE THAT IT IS ABUSE??

No, Ian, you don't.

No, Ian, you don’t.

This is not love!  I repeat, to all Meyer’s readers: THIS. IS. NOT. LOVE!!!  Someone who loves you WILL NOT treat you this way, and staying with someone when they DO do this is ALSO not love! Especially not if you’re acting like it’s fucking OKAY for them to do these things to you!  Not once does Wanda seem to think Ian is out of line, not once does she cry out for help, not once does she do anything other than take blame and try to make HIM feel better!  I get it, he’s upset, but that is NO FUCKING EXCUSE for acting like this!  DO NOT LET PEOPLE TREAT YOU THIS WAY, PEOPLE!

I could have borne it.  But watching him suffer because of my body’s limitations?  Not that.

Ohhhh, so it’s unbearable because she doesn’t want to hurt HIM, not because it’s unbearable for HER, so she must REALLY love him, right?  It’s really a VERY strong priority for her.  Fuck that.  And fuck you, Meyer.

I’m sorry for all the swearing; I’m pretty sure it’s obvious how much it bothers me when people romanticize bad and abusive relationships, and that’s all this chapter is, so it’s a bit hard to control.

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Wanda watches Ian’s eyelashes glisten with tears, so Stryder tells her to go ahead and do whatever she needs to do, saying that she’ll “just step into the other room“.  What?  The first time Stryder says ANYTHING and it’s not fearful of Ian, it’s not upset because of the two people he injured, ONE OF WHICH WAS THE MAN SHE LOVES, it’s not about any of the rest of this crap, it’s ALLOWING Wanda to be physical with Ian.  WHY?!?  Why would she EVER do that??

Wanda is putting HER (Stryder’s) body at risk letting Ian treat her this way, and Stryder SHOULD be fucking PISSED about what Ian has done, but instead she’s letting Wanda do MORE that is uncomfortable and horrible for her!  Seriously, what the hell kind of messages are these to send to young readers??

Wanda thanks Stryder and kisses Ian, which leads to them making out for a bit and something ‘changing’ inside Wanda.  Oh fucking great.  Wanda describes it as not being the ‘wildfire’ type feeling that came with kissing Jared, but instead a deeper and slower burning, ‘changing the very foundations of the world with its advance‘.  Ugggggh.  Not romantic, Meyer. Not after all that.  And I’m NOT happy that things are changing in a way that’s positive for THIS relationship.  Not at all.

Blah blah blah, extensive melodramatic descriptions of the changing and how Stryder’s body not loving Ian gets in the way, and then Wanda starts to cry again as she realizes that the kiss might be changing Ian too.  She describes him as “this man who was kind enough to be a soul but strong as only a human could be“.

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KIND ENOUGH TO BE A SOUL?  Unless you want to go by MY definition of how fucking kind souls are, this is FUCKING HORRIBLE.  By Meyer/the book’s definition, this is the WORST fucking thing she could have said, because after all of Ian’s abuse in this chapter, he’s made out to be extraordinarily kind!!  HOW is Wanda this stupid?  How can she just dismiss everything he’s just done, and how terrifying he’s been??  I thought since she was an alien, she should be all upset about anger and violence, so why didn’t THIS upset her more than anything?  Ian should be the LAST person she thinks is kind or feels safe with by now!

Ian starts to kiss her tears away, telling her not to cry and that she’s staying with him, which leads her to go on about how she lived eight lives and never found anyone she’d follow when they left or stay on a planet for.  She asks why it should be him that’s her ‘partner’ (wtf is with that choice of word?), especially because he’s not even the same species as she is, and he just responds that “it’s a strange universe“.  Because, y’know, he really DOESN’T care about all her emotional bullshit, he just wants her to stay because he’s got no one else to fuck if she leaves, so whatever, it’s just a strange universe.  Simple as that.

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Wanda begins to whine about how unfair it is that she found love right when she had to leave, and why oh why did she have to love Stryder, because she still doesn’t fucking GET IT that she TOOK STRYDER’S BODY, so she SHOULD care about her, and it was unfair of her ever NOT to…and then whines more about how unfair it is that Ian should have to go through pain because of her.

He deserved happiness if anyone did.

*twitch* I….cannot address that.  Not again.  I need this chapter to end now.  I can’t handle more than this.  FUCKING END, CHAPTER.

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Wanda tells Ian she loves him, and he tells her not to say that like she’s saying goodbye, but she feels she has to.  This is supposed to be all emotional and sappy and make us feel our hearts swell and things, but how fucked up do you have to be to have that happen after what else happened in this chapter?  I do NOT feel for them, aside from feeling like I wish they’d both fucking die in a fire, him because he is abusive and lacks self-control, and her because she is incredibly fucking stupid for reacting THIS way to what he’s done (among other things).

“‘I, the soul called Wanderer, love you, human Ian.‘”

I keep thinking I’ve found the stupidest line in the book, but then in the next chapter, there’s another that’s even worse.  This is the winner for this chapter.  Poorest fucking dialogue I have ever experienced.

She tells him her love for him will never change, no matter what she might become; that she will always love and remember him, and he will be her only partner.  Uh huh.  So that’s why you said Sunny wouldn’t love Kyle when she got to her new world.  Because shit does not apply the same way to you as it does to anybody else.  Fuck this shit.

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His arms stiffened, then constricted tighter around me, and I could feel the anger in them again.  It was hard to breathe.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ONCE AGAIN, HE DOES THIS!  And ONCE AGAIN, he will not have to deal with ANY repercussions for it!  WHY DOES SHE KEEP ACTING LIKE THIS IS OKAY?????

He tells her she’s staying there, so she tries to say something, but he won’t let her.  He tells her his decision that she’s staying isn’t just for her, it’s because she’s too important to everyone in the caves – even the ones who would never admit it – to leave, because they all need her.  Because of that, he says she won’t be ‘kicked out’ of the ‘community’ without discussion.

Wanda argues that no one’s kicking her out, and he agrees, saying not even she is.  He kisses her again, then CURLS HIS HAND INTO A FIST AROUND HER HAIR AND PULLS HER FACE TO HIS, then asks her if that was good or bad, like he did the first time he kissed her.

How does she respond?  “Good“, of course!  WHAT THE SWEET FUCK?  There is NOTHING good about that!  Nothing at all!!  But he says that’s what he thought, because he was just trying to scare her into giving him the ‘right’ answer anyway, and this is more fucked up with every passing sentence!

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He kisses her yet again, squeezing her so tightly she gets dizzy with lack of breath, but then loosens his grip and creepily whispers “Let’s go” into her ear.  She asks where they’re going, and then seems to panic a little, repeating to herself how he is ‘her’ Ian, in a way that Jared will never be hers and her body can never be Ian’s.  I don’t even know what the fuck this was all supposed to be for.

Ian tells her not to ‘give him any trouble‘ because he’s ‘half out of his mind’, and I do NOT know how anyone could ever at all interpret this as anything other than abusive and horrible.  Once again, THIS IS NOT OKAY, and I am VERY uncomfortable with and upset by this.  This book should not exist.  This promotion of abuse should not exist.  How are people not upset about this??

She asks again where they’re going as he pulls her to her feet, and he tells her they’re going to the game room, and that she’s going to wait there until he gets everyone else.  Wanda is so fucking stupid that she can’t figure out why he’s FORCING her to go there, and MAKING DECISIONS FOR HER, so she starts to wonder if he wants her to play a game to ease the tension.  But then, of course, he tells her he’s calling a tribunal, and the chapter ends with him telling her that she is GOING to abide by the tribunal’s decision.

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It’s really fucking great when your ‘boyfriend’ tells you that you have ZERO free will; that you don’t get to make your own decisions about ANYTHING in your own life, and that you’re just going to go and do what he says to do and wait like a good little girl for other people to tell you what you can and cannot do with yourself.  It’s especially great when he does so while trying to fucking scare and intimidate you, after being physically, verbally, mentally and emotionally abusive!  Even BETTER when NO ONE has done anything to help you while he does ANY of that, and probably still won’t!

Do I expect Ian to EVER have to account for his actions here?  FUCK NO!  He’ll get exactly what he fucking wants, and Wanda will get NO say, because THAT’S APPARENTLY WHAT MEYER THINKS IS OKAY IN A RELATIONSHIP.

To Meyer, THIS is acceptable behaviour in a relationship.

To Meyer, THIS is acceptable behaviour in a relationship.

Fuck, I am SO PISSED OFF about this!  I need to stop now. Again, I apologize for freaking out about all this; I’m sure I didn’t seem much better than Ian here.  But this topic has very significant personal meaning to me, and I am so absolutely far from okay with the way Meyer presented it that I can hardly stand it.

So now I’m going to go get my son, and let my mind focus on something GOOD in the world, instead of this.  Because I swear to god, my son will NEVER treat ANYONE the way Ian treated Wanda here.  If he ever did, he’d have me to answer to about that.  Wish me luck on the next chapter, please.  I’m pretty sure I’m gonna need it.

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

I really wish a chapter would come along that wouldn’t make me feel like groaning on every page, but with only 5 chapters left to go after this one, and 54 so far before it in which that’s happened, there’s just no way I’m going to be able to avoid it.

Right now, the end of this terrible journey feels so close but so far away at the same time; on the one hand, it’s only 5 more chapters and the movie review, but on the other, that’s another three fucking weeks with this book, and I’ll be surprised if my recaps end up any shorter between now and the end.  There’s just too much wrong with this book to cut them back very much.

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The chapter starts with Jeb clearing a path for Wanda through the crowd, so she can get to the other side of the room where Kyle is standing.  He tells everyone they’ll have their chance to tear Kyle apart for endangering them later, but for now, he wants to get the situation sorted out.

It seems odd to me that Jeb just kind of stood there watching everyone gang up on Kyle until Wanda showed up, and then he immediately jumped into action.  I’m sure he thinks that Kyle deserves everyone’s ire, but as much as he may not care what they do to Kyle, he is the type to care about the girl that Kyle has brought with him, because she is not (directly) the one who put them in danger.  So I’m not sure why he wasn’t protecting/dealing with her, at least, before Wanda showed up.  Just doesn’t seem right to me.

