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