Q&A: Love yourself

“When do you love yourself most?”

Hmmm.  I genuinely don’t know.  I’ve only in recent years stopped absolutely hating myself, so I’m not entirely certain I would say I ever actually love myself.  I have moments of inflated ego, but that generally has more to do with frustration about the people around me than genuinely thinking I’m awesome.  It’s ‘these people are so fucking stupid I’m fucking Einstein in comparison.’

Even when I do accept that I am smarter than average, I build muscle easier than most people, and there are things that I don’t suck at, it’s generally tainted by feelings of guilt for feeling like I’m better than anyone else.

I guess I feel best about myself when I’m helping someone I care about, specifically through actually useful advice.  Because I get to use my brain and help someone I love at the same time.  Two things I quite enjoy.  Which I suppose explains why despite how angry it makes me, I actually kind of enjoy the worst parts of The Host that make me have to actually think.  Engaging my brain and having to piece things together and then finding a reasonable answer makes me ridiculously happy.  I’m built to problem solve.  So when I can use that for good, it also appeals to my hyper moralism, and I can feel happy, intelligent, and useful all at the same time.

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The Host Review: Doubted (Ch 33)

This chapter review is going to be a lot shorter than the last one.  The last one was almost twice the length of the next longest one, so that won’t be that difficult, but mainly it’s because I’m still behind on these things and if they were all as long as that last one, on top of murdering someone, I’d never get caught back up…

This chapter starts off right where the last one left off, again.  She’s shouting for help trying to save the life of the man who just tried to kill her and who she kind of tried to kill as well.

Kyle’s legs are in the water at this point.  Remember that a few chapters from now when not even a day has passed and Kyle has no damage whatsoever despite his legs being suspended in rushing, boiling water that should be cooking his flesh right now.

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Ian shows up, but he’s alone and armed.  Because when someone screams for help, you stop to go find the gun, but don’t bother bringing the man who owns the gun, just in case.  Can’t just wake up the kid, send him to go get the gun and Jeb, then run to make sure she’s okay knowing the cavalry is on its way.  What the hell did he say to Jeb?  ‘Oh hey, I need your gun, Wanda was yelling for help.’ ‘Oh, okay, should I go with you?’ ‘Nah, I’m sure it’s fine.  She’s never even raised her voice before, but it’s probably nothing.’

I had my face pressed against the stone, my eyes toward the cave entrance. The light was bright overhead as the day dawned. I held my breath. My arms screamed.

Based on what happened in the last chapter (and given how much I wrote about it, trust me, I remember it well) her face being on the stone would be virtually impossible.  She hooked her arms under his shoulders and wrapped them around his chest to try and get a grip on him.  The only way she could accomplish that is if she was close enough to him that the only place her face could be would be resting on his shoulder, not the floor.  Either Meyer screwed up again or Wandanie is Stretch Armstrong.

This section also proves that it should have been pitch black the whole fight scene because they were not in a section of the cave where there even was light, but the light wasn’t even up for most of that scene so even if there had been a skylight in those rooms, there wouldn’t have been any light anyway.  So the fact that she could see what was going on is officially physically impossible.

 It took him two long seconds to process the scene that was so different from the one he’d been expecting–Kyle, trying to kill me. The scene that had been, just seconds ago.

Apparently Ian can see in the dark too.

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Ian gets down on his stomach and ‘scuttles’ towards her.  Then it gets confusing again.

He assessed for another second, and then slid his body behind mine, pushing me closer to the rock. His arms were longer than mine. Even with me in the way, he was able to get his hands around his brother.

He slid his body behind hers, pushing her closer to the rock.  How is that physically possible?  From the description earlier, she’s on her stomach, one leg hooked around a stone pillar, her head and arms on Kyle, facing the crumbling floor.  If Ian came up behind her, pushing her forward, he would be pushing her AWAY from the rock pillar, towards Kyle and the water.

Also, if he was behind her, his arms would have to be the length of her entire body to do that.  So, by ‘behind her’ does she mean ‘on top of’?  Pushing her closer to the rock FLOOR?  That would make sense, but then it wouldn’t require his arms to be longer than hers.  Plus he would be crushing her.  I have no idea what’s going on here.

He pulled Kyle up against the rock, much more securely than I’d had him. The movement smashed my face into the pillar. The bad side, though–it couldn’t get much more scarred at this point.

…Why was her face against the pillar?  I thought it was against the floor.  I seriously have no fucking clue what the hell is going on!

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“I’m going to pull him to this side. Can you squeeze out?”

‘Squeeze out’?  Squeeze out of WHAT?  I’M SO CONFUSED!

Then I wriggled out from between Ian and the rock,

…But… Ian was BEHIND you… Is the rock the floor?  Are you talking about the floor?  And Ian is on top of you?  That’s the only way this makes even a LITTLE sense, and even then it really doesn’t make sense…  I still have no goddamn clue what the fuck is going on.

As she describes how Ian pulls his brother to safety she confirms that, no, the ‘rock’ is not the floor, it is the pillar.  The pillar she had her leg wrapped around, anchoring her as she reached out to grab Kyle.  She also says Ian has to pull him a few FEET to get him to the secure, non-crumbling section at the base of the pillar.  So she was somehow holding his brother with her arms wrapped under his shoulders, under his armpits and wrapped around his chest for leverage, while also still having her face pressed against the pillar a few feet away.  So she apparently really is Stretch Armstrong because that is the only way that that is even remotely possible.

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That does also indicate that several feet of the floor has crumbled away to nothing.  A room that was fairly important and most people navigated blindly via memory that would no longer be reliable since the entire floor plan has now been seriously altered and they don’t know how much of the floor that remains is even secure.  I would like to point out that we’re already told it’s light enough for people to be waking up and looking to go take a bath, and no one goes to warn anyone until there’s been plenty of time for the first few people getting up to have walked in, so I can only presume that a few people fell to their deaths in the rushing water and it just never comes up.  I am getting ahead of this chapter, but that’s okay, since this is really the last time it’ll come up without me shoehorning it in.

Well, tell him.

What will happen then?

You know what will happen. Kyle broke the rules. Jeb will shoot him, or they’ll kick him out. Maybe Ian will beat the snot out of him first. That would be fun to watch.

Melanie didn’t really mean it–I didn’t think so, anyway. She was just still mad at me for risking our lives to save our would-be murderer.

I would say she probably means it.  And she has every right to.  He just tried to brutally murder her, and you risked her life to save him.  Try and keep that in fucking mind would you Wanderer?  That you’re not just risking your life, you’re risking Melanie’s as well.  Something she has absolutely no control over and apparently no say as well, since you ignored all her advice as to how to save yourselves, you ignored her desire to leave the murderer to die, and you ignore her desire to see her attempted murderer get justice.  You have denied her any agency over her body, her interactions with her loved ones, her life… You value the life of the man who tried to kill you above the life of the person whose body you have cruelly invaded and taken over.

Exactly, I told her. And if they kick Kyle out for me… or kill him… I shuddered. Well, can’t you see how little sense that would make? He’s one of you.

SO IS MELANIE YOU FUCKING BITCH.  He tried to kill HER too!  He will try and kill HER again!  HE’S A FUCKING MURDERER.  You know what you don’t want in a small community struggling for survival?  Someone who could kill your allies with full knowledge of the consequences simply because he has a problem controlling his fucking anger!  He knew what he was doing.  He knew what he was risking.  He has to accept the consequences for his actions or undermine Jeb’s rule.  If you let him get away with breaking the laws ‘cuz he had a good reason you undermine the entire purpose of those laws.  If you think the law is unreasonable, you argue that point, you don’t lie about it and hope it just works itself out!  It’s not like he just stole some fucking snacks, he TRIED TO KILL YOU!  Someone who was not a direct threat to him or anyone else!  This was not a reaction.  This was not self defense.  He was going to straight up murder you because he fucking hates you.  THAT IS NOT SOMEONE YOU KEEP AROUND.  It is sure as fuck not someone you lie to protect!

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We’ve got a life here, Wanda. You’re jeopardizing that.

It’s my life, too. And I’m… well, I’m me.

Here’s what she’s actually, not exaggerating, this is the only way to interpret this, saying with that statement:

Melanie: We have a life here!

Wanderer: Yes, we, as in me too.  And how I feel is the only thing that matters.  This is not up for discussion because I am the one with the motor control so I can veto everything you say and ignore everything you feel because I am the only one of us that matters, and you are horrible for suggesting I ever do something that makes me feel bad.

That’s what happens to.  That is the end of the ‘discussion’.  She immediately transitions to telling Ian that nothing happened.  The floor just randomly crumbled out from under them.

Of course Ian’s not dumb enough to believe her and calls her a bad liar.  I would like to point out at this point that this is the reason for the title of this chapter being ‘doubted’.  Not that someone thinks she’s not actually a good person, just that she gets caught lying.  That’s not being ‘doubted’, Meyer.  That’s being caught blatantly lying.  They’re not the same thing.

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Apparently her nose and scalp are both bleeding.  I don’t recall her ever getting hit in the head, so I assume this must have happened one of the times he made her fall down, but it was never indicated in the last chapter that she hurt her head in any way shape or form.  Hitting her head (multiple times. Ian points out she’s bleeding from multiple places on her skull) would very likely have caused her to be fuzzy headed through the entire fight scene, which would have made it even harder for her to have done pretty much everything she did that I already described as impossible.  So somehow she’s actually making that scene that I spend 10 thousand words explaining how wrong it was, even worse.  That takes skill.

Ian glared at me for a long moment. The darkness of the tunnel muted the brilliance of his eyes.

Do his eyes glow in the dark or something?  How can she see them so well that they’re only ‘muted’?  And why the fuck do we care?  Oh right, love interest.  Of course.  Except she has shown absolutely zero sexual or romantic interest in him so far aside from the fact that Meyer keeps feeling the need to point out his eyes, lips, and how sweaty he is.  But none of these poorly shoehorned in mentions have given me even the slightest feeling that she actually has any feelings for him.  It’s made it painfully obvious that he is a love interest, because as I’ve said in the previous chapters, he is the only character that gets that much description (even Jared isn’t described as much) but it never comes across as her noticing because she’s interested.