The girl could have been injured before Wanda ever showed up – if she (Wanda) ever did – without anyone protecting her.  The fact is, Wanda only showed up at all because Meyer had her go look for Trudy so all this could happen; if she hadn’t left to do that, she’d still be with the human host, and no one, Jeb included, seemed to be thinking of going to get Wanda.  So how far would Jeb have let this go if Wanda hadn’t shown up?  Would he have just stood there until something bad happened?

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Wanda notices that Maggie and Sharon disappear into the back of the crowd as she comes through, and at first she says that they are “melting away from the reinstatement of reason“, but then realizes that they’re actually moving away from her involvement more than anything else.  Wanda, I was about to smack you, so it’s a good thing you realized that they didn’t want to be near you, not reason.  Because that was fucking stupid, and you sure as hell are not indicative of “the reinstatement of reason” in any situation, ever.

Kyle put you at risk too (not to mention everyone you claim to love), and you don’t know what the situation really is here either, so you cannot claim that you and/or Jeb represent ‘reason’ without having any idea what Kyle will say, or what you or Jeb will do about it.  I hate Maggie and Sharon just as much as you do, and I agree that they are petty, angry bitches, but even you don’t seem to have experienced them for more than a few minutes on rare occasions, so you can’t assume that you know them well enough to claim that they completely abhor reason all the time.

As we could have expected, Jared and Ian are at the front of the throng, so when Jeb parts them to let Wanda through, she makes sure to touch both of their arms, because she believes that will calm them down.  Man, the ego on this one.

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Jeb tells Kyle that he’s torn between kicking him out and killing him, and not to bother making excuses, because in Jeb’s mind, there are no excuses that are good enough for what he did.  The girl peers out from behind Kyle, looking horrified, and Wanda can see a small hint of shininess in her eyes, indicating that she is, in fact, an alien.  So yeah, definitely Jodi.

Jeb finally does what I said should have been done in the last chapter; he turns to the crowd and tells everyone that Kyle has brought a guest and they’re scaring her, so he wants them all to clear out and get some work done in the garden or whatever.

That confirms that what they’re angry about is not that Kyle brought an alien back, it’s simply that he left without word and endangered them all.  But why didn’t Jeb go make this little speech before?  Why did he just stand there and let it happen, if he really cared that they were scaring the girl, and thought that they should all have “some better manners than that“?  He didn’t either; not until Wanda showed up, anyway.

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The crowd begins to disperse, and Wanda says she can tell from looking at their faces as they leave that most of them are already getting over the situation, because what they’d been fearing would come of Kyle’s disappearance was much worse than the reality.  She figures they feel that Kyle is an idiot, but no harm has been done because he’s back now, so there’s no danger of Seekers or need to evacuate anymore…they just have to deal with another ‘worm’, which is something they’re used to now.

There are a few problems with this.  For one, I’d say these people wouldn’t be used to having aliens in their midst enough that it wouldn’t still be a significant worry for them, because the last time the lot of them had to deal with encountering an alien that wasn’t Wanda was when the Seeker barged in and tried to kill everybody, successfully killing Wes.

Yes, Wanda’s small group has done a couple of removals, but as it stands, the only experiences the people in the caves have with aliens coming in (aside from the ones that were brought in for Doc to attempt to remove their aliens before Wanda became involved with the removals, all who obviously died) are Wanda, the Seeker and the Healer who is currently with Doc…and all of the others may not even know about the Healer yet, because they haven’t successfully concluded her case yet.

So why would they be okay with an alien being brought in that clearly hasn’t been subdued, since she’s standing there of her own volition, and that they know nothing about?  They have no way of knowing if she’s a danger to them.  It’s not like any of them fully trust Kyle; that’s already been proven…so why would they blindly trust the alien he’s brought back, just because he seems to?

Especially in situations like this.

Especially in situations like this.

They didn’t trust Wanda for a very long time (and she’s still not fully trusted even now, as we saw with the Lacey jealousy a little while back), the Seeker tried to kill everyone, and then there’s a Healer that they may not even know about.  That’s not enough people to claim that they’re used to aliens being around enough to just get over this so easily.

On top of that, how can they be so sure that just because Kyle’s back and hasn’t been implanted himself, and doesn’t seem to have brought Seekers back with him (we don’t know that the girl he’s got isn’t a Seeker herself), that the Seekers aren’t on their trail?  He abducted this girl; whether she came willingly or not in the end, the other aliens would not understand that, so in their eyes it would be a strange disappearance, and if they came looking for Wanda and the Seeker, why wouldn’t they come looking for this girl too?

Wanda, Jared and Ian may be careful not to leave a trail when they abduct aliens (just assuming that; they may not actually be), but remember, Kyle has been described as being careless on raids and generally reckless on more than one occasion; how can anyone in the caves feel confident that he covered his tracks well enough that the Seekers won’t find them?  Harm may have been done here, it just hasn’t completely caught up to them yet, and I’m sure that would have crossed someone’s mind, so they shouldn’t all be so easily at ease.

Do it.

Do it.

Also, this is (at least) the second time Kyle has broken the rules and the trust of everyone in the caves; the first being when he tried to kill Wanda, and now, when he risked endangering everyone to pursue Jodi.  How are they just ‘getting over’ that?  He is clearly a threat, and if they keep refusing to punish him for this behaviour, he may continue to be!

They have no reason to believe that Jeb will properly deal with him, because he hasn’t dealt with these situations well in the past, so I’m not falling for it.  These people wouldn’t just be okay with this and wander off the second Jeb told them to, without knowing at least a little of what he planned to do with Kyle and the new alien.

Annnnnyway, everybody leaves except Jared, Ian and Jamie (surprise surprise), who all cling to Wanda’s hands when Jeb glares at them, making it clear that they’re not leaving her.  Ahh, another move by adults that seems ridiculously childish to me; I missed those.  It’s been a while.

Jeb rolls his eyes at the boys, as well he should, and then turns to Kyle, who thanks him.  He tells Kyle to shut up and warns him again that he wants to shoot him, which causes the alien girl to whimper.  Kyle asks Jeb if he can save the threats until they’re alone because they’re scaring the girl, and reminds him of how sensitive Wanda is to violence and threats and whatnot.

So why should he remember all the stupid little things she's sensitive to?

So why should he remember all the stupid little things she’s sensitive to?

He smiles at Wanda, then turns to the girl, who he calls Sunny (Sunny and Summer, how creative; wonder what season it was when Meyer wrote this one), and tries to calm her down.  He introduces her to Wanda and tells her that Wanda won’t let anything hurt her; that Wanda will help her, just like he told her she would.

Sunny looks up at Wanda, obviously still afraid, while Kyle gently leads her out from behind him so that she is standing next to him, his arms around her waist.  Wanda tells her that Kyle is right that she won’t let anyone hurt her, and tries to verify her name, which (with some coaxing from Kyle) we learn is actually Sunlight Passing Through Ice.  That’s kind of pretty, really, as much as I still hate all the alien crap, and Meyer’s apparent need to add that Jeb is “unquenchably curious” about her name.

All the other guys are silent as Wanda, Sunny and Kyle talk, which apparently soothes Sunny, because she can feel that there’s no hostility toward her.  Is there still none toward Kyle?  Because I’d think there would be, and I’d think if there was, that would still effect her.  If they’re soooo super sensitive to anger and whatnot, it should bother her even if it’s not directly toward her, from everything Wanda’s said, but I guess this is another of the many exceptions Meyer thinks she can throw in here without us noticing.  A small one, admittedly, but still.

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Wanda tells Sunny that she was a Bear too, then tells her what her name was on the Mists Planet, and of course, because Wanda is soooooooo famous, Sunny recognizes it and remembers the other name that Wanda was called there that she didn’t like.  Wanda realizes, when that comes up, that she’s going to have to get into her alien history if they keep talking about it, and she doesn’t want to do that (THANK GOD), so she switches gears and asks Sunny if she liked being a Bear.

Sunny begins to cry at that question, so Wanda apologizes even though she doesn’t know what she did, while Kyle tries to comfort Sunny again, reminding her that she won’t be hurt.  Sunny whispers that she likes it on Earth and wants to stay, which while a valid thing to feel and say, seems very much like something a child would say (or at least the way a child would say it, anyway; most adults don’t talk like that unless they’re intentionally trying to act like children), so I feel like Sunny must be pretty young.  But…Jodi can’t have been, to have been with Kyle, so I feel like this is yet another time when the personality will not be consistent with the age.  Way to go, Meyer.

Wanda gets teary-eyed as Kyle continues to try to comfort Sunny, then Jeb clears his throat, which startles Sunny because she’s still on edge from everything that’s happened, and I’m going to skip the bit where Meyer ONCE AGAIN reminds us that “souls were not designed to handle violence and terror“.  That just leads into more about how special Wanda is and how fucked up the Seeker was, but Sunny, oh, she is what the aliens are really like.  Because we’ve seen such proof of that so far, and it’s not like each one could just have its own personality or anything.

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Jeb apologizes for scaring Sunny, and suggests that they head to Doc, because there are still some people milling around.  If I were her, I’d be more scared at the idea of going to a doctor than I would being around random people, since she seems to know what’s going to happen and doesn’t want it to, but off they go anyway, even though Jeb is sad about missing out on new alien stories.

…Or at least that’s what Wanda thinks must be the problem when he sighs, because again, the ego is strong with this one, and she can’t imagine that he could be thinking about anything but her when she’s present.  He couldn’t have sighed because, oh, he noticed too that Sunny doesn’t want to leave Earth, but he knows she’s going to have to and he feels a little guilty about that?  No?  No chance of that?  Riiiight.  Couldn’t be that, because that’s not about you.  Fuck you, Wanda.

As they leave, Jeb forces Jamie to go back to school, which Wanda agrees with because she doesn’t want him to see the removal procedure performed.  She asks him if he can send Trudy to Doc on his way to school, because Doc needs her, so Jamie whines about missing everything, acts like a fucking 5 year old again, and mopes his way off to class.  I really could have liked this kid, if his character hadn’t been written completely wrong.  Again, Meyer, way to go.

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Wanda thanks Jeb for getting rid of Jamie, then they keep walking to Doc’s, Kyle continuing to comfort Sunny.  Wanda is amazed to see him being so gentle and compassionate, figuring it must be getting Jodi back that triggered it, though she’s still surprised he’s able to show so much kindness to the alien part of her.

Can Wanda finally see that humans are caring and compassionate now, please?  There is literally no one worse than Kyle that’s alive anymore, so if even he can be all these wonderful things, can we finally stop hearing about how all humans are inherently bad and love violence?  If Kyle can be supportive, caring and gentle, after all the anger and violence she’s seen in him, can’t she see that that could be the case for most anyone, and that sometimes there are just bad seeds, like her Seeker was?

Wait, no, she won’t see it there because she blames Lacey for the Seeker’s attitude, even though it can’t all be Lacey’s fault…but still, please, Meyer, let this be the end of hearing how horrible humans are and how wonderful and fearful of violent aliens are, because we’re clearly at least a little bit good under the surface somewhere.  Okay??

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Jared asks Wanda how the Healer’s doing, so she explains that she woke up, but she’s scared and doesn’t remember her name.  She (Wanda) asks everyone to be quiet and move slowly when they get there, so as not to startle the Healer, and also asks Jeb to get rid of his gun, which he agrees to do.

Then we’re back into more of Wanda’s emoness about how much longer she has left, because she squeezes Ian’s hand and likes how it feels, but she doesn’t know if it will be the last time she gets to experience that.  Stryder pipes up again to tell her that it won’t be her last time walking down that tunnel and whatnot, because that’s the only thing Stryder gets to talk about anymore, and then Wanda is trembling, so both Jared and Ian hold her hands tighter.  Yup.  At least Jared got a mention here; it’s usually just The Ian Show now.

They walk in silence for a bit, then Sunny reiterates to Kyle that she doesn’t want to go back to the Bears, and asks if she can stay on Earth.  He tells her that she can go somewhere other than the Bears, but she can’t stay, and she and Wanda both start crying about that, then they’re finally at the hospital.

Doc is still talking to the woman we can’t call Summer but who I’m going to call Summer anyway until she gets another name, so they all stop in the entryway, and then Wanda enters alone and says hi.  Summer is startled, but Doc calms her down, reminding her that Wanda is a friend.

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Wanda tells Doc that he’s got some more visitors, so he reassures Summer that all of them are friends too, and that they’re all humans who would never dream of hurting her.  Not quite true, but he doesn’t know that yet.

Summer says it’s okay for them to come in, so they do, one by one, as Wanda introduces them.  Doc is shocked to see Sunny, but Summer doesn’t seem to notice that Sunny is an alien, so Doc just skips over that and explains to her that there are a lot more humans that live there.  Wanda tells Doc that Trudy is on her way, and suggests that maybe Trudy could find a room for Summer to rest in, which Doc thinks is a good idea, as does Summer after she verifies that Trudy is human.

Sunny notices the cryotanks that hold the two Healers, as well as the seven empty tanks that are waiting on the floor, and she begins to cry into Kyle’s chest again, telling him that she doesn’t want to go, she wants to stay with him.  Kyle apologizes to her again as she breaks down completely, and then Wanda decides she needs to talk with Sunny.

She begs to stay with Kyle when he attempts to pull her away from him to talk to Wanda, but Wanda promises her that Kyle isn’t going anywhere, she just wants to ask Sunny a few questions.  For some reason, Sunny latches onto Wanda even though she’s just met her, and the two girls and Kyle head over to the far corner of the room, so Summer won’t hear their conversation.

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They all sit together, facing the wall, and Kyle expresses remorse about the situation, saying he didn’t expect it to turn out how it did.  Wanda asks him how he found and captured Sunny, and Kyle explains that he decided to look for Jodi in Las Vegas instead of Oregon because he knew she was close to her mother and that’s where her mother lived, so he figured she’d go there, even if she’d been implanted (going off of the assumption that she’d do what Wanda did in trying to find Jared and Jamie).

Turned out he was right, because he found Jodi there with her mother and father, but they were all aliens, so he waited until night-time, then snuck into Jodi’s room while she was sleeping, threw her over his shoulder and jumped out the window with her.  He had expected her to scream, but she didn’t, she just stayed silent, so he worried that she had shredded her brain…but obviously she hadn’t.

When he got her to the Jeep, he realized she was completely conscious and didn’t even look afraid of him or upset about what he’d done, so he decided not to tie her up like he’d planned to, and instead just buckled her in and started driving home.

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If I were him, I’d have been worried that she was a Seeker at that point, just trying to find the way to his hideout before killing him so she could lead the other Seekers to his friends…but that doesn’t seem to have crossed his mind, despite how much he thought Wanda was trying to do that every second of her time in the caves until recently. Ahhh the convenient personality changes…

Kyle says that Sunny was quiet for a while as he drove her back to the caves, then she identified him by name and told him her name.  After that, she seemed to open up to him completely, because she was so happy to see him.

Sunny pipes up, telling Wanda that she used to dream about Kyle all the time, and that she always hoped the Seekers would find him because she missed him so much.  She says that when she saw him, she thought it was the dream again, which is why it didn’t scare her, and Wanda is clearly upset by that.

Kyle tells Wanda that Sunny is “a good kid“, and asks her if they can send her somewhere nice, which Wanda says is what she had wanted to ask Sunny about.  She asks her where she’s lived before, as Trudy shows up, and Sunny replies that she’s only lived on Earth and with the Bears, because she lived five life terms with the Bears.

She says she likes living on Earth better than with the Bears, and is very upset to have spent so little time on Earth, which Wanda says she understands, then asks if there’s anywhere else that Sunny has ever wanted to go.  She suggests the Flowers and Spiders, but Sunny shoots both of those down, so Wanda suggests the Dolphins, even though she’s never been one herself.

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(Please stop talking about the alien species)

Sunny is upset that everywhere Wanda is suggesting is far enough away that Kyle will be dead by the time she reaches it, so Kyle asks if there are any other choices.  Wanda tells him that there are a lot of places in the universe, but no others that the shuttles are going to, because only a few are still open for settling.

She turns back to Sunny and apologizes for having to send her far away, explaining that the Seekers want to find the human friends she has in the caves, so if she goes anywhere closer, they’ll bring her back to make her show them the way to the caves.

Sunny says that she doesn’t even know the way because Kyle covered her eyes, and Wanda is sad as she realizes the trouble Kyle went through in hopes that Wanda could help Sunny, because she knows that in reality, she can’t do anything that will make her happy.  She tells Kyle that the only options are the Bears, Flowers and Dolphins, then tells Sunny that she’ll like the Dolphins, because they’ll be nice.

Sunny just keeps crying, so Wanda changes the subject, asking her if Jodi is in there with her.  Sunny is confused, so Wanda asks if she ever hears Jodi’s thoughts, and Sunny responds that Jodi doesn’t have any because she’s there now.

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Kyle asks Wanda if that’s a bad sign, and she responds that she doesn’t know enough to tell, but it’s probably not good.  She goes on to ask Sunny how long she’s been on Earth, but Sunny isn’t completely sure, so Kyle answers that it’s been six years.  Wanda asks how old Sunny is, and she tells her she’s 27, which surprises Wanda, because Sunny seems to her to be much younger.  Yep, there’s that age thing I knew was going to happen.

Kyle asks Wanda why her age matters, and Wanda says she’s not sure, but it seems like the more time an individual spent as a human before implantation, the better chance they have at recovering their human mind, because they have more human memories, more connections, and more years of being called by the right name.

He asks if 21 years is enough, and she says they’ll find out, but this is all bullshit.  Wanda has now performed this procedure twice, and before those she claimed that she had no idea if the human’s mind could come back, so the only basis she can use for this claim she’s made to Kyle is those two she just did – the Seeker and Summer.

The problem?  The Seeker was described as at least somewhat close to the same age as Stryder; obviously older, but not much older; certainly not more than early 30s or something like that…and after Wanda performed the procedure on her host, the human’s mind came back almost instantly, and very clearly, knowing exactly who she was and what was going on from the moment she awoke.

But Summer?  Summer was described as, and I quote: “Forty-five, maybe a little younger, maybe a little older”, and she almost didn’t come back, and even now that she is back, she doesn’t remember anything about herself.  So we have two individuals that Wanda has done this procedure on, and the older one didn’t retain anything about herself, but the younger one did instantly.

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So how can Wanda claim that having been a human for longer gives a better chance of success?  She’s just seen that that’s not true, TODAY!  Even if she’s stupid enough to use just two cases as proof of her hypothesis, she’s still actually only proved that the opposite of her hypothesis is true!

That is, unless I completely misjudged the Seeker’s age, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t.  Even then, though, the aliens supposedly only took over Earth 6 or 7 years ago, meaning Summer would have been implanted when she was around 38 or 39…hell, even if they invaded 10 years ago and she was taken straight away, she’d still have been 35 by then, which is definitely longer than 21 years spent as a human, and she didn’t come back!  So clearly the real answer to Kyle’s question is no, 21 years is probably NOT enough!

God, this is all so stupid.  Why did Meyer bother to indicate Summer’s age if she was going to try to make this claim in the next chapter??  I can’t believe how poor Meyer’s writing is!  She seems to completely lack forethought!  I’m trying to think how she could turn this all around, but she’s made completely contradictory claims here, so I just can’t see it happening.

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On top of all this, how the hell is it that Sunny became all in love with and trustworthy of Kyle to the point of being willing to follow him without question, when she didn’t have a resistant host?  If it was just memories and dreams that led her to do it, and every human host would have memories and dreams, then shouldn’t all the aliens be seeking the humans they once loved and matching up with them, even if they are still human?

What was the point of the “resistant host” storyline in this book at all, if all the aliens will do this with the ones their hosts once loved?  Stryder was completely unnecessary here, as was the whole bit about the Seeker having a resistant host too, if this was just going to happen anyway!  There didn’t need to be all this fucked up shit about who loves who and whatever the fuck, if every alien does this because of the emotions of their human hosts!

And I mean come on, if the aliens realized this was happening, and it was obviously a risk to them since they would all be potentially seeking out the ‘enemy’, why wouldn’t they just give up on this planet and move on?  It’d be pretty easy to realize it wasn’t going to work out when this started happening, and it would have started happening during the first waves of infiltration!