She’s never made any indication that she has any desire at all to spend any more time around him.  She’s never indicated she has a desire to touch him.  In fact, when he’s touched her in the past it’s made her incredibly, unpleasantly, uncomfortable.  It actually confuses me how Meyer can write a character that seems to actually dislike the love interest, and yet she still presents him as being a legitimate love interest.  It’s not even Melanie that seems uncomfortable with him, Wanderer is. Without the peanut gallery weighing in.

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I got sidetracked.  I’m just really annoyed by how out of place all of these descriptions feel.  It’s like she didn’t intend him to be a love interest at first but then realized that Melanie and Wanderer are two different people so she should have a guy for Wanderer too.  ‘Oh, hey, she seems to spend a lot of time around Ian, let’s shove in some mentions about his eyes being pretty.  That’ll do it.’

Anyway, she tries to get him to take Kyle to the doctor, but Ian asks why she’s protecting someone who tried to kill her.  She says nothing in response, because that’s totally not an indication that he’s completely right, and he realizes that Kyle tried to shove her in the river.  He’s clearly a bit slow on the uptake.  He shoves Kyle away from him at this point, and I have many problems with this reaction.

Ian is dumb.  I’m going to start with that.  He came out with the gun, and it’s stated that he was expecting to find Kyle trying to kill her.  When he sees her trying to save him, he helps, and apparently Kyle ends up slumped onto him.  From there, he indicates multiple times that he knows Kyle tried to kill her.  He sees the blood pouring out of her goddamn skull for fucks sake.  And it’s not until he realizes that Kyle tried to drown her that he is mortified to be touching his brother?  And he doesn’t realize that Kyle tried to drown her until after talking to her for a while?  He doesn’t come to that conclusion when she says that Kyle and her weight near the edge of the water was too much?  You know, before he even saves Kyle?  At which point if he wanted Kyle dead for his actions he could have just shoved him forward?  Or if he can’t bring himself to do it himself, he could drag Kyle to safety then toss him to the side immediately?

His actions make no sense.  His reactions make no sense.  He’s more horrified by her being tossed in the river than her being beaten.  I don’t get it.

post-11357-I-don-t-get-it-At-all-5dWP

Ian pulls her into a hug that she only describes as feeling strange.  He talks about throwing Kyle back into the water to save them a tribunal, but of course she protests.

I tried to pull away from him, but he tightened his grip. It wasn’t frightening, not like the way Kyle had grabbed me. But it was upsetting–it threw me off balance.

And here we have yet another of many previous, and even more to come, example of Ian making Wanderer very uncomfortable.  He’s actively upsetting her by continuing to hug her.  More importantly, she’s  clearly indicating she wants him to let her go, and he’s ignoring her wishes.  I don’t understand why it seems to be so fucking hard for people to understand physical boundaries, and that when someone wants you to fuck off, you goddamn well fuck right the hell off!

“He knew what he was doing. He’s my brother, yes, but he did what he did, and you are… you are… my friend.”

“He did nothing. He is human,” I whispered. “This is his place, not mine.”

MELANIE IS HUMAN TOO YOU SELFISH BITCH!

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Also, this is incredibly selfish of her, not even considering Melanie.  She’s not thinking about how Kyle killing her would have affected Ian, Jeb, JAMIE, Jared, Doc, the background characters I forget the names of who support her presence… Kyle killing her directly affects their mental well-being, and therefore what Kyle did would have hurt them.  Not just her and Melanie.  Being human doesn’t mean he’s a part of their society.  He’s a criminal by their society’s laws, and their laws state that that requires him to be removed from their society.  She’s ignoring the affect his actions have on those around her, she’s ignoring their laws, all because being the cause of his death would make her feel like shit.

If she doesn’t want him to die, she could give them closure that he won’t do it again, allowing them to rest easy, by proposing that he be imprisoned instead of killed or cast out.  Or some other punishment.  But no, just lie.  Just ignore the fact that this will make other people constantly fearful that a murderer (he may not have succeeded, but he had the intent, therefore, mentally speaking, he is a murderer) is walking free among them.  Just ignore that you’re circumventing the laws of the society you claim to want to respect by leaving unchanged.  Let their society exist as it is, laws and punishments included.  By letting him get off scott free she’s basically saying ‘yeah, it’s fine, try and kill me all you want because there will be no consequences at all, because my desire to not cause your death is more important than everyone else’s ability to feel secure in their own home, leaving them constantly on high alert for his inevitable next attempt.’

“We’re not having this discussion again. Your definition of human is not the same as mine. To you, it means something… negative. To me, it’s a compliment–and by my definition, you are and he isn’t. Not after this.”

This is actually the first time she hasn’t used ‘human’ as a derogatory remark.  And as far as I know she’s never used ‘human’ as a derogatory statement to any of the actual humans.  So apparently Ian is aware of her inner dialogues.  I assume he can do that for the same reason that Wanderer can see in the dark and hear whispering far away when it’s plot convenient.  But I do actually like that he says that Kyle isn’t human.  He’s using ‘human’ in the more spiritual sense.  Someone’s ‘humanity’, generally references their empathy.  And Kyle has been shown to lack any, where Wanderer has at least given them reason to believe she feels it, even if her thoughts indicate otherwise.  So at least part of this statement is reasonable.

“Human isn’t a negative to me. I know you now. But Ian, he’s your brother .”

LIES.  I know for a fact you use ‘human’ as an insult again after this.  You fucking racist.

“A fact that shames me.”

No one talks like that.  No one.

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He finally lets her go when she tries again to get free and his resistance hurts her injured leg.  Ian is a dick.  I hope Kyle punches him at some point.

We finally find out where the rock hit her.  It was the right leg, on the thigh just above the knee.  So if you want you can go back to the last chapter and see which outcome that fits in my little choose your own damage rant.  Ian starts checking her over, knowing exactly how to move her ankle to test for damage, and describing the damage to the thigh as a deep muscle bruise.  Is Ian a doctor now?  He seems to know enough that Doc would be entirely useless, since anything requiring more knowledge than that can’t be performed in the caves.  Whatever.

“I have to go find Doc anyway–or some help. I can’t carry Kyle that far, but I can certainly carry you. Oops–hold on.”

‘Oops’?  Oops.  Why oops?  What is there to ‘oops’ at?  This is not clearly explained.  I suspect he’s saying ‘oops, I forgot the gun’, but it’s not really clear.  I’m just guessing.

Ian came back with the gun. I frowned because this reminded me that I’d wished for it before. I didn’t like that.

You don’t like that you have an instinct for self-preservation?  Go fuck yourself you self-righteous hippy.

Simpsons hippy

Without thinking, he handed the gun to me. I let it fall into my open palms, but I couldn’t curl my hands around it. I decided it was a suitable punishment, to have to carry the thing.

She feels she has to be punished for having wanted Jeb to come save her when she was being murdered.  She feels the need to be PUNISHED for wanting to NOT DIE SLOWLY AND PAINFULLY.  Self-flagellation is not a positive trait.  This is not a sign of a saint.  This is a sign of a masochist.  A very self centered masochist.

Ian mocks the idea that anyone could ever be afraid of her since she can’t even hold the gun, but to be fair to Kyle, since honestly Ian comes off as a fucking creeper, she’s not a threat because of a potential for physical violence.  She’s a threat because she could very easily give away their location to the seeker that is clearly looking for her and get them all killed.  She is an alien parasite from another world and no matter how nice she comes off, they don’t know for certain what these aliens feel in terms of morality.  For all they know she could be some kind of high level infiltrator in their arsenal only used when there’s an obnoxious resistance.

Hell, since they are aliens from another world, she could have communication technology on her somewhere that’s transmitting this information to her superiors without them knowing so they can figure out more about the other possible sleeper cells of resisting humans.  She’s an ALIEN.  You don’t KNOW what she’s capable of, and her inability to punch you in the face by no means indicates she can’t hurt you at all.  Not to say he shouldn’t trust her, because he has no reason to believe she IS doing any of that either, just saying it’s not completely ridiculous for Kyle to still view her as a threat.  It IS unreasonable for Kyle to disobey the laws to try and take her out, but that’s a different moral debate.

She says that Ian picks her up easily.  I’m not sure if this is meant to convey that he’s incredibly strong or she’s incredibly light.  And yes, the answer to that does matter.  I still am not sure exactly how big Kyle is, but in order to get one of his hand securely around both of her wrists, Wandanie would have to be skin and bones, which would make her incredibly light, which would also affect the size of Kyle since she described him as twice her weight.  Basically what I’m saying here is that I still have no ability to picture what anyone looks like or how any of the last chapter worked at all.

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Ian keeps trying to get her to admit what happened by pointing out things that can’t be explained with her weak cover story like the fact that her clothes are wet and she’s missing a shoe.  Of course she could explain these by saying she had been having a bath and put her clothes on without drying off since she’s never once mentioned having a towel, and she lost the shoe while trying to get away from the crumbling floor.  But she explains the wet clothes with steam and doesn’t respond about the shoe at all, because she’s a shitty liar and too stupid to think quickly.

Apparently Ian’s eyes are sapphires.  Meyer just wanted you to know that.  Please refer to my earlier rants.

This is how I'm picturing Ian from now on.

This is how I’m picturing Ian from now on.

They run into Jeb about half way to the medical area, which means that despite that Ian went and got the gun from him, Jeb didn’t even head in that direction to make sure everything was fine, despite indicating that Ian had told him he suspected that Kyle was trying to kill Wanderer.  The only POSSIBLE reason to do this would be Meyer wanting to get Ian and Wanderer some alone time to try and give them some chemistry (which she massively failed to accomplish) because there is no way in hell that Ian would be the only person to hear and certainly not the only one to be concerned.  But that wouldn’t be plot convenient.  Especially considering Ian was sleeping heavy enough to not notice her in the room getting her clothes, so you would assume someone who wasn’t such a heavy sleeper would be the one to hear.