And let me just say, Meyer, there is no way in fucking hell you are going to convince me that it’s just miraculously Jodi that managed to do this without a resistant host.  Why the hell wasn’t the Seeker after someone Lacey loved?  Where is the consistency here?!

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You needed to make Stryder resistant for your storyline to work, same with Lacey, but it wouldn’t work if Jodi was resistant, because then we wouldn’t get the drama of not knowing if she’d come back if Wanda performs the procedure on her, but it is SO FUCKING EASY to see how this is all bullshit that DOES NOT ADD UP!  How stupid do you think your audience is?  How stupid are YOU?  I have to think if you went on to publish this book with all of this still contained in it, you may not have even realized how completely you fucked it up!   Hoooly fuck, this is infuriating.  That this book has sold ANY copies is even more infuriating, nonetheless the vast amount that it has sold.

Let’s get this recap done, I’ve had enough of this shit.

Sunny starts crying about how it’s not fair that Wanda gets to stay on Earth and she doesn’t, so Wanda agrees that that wouldn’t be fair, and assures her that she doesn’t get to stay either.  She even tells her that they might leave together, though she’s very obviously lying about that, and she knows it.  It doesn’t bother her that she’s lying, though, because Sunny will maybe have “a different host with different emotions and no tie to this human beside me“.

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Uh…but I thought you retained all the memories of your previous lives?  That’s how you’ve told us all these stories about the stupid alien shit, after all, isn’t it?  So…she will have a tie to Kyle, because she’ll remember him and remember her love for him.  Is Wanda counting on Sunny being a species that can’t feel the emotions she’d remember feeling for Kyle?  Because she’s never been a Dolphin, and she’s planning to send Sunny to be one, so she has no way of knowing what emotions Dolphins have.

I won’t bother getting into what emotions real Dolphins have, because we already know Meyer’s alien species are fucking idiotic and not the same as ours at all despite their names, but yeah, either way, Wanda can’t possibly know if they have emotions or not.  Who’s to say Sunny won’t go there, find the Dolphins experience emotion even more strongly than we do, and spend the rest of her life/lives in agony because she has all these memories of Kyle and she will NEVER be able to see him again?

Yeah, that’s right, that’s entirely possible, isn’t it Wanda?  You know fucking nothing, so stop trying to act like it’s all going to be okay.  You can’t justify this.  You can’t make it okay that you just lied to her, but you do, by shrugging it off with “Anyway, it would be too late“.  You’re such a bitch.

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Wanda reiterates that she has to give her body back just like Sunny does, and then Ian butts in, angrily asking “What?” before the chapter ends.  Because yeah, of course when Wanda asks to speak to someone privately and goes off to the other fucking side of the room, that means “Hey Ian, please follow us without our consent and stand behind us as we talk, eavesdropping on our conversation”.

IAN IS A FUCKING CREEPY, DISRESPECTFUL BASTARD AND IT’S BEYOND TIME FOR WANDA TO REALIZE THAT!  If he can’t even respect you having a private conversation with someone that DOES NOT AFFECT HIM WHATSOEVER, what the fuck do you see in him, Wanda?  You obviously didn’t know he was there or you would never have said that, so you KNOW he shouldn’t have been listening!!  God I wish he’d fuck off!

And with that outburst of rage, I’m done for today.  Tune in next time to see Ian have to account for his disrespectful actions in NO WAY WHATSOEVER!

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

Well, this chapter didn’t start how I expected it to.  I expected a lot of whining from Wanda about the Healer killing himself, but that’s not what happened, and you’ll see why in a little bit.  And don’t worry; true to form, it’s a stupid, stupid reason.

So instead of the whining, we start this chapter with Wanda listing off a bunch of female names as she tries to guess what the human host’s name is, because apparently she hasn’t woken up yet, even though it’s been hours since the removal.  So maybe there was whining, we just missed it, but I still don’t think so given what’s to come.

In the time since the removal, Doc removed the coverings from the holes in the ceiling of the hospital to let some light in, which I’m only mentioning because Meyer did, so it must be important, right?  It seems he has to go outside and climb up the mountain every time he wants to take them off or put them on, so it’s going to be fun for him doing that all the time, since they can only really do the removals at night as that’s the only time they can safely abduct the aliens…but hey, whatever floats your boat.

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I have to say, though, I think the only reason Meyer actually mentioned that Doc did that was so she could attempt to explain how Wanda knows what time it is.  That’s a lot of work for what is a pretty unimportant bit of information, in the grand scheme of things.

Anyway, Wanda’s petting the human and saying female names, as mentioned, trying to get her to wake up, while Doc sleeps and everyone else does whatever they’re doing elsewhere.  Wanda thinks about the guy that shredded himself, wishing she could have explained to him why she was doing what she did, because she thinks he might have understood and let the body live if she’d had a chance to explain that it was about love.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, the souls are all about love and wondrousness; we’ve heard this before.  I don’t care anymore.

The request would probably have made little sense to him, though.  The body was his body, not a separate entity.  His suicide was simply that to him, not a murder, too.  Only one life had ended.  And perhaps he was right.

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What. The. Fuck.  No, Wanda.  No, no, no.  Why are you still claiming that the body belongs to the alien that invaded it??  You have contradicted this viewpoint SO MANY TIMES!  You are planning to have yourself removed BECAUSE you believe that Stryder’s body belongs to HER, because it FUCKING DOES!  How can you still be claiming this?  It was not and would never have BEEN his body, and while maybe he could have thought it was, because your kind are fucking selfish morons, YOU CANNOT SAY HE WAS EVEN POTENTIALLY RIGHT IN THINKING THAT.  HE WAS NOT.  He destroyed a HUMAN’S brain, and the HUMAN was the one that owned the body.  It was DEFINITELY murder, just as it would be if you destroyed Stryder’s brain, and you damn well know it.  Why would you even be DOING these removals if there was “only one life” in there??

At least the souls had survived.  The light on his tank glowed dull red beside hers; I couldn’t ask for a greater evidence of commitment from my humans than this, the sparing of his life.

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…Wait, what?  Okay, I’m glad she’s finally giving the humans credit for something, but how is this possible?  How could the alien have survived after shredding the human’s brain?  She just said, in the paragraph before this one, that he would be committing suicide, and that he would see it as taking only one life – his own.  If he doesn’t die from the shredding, then how is it suicide or taking anyone’s life but the human’s?  This makes no fucking sense!

EVERYTHING Wanda has said about the shredding so far indicates that it leads to the death of the alien too.  Like I said, she just said it was suicide, and it was precisely what she was worried about with the Seeker; that the Seeker would kill herself before Wanda had a chance to remove her.  Want proof?  Here you go; this is in the first paragraph of chapter 52:

I wasn’t sure if she had any idea of what I was going to do, and I didn’t want to give her any reason to kill her host and herself.”

And that’s not the only other time it’s mentioned that the shredding kills both.  So why, all of a sudden, has that changed?  There is no reason why the alien should have survived here!  This is what I was referring to in the beginning of this recap as the stupid reason why Wanda isn’t whining about the man shredding himself; because the alien didn’t actually die for some stupid fucking reason, only his host did, even though everything we’ve been told even in this same goddamn chapter states that he should have died! FUCK, I hate this!

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On top of all this, though, I also hate that Wanda is a hypocritical enough person that she thinks the humans are horrible because she thinks they want to kill the aliens to save themselves, and when it’s that kind of situation she thinks they should want to save both…but she’s not really upset about this death because the alien didn’t die, just the human did.  So, what; she’s exactly like she thinks the humans would be?  Yeah.  Fuck off, Wanda.

Wanda continues to list off female names to the unconscious woman, as we’re informed that her vital signs were all normal after the chloroform wore off, but none of Doc’s efforts to revive her were successful regardless.  Wanda begins to wonder if the reason she’s not waking is because she’s “gone” already, meaning it’s too late for her to come back because she was not a resistant host like Stryder and Lacey.

This leads her to worry that Stryder wouldn’t come back either, because she wonders if maybe Lacey was an anomaly (again, Lacey cannot have been the first this procedure was ever performed on, if they know how to do it so well, so she should know whether this is true or not already), but Stryder assures her that she’s not lost.  Wanda can tell Stryder is worried too, though, so she promises her that she (Stryder) will stay there, which is pretty much a way for her to silently say that she won’t have herself removed if there’s a chance Stryder won’t come back if she does.  Awww.  Except I don’t feel anything at all because I hate her (Wanda) too much.

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More names listed as Wanda gets emo because her plan hasn’t turned out how she wanted, but considers that at least she gave the humans a way to help themselves if they were ever taken.  Not really, though, because the aliens are the only ones who survive this if it’s not successful in bringing back the humans, and the humans aren’t going to be wanting to go to this much extra effort just to keep the aliens who stole their bodies alive, so it’d really be easier and safer for the humans just to kill them.  So this would help no one but the aliens in any way at all.  Kinda stupid to think it would do otherwise (if the humans don’t end up making it).

Wanda decides to change gears in her efforts to wake the woman by talking to her instead of just listing off names, but she starts doing so by trying to make her feel guilty about how depressed her friends will be about the woman not waking, because it’s just another bad thing in a string of bad things that have happened to them.  Yeah, guilt would really make me wanna wake up, Wanda.  Good plan.

She tells the woman how nice the people in the caves are and that they’re her family now, and then when that’s not successful, she thinks about how attractive the woman is, then begins to beg her to wake up.  She tells her that her friends need her help, especially Doc, for her medical knowledge, except she says it like this:

You’ve been a Healer for a while now; some of that care for the well-being of others must have rubbed off on you.

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I am only willing to accept this as an okay statement if she meant that in the sense of medical care, not caring for the well-being of others in general.  Otherwise, I would have to stab her for once again acting like humans don’t care about others.  So let’s hope Meyer meant it the first way.

Wanda switches back to listing off names again for a minute, then lets her mind wander, speaking her thoughts out loud as she does so.  She ponders about what will happen if Kyle doesn’t come back, wondering if they will have to find a new home somewhere else, and lamenting that she couldn’t really help the humans even if she ‘could‘ stay (-_-), before commenting that maybe Kyle won’t mess up, and everyone will get to stay where they are.

She laughs at that idea, because she doesn’t think it’s possible for Kyle not to screw up, since he’s careless on raids and such, but of course we know nothing bad will happen with Kyle, because there aren’t enough chapters left in the book for any more big climaxes (or Meyer’s idea of them, anyway).

Wanda knows that she has to stick around at least until the situation with Kyle is resolved one way or the other, though, because until then, the humans will need her eyes to get them out of any situations that might arise with Seekers.

It might take a long time, and that made me feel warmer than the sun on my skin.  Made me feel grateful that Kyle was impetuous and selfish.

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Wow.  You’re happy that the people you supposedly care for could be in danger, because it means you get to stick around longer.  YOU are making the decision to go, not them, but because you don’t want to go soon (even though you rushed everything so you could, supposedly), you’re happy that they may have Seekers after them because then they’ll need you.  Really, wow.  You’re grateful that Kyle put them in danger.  And you have the nerve to call him selfish?

He was going to find the woman he loves; you did stupid things for “love” (I use the quotations because since she’s become annoyingly obsessed with Ian, it seems her ‘love’ for Jared has completely disappeared) too, you horrendous bitch.  How dare you pass judgement on him for doing the same, especially when what you’ve just said right here is far more selfish than what he did.  You’re really just a shockingly bad person.

“‘I wonder what it’s like here when it gets cold.  I can barely remember feeling cold.  And what if it rains?  It has to rain here sometime, doesn’t it?  With all these holes in the roof, it must get really wet.  Where does everyone sleep then, I wonder.’

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There are a few things potentially wrong with this.  I took a quick look into the climate information for the area where Wanda claims to be, and what I found just doesn’t add up with what she’s saying here.  Now I won’t pretend to be an expert on this, but I looked at a few different sites for comparison of data so I could have a bit more of a comprehensive idea here, and what I found just doesn’t work with what she’s saying.

In the Arizona desert, which is where I understand Wanda to be from what I’ve read, the temperatures are obviously very high during the days, but can get as low as freezing in the valley areas at night, which would mean that Wanda would have, at least when she was wandering around lost before Jeb found her, experienced cold at a time recent enough that she could remember it.  In fact, if that did happen, she would have experienced many more problems at that time than she did in this book.

Now, there are times of the year when the temperatures don’t significantly drop at night in the desert, but those are generally during the summer monsoon season, when – you guessed it – there are a fair amount of thunderstorms there.  No, the desert does not ever get a lot of rain, but it does get some (enough to make it one of the wettest deserts in the world, if I’m looking at this properly; it says Phoenix is in the Sonoran Desert, and it seems they are quite close to Phoenix), so if it’s summertime (which she says it is), Wanda should already have experienced rain there, and if it’s not, then she should have experienced cold (and there’s also rain in the winter, but we’ll just pretend it’s one or the other for Wanda’s sake).  So either way, these questions are stupid.

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On top of that, she’s been in the caves now for months, and while the desert can go a stretch of months without receiving any rain, it’s highly unlikely that with the length of time she’s been there, it hasn’t rained at all.  Besides, if it hasn’t, I’d wonder how they haven’t have more problems with drought; those underwater streams would not be fed by much if nowhere in the surrounding area had any rain coming in at all, and they seem to use a lot of water irrigating their crops.  They’re supposedly in the middle of the desert, remember.  But hey, that’s also potentially possible, so nitpicking.

Either way, these questions are stupid to me.  Even if they were valid, though, I’m surprised she’s never thought of or asked these things before; it’s not like the others wouldn’t have dealt with this stuff by now.  And really, I’m not sure why Meyer is even going on about this stuff.  It’s just further proof that neither she nor her editor (still hard to believe she had one, but I know she did) did any research on anything she claimed in this book, and it’s not plot relevant.

Oh, wait, it is, because Wanda’s blathering on about weather and how curious she is to know the answers to her stupid questions leads her to say the word “summer”, which makes the woman she’s talking to twitch a little.  Golly gee, how exciting.

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She says it takes her by surprise when the woman twitches because she had forgotten about her as she “sunk into the melancholy that was always conveniently near these days” (agggggh my overwhelming hatred of this whiney fucking bullshit; once again, why does anyone like a character like this?!  She’s not 14, she should be out of this emo stage!), but she can’t have; she was literally JUST TALKING TO HER, asking her if she was curious about these things!  She didn’t have time to stop thinking about the woman before she twitched!  This was just another excuse to whine! WHY DO WE NEED THOSE?!?

Wanda looks at the woman, but she’s completely still again, so she thinks she might have imagined the movement she felt.  She tries to figure out what she could have said to make her twitch anyway, just in case, so she starts blathering on about change, then decides that the woman must not like change when she doesn’t respond to that, so she asks if the woman wants summer to last, and her eyelids flicker.

She asks if the woman likes summertime, and her lips twitch, so she repeats the word “Summer”, assuming it to be the woman’s name, and tells her to “come back” and open her eyes.  Her eyes begin to blink rapidly, so Wanda calls to Doc to wake up, and tells him that she thinks the woman is coming around.

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She keeps talking to the woman, calling her Summer and trying to encourage her to come around, until she notices that the woman is grimacing in what looks like pain, so she asks Doc to bring the No Pain.  Before Wanda can get it, though, the woman grips Wanda’s hand and opens her eyes.  Wanda tries to comfort and relax her, but the woman begins to panic, crying out and pulling away from Wanda.

Doc is there too, at this point, and he tries to calm the woman down, assuring her that no one will hurt her as she squeezes her eyes shut and curls into the mattress.  Wanda tells him that she thinks the woman’s name is Summer, and Doc reminds her about her alien eyes, which are reflecting the sun from the holes in the ceiling.  Oh, so that’s why Meyer bothered to have Doc go to all the trouble to take the coverings down.  Great.  Totally worth it.

Wanda lets go of the woman’s hand as she begs them, saying “not again”.  Doc tells her his name and that she’s going to be fine, but he calls her “Summer” in the process, which causes her to cry out at him, telling him not to call her that.  She says it’s not her name, it’s the alien’s, and Wanda feels guilty about getting the wrong name.  Stryder tries to make her feel better, telling her it’s not her fault because Summer is a human name too, but I get the guilt here.  That would feel pretty shitty, hopefully for more than one reason, but probably only one in Wanda’s case.

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Doc promises not to call her Summer anymore, and asks what her name is, but she says she doesn’t know.  She continues to panic, asking what happened and begging Doc not to “make her be someone else again“, so he continues to try to calm her down, promising that no one will make her be anyone but who she is, and that her name will come back to her in time.

The woman demands to know who he and Wanda are, telling him that she saw Wanda’s eyes, so she knows she is one of the aliens.  Doc explains that he’s human, like she is, and shows her his eyes for proof, then tells her there are lots of humans there that will want to meet her too.  The woman cringes and says she’s afraid of humans, so Doc reminds her that she’s not, the alien who used to inhabit her body was.  He tries to remind her of the time before the alien was in her, when she was a human, and assures her that she is one again.

She continues to be upset about not remembering her name, but Doc just reaffirms that it will come back to her in time.  She verifies that he’s a doctor, then tells him that her alien was too, and that her name was Summer Song.  She asks who she is, and Doc assures her they’ll find out.

Wanda starts to leave the room, planning to find one of the human women to help Doc deal with the woman, and the woman notices, panicking again about the fact that Wanda is not human.  Doc tells her that Wanda is a friend, and that she shouldn’t  be afraid of her because she helped him bring her back.

See?  Just a normal friend.

See? Just a normal friend.

The woman asks where her alien is, saying she was afraid because there were humans, as Wanda leaves the room.  Doc answers, telling her that Summer Song is going to a new planet, and then asks the woman if she remembers where Summer came from before coming to Earth.  The woman tells him that Summer was a Bat, then asks where she is, and that’s all we get to know about that conversation, because then Wanda is too far away to hear anymore.

Wanda is, of course, not surprised to hear that the woman’s alien was a Bat, given the name (because remember, the Bats all sing and whatever), but she is surprised when she finds that every area she goes to in the caves where there would normally be people is empty.  There are clear signs that people were very recently in all those areas, but they aren’t there anymore, so Wanda starts to worry that they may have evacuated without her and Doc.  Well, that’s stupid.

Luckily, Wanda realizes that it would have been stupid of them to leave Doc behind, and Stryder reminds her that Jared, Jamie and Ian wouldn’t have left her behind either, so we’re spared some of the drama here…but Wanda’s attempts to find everyone still take more than a page, even without that, and that seems very excessive to me, so I’m going to skim this.

Sooo blah blah blah, no one in the kitchen, Wanda is hungry but is not going to do anything about it so what was the point of mentioning it, Wanda worries that maybe they didn’t evacuate soon enough and the Seekers got in, Stryder reminds her that if they had, they’d still be in the caves looking for other humans, and they would have heard something besides, but Wanda thinks they may still be looking, so she feels she has to get back and warn Doc so they can get out…then Stryder’s upset, thinking that Jared and Jamie might be gone, and Wanda’s upset about everyone else because she has so many friends cause she’s so popular.

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Wanda decides that if need be, she’ll hunt all of them down and steal them back, because she won’t let the aliens take her family, and I can’t wait until we hear about how great the aliens are the next time, so I can remember how for a moment here they were the enemy again, but then she changed her mind like she always does.  She says if she had any doubt as to where she stood, this moment would have erased them, but she’s said shit like that before and gone back on it, so it really means no more to me now than it did the other times.

Finally, Wanda hears the sound of voices down the hall from where she is, so she presses herself against the wall, into the shadows, and she and Stryder discuss where it sounds like the sounds are coming from.  Shit is said here that is supposed to make me feel good, like she and Stryder are now really a team, but I was supposed to think that before and Wanda betrayed that repeatedly, so Meyer, please stop trying.  It’s too late for this shit.  You can only pull this so many times before no one fucking cares anymore.

Wanda creeps down the hallway, thinking about the voices she hears and wondering if the fact that they’re familiar is a good sign or a sign that the Seekers just perform really fast insertions (that’s fucking ridiculous given the production that her insertion was; why were we ever supposed to believe this was some sort of fast paced street procedure, Meyer, after the way you laid it out in the beginning of the book?), and this is all just an effort by Meyer to produce dramatic tension, but it really isn’t successful at all.  I don’t feel tense, I feel bored.  Move on, Meyer.  Hurry up and get to the end of this.