Seriously, any actual logical reason I can even consider for Jeb to have not gone running himself doesn’t make any sense.  It was too early in the morning for him to have been busy working (and even if he was, I would assume ‘life or death situation’ is a good enough reason to leave the crops unattended for a few minutes).  If he had to go to the bathroom he would have had to have passed right by them.  If he was too tired, he wouldn’t be up and about checking on them NOW!  The ONLY possible explanation is plot convenience.  And I’m really fucking sick of things happening in this book because the plot fucking requires it.

Here’s a pro tip; if you can’t make it work without making characters act against all logic and established characterization, don’t fucking do it.  It’s cheap.  It’s infuriating.  And it could have easily been worked around by having someone who was coming in for a bath or to use the latrine help her out and then having Ian confront her later, since it does involve his brother.  Or hell, have Ian having come without the gun and say he was on the way to use the bathroom anyway when he heard her yelling for help!  IT’S REALLY THAT FUCKING EASY!

Its-Easy

He didn’t even use the gun!  The ONLY purpose for him coming in with it is for her little bit of masochism regarding her ‘punishment’ for having wanted someone to come with it to save her life earlier!  Meyer is a TERRIBLE writer.  She puts no effort into characterization or plot, everything just happens exactly how it needs to to have Wanderer think what Meyer wants her to think.  And yet somehow despite setting up everything specifically to progress Wanderer’s inner dialogue, the woman STILL comes off as absolutely atrocious.  That’s a special kind of suck.

Anyway, Ian tells Jeb what happened, or at least Wanderer’s version of what happened.  He LAUGHS that she’s lying about what happened, because it’s not a big deal at all that Kyle tried to kill her, completely destroying a really important room in the process.  It’s HILARIOUS that by Jeb’s laws he’ll have to KILL Kyle now.  It’s downright jovial that Wanderer is so self-deprecating that she’ll lie about someone trying to murder her because she feels like a murderer has more of a right to exist than she does.  Hi-fucking-larious.

Why is this review so long?  Goddammit chapter, suck less so I can move the fuck on will you?

Jeb goes off to get some guys to help drag the still unconscious Kyle to the medical wing.  Kyle remains unconscious for an extended period of time.  I’m going to quote some information regarding comas:

When persons experience a brain injury, they can become unconscious. When the unconscious state is prolonged, it is termed a “coma”. Coma is defined as a state of unconsciousness from which the individual cannot be awakened, in which the individual responds minimally or not at all to stimuli, and initiates no voluntary activities. – See more at: http://www.brain-injury-law-center.com/practice-areas/coma.html#sthash.0Em6ks3f.dpuf

Kyle went unconscious when he struck his head.  He’s remained unconscious now for several minutes, and continues to be unconscious while Jeb goes and gets some people, gets him up, and gets him a significant distance to the medical wing, and then another unclear length of time after he’s placed on the cot.  He does not respond when Wanderer tries to wake him, he doesn’t respond to the stimuli of the boiling water cooking his legs, he doesn’t wake up when he’s dragged or lifted.  He’s in a coma.

Persons who sustain a severe brain injury and experience coma can make significant improvements, but are often left with permanent physical, cognitive, or behavioral impairments. – See more at: http://www.brain-injury-law-center.com/practice-areas/coma.html#sthash.0Em6ks3f.dpuf

Kyle suffers absolutely zero side effects of any of what’s happened.  He doesn’t even seem groggy when he finally does wake up later in this chapter.

epic fail

epic fail

After Jeb leaves to go get Kyle, Wanderer says Kyle could be serious injured and Jeb should hurry.  Because that’s totally helpful when he’s no longer within earshot.

Wanderer thinks about everything that’s happened over the last 24 hours (the last several chapters have only been one day remember).  Melanie pipes up talking about Jared again.  Because Jared is STILL the only thing that matters.  Not ‘I hope Kyle hit his head so hard he never wakes up so he can’t try and kill us again’.  Not ‘I hope no one blames us for what happened and people other than Kyle start to try and kill us.’  Not ‘I hope Jamie doesn’t get too upset and try and confront Kyle since Kyle could kill him’.  No, everything Melanie does or thinks has to revolve around Jared.

When Ian gets her to Doc, Doc actually gets ANNOYED that she’s injured and I can’t for the life of me figure out why.  He says ‘what NOW?’ as though Wanderer were some annoying hypochondriac who keeps wasting his time.

Ian tells her side of the story as sarcastically as possible making it obvious to anyone with two functioning brain cells that Kyle beat the shit out of her.  He lists off her injuries fairly clinically.  Doc looks her over and basically does the same things Ian already did, reminding me of what I said earlier that Ian’s knowledge in this scenario makes Doc pretty fucking useless, because there’s not a damn thing Doc can actually DO.

At this point I would like to bring up that Doc’s name probably isn’t Doc, and this is another character like Seeker who has a real name, but we will probably never actually learn it because people that are defined by their jobs, and Seeker and Doc are the only people with set jobs.  I’d bet if there was just one character that baked the bread they’d be referred to as ‘Baker’.

They talk about the fact that Kyle is being brought here and obviously can’t be trusted with Wanderer, so Ian is going to prepare somewhere else for her to be instead but she won’t leave because she wants to be with Walter.  Ian still wants to go get somewhere else ready for her (which never actually goes anywhere at all since she’s never moved, this is just another unnecessary ‘this character needs to leave the room because now Jared is the center of attention’) so he asks Jared if he can be trusted to take care of her and Jared gets pissed off at the implication, but Ian pretends that he’s only said that because if Jared doesn’t help keep Kyle under control Jeb will have to shoot him in front of Wanderer and that would upset her.  So fucking considerate.

Annoyed smoke

I don’t buy Ian’s intentions, but Jared does, so he assures him he’ll keep her safe.  Ian kisses her forehead before he leaves.  If you think this is a sweet gesture, I might be willing to concede that were it not for all the times in the past he’s forced physical contact on her against her wishes, including earlier in this very scene, and now he’s kissing her.  I might ignore this completely if I wasn’t so far behind on this reviews that Llama has already explained that this won’t be the last time he does this… Not to mention the fact that he’s doing this in front of Jared, who he knows full well is the boyfriend of the woman whose body he just kissed.  Which just kind of makes him a dickhead.

It takes 5 full grown men to carry Kyle into the med wing.  I have no fucking clue how big this bear of a man must be.  Especially since two of those men are described as being of a reasonable size themselves, and all of them should be physically fit given the farm labour.  If he’s only twice Wandanie’s size, either all of these guys are pathetically weak or Wandanie is closer to 150lbs than 100, putting Kyle at around 300lbs of dead weight (I know I keep bringing this up and you’ve probably all moved passed it by now, but it really bothers me because I cannot picture anything that’s happened in the last few chapters and it’s incredibly frustrating for me).  This suggests both that his weight alone should have been capable of crumbling that floor if it was that loose to begin with and that her wrists would likely be bigger than I was imagining and therefore even harder for Kyle to wrap just one hand around both, and to carry her like a piece of luggage under only one arm.  There’s a difference between being able to dead lift a large amount of weight and carrying the weight of someone who’s struggling against you.  As well, someone that large likely doesn’t have the best stamina either as it would, as I mentioned in the last review, it takes a LOT of fucking energy to maintain that much goddamn muscle.

Oh for fucks sake this review has gone on too long and I just keep rehashing the same ‘this makes no goddamn sense’ shit over and over again.  Summary of it all is that Meyer herself clearly has no fucking clue how big this guy is and just makes his size as plot convenient as she does everything else.

ryan-annoyed-o

It’s clarified that Kyle has been out for at least 20 minutes at this point.  Jeb dumps a bottle of water on Kyles face and that wakes him up.  A bottle of WATER wakes him up.  The boiling water cooking his feet didn’t wake him up.  Wanderer yelling at him didn’t wake him up.  Smacking him across rocks didn’t wake him up.  Ian tossing him off to the side in disgust did not wake him up.  Jeb and the four other guys lifting him up and carrying him through twisted cave passages, jostling him as they walked, didn’t fucking wake him up.  BUT A BOTTLE OF FUCKING WATER does it.  I’VE READ JUNIOR HIGH CREATIVE WRITING CLASS FICTION THAT WAS BETTER THAN THIS FUCKING BULLSHIT.

Jared assures Kyle he’s safe while symbolically keeping his hand on Melanie’s cot (since let’s face it, he doesn’t give a shit about Wanderer) to assure her that he’s talking about her when he says it’s safe.  At least that’s how I assumed we were supposed to interpret that because I can’t think of any other reason for that set up.  Wanderer and Melanie get emo again about wanting to touch him and the chapter finally ends with Kyle bitching that she’s not dead, assuring everyone that Wanderer was lying through her teeth and confirming his guilt.

This chapter is terrible, this book is terrible, Meyer is a shitty writer, and I hope she never writes anything else.

Happy New Year!

The Host Review: Ambushed (Ch 32)

This is going to be another review full of fairly graphic descriptions of violence as I explain just how physically inaccurate/impossible Meyers’ action scenes are.  Only unlike the last time I had to do this, this time the graphic violence discussion is pretty much the entire chapter, so you can’t just skip ahead to the second half of the review.  The next paragraph will be a very, very brief summary of the chapter, or you can read Llama’s review of this chapter if you want more information, without an explanation of the damage a large rock will cause when smashed into a femur or tibia.

For those of you not reading on past this paragraph (for those of you that are going to read on, skip past the warning now or be spoiled), the entire chapter is Wanderer taking a bath when Kyle decides to try and kill her.  It is the single worst, most ridiculous action scene possible and absolutely nothing in it makes any sense at all.  It ends with her surviving via plot contrivance, with Kyle passed out and half falling into the rushing waters she was warned about when Jeb gave her a tour of the bathroom area the first time.

LAST CHANCE TO BACK OUT BEFORE I START TALKING ABOUT BEATING THE SHIT OUT OF THINGS IN DETAIL! 

I’m not going to lie, I have been kind of looking forward to talking about this chapter since Llama told me about it.  I so very rarely get to talk about stuff like this.  It pisses me off less than the bad science does, so while it does still make me irrationally annoyed, my blood pressure doesn’t go through the roof and I get to talk about something I enjoy (don’t think too hard about that…).  Meyer clearly puts as much effort into researching her fight scenes as she does the science, so there’s plenty to discuss!

Yeah, I fully expect this, so I'll just put it here pre-emptively

Yeah, I fully expect this, so I’ll just put it here pre-emptively

Anyway, onto the chapter!

It starts of right where the last one ended (we’re back to that now apparently.  This is what I get for thinking Meyer was actually making an effort to improve) and Wanderer heads to Jamie’s room to grab some clothes.  Jamie’s a heavy sleeper and Jared is still in the hospital wing so she doesn’t mind doing that in the middle of the night.

Apparently Ian is sleeping in the room with Jamie, so I guess she should have considered that because we don’t know if he’s a heavy sleeper or not, but since he doesn’t wake up to her presence I assume he is.  Though that doesn’t really seem to mesh well with his personality.  He’s sprawled out, hung half way off the bed, and Wanderer tries her best not to burst out laughing at how dumb he looks. I’m wondering how she can actually see him considering it’s supposed to be pitch black and I can’t imagine she would have a light with her as that seems like it might wake them up, but whatever.  That’s a plot hole I’ll be addressing in a more serious moment later.

The plothole

Melanie calls her ‘slaphappy’ which I assume means nuts, and that she needs to get some sleep. Wanderer says she will after Walter passes, and that makes her finally stop having the giggles.  She quickens her pace to the bathing room in fear that Doc might not keep his promise to let her say goodbye.  She thinks she hears someone else behind her, but she shrugs it off as other people getting up for the day.  She’s wrong, but it’s actually reasonably subtle and I have to give props where they’re due.

I followed the familiar path to the underground rivers, my mind in a million other places. I couldn’t seem to concentrate on anything in particular. Every time I tried to focus on a subject–Walter, Jared, breakfast, chores, baths–some other thought would pull my head away in seconds. Melanie was right; I needed to sleep. She was just as muddled. Her thoughts all spun around Jared, but she could make nothing coherent of them, either.

This snippet is important for the events that come.  She’s exhausted, she’s not thinking straight.  She should not be able to do ANY of what she does in this chapter.  But, seriously, all of Melanie’s thoughts revolve around Jared?  Is Jared some kind of cult leader and Melanie is his disciple?  She’s not thinking about Jamie?  She’s not sad for the dying man?  She’s not concerned as to what will happen if Seeker doesn’t stop looking for them?  Nope, everything is about Jared.

Elissa_i_am_obsessed

Anyway she has a bath and accidentally kicks a rock into the water.  For some reason the sound startles her.  I have tried time and time again to understand why, but I still can’t manage it.  She knew she kicked the rock, she describes how it hurt her foot.  She heard the rock as it skidded across the floor, she describes the sound of it as it bounces around on the other rocks.  So why is it so startling when it hits the water?

“Knock, knock,” a familiar voice called from the dark entry.

“Good morning, Ian,” I said. “I’m just done. Did you sleep well?”

“Ian’s still sleeping,” Ian’s voice answered. “I’m sure that won’t last forever, though, so we’d best get on with this.”

‘Knock, knock’?  Really?  You intend to kill this woman and you open with ‘knock, knock’?  You reveal your presence with a fucking kids joke?  Dumbass.

Because you're a dumbass

I’d noticed it before, and then forgotten it in the long weeks of Kyle’s absence: not only did Ian and his brother look very much alike, but–when Kyle spoke at a normal volume, which so rarely happened–they also had exactly the same voice.

You know what the odds of non-identical twins sounding so much alike you couldn’t tell them apart is?  Almost non-existent.  She’s spent enough time with Ian lately she should notice that he doesn’t sound ‘quite’ right.  She’s also heard Kyle talking fairly recently.  She could have said ‘they sounded so much alike, and I so rarely hear Kyle when he’s not yelling, it didn’t even occur to me that it might be him.’ Not ‘they have the exact same voice’.  Also, I don’t remember this ever being mentioned before.  And with how Kyle is described I don’t really understand how they look that much alike.

From the descriptions of Kyle, he seems like a bear in human skin, whereas Ian I thought was smaller than Jared.  Or at least around his size.  But later in this chapter Kyle is described as bigger and stronger than anyone else in the entire compound.  I guess they could have similar facial structures, but generally that big of a difference in size and build would indicate that Kyle would have more testosterone in his system and therefore a noticeably deeper voice.

Even if testosterone level differences weren’t enough to make a noticeable difference, size affects voices in other ways as well, such as simply having bigger or smaller vocal cords, more muscle for the sound to have to vibrate through changing the sound.  Any damage either of them have received in fights could affect the sound of their voices.  I just don’t buy that she wouldn’t have at least noticed that he sounded ‘off’, even if she still assumed it was him.  She could make that mistake and still have it be realistic, instead she just got fucking lazy again and it irks me.

ryan-annoyed-o

Melanie speaks up telling Wanderer to keep her mouth shut and listen for Kyle’s moves.  But at this point Wanderer is in the pitch black and Kyle is standing in the doorway, which should be the only source of any light in the entire room, so they should at least be able to see a faint outline of him and know where he is and when he makes a move.  Neither of them are smart enough to make this realization.  Kyle is the one at a disadvantage here and he should have kept his dumbass mouth shut until after he was fully inside the pitch black room and they wouldn’t be able to know where he was.

Melanie asks for control since Wanderer says she can’t attack Kyle, and Wanderer fails to give it to her.  Because in the past she’s had to actively fight to keep Melanie from taking over, but now that it’s just their lives at risk, not just being in Jared’s presence, Melanie isn’t strong enough to even fight to take control.  Because as with earlier, everything is about Jared.  Melanie is the most useless human being on the planet.  I have never met a guy who didn’t deserve a punch in the face who would actually like a girlfriend so obsessed with him that he was her only waking thought.  Those types of girls are the ones that get labelled the crazy ex.  It’s creepy, it’s stalkerish, and it’s incredibly codependent.  The type of guy that likes this type of girl tends to be abusive and self centered.  That kind of guy doesn’t want a girlfriend so much as a mother and worshipper.

She says she hears a tiny splash.  He threw a small rock into the water to try and distract her.  And she’s dumb enough to fall for it.  She thinks either he moved and is now behind her or there’s two people.  A ‘tiny splash’ could not possibly be a person.  People can’t just make tiny splashes in running water, that’s not how reality works.

He couldn’t wait forever. The little he’d said told me he was in a hurry.

Really?  Because it told me he’s fucking with you and doesn’t think you’ll put up enough of a fight to be terribly concerned or else he’d have killed you without ever saying a word and without this fairly lengthy pause between announcing his presence and actually doing anything.

Kyle was probably twice my weight, and he had a much longer reach.

So how big is Ian?  If they look sooooo much alike (which I already said isn’t the case because she’s described Kyle as larger than Ian and Jared, but then in this chapter she’s saying he looks almost identical to Ian and Jared is the same size as him.  Consistency.) that would make Ian significantly larger than her, making him squeezing her neck in the last chapter I put a violence warning on all the more unrealistic.  If someone literally twice your weight almost purely muscle grabs you by the neck and squeezes as hard as they can he will break your neck.  Wanderer would be very, very much dead right now.

Might_actually_be_dead

We don’t know how big Wandanie is though, so it’s still difficult to get a good image of him.  She could barely carry a palette of water in an earlier chapter so that implies her natural state is fairly tiny, but she’s been working hard in the fields over the last month or two, so she could be a little bigger.  So, let’s say she’s something around 125lbs.  That would put Kyle (and by this chapters description, Ian and Jared as well) at about 250lbs.  Of muscle.

When my dad was around that age that’s about how big he was.  When you have a large amount of muscle, you get really fucking hungry.  He would eat a large pizza by himself as a snack between meals some days.  Just one of those men would naturally eat about three times the amount most of the other people in the caves would just to maintain their muscle.  Considering the value of that muscle is limited, the cost in terms of food required to maintain it would be unrealistic.  They would probably sit closer to 180-200lbs and be very hungry a lot of the time.  I suppose that would add to why Jared and Kyle seem so cranky.

I'm freaking hungry

The argument could be made that Wandanie is only 100lbs, and therefore the higher end of what I estimated in that last paragraph could still be realistic, but the idea that she would only be 100lbs seems unrealistic to me.  Even if she was incredibly short, which seems unlikely because she’s a full head taller than the Seeker by the description of the Seeker, and while she’s described as short, she’s not a midget so Seeker is probably 5′, 5’1, and Wandanie is probably around 5’4-5’5, which is around average.  Also, she pigs out every chance she gets so the idea that she would have only been 100lbs when she was a teacher and had access to all the food she wanted without having to exercise is fairly laughable.  But more importantly, muscle weighs more than fat, and she’s been having to knead tough dough and till fields for a decent length of time.  She would have developed muscle.  Period.  So she could be one of those rare lucky people who is just naturally tiny all the time no matter what, but let’s just be realistic here shall we?  And if she was only 100lbs the rest of this chapter would be even more unrealistic than it already is.

I was supposed to talk about violence right?  Why is that taking so much longer to get to than I thought it would?

She throws some rocks to try and make it sound like she was running away to hide.

The breath at the door again, the sound of a light footfall headed toward my decoy.

So he is in the doorway, and she should be able to see him.  I do not understand what the problem here is.  But, wait, light footfall?  Why are all the biggest guys in this cave fucking ninja’s?  I have to try hard not to sound like a fucking trampling elephant when I walk and I’m not even as big as he is!  Being dense with muscle does not make light footfalls easy to accomplish!  Oh whatever, minor nitpick.

A gigantic splash shattered the tense standoff. Water pelted my skin, making me gasp. It spattered against the wall in a wave of wet sound.

Okay.  First of all, if he was going in the direction of your decoy pebbles, why is he heading towards you?  Were you dumb enough to throw your decoy pebbles right beside you?  Second of all, he’s already close enough to splash you?  And he’s between you and the door?  What the fuck is the layout of this room?  I thought you were on the side of the bathing pool closest to the door.  It wouldn’t make much sense for you to swim to the other side to clean your clothes because then you would have to swim back to the other side.

fuzzy logic

Is there a path around the pool?  I assume there must be since she does say ‘he’s coming through the pool!’ next, but then why the fuck is Kyle going through the water and giving away his location and slowing himself down?  And it still wouldn’t make sense for Wanderer to be on that side of the water.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to just hop in the water closest to the door?  I’m confused.