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When Wanda gets to the doorway, she’s happy to realize that the voices are angry, because of course that means they can’t be implanted, because only humans get angry.  Yeah, we’ve seen such proof of that in her and the Seeker.  Absolutely.

She realizes that Kyle must be back and hurries into the room, feeling relieved that everyone is safe, but unhappy that Kyle being back means she’s going to ‘have to’ go.  Stryder tries, once again, to convince Wanda that she’s still needed more than she (Stryder) is, but Wanda shrugs that off, saying she could find excuses to stay forever, but she won’t with Stryder as her prisoner.  Again with the thinking this when it applies to Stryder, but not to other human hosts, for some reason…annoying.  And I’d like Wanda to give up on this plan now, since we know it won’t happen and I’m sick of all the conversations where Stryder tries to beg Wanda and she says no for reasons that she doesn’t even believe in.

Wanda sees Kyle pinned against the far wall, clearly protecting something behind him and pleading to the group to calm down.  He tells Jared to back off because he’s scaring “her”, and then Wanda sees a face appear behind him for a second (with black eyes; why do they not look alien?), which means Kyle did find Jodi.  So then…why is everyone angry?  Is it just because he left and endangered them?  That’s a valid reason, but couldn’t they deal with that after they deal with the girl who’s obviously with him?

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If she’s not an alien somehow (which wouldn’t make any sense), it’s really cruel to put her through this instead of just getting her integrated and then freaking out on Kyle when he’s away from her, and if she is an alien, then they really should probably deal with her before dealing with Kyle anyway, for the safety of everyone there.

And if she is one and she’s there peacefully with Kyle for some reason, for one it will need to be explained how that’s possible (and if it’s another convenient thing like “Oh she was a resistant host because she loved and remembered him too much, and her alien fell in love with him too and always wanted to find him but couldn’t, so yayyyy”, I’m going to end up in an institution), and two, why would everyone freak out about it?  The situation was worse with Wanda; at the time Wanda showed up they couldn’t do the procedure to remove the alien, and now they can.

So to sum up, if they’re mad because of Kyle endangering them, they should wait to freak out at him until the girl he’s brought (presumably Jodi) has been dealt with, and if they’re mad because he brought an alien home, that’s stupid because they’ve been through worse before, and she’s no threat to them if she’s alone, he’s clearly protecting her, she’s clearly afraid, and they can remove her alien anyway now.  So, explanations at some point, I hope.  Jared, at least, should not be mad, yet he seems to be one of the most angry people present.

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Apparently Sharon and Maggie are there too, despite that they disappeared for a long while, but they’re only there because they don’t like happiness but they’re “at home with fury“, supposedly, which is so incredibly stupid and is obviously just another chance to remind us that they’re evil bitches, in case we had forgotten.  Lacey is there too, and she’s also angry for some reason, even though none of this is really her business, so…yeah.  This is all just one giant mess.

Kyle notices Wanda at the back of the room, though, and calls out to her, asking her if she could come give him some help (bold question), and then that’s the end of the chapter.  And I don’t really know that there’s much else I can say for now, until we see where this goes, so…there you have it!

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

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!)

I’m just gonna dive right into this one, because that seems the best way to get it over with.

The chapter starts with Meyer having skipped the entire scene where Jared and Wanda get the cryotanks, because they’re back at the caves, bringing in their ‘plunder’.  Part of me is happy about this, because it means I didn’t have to read all the details of them stealing the tanks and travelling back to the caves and whatnot, but at the same time, this feels both lazy and (once again) too convenient to me.

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Meyer spends so much time going on and on about crap that doesn’t matter, and repeating herself, and describing things that absolutely no one needed described, and then she just skips over major sections like this, and it pisses me off.  It could be argued that the scene she skipped here was not an overly important one, but it was certainly more important than many she kept in (including the stupid Bear/Claw Beast story in the last chapter), and it is a bit important that Meyer prove that the humans could have acquired cryotanks without Wanda around, and to prove that, you need to show us what the process of getting the tanks would be.  But she just couldn’t be bothered, and she didn’t want to give us the chance to doubt that Wanda’s plan would work for any reason, so here we are.

It sucks that Meyer passed up yet another chance to include some real action/adventure in this book, as she could have had something happen during their tank collection that was actually, y’know, interesting.  Suspenseful.  Fun, even.  But no, here we are, with the same old boring crap.  Awesome.

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Anyway, they’re bringing the stuff in through the south vent (the one that goes through Doc’s office) because Wanda is worried that if she goes through the main entrance, the Seeker will hear the commotion caused by their return, and will then figure out what Wanda is doing and do that brain shredding thing.  Though again, Meyer already set up the Seeker’s character as a closet coward and too in love with life to kill herself, so that’s not going to be a problem anyway.

When she gets inside, Wanda finds Doc at his desk, tools laid out, preparing for the procedure he’s about to perform on the Seeker.  He’s got a propane lantern, which surprises me a bit because I would think it would probably be a bit difficult to find propane, since the aliens don’t use the same things we used to power their vehicles and so on, so I would be surprised if this many years after the invasion there was still much (if any) propane around…though now that I’ve said that, I’m not actually sure if Meyer did say they use other methods for fuel or not.  I think she did; I seem to remember that being mentioned…but maybe not.  But I’m not going to look back through the book to find out, because if she can’t be bothered to check her own facts (and she’s proven multiple times that she can’t) then why should I?

Seeing Doc preparing to do exactly what she made him promise to do makes Wanda feel nauseous, but she’s not sure whether it’s because of what she knows is to come, or because she’s still sickened by her memory of ‘catching’ him ‘with blood on his hands‘ a few chapters back, despite that it’s been established multiple times that that was not something that she should hold against him so much for multiple reasons.  Either way, though, she’s getting what she wants and is not happy about it yet again; what else is new?

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Doc is apparently relieved that Wanda and Jared are back, even though it means he’s going to have to go through with Wanda’s plan instead of just killing the Seeker, and he’s very happy when Jared reveals to him that they have brought back two crates of Heal for him.  Now he can needlessly waste as much as he wants every time someone gets hurt!  Yay!

Jared also mentions that they’ve found a better way to renew their stores than to have Wanda stab herself, but Doc doesn’t laugh, he just stares “piercingly” at Wanda.

We both must have been thinking the same thing: Convenient, since Wanda won’t be around.

What the…seriously, Wanda?  This is what you really think Doc is thinking right now?  Who the hell has such a cold thought about the death of someone?  I’m pretty sure he’s looking at you piercingly hoping you see how much it’s going to hurt Jared (and everyone else) to lose you, with perhaps a bit of anger at the fact that you haven’t told Jared what’s going to happen.  But whatever he’s thinking, I can guarantee it’s not that anything is fucking convenient!  He is obviously a caring, emotional person; that’s been proven a thousand times…so he would NEVER be so nonchalant about death, especially that of a friend!

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Doc changes the subject, asking if they got the cryotanks, as Jared notices the tension between Doc and Wanda.  Wanda answers that they got 10 tanks, as that was all their car could hold, which verifies that it was the car they took, not the van/truck, so they really would have stuck out like a sore thumb when they were driving around the loading area the way they were, which is probably part of why Meyer skipped that scene.  Didn’t want to have to get into what would really have happened had they attempted things the way they were.

Why didn’t they just take one of the bigger vehicles, though?  It would have offered at least a chance of fitting in better, as well as providing them more space to bring back tanks and supplies. If they have those available, I just can’t see why they wouldn’t utilize them when they know they need a supply of something.  But I’m pretty sure I won’t get an answer to that.

After Wanda reveals how many tanks they got, Jared pulls on a rope behind him, and the second box of Heal and all 10 tanks clatter down onto the floor behind him.  …What?  Meyer says something about loose rock related to this, and I just don’t understand how or why this happened.  Is that really the most efficient method to get them inside?  What was the rope attached to?  What’s with the loose rock?  Why bother adding this to the scene at all; why couldn’t they have just carried the tanks in??  Why the fuck do you do this shit, Meyer?!

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In the last chapter, Wanda specifically mentioned that the aliens were moving the tanks carefully, but apparently that’s just because they were occupied tanks; the unoccupied ones can be “treated roughly” without a problem because they are made of “no element that exists on this planet.   Yeah, because if they weren’t then you couldn’t just treat them however you want without having to think about it, right Meyer?  Though really, when it comes right down to it, why the fuck do we care what they’re made of or how strong they are?  Is it going to be relevant later for some reason?  Cause it sure as hell isn’t now.

Doc picks up one of the cryotanks and looks at it, then asks Wanda if they’re hard to use.  She says they’re extremely easy to use (of course they are; they have to be for her to be able to use them and Meyer to be able to describe their use. Wouldn’t want anyone to have to think, now would we?)  and she’ll show him how, then asks what Jeb, Brandt and Aaron said about her plan.

Doc says the guys are in agreement with her terms, but she says she won’t show him how to remove the souls unless she believes that that’s true.  Doc says that’s fair, but Jared is confused, so Doc asks Wanda what she’s told Jared…which seems a very stupid thing to do right in front of him.  She says she’s only told him that she’s going to save the Seeker, then turns to Jared and explains that Doc has promised her that he’ll send the souls to another planet if she teaches him how to remove them, and that he won’t kill anyone.  I would have to think Jared would have figured that out by now, since they brought more than one cryotank back; he’d have to be pretty slow if he didn’t, at any rate.

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Jared says he can agree to those terms as well, and that he’ll help the others follow through, then asks if she’s got a plan to get the souls off planet.  Wanda responds that doing that will be no more difficult than what they did in stealing the tanks; they’ll just add tanks to the pile instead of taking them away.

You have got to be kidding me.  You have GOT to be fucking KIDDING me!  Are the souls really so dense that they won’t notice a bunch of extra cryotanks being added to their load, especially when Wanda has said that so many less are going off planet than are coming in?  Even if they don’t label the tanks, you’d think they’d still notice the extras, given there can’t be many there to start!  And I’d especially think they would notice if they get a bunch of new tanks showing up more than once!