I hesitated just a second too long. Big fingers clutched at my calf, my ankle.

What?  Why?  How?  Did he lunge at her?  Why was his arm low enough to grab her ankle?  Or why was her ankle high enough for him to grab?

I yanked against the pull, lurching forward. I stumbled, and the momentum that threw me down to the floor made his fingers slip. He caught my sneaker. I kicked it off, leaving it in his hand.

Hahahhahahhaha, no.  Let’s see, where to start?  Okay, first off, if you were running and someone grabbed your ankle mid stride, you would fall flat on your face right away, so that part is accurate, but there is absolutely no reason at all for his fingers to slip.  Even if his hands were wet, if he’s as much bigger than her as she describes (and if you want to go with the smaller weights her ankles would be even smaller proportionately giving him an even better grip on them) he should have a good grip on her and it would be incredibly unlikely that he would lose his grasp on her.

As unrealistic as him losing his grip is though, it’s even odder to me that she was able to kick off her sneaker in one move.  Was she wandering around in there with her shoes untied?  Is he yanking on her shoe?  Does her sneaker not fit properly?  Have you ever tried to kick off a tied sneaker?  It’s hard to do!  Specifically because they’re designed as active wear!  And her movement is restricted by being face down on the ground with someone holding her foot!  Sorry, no, that entire paragraph is just bad.

You're-not-just-wrong-you're-stupid

I was down, but he was down, too.

I have reread this scene multiple times and I still don’t understand how he’s ‘down’.  He is never described as having fallen.  The only thing I can imagine is going on here is that he for some reason got down on his belly when he grabbed her leg, but I don’t know why he would.  I presumed before reading that line that he had bent over and grabbed her leg (though how he knew where her leg was to grab for her is beyond me) not that he had fallen and just happened to get a hold of her.  Or that he had fallen trying to grab her.  I assumed if his torso had hit the ground she would have described the sound of that as obnoxiously as she’s described the sound of the pebbles in the water and his footfalls and his breath, but the sound of a 200-250lb man smacking into rock doesn’t even get mentioned?

It gave me enough time to scramble forward, ripping my knees against the rough stone.

Oh don’t mind this quote.  Just cataloguing the injuries she receives so you’ll understand why everything that’s about to happen makes no sense.  (Also, that appears to be the only injury she receives from falling face first on rough stone.  Sure.)

Kyle grunted, and his hand clutched at my naked heel. There was nothing to catch hold of; I slid free again.

…Well, except, you know, the bones in your foot…  I believe that she could squirm out of that, but let’s not pretend you can’t grab someone by the heel.

I wrenched myself forward, pulling to my feet with my head still down…

‘Pulling to my feet’.  ‘Pulling myself to my feet’?  ‘Pulling myself up to my feet’?  ‘Pushing myself back up onto my feet’?  None of these wordings occurred to you or your editor?

…every second in danger of falling again because my body was moving almost parallel to the floor.  I kept my balance through sheer force of will.

What?  …What?  Okay, so, when you pull yourself up off the ground and go into a run, you are very low to the ground for the first second or two, but the way she words that, she keeps running so hunched over that she can barely maintain balance.  And just, no.  Professional runners in the fucking Olympics start low to the ground, but don’t stay low to the ground past the first half second of the race because TRYING TO RUN WITH ANY SPEED WHILE YOUR CENTER OF GRAVITY IS OFF IS GOING TO RESULT IN YOU LANDING ON YOUR FACE AGAIN.  Period.  Your force of will is not stronger than the force of gravity, sorry.

Sorry

We’re still not even into the meat of this action scene yet and there’s already so many errors I can already declare this scene physically impossible.

There was no one else. No one to catch me at the exit to the outer room. I sprinted forward, hope and adrenaline surging in my veins. I burst into the river room at full speed, my only thought to reach the tunnel. I could hear Kyle’s heavy breath close behind but not close enough. With each step, I pushed harder against the ground, throwing myself ahead of him.

I thought Kyle was between her and the door.  I thought she was running in the opposite direction of where Kyle was coming from.  Which would cause her to be running away from the door, not towards it.  Did she double back around the pool?  There’s nothing between my last quote to you and this one.  You’re not missing anything.  I’m not just leaving out relevant information.  As far as the scene was set up, Kyle was in the doorway, headed towards her despite having headed away from her, then she was heading away from him and thus away from the door, but then ends up heading through the door.  Is this room full of wormholes?  Is this room the key to instantaneous travel through space and time?!

I forget, can she see in the river room?  I’m pretty sure it’s as dark as the pool room.  I suppose that would explain why she couldn’t see him despite him being in the doorway, but whether or not there’s light is relevant so keep it in mind.

Pain lanced through my leg, crumpling it.

Over the babble of the river, I heard two heavy stones hit the ground and roll–the one I’d been clutching and the one he’d thrown to cripple me. My leg twisted under me, spinning me backward to the ground, and in the same second he was on top of me.

I hate the way she describes this.  It’s supposed to build drama because you don’t know what hit her.  For all of two seconds.  It’s just awkward.  More importantly though, I’m not sure what her definition of ‘heavy stone’ is.  If she was clutching it that whole time it can’t have been heavy enough to throw off her already tenuous balance when she was getting back up to her feet earlier, plus, again, she struggled with a palette of water in earlier chapters.  A rock at even 5lbs would be large enough to be difficult to clutch in a panic, so this ‘heavy stone’ is probably only a pound or two.

A rock that’s only a pound or two smacking into the back of your leg would not cripple you.  Unless he’s some master of shot-put, the force he could hit her with would certainly hurt, I can’t imagine it would cripple her.  But because Meyer seems to have no concept of realistic sizes, let’s assume it’s something I might look at and think it would be a heavy stone to be thrown and go with something big enough to do some damage shall we?

shallwebegin

Assume them that it’s a large, slightly jagged rock.  Something you might go to pick up and be surprised at how heavy it is.  Let’s say he hit her with a rock wider than her calf.  That would certainly cripple her.  Her leg wouldn’t twist under her though.  The way she’s describing it, she’s running away, and a rock hits her leg with enough force to push her leg forward with so much force she lands on her back.  You can’t do that with a shotgun you think Kyle can do it with a rock?

Here’s the physics and anatomy of this scenario in the real world instead of the cartoon reaction she describes: when a woman (gender matters in this scenario as it affects the center of gravity) runs quickly, they’re leaning forward.  Their center of gravity is down around their hips.  Assuming he hit the leg that was touching the ground (it’s never made clear) she would have been hunched slightly forward and the leg would have been bent at the knee and pushing off the ground.  The rock would hit the calf, lightly closer to the knee than the ankle, which would indeed send the knee forward further.  Were it not for her forward momentum, she would end up falling mostly straight down, slightly forward, not back.  Momentum would add to the forward momentum and she’d land hard on her chin.

The force would likely scrape her entire face and break several teeth, possibly even causing her to bite off her own tongue.  Her knee would be scrapped and seriously damaged, her arms would be scraped and potentially seriously damaged.  Depending on the angle she was at and how well she was able to catch herself falling, she could end up with a broken neck, broken wrists, broken knees, a broken nose…  Depending on the size and force of the rock, she would either fracture or completely snap her tibia, which would potentially tear the femoral artery and kill her almost instantly from blood loss.

Okay, so what about if it hit the other leg?  The one that was in the air when the rock hit her?  Well, it’s possible that that could result in the leg being pushed out in front of her, causing her to land on her ass instead of her chin, but incredibly unlikely.  The more likely scenario is as follows: the rock connects on the lower thigh near the bend of the knee, the leg bends at the knee, pushed forward by the force of the rock.  Her weight is on the other leg at the moment, and she was already pulling that leg forward to take the next step, so she just loses her balance and, again, falls forward or perhaps sideways.  The damage to her leg would potentially be anywhere from heavy bruising to a fracture, and the damage to the rest of her would be no more than scrapes from falling.  But she would still not fall backward.

Other ways the rock could have hit her: hitting her raised foot, causing similar results to the last paragraph, only instead of potentially fracturing her thigh, it would break a few bones in her foot, or hitting the thigh of the leg touching the ground which would cause similar issues to hitting the calf only the results for the knee would be more severe.

A rock in between what she could reasonably carry and what I would call a heavy stone could never in a million years cause her to fall backwards without the absolute most perfect angle and perfect amount of force.  The sheer amount of things that would have to be just right for that to happen are mind boggling.  I won’t say it’s completely impossible, just, so unlikely it might as well be.

Still somehow on that same paragraph though as I move on to the last part of it.  He is on top of her.  She was running away from him, he was running towards her.  She fell onto her back, and he lunged forward to be on top of her.  Unless he took the time to turn around, they’re in the position for a sex act describable with only two numbers, not a position for attacking.  Unless he’s smothering her with his crotch I’m not sure what he’s doing.

Confused

His weight knocked my head against the rock in a ringing blow and pinned me flat against the floor. No leverage.

So he is smothering her with his crotch?  That would be a really shitty way to go…

Scream!

The air blew out of me in a siren of sound that surprised us all. My wordless shriek was more than I’d hoped for–surely someone would hear it. Please let that someone be Jeb. Please let him have the gun.

It is actually possible for her to scream.  Once.  After that she’s expended the oxygen in her lungs and made it faster for him to crush/smother her to death.  Like a python squeezing tighter with every little breath its prey exhales, not allowing its chest to expand again to take in fresh oxygen.

“Uhng!” Kyle protested. His hand was big enough to cover most of my face. His palm mashed against my mouth, cutting off my scream.

Okay, so he is face to face with her, not dick to face.  That’s a slightly better image, but why wouldn’t he just snap her neck if he’s got her pinned and he wants her dead?  Or punch her hard in the temple?  Or bash her head in with a rock?  Or crush her throat with a rock?  Or come armed with something sharp and slit her throat?  Smash her chest hard, break her nose in an upward direction so the cartilage goes into her brain, just grab her head and start fucking beating it into the ground!  WHY IS HE JUST FUCKING SITTING ON HER?!  THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO KILL SOMEONE I’M SURE SOME OF YOU NOW THINK I’VE PROBABLY GOT BODIES IN MY BASEMENT FOR FUCKS SAKE!  (I don’t have a basement, for the record.)

Okay fine.  I have a parking garage and a storage room, and I spend most of my time surrounded by woods full of wolves and coyotes and carrion birds, but I'm not a murderer...

Okay fine. I have a parking garage and a storage room, and I spend most of my time surrounded by woods full of wolves and coyotes and carrion birds, but I’m not a murderer…

He rolled then, and the motion so took me by surprise that I had no time to try to find an advantage in it.  He pulled me swiftly over and under and over his body.

Over and under and over.  That’s really what it says.  It actually took me a bit to figure out what the fuck was going on here.  He grabbed hold of her and literally rolled across the floor.  He didn’t pick her up and toss her over his shoulder, which would make the most sense.  He just rolled across the floor, holding her close to his chest.  I don’t even know how to respond to that.

I was dizzy and confused, my head still spinning, but I understood as soon as my face hit the water.

He rolls her across the floor to drown her.  While he was rolling across the floor he could have bashed her head on some rocks.  He could have just smothered her with his big hands.  Instead, he rolled across the jagged rock floor, clutching her to his chest, to drown her.  I still don’t know how to respond to this.

My body panicked when the water hit my lungs. Its flailing was stronger than he’d expected. My limbs all jerked and thrashed in different directions, and his grip on my neck slipped.

Well, one of your limbs you described as ‘crippled’, so only some of your limbs should be thrashing, not all.  But irrelevant for now.  I assume that when he rolled you over to the water, he remained on top of you, and you were face down since you said his grip was on the back of your neck.  You do know that your limbs don’t move in all directions right?  Why would this cause his grip to loosen on your neck?  That doesn’t make any sense.

math-exam-doesnt-make-any-sense_547

You do flail when you begin drowning.  This is a reaction it’s nearly impossible to counter.  Generally the flailing would be an instinctual desire to lift your head or flip yourself over.  This should not cause him to lose his grip on her neck.  I am actually trying very hard to imagine a scenario where limb flailing would cause him to lose his grip on her neck and as long as she’s on her stomach instead of her back, I just can’t make it work.  If she was on her stomach, he would be strangling her while drowning her which would result in him actually limiting the amount of water she could inhale.  But from that position, she could be flailing drastically enough that he would pull back from her far enough that his grip on her could potentially be tenuous.  Aside from that, just, no.

He tried to get a better hold, and some instinct made me pull myself into him rather than away, as he was expecting.

No.

wrong

No, really, I just, I cannot accurately describe to you how much this doesn’t make sense.  Here’s the quote from literally the paragraph prior to this that makes this make no sense at all:

His hand locked on the back of my neck, forcing my face into the shallow stream of cooler water that wound its way into the bathing pool.

See?  I wasn’t just guessing before when I said she was on her stomach.  She is face down in the water and he is holding the back of her neck.  Yet now she is pulling herself into him.  There is no missing quote in between where she flips over.  I promise I double checked.

From her stomach she can push herself into him.  She can pull herself into the water.  She cannot pull herself into him.  It is literally not physically possible.  It just isn’t.

He fought to push me back into the stream, but I wriggled and wedged myself under him so that his own weight was working against his goal. I was still reacting to the water in my lungs, coughing and spasming out of control.

She’s assuming she has so much more control over her actions than she actually would.  She’s already described her actions as primarily involuntary.  Her instinct would not be to wedge herself underneath him, her instinct would be to get vertical.  It is incredibly rare for someone to maintain conscious control and rational thought when they’re drowning, and since she has already ingested enough water to kill her if she can’t get it out of her lungs, she is definitely still drowning despite no longer being in the water.  As I said, she has already described her previous actions as being instinctual not thoughtful, and the instinct for 99.999999% of people who are drowning is to get vertical as fast as possible.  The coughing and spasming makes sense, but it also makes the idea that she intentionally wedged herself underneath him even more unreasonable.

I am tempted to just ignore the most unreasonable part of that paragraph but I suppose I’ve already dedicated so much time to things that make even less sense it would be shitty of me to let this get a pass.  His weight could not possibly be working against him here.  I assume that what she means to say is that she’s wedged herself under him so he can’t just drag her forward again back into the water.  But doing that would cause his weight to be heavy on her torso again which would make it impossible for her to cough up the water in her lungs.  She would slowly drown without him having to get her back into the water.  Her last moments would be spent feeling like she was being crushed over a blazing hot fire burning her entire torso (water in your lungs burns), unable to scream for help because when there’s water in your lungs the epiglottis covers your throat so you can cough water up but you can’t inhale anymore, also stopping you from taking a breath at all or being able to make a sound.  She would die in silence as the lack of oxygen quickly shut down her ability to even attempt to fight back.

“Enough!” Kyle growled.

He pulled himself off me, and I tried to drag myself away.

“Oh, no, you don’t! ” he spit through his teeth.

It was over, and I knew it.

Had he just stayed where he was she would have died.  Instead he got up and created opportunities for her to get away.  Listen Meyer, if you can’t make a fight scene where your main character doesn’t die without making your characters do things that no even somewhat reasonable human being would do, just don’t right it.  Or use some other plot convenience like Jeb responding to her screams or someone else coming in for a bath.  Or Ian having heard her in his room getting her clothes and having followed her just in case.  Or have Melanie take over and bash him in the head with a rock.  Or instead of having him just end up in the positions you want him in, say he tripped since he is running around in the fucking dark it is entirely believable he would fall in his haste!  Don’t just have everything work out the way it has to because you’re bending the laws of anatomy and physics and having the characters be fucking morons!

a-moron-photography-Favim.com-290070

There was something wrong with my injured leg.

Something of a redundant statement isn’t it?

It felt numb, and I couldn’t make it do what I wanted.

Okay, well, there are a few possible explanations for that.  If it’s entirely numb and unresponsive (it was flailing just fine earlier.  Consistency!) Kyle may have severed a nerve when he hit you with the rock.  This would imply that he hit you very hard with a smaller, possibly pointier rock.  You could be bleeding if this is the case.  A second possibility is that a large bruise is forming on her leg and this combined with the lack of oxygen in her bloodstream is causing her muscles to not respond as they should, but this would affect all extremities, not just the injured leg.  It would be more severe there, but not localized.

It is possible to damage a nerve when hit, but this would be permanent, irreversible damage.  Temporary damage that would cause numbness and poor response is generally associated with injury to the spine, not the limb experiencing the problem.  Assuming my own knowledge of physiology was lacking (unless I state otherwise, all the weird little factoids I spew at you come from my brain, not the internet.  I’m a walking trivia machine), I did several searches of the symptoms she’s expressing here and all of them suggested it’s a brain or spinal cord injury.  ALL OF THEM.  I couldn’t find a single likely injury that would generally result in these symptoms.

Can you believe we’re not even at the dumbest parts of this fight scene yet?  Yeah, that’s right!  Meyer somehow gets even worse!  I’m just barely over half way through this scene!

drink

He got both my wrists in one hand and wrapped the other arm around my waist.

She’s so small in comparison to him that he can get one hand around both of her wrists, but he couldn’t get a solid grip on her ankle earlier?  There certainly are very simple tricks for getting out of someone’s grip that anyone can do, but she didn’t do them.  He just ‘slipped’.  For the record, all you have to do to get out of someone’s grasp is twist against their thumb.  Say someone has a grip on your wrist.  What you would do is turn your hand so you can bend towards their thumb and push against it as hard as you can manage.  It doesn’t hurt you, and it doesn’t matter how strong they are, short of grabbing you with both hands they can’t prevent it.  This also goes for if you’re trying to get something else out of someone’s grip.  Always pull against the thumb.  It’s a wonderful trick that could save you a lot of trouble in a bad situation or just fuck with someone who thinks they’re stronger than you in a less dangerous situation.

Try that one on yourself!  Twist your hand towards your fingers, you’ll get nowhere.  Towards what you might naturally think is the weak spot, where the thumb and fingers meet, you’ll get nowhere.  Twist towards the thumb, you’ll get barely any resistance at all.

I think it’s neat anyway…

He pulled me off the floor and into his side, like an awkward bag of flour. I twisted, and my good leg kicked against the empty air.

I am trying to picture this.  I can picture him lifting her off the ground, lifting her with the arm he had around her waist.  I can picture him carrying her at his side.  But if her arms are being grasped by his other arm (and I’ll point out that last it was mentioned she was still somewhat aspirated by water in her lungs.  It takes almost no water in your lungs at all to drown.  She should be passing out by now.  At the very least she shouldn’t be able to flail) she should be leaned with her stomach towards him.  This would indicate that if her good leg started kicking, she would be kneeing him in the side, not kicking empty air.

The only way she would be kicking empty air would be if he was somehow holding her arms without facing her towards him which wouldn’t be a natural position at all for him to shift her into, or if her back was touching his side, which is even less natural for him to be holding her in.  There is just so much wrong with this fight scene I have literally had to pick it apart sentence by goddamn sentence!

This would be my only reaction to this entire chapter if I didn't have to analyze it

This would be my only reaction to this entire chapter if I didn’t have to analyze it

“Let’s get this over with.”

He jumped over the smaller stream with a bound and carried me toward the closest sinkhole. The steam from the hot spring washed my face.

It washed your face?  What?  Steam burns.  Steam could be described as caressing your face or seeping into your pores.  It could be described as hitting you in the face, or blowing into your face.  She could say it was washing across her face if she’s determined to use that word, but ‘flowing’ or ‘blowing’ would still be better.

He was going to throw me into the dark, hot hole and let the boiling water pull me into the ground as it burned me.

“No, no!” I shouted, my voice too hoarse and low to carry.

Just a note: she still wouldn’t be able to say anything at this point.  And it’s not just a matter of willpower or adrenaline, it’s not a matter of her being ‘special’.  Unless by ‘special’ you mean ‘her body lacks the basic instincts that keep human beings alive and have been aiding her in this fight already up to this point until it gets to the point where the natural processes that happen independent of conscious thought aren’t dramatic enough’.  Except they would be.  Here’s a way to put that where it’s anatomically accurate and adds to the drama of the scene:

The tears rolled down my cheeks as I tried to scream, tried to beg him for my life, but the only sound I could make was another choked cough that burned my throat.

It really is possible to write a tense action scene that also actually resembles something that’s physically possible in the real world.  I promise.

I writhed frantically. My knee knocked against one of the ropy rock columns, and I hooked my foot around it, trying to yank myself out of his grip. He jerked me free with an impatient grunt.

At least that loosened his hold enough that I could make one more move. It had worked before, so I tried it again. Instead of trying to free myself, I twisted in and wrapped my legs around his waist, locking the good ankle around the bad, trying to ignore the pain so that I could get a good hold there.

…When did that work before?  How is she doing this?  From this paragraph I assume he must be holding her with her back against his side, not her front, which as I described earlier is already stupid.  But from there, she hits her knee off a thin pillar, tries to hook it with her foot, but since that’s a fairly tenuous way to grab anything, he dislodges her with almost no effort at all, but that somehow makes him loosen his grip?  Why?  He’s got to tug her.  In order to tug someone effectively you have to tighten your grip, not loosen.

So when did locking her legs around something work earlier?  At no point in this scene has she done that before.  The closest she’s done is hooking her leg on the pillar which failed miserably.  I keep having to double check this chapter to make sure I didn’t miss something and I am really not missing anything.  It’s just that badly written.

Oh how I wish...

Oh how I wish…

 

Your leg can’t be both numb and in incredible pain.  You described it earlier as numb.  Is it actually numb or was it just tingly earlier like when you’re regaining feeling after your leg falls asleep?  Because that’s entirely different, I assure you.  And if she couldn’t stand on the leg, and it wasn’t moving when she wanted it to, how is she hooking it onto the other leg?  It should be letting go immediately.  Or can she hook onto her bare foot with her shoed foot better than he could hook onto her bare foot with his massive hands?

Also, how the fuck did she get turned to face him again?!  Did she somehow do a 180 in his arms without him able to stop her while he’s got a grip on her waist and her arms?  Because the only way she could have had the front of her leg hitting on a post is if she was facing away from him or he phased through the column!  STOP IGNORING THE LAWS OF PHYSICS MEYER!

“Get off me, you –” He fought to knock me loose, and I jerked one of my wrists free. I wrapped that arm around his neck and grabbed his thick hair. If I was going into the black river, so was he.

So what happened to not being able to fight?  Grabbing someone by the neck and trying to drag them into a pit of boiling water seems a lot harsher than throwing a rock.  More importantly though, how the hell does she jerk only one of her arms free?  Either he’s got a solid grip on both her wrists or neither of them.

Kyle hissed and stopped prying at my leg long enough to punch my side.

I gasped in pain but got my other hand into his hair.

He was prying at her leg?  When did she say that?  She said he fought to knock her loose, not that he was prying at her leg. And if he was prying at her leg she would have come loose if her leg was anywhere NEAR as injured as she’s implied it is, especially if he’s as big as she’s implied he is since her grip around his waist would already be tenuous at best.  Also, when did he let go of her other hand?  Again, this quote is what follows immediately after the last one, so there’s no information in between.

He wrapped both arms around me, as if we were embracing rather than locked in a killing struggle.

‘killing struggle’?  Does she mean murderous struggle?  Struggle for her life?  Deadly struggle?  ‘Killing struggle’ makes no sense.

Then he grabbed my waist from both sides and heaved with all his strength against my hold.

His hair started to come out in my hands, but he just grunted and pulled harder.

If he was pulling with all his strength not only could he not pull harder, but if he’s that much bigger than her, pulling with all his strength would dislodge her almost immediately.  At best she would get a chunk of his hair, most likely him grabbing and throwing her that hard would result in all the wind getting knocked out of her and her letting go of his hair instinctual.  If he yanked that hard, she would possibly also suffer from whiplash as her head whips backwards when her torso reached the end of his reach but her head and legs kept going from the momentum of the motion.

The river room is apparently not dark.  I thought it was since, a: that fits better with what’s happened up to this point in this chapter, and b: when Jeb was showing off this room he said she had to be incredibly careful where she walked because the river room was too dark to see in and if you fell in the water you would die.  But apparently she can see the rage on Kyle’s face and the steam billowing.  I seem to recall several chapters ago this was a problem as well where Wanderer could see and hear things she had no right to be able to see or hear based on the setting.  I bitched about working within the limitations of a 1st person narrative or not using it.  Meyer clearly doesn’t care.

Don't Give a Fuck

I felt my bad leg giving. I tried to pull myself closer to him, but his brute strength was winning against my desperation. He would have me free in a moment, and I would fall into the hissing steam and disappear.

Desperation only goes so far.  Those events you hear about of women lifting cars off their kids?  First of all, odds are that they couldn’t do that same thing to save their own lives, mothers are pushed farther to protect their kids than themselves because of humanities instinct to continue their genetics into the future.  Those events are also incredibly rare.  Only certain types of people can do them, even under extreme circumstances.  Also, it doesn’t matter how much adrenaline you have in your system, fighting someone more than twice your muscle mass, while seriously injured, while your only defense is a grip on short hair and a weak ankle, sorry, but you really are just plain fucked.  There’s no amount of desperation that will make you win that fight.

There are things she could do.  She could get her hand in his mouth and yank down on his lower jaw, desperation, surprise and gravity could easily be enough to rip it off its hinge or at least force him to let go of her waist to try and save his face.  She could claw at his eyes, she could punch him in the testicles, kick him behind the knee, punch him in the solar plexes (just below the ribs)…  Depending on the angle she’s at, she could punch him in the nose or box his ears (basically slap the side of his head.  Depending on whether or not you do it right you can do anything from just give him a sore head to completely rupture his eardrums which I can pretty much guarantee would end this fight right then and there) and several other wonderful little tricks that require a little more knowledge than she has so aren’t worth mentioning.

Jared! Jamie! The thought, the agony, belonged to both Melanie and me. They would never know what had happened to me. Ian. Jeb. Doc. Walter. No goodbyes.

I’m pretty sure the chunk of hair you’ve taken out of the side of Kyle’s head would give him away, don’t worry.

Kyle abruptly jumped into the air and came down with a thud. The jarring impact had the effect he wanted: my legs came loose.

…That is almost as dumb as him rolling around on the floor.

too stupid to insult

But before he could take advantage, there was another result.

The cracking sound was deafening. I thought the whole cave was coming down. The floor shuddered beneath us.

The floor was so weak just jumping on it was enough to break it?  And this has never happened before?  With about 40 people living in the caves including some children, and no one ever jumped in there before?  Or dropped anything?  Or slipped and fell?  The person who died in the river hadn’t slipped and fell, cracking it?  Sure.

Kyle gasped and jumped back, taking me–hands still locked in his hair–with him. The rock under his feet, with more cracking and groaning, began to crumble away.

He dislodged her legs, so she is literally holding on by just his hair.  The hair that should already be half yanked out from him pulling with all his strength.  She’s apparently got the mother of all grips and his hair is apparently as strong as he is.  Which I will point out is unlikely because of the levels of testosterone in the average body builder (even without the steroids).  High levels of testosterone lead to thinner hair on the head.  Everything in this chapter is physically impossible.  Or at best, incredibly unlikely.

I keep wanting to skip bits to get this over with sooner, but there’s just so much wrong with all of this I’ve only skipped one paragraph since Kyle showed up.  This is ridiculous.

Our combined weight had broken the brittle lip of the hole. As Kyle stumbled away, the crumbling followed his heavy steps. It was faster than he was.

So it’s behaving like cracking ice?  I suppose I can buy that, but, seriously, if the floor was already that weak that it’s crumbling as they run away, that would be a large portion of the river room that was destroyed by this.  It really does bring up serious concerns about the structural stability of this room prior to this.  If the floor above the rushing water was so thin that it would just crack and fall away, how has that not happened yet?  There have been points in this book prior where multiple people were in there together carrying things.

A piece of the floor disappeared from under his heel, and he went down with a thud. My weight pushed him back hard, and his head smacked sharply against a stone pillar. His arms fell away from me, limp.

not entirely sure what's going on

I’m not sure what just happened here.  He went down with a thud?  If the floor is giving way because of the rushing river underneath it, and it fell out from under his heel, he should have fallen backwards.  Into the rushing river.  To his death.  With Wanderer still clutching his hair, she should also have fallen backwards. Into the rushing river.  To her death.  That is apparently not what happened here for some reason.  And why were his arms on her?

I thought we already established that he’d let her go and she had only gotten away from him because she was still attached to his head by her vice like grip?  Why did his head hit a pillar?  Where the hell was the pillar?  Why did he fall forward?  Why wasn’t she still attached to him?  Did she let go?  She didn’t say she let go.  She does say her weight pushed him back hard, but that would imply her weight was leaned against him and, again, that both of them would have fallen to their watery death.  Why are they both on solid ground?

If he did fall forward instead of back, the floor should still have been crumbling beneath him and crumbled even harder and faster thanks to his and her weight hitting the floor like a sack of potatoes.  So what the fuck is happening here?

The cracking of the floor settled into a sustained groan. I could feel it shiver beneath Kyle’s body.

I was on his chest. Our legs dangled above empty space, the steam condensing into a million drops on our skin.

Okay, so he did fall backwards.  Is this another case where somehow they ended up facing the opposite direction from where they should be because that’s the only way Meyer could make the scene work out?  Probably.

You’ve got to get off him. You’re too heavy together. Carefully–use the pillar. Pull away from the hole.

Does she mean the stone pillar Kyle cracked his skull on?  And since Kyle fell onto his back, indicating he fell backwards, suggesting he fell towards the hole?  Therefore if she wants to get away from the hole she should not be heading towards the pillar because that would be towards the hole?