Does she expect them to just take the tanks back to the loading facility one at a time or some shit?  Because that would be the fucking stupidest idea ever.  She’s already risking their lives just having them pick up the empty tanks at all; making them also go drop off new tanks is definitely going to get them noticed at some point!  Unless the aliens are completely brain-dead, they will notice that every so often a bunch of empty tanks go missing, and then a while after that, a bunch of full ones show up!  COME ON, Meyer!  It only takes one of the humans getting caught ONCE to kill them all!

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Aggggh, this is so fucking stupid!  There’s NO WAY it can be that easy, and even if it was, it’s not like Wanda showed Jared where they’re supposed to drop them off, since he’s only just finding out that that’s what they have to do now!  They wouldn’t put the new tanks with the occupied ones they saw coming in, because then they wouldn’t be sending the souls off planet, and they sure as hell wouldn’t put them with the unoccupied tanks, so how is this anywhere near as easy as she’s making it out to be?  This is illogical fucking bullshit!

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; I fucking hate this book!  NONE OF THIS SHIT MAKES ANY SENSE!  You can’t make everything up to this point oh so fucking dramatic, then have the BIGGEST HEIST THEY HAVE TO PULL OFF be a piece of cake!  This SHOULD NOT be easier than raiding empty houses at night!  If it was, I CANNOT see why the humans wouldn’t have invaded at least the stores of medical supplies already, but also probably every single loading area the aliens use, since they’re not guarded and that makes for much easier raiding!  I am so fucking pissed off!  Okay, I need to go take a breather now, before I end up stabbing something.  I’m normally a huge fan of reading, but this book makes me never want to read again.

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Okay, so after all that stupidity, Doc asks Wanda if she has a “time schedule” in mind, and Wanda thinks she hears eagerness in his voice, so she has to convince herself that he’s just eager to learn how to remove the souls, not to kill her.  I have to think she mistook the inflection in his voice, because as eager as he probably would be to learn this sort of thing, I’d think that more than that, he’d be nervous about what might happen and what he has to do to Wanda, and I think that’s probably what she’s actually hearing.  Different people express nervousness in different ways, and I just can’t imagine Doc is in a huge rush to deal with all of this right now.  But at least she didn’t completely assume the worst of him.

Jared asks if they can wait until he takes the Jeep back to its hiding spot, because he wants to watch, and Doc says they can.  Poor Aaron and Brandt.  Jared leaves, and once he’s gone, Doc asks Wanda if she talked to Jared about Stryder.  Wanda says she didn’t, but she thinks Jared knows where this is all going.  She feels he must have guessed her plan, and I feel the same way, because they’re not exactly being subtle about it, but it really seems like he actually hasn’t figured it out, so we’re still going to need to deal with dramafest later on, I’m sure.

Doc tries to argue that Jared won’t allow her to kill herself once he figures out that bit, but she cuts him off, saying that Jared won’t get a say, and reminding Doc that the deal was all or nothing.  Doc gives up on arguing with her, and decides to go talk to Jeb about getting things ready.

He reached for a bottle on the table.  The chloroform.  I was sure the souls had something better to use.  I would have to try to find it for Doc, before I was gone.

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Yep, there’s that chloroform again that I’m not sure how they got such easy access to, especially since they seem to have a fair amount of it, as well as the obvious reference to the Still that Wanda saw when they were driving around looking for the cryotanks, that I mentioned would surely come up later.  You’re not getting any less transparent, Meyer.  Not mentioning the Still by name here is not clever, it just makes Wanda seem like even more of an idiot for not thinking of it, when she just saw and commented on it an hour or so ago.

Before Doc can leave, Wanda asks him who knows about what they’re doing, and he says it’s still only Jeb, Aaron and Brandt, and that they all want to watch.  Wanda is okay with that, but tells Doc not to tell anyone else about it, which he agrees to and then leaves.

And this is where this chapter gets absolutely fucking stupid.

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With Doc gone, Wanda goes to sit against the wall, wanting to be nowhere near the cot they’ll use to perform the removal.  She realizes, while trying to distract herself from thinking about her own death, that she hasn’t heard from Stryder in a while, and at first I was glad that she noticed that because I thought it very strange that neither she nor Jared thought to consider Stryder’s feelings about this at all, but I’m now not glad for it because of what Stryder’s presence does to the next couple of pages.

Wanda is surprised that Jared spooning her didn’t wake Stryder up and piss her off, and I’m not at all sure why Jared didn’t notice that Stryder didn’t show up there, unless he’s started forgetting about her in favour of Wanda, but even thinking about that again and attempting to call out to Stryder doesn’t elicit a response.  Wanda can still feel Stryder’s presence, unlike when she disappeared completely, so she’s not worried about Stryder, but she is afraid that Stryder is ignoring her, so she keeps trying to get a response from her.

It’s not until Wanda “apologizes” for spooning with Jared by blaming him entirely for it happening because she says she “didn’t do anything“, so she doesn’t think it’s fair for Stryder to be mad at her, that Stryder says anything.  Yeah, Wanda, because Jared was totally pinning you down to the ground, and there’s no way you could have moved if it made you uncomfortable or feel guilty.  You had to stay there, and it’s all Jared’s fault.  Childish bitch; learn to take some responsibility for your actions.

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Stryder is annoyed at Wanda but says she’s not mad at her, she just wants Wanda to leave her alone.  Wanda asks Stryder why she won’t talk to her, but Stryder just ignores her again, so Wanda prods around trying to find out what Stryder’s thinking.

She tried to keep me out, to put the wall in place, but it was too weak from disuse.  I saw her plan.

Too weak from disuse?  The fuck?  It’s not a physical object, Meyer; if she could do it when she barely existed and was new to having an invader in her brain, she sure as hell could do it now when she is stronger and has good reason.  Quit it with the fucking convenient bullshit, you talentless hack; I’m not buying it!  I’d love to say that goes for everyone else as well, but I’d clearly be wrong about that, so I’ll just toss a big ol’ fuck you over to you on my own behalf.

Wanda asks Stryder if she’s lost her mind, because she realizes that Stryder’s ‘plan’ is to make herself disappear so that Wanda won’t kill herself, because she can’t think of any other way to stop Wanda.  Wanda says she doesn’t get why Stryder would do that, because she knows Stryder wants to be with Jared and Jamie again, which Stryder admits to, but says that at the same time, she can’t stand the idea of being the death of Wanda.

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Oh, for god’s sake, this is such fucking bullshit.  Stryder has been fighting since day one to get her body back, and as much as she may want Wanda to stay living, she would NOT erase HERSELF to accomplish that.  There is just NO FUCKING WAY that would happen.  Stryder is not THAT stupid.  But I’m sure it’s because at least in part she’s jumping into Wanda’s normal self-pity mode too, where she thinks Wanda should live because she’s more useful, so she (Stryder) should just martyr herself, especially because she just couldn’t live with the guilt of knowing that she killed Wanda even though she didn’t because Wanda made that stupid goddamn decision herself and Stryder tried to fight her tooth and nail on it…aggh,.  Holy fuck, Stryder, is this ever stupid.

You’ve seen how she thinks and what she does, and I don’t care how much you ‘love her’ (as ridiculous as THAT even is to consider), you would not kill yourself so that she could have YOUR body, and YOUR boyfriend, and YOUR brother.  Fuck that.  I will not believe this shit for a single second, and I don’t know how any reader has.

Wanda tells Stryder she loves her too, and for some reason that grates on me like nothing else, and then she says that there’s not enough room for the both of them in her body, in the caves, and in Jared and Jamie’s lives.  Um…why, exactly?  You guys seemed to come to a peace on this, and you would never have thought this way if the Seeker hadn’t shown up; in fact you were super excited to get back to life in the caves before that.  So you know damn well you’re full of it.

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Stryder says she disagrees about there not being enough room, so Wanda simply tells her to stop trying to annihilate herself, because if she thinks Stryder can do it, she’ll make Doc remove her right away, or she’ll tell Jared about Stryder’s plan.  Telling Jared is a threat because of what Jared said before to Stryder about giving no guarantees as to what he would or wouldn’t do to keep her around, so Wanda starts to picture the kiss she had with Jared, as well as various times Stryder and Jared made out or had sex.

Stryder is clearly displeased by this, though I’m not sure why if she’s planning to give up her body to Wanda, meaning that that stuff will only continue to happen anyway, and she (Stryder) just won’t be able to stop it…but she says she won’t give up anyway.  Wanda tells her that she’s been warned, and that she expects no more silent treatment, and then they decide to think about something else.  Yeah, okay.  Sure.  That’s absolutely realistic.

They start thinking about where they’d like to send the Seeker, and Stryder votes for the Mists Planet because of the Claw Beasts, but Wanda thinks it would be better to send her to the Planet of the Flowers.  She thinks that would be more fitting because it’s so mellow, and she believes the Seeker needs a “nice long lifetime eating sunshine“.  So…in other words, your punishment for her is to give her an easy life?  I get that you think that’s oh so clever because she’s evil and angry and you think she would hate that, but you don’t know that she wouldn’t enjoy it.  That’s like sending a serial rapist to a resort for the rest of his life.  It is NOT appropriate for the crime she committed, and there should be no chance that she’ll enjoy herself.

After that, they flip through some of Wanda’s memories because apparently they’re like fairytales to Stryder, so Stryder tells Wanda some fairytales too, and this is SO FUCKING STUPID!  I have no idea why we’re wasting time talking about this when action is supposed to be happening!  You skipped an entire scene that at least had the potential of having something interesting happening, all to gives us stupid crap about fairytales?!  What the hell kind of writing is this??  It’s HORRIBLE!

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Luckily, Wanda hears Jared coming back, so we don’t have to spend any more time on that bullshit, and since he decided to come through the main entrance when he returned, Jeb, Brandt, Aaron and Doc are with him, as is the Seeker, being carried by Jared, because Meyer wanted to spare us another chance of anything exciting happening by just skipping over the whole process it must have been to subdue the Seeker.  Yay.  At this point, Wanda realizes that it’s time for the “first stage of her death”, which upsets Stryder, but Wanda just tells her to pay attention because she’ll need to help the humans with it when she (Wanda) is gone.

Stryder protests the idea of Wanda dying, but not the idea of paying attention, and then everyone is in the room, the Seeker unconscious.  Jared lays the Seeker on the cot gently, so that we can be reminded AGAIN that Wanda was not treated as nicely as that, but Wanda is sooo wonderful that she appreciates the ‘gesture’ (FUCK OFF MEYER), and Wanda asks Doc for the No Pain, which he goes off to get.

I stared at the Seeker’s face while I waited, wondering what it would look like when her host was free.  Would anything be left?  Would the host be empty or would the rightful owner reassert herself?

Again, as mentioned in the previous chapter, we already know the answers to these questions.  You know what will happen, Wanda; we both know that.  You know the host mind will come back, because this has happened before, and because of all the stuff with the Seeker wanting to take Stryder’s body for her own.  So just stop.  Please.  I’m tired of dealing with the same shit over and over with you, so seriously, just stop.

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Doc gives Wanda the No Pain, which she administers to the Seeker while we get a completely pointless description of how small the Seeker’s face is as compared to Wanda’s hands.  She asks Jared to flip the Seeker over onto her stomach, which he does, and then someone turns on the propane lantern and Wanda realizes that Doc spent the time she and Jared were gone covering up the holes in the hospital walls/ceiling that allowed for sunlight, so that they could have the light on without any Seekers noticing.  Seems like a totally doable task for one man by himself.  Sure.

Blah blah blah, descriptions of people’s breathing and shifting positions, and then Wanda asks for some Heal, Clean, Seal and Smooth, which Doc gives to her.  She brushes the Seeker’s hair aside to make the cut, but then decides she doesn’t want to, so Doc agrees to do it for her.

It takes a long fucking time for Meyer to get to that, though, because she decides she has to lengthen out everything Doc says and does, and then have Wanda suddenly realize she’s an idiot because she hasn’t prepared the tank for the Seeker yet.  She gets Jared to get one of the cryotanks, then explains to him how to power it on and open the lid, which really doesn’t sound, when I describe it that way, like it’s a long process, but it actually takes an entire page for Meyer to describe it.  It was truly riveting.  Or not.

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Jared is, for some stupid reason, surprised that a cryotank is cold, and then he asks how it’s powered. Wanda says she knew the answer to that when she was a Spider, but she can’t remember now.  Yet another thing Meyer knew her audience might wonder about, but didn’t want to be bothered having to describe.  Ah, the writing just gets lazier and lazier.

Wanda finally tells Doc to make the cut, so he does, and then Wanda asks him to hold the Seeker’s hair while she goes in to get the soul.  She knows he won’t be able to understand what she’s doing this time, because it will need to be fully explained to him, so she just goes about reaching in and holy fuck it takes almost an entire page for Meyer to describe the process of removing the soul.  I am so not talking about all that.

One thing I wonder, though: How the hell is there enough space at the back of a human’s neck for Wanda to stick her entire finger into it without causing other damage?  That just does not seem right to me.  It’s also quite disturbing.  I want to move on, but I have to finish this chapter, so I can’t, but daaaaaamn I really want to because my god, I hate this.

However she does it, Wanda does get a finger in there, and starts feeling up the alien simply so Meyer can describe it, and then blah blah blah blah blah, so much description I don’t care about as she massages the entire damn thing, and then finds an arbitrarily numbered connection that is apparently the vital one and massages it to try to relax the alien, because “Kindness was always the way of the souls.  Never violence.”  -_- Stabstabstabstabstab.

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The alien lets go after she massages it in its special place for a while, and then she feels it wriggle free and begin to twist its way out of the human’s neck.  When it’s out a bit, she wraps her fingers around it and pulls it out the rest of the way, and then we get to hear about how beautiful it is again, just like we did at the beginning of the book when Fords inserted Wanda.

Apparently Wanda feels love for the Seeker when she sees her in this form; maternal love…and I fucking hate this.  I’m a mother, and I would never love something just because it was beautiful if it was also EVIL and a MURDERER.   It’s not her child; I don’t care what reasoning Meyer tries to use here.  Fuck, she (Meyer) is just constantly throwing the good messages at us, isn’t she?  So glad young girls read this book.  We need more girls in the world who’ll love anything as long as it’s beautiful, even if it’s severely dangerous and horrible.

Wanda tells the soul to “sleep well“, then puts it into the cryotank and closes it up.  She takes the tank from Jared and begins to cradle it against her chest, and I’ve gotta say, if I was one of the guys in the room right now, I’d be really worried.  She should not be treating a murderer this way, and that she does just because it’s an alien does say a lot more about her than she, Meyer or anyone else seems willing to admit.  And only Doc knows what she intends, so it should just be alarming to all the others.  But, of course, it’s not.

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Wanda looks back to the human body on the table and sees that Doc is already to the point of applying Smooth to the wound, so clearly she did not actually give a fuck whether the host was harmed or not, because she just left it to bleed out while she hugged the soul.  Not that it would have in that little time, she just obviously didn’t care one way or the other, so it’s good that Doc did.

She doesn’t see it that way, though; she just sees it as them being a good team, because she took care of the soul while he took care of the body.  Yeah, yeah, that’s a fitting viewpoint from her perspective and mine is from mine because I hate her; I know.

When Doc is done, he looks up at Wanda and tells her that what just happened was incredible, so she praises him for doing a good job.  Doc asks Wanda when she thinks the host body will wake up, and she says it’ll depend on how much chloroform she inhaled (which is apparently not much) and whether the host’s mind is actually still in there (which we already know it is).

Before I could ask, Jared lifted the nameless woman tenderly from the cot, rolled her face-up, and laid her on another, cleaner resting place.  This tenderness did not move me.  This tenderness was for the human, for Melanie…

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Holy fuck you are such a fucking selfish bitch!  You’re moved by Jared’s ‘tenderness’ toward the Seeker because you know he’s only doing it to make up for not doing it to you, but you are bitter about him being tender toward a human body that’s just been through a horrifying ordeal and is recovering from surgery, because you think he’s doing it for Stryder?  Maybe he’s just doing it because it’s the fucking decent thing to do; ever think of that??

And hell, even if it was for Stryder, not just because she’s a human and he is a fucking half-decent person who doesn’t just toss people around nonchalantly, Stryder just ATTEMPTED TO KILL HERSELF TO SAVE YOUR LIFE, AFTER YOU STOLE HER BODY.  How DARE you act like you should be bitter about kindness toward her??  Seriously, what the fuck is WRONG with this character?  How do people like her?  How do people identify with her?  Why does ANYONE want her to stick around???

Why

Doc checks the human’s pulse, then peels back her eyelids to look at her eyes with a flashlight, finding that they are back to normal.  He and Jared are both amazed, as is Jeb, though he also admits he’s conflicted, like he thinks Wanda is.  But Wanda is not conflicted for the right reasons, Jeb.  That’s what you don’t know.

Aaron and Brandt are apparently small children now, because they start talking in excited but immature ways, even though I’d think they would be feeling some conflict about this too…especially Brandt.  This should not be what Brandt wants for the Seeker, as much as he may want it in general.  That would have to cast somewhat of a shadow on the occasion, though I do imagine he’d be excited otherwise.

They want to go get more bodies to perform the procedure on, but Jeb tells them to wait because there will be no more “soul snatching” until the Seeker’s cryotank is safely on its way to space.  Wanda agrees with this, so…they really are supposed to send them off one at a time, and expect no one to notice that they keep fucking showing up there?  Seriously?  Agggh!

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Wanda thinks about how she’s going to need more people to help with doing these things, because Jeb, Doc and Jared aren’t enough, which leads her to realize that she’s going to have to talk to Ian about it.  Realizing this apparently upsets her greatly, because she doesn’t want to have to tell Ian goodbye, and the thought of doing so brings her even more pain than the idea of pointlessly giving her life up for the Seeker does.  I can’t go any further into this, because I cannot at all support that she’s feeling anything positive for Ian.  I just can’t.  So I won’t.

She thinks the only thing worse than saying goodbye to Ian will be saying goodbye to Jared, but that’s because she thinks Jared won’t feel any pain at the thought of losing her, because he’ll be happy to get Stryder back, whereas the hurt of Ian is because he will feel pain when he loses her.  Yep, she’s so selfless that she doesn’t want Ian to hurt, but she also doesn’t want Jared not to hurt, because his happiness is not more important than what she perceives as his slight against her by not loving her back.  Have I mentioned how much I hate this bitch?

She says she’s not even planning to say goodbye to Jamie, which is really fucking nice of her since she knows Jamie does care about her, and that will hurt him a lot, but what the fuck does she care about abandoning someone who loves her and who she supposedly loves, without even saying goodbye, when she knew in advance that she would have to do so?  Remember, she cares about how people feel only when their feelings are inconvenient to her!  She cares how Ian will feel because she’ll have to face it, but if she can just go ahead and ignore Jamie, well then, she won’t have to feel anything for him, will she?

I get it, it would be much harder to say goodbye to Jamie, but if she’s so selfless and whatever the fuck, she should care more about how it will feel for him than how it will feel for her, but she clearly doesn’t.  So fuck her.  I will NEVER believe that she is selfless, no matter what she does.  Not at all, ever.

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Doc calls Wanda over, because apparently she went somewhere at some point, and when she gets over to the bed where Doc is standing, she sees that the human is beginning to wake up.  The human begins to moan, and everyone goes silent, so Wanda tells Doc to talk to her because she doesn’t know what to say.

Doc tells the human she’s safe, and she opens her eyes and looks at Doc for a moment, then looks around the room.  When she sees Wanda, she recognizes her, then scowls…which I can only assume she does because Wanda is an alien, not because of the Seeker’s history with Wanda, unless the human host is evil too.  She says it feels good to have her head back and thanks them, and that’s the end of the chapter.

Soooo she woke up from the chloroform too quickly, in my opinion, and she really shouldn’t be that clear of mind right after waking up from chloroform, no matter how wonderful the No Pain is, but hey, whatever, it’s what happened and the chapter is done and I can’t muster the energy to talk about it anymore.  I did what I had to do, but these chapters are incredibly fucking draining, so that’s it for me!

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

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