I wonder what the people that like this book think is happening in this scene…

daydream

Whimpering in fear, too terrified to think for myself, I did as Melanie ordered. I freed my fingers from Kyle’s hair and climbed gingerly over his unconscious form, using the pillar as an anchor to pull myself forward. It felt steady enough, but the floor still moaned under us.

Okay, so she was still attached to Kyle’s head.  I’m so very confused as to what happened when the floor crumbled…  I keep trying to think of a way that it could work and I’m just failing miserably.

I pulled myself past the pillar and onto the ground beyond it. This ground stayed firm under my hands and knees, but I scrambled farther away, toward the safety of the exit tunnel.

There was another crack, and I glanced back. One of Kyle’s legs drooped farther down as a rock fell from beneath it. I heard the splash this time as the chunk of stone met the river below. The ground shuddered under his weight.

So, the floor fell out from under him.  He fell on his back, which somehow involved him falling on the side of the crack that was in front of him, not behind him.  Somehow the crash of him and Wanderer falling together onto the floor in the direction it was cracking towards did not cause further cracking and kill them both, yet still weak enough to continue crumbling.

The rushing, previously boiling water should be burning his foot now at the very least, which should be enough sensory input to wake him.  The fact that it isn’t implies he has a serious concussion from which if he does wake, he should be suffering from serious problems like an inability to recall basic words, if not much worse.  It also would give him a high risk of dying of a number of issues such as aneurisms, blood clots, strokes, paralysis…  Assuming he’s even still alive at all.  She hasn’t checked.  But what do you think are the chances he’ll have zero repercussions from this whatsoever?

Anyway, finally some shit I can skip over happens as Melanie tries to convince Wanderer to let Kyle die, but she loses.  She actually makes a fair point that since they have to share this body and the outcome affects her, she should get an equal say in what they do, but Wanderer ignores that fact because Melanie’s life matters less than the attempted murderer’s.  This is Wanderer being selectively ‘kind’ again by denying Melanie any agency over what happens and only sparing Kyles life after having attempted to take it herself earlier when she tried to drag him down into the boiling water herself.

She hooks her ‘good’ leg around that teleporting pillar again and tries to drag him to safety, but her shifting his weight causes the floor to break ‘faster’ (yet somehow still not enough to crumble away and kill them both because that would be inconvenient).  She yells for help and the chapter ends.

Alright, I’ve said enough about this awful, awful chapter.  I will attempt to get back on time with these reviews from here out.

See you next time where I spend significantly fewer words talking about how to kill people!  …I hope.

Q&A: Dirtiest Place

Where is the dirtiest place you’ve ever been?

This one’s easy.  My last apartment.

I’m not the cleanest person in the world, but I am particular about things.  I can handle some clutter, and sometimes I’ll leave the dishes from one nights supper till the next day because I’m lazy.  But I take out my garbage on a regular basis and I won’t leave food laying around, and I try and keep my place reasonably clean.  My current apartment is fairly well organized, and it’s pretty clean.  There’s some clutter in my closet and I need to unload the dishwasher.  Beyond that it’s pretty decent.

This is not my apartment, but I do have a fireplace and a cat.

This is not my apartment, but I do have a fireplace and a cat.  This is about how clean it is though.

My last place though?  My roommate was a hoarder.  A hoarder who didn’t seem to care when there was old food sitting on the coffee table.  Or his computer desk.  Or the kitchen counter.  Or stale water sitting in the sink getting disgusting.  Or fruit flies everywhere.  And no matter how many book shelves I brought in there didn’t seem to be enough places for him to keep his well over 1500 dvds/blurays, or his video games, or his comic books.  Or his action figures.  Or his consoles.  You’re getting the point right?  My room contained more of his stuff than mine because there was simply no where else to put it.  I didn’t have a goddamn floor!

It looked like this pretty much, only replace all the clothes with hundreds and hundreds of dvds

It looked like this pretty much, only replace all the clothes with hundreds and hundreds of dvds.  Though the clothes looked like this too, just only in his room, not the living room.  He literally couldn’t open his own closet because the stack of clothes in front of it was too heavy to move

I tried, time and a-fucking-gain to get him to throw some stuff out.  But every time he did trade in some old video games, he just bought more.  And he NEVER got rid of any movies.  I wanted some fucking space goddammit!  I couldn’t even get him to stop leaving out food he half ate.  My coffee table (all the furniture (and dishes) in the apartment except the couch and his bed was mine.  Including ‘his’ computer desk and chair.  I didn’t take a single piece of furniture with me when I left.  Everything I owned fit in my car aside from the furniture so I let him keep it) was always covered in fast food wrappers and old chicken strips.  On the rare occasion he did clean (only when his mother was coming.  He didn’t even clean for his girlfriend.  I never brought people over and it wasn’t my mess, so I kept a square of my room that was only my things clean and nothing else) it would look like he’d never cleaned at all within a week.

I lived with him a lot longer than I should have, but I couldn’t afford to not have a roommate, I was too stubborn to move back in with my parents, and I didn’t have anyone else to move in with.  But now I live alone.  And I am incredibly thankful for that.

Check out The Llama’s response to this question (which will seem familiar, but I assure you she’s not talking about me.  I was actually there to help him move.  It’s just an odd coincidence.)

The Host Review: Needed (Ch 31)

Sorry for the impromptu vacation everyone.  November was a surprisingly rough month for me (nothing significant, just burnt myself out) and every time I opened the book to try and read this chapter I couldn’t focus long enough to finish a full paragraph.  Not because it’s bad or depressing, my brain just didn’t want to think about it.  Having said that, this chapter doesn’t make me even want to attempt to be funny, so let’s just get through this so I can go back to wanting to just curse at things again.

Fucking curse

The chapter picks up immediately where it left off, and this is pretty much the only example I’ve come across so far in this book where that actually seemed appropriate.  It left you with the heavy feeling of Walter’s faltering lucidity and a stark reminder that he’s not long for this world.  But they start this chapter with exposition about who Gladys is (she’s his wife), which since it seemed pretty obvious to me, I found kind of killed the mood a bit.

Walter talks to her, chuckling at the irony of him having never taken a sick day in his life, and surviving invasion, only to end up with cancer.  Wanderer has absolutely no idea what to do.  Ian nudges her to move closer as Walter talks about how none of his relatives ever had it, and asks her if any of hers did.  When she doesn’t respond he starts naming relatives and thinking to himself about whether or not they had it.  He didn’t seem to mind that she wasn’t talking back, he was just happy that she was there.

Ian suggests she holds his hand so she does, and Meyer gives us a surprisingly good description of his thin and pale skin that effectively gets across the fragility of the poor dying man.

Walter’s skin was chalk white and translucent. I could see the faint pulse of blood in the blue veins on the back of his hand. I lifted his hand gingerly, worried about the slender bones that Jamie had said were so brittle. It felt too light, as if it were hollow.

Walter continues to talk to her as though she were his dead wife.  He tells her how much she’ll like it here now that she finally found her way, and I wonder if she’s an infected and he feels she’s come to befriend them as Wanderer had.  If he thought she were a ghost or angel, he would be more likely to say things that suggested they would live together again, not that he’s now leaving her right after she found him.  Either way it’s effective, and pretty much all of Walter’s dialogue in this chapter manages to make me miss my grandparents.  I’m not sure whether to be pleased that Meyer pulled this off so effectively or upset that she made me think about when my grandfather was dying and asking for my brother, who none of us were able to get a hold of.

doctor-who-sad-o

I guess I’ll choose pleased for the lack of sucking, since this is the first time all book where I read the whole chapter without wanting to stab one of the characters in the face.

The volume of his voice sank until I couldn’t make out the words anymore, but his lips still shaped the words he wanted to share with his wife. His mouth kept moving, even when his eyes closed and his head lolled to the side.

I think Meyer should stop trying to write romance novels and just write depressing stories about established couples.  The last chapter that had anything this emotionally effective was chapter 8.  Melanie and Jared were past the initial get to know you phase and were already living together in those flash backs.  There was some bad dialogue, but compared to the rest of this book it feels like this chapter and that one were written by a different author.  In this chapter, most of the parts involving anyone but Walter and Doc are still comparably poorly written, but the parts about those two are quite well done.  Maybe if she could just do a few books about something other than a young girl trying to get with a guy who’s mean to her she could actually be half decent.

“How is he?”

“Delusional,” Ian whispered. “Is that the brandy or the pain?”

“More the pain, I would think. I’d trade my right arm for some morphine.”

“Maybe Jared will produce another miracle,” Ian suggested.

“Maybe,” Doc sighed.

Because, remember, Jared is magic.

Barney MagicNo, I am never going to drop that terrible line.

Not here, Melanie whispered.

Looking for help for Walter, I agreed.

Alone, she added.

Remember how earlier I said I get through this whole chapter without wanting to stab a character in the face?  This section right here was almost enough to make that a lie.  Almost.  There is a man dying in front of you right now Melanie.  Even if he’s not your friend, he’s still sitting there in front of your eyes, dying slowly and painfully in a literal hole in the ground.  How massively self centered do you have to be to have your primary thought be for someone else who is likely perfectly fine?  And that’s my problem before I even think about the awful wording.

They think about Jared some more and then Ian and Doc joke a bit about how they wish Melanie had been infested with a healer instead of… Wanderer.  It is a lighthearted joke, I just feel like using it to point out that for all her lives, Wanderer seems to be entirely useless.  She has zero practical skills.  None.  She has no survival instincts, no knowledge of medicine, no knowledge on how to locate food or water, and she doesn’t even seem to be a good story teller either, so while everyone in the book, alien and human alike, has told her how amazing she is, she’s really quite awful at everything.

I probably shouldn’t distract from the one decent chapter by hating on Wanderer some more, but thanks to being so far behind I’ve seen Llama’s reviews for the next couple of chapters.  She’s horrible and useless, and there will be no point at all in this book where I don’t completely despise her, and I would be remiss if any of you got the impression that maybe she’s not so awful after all, just because she’s not as completely horrible in this specific chapter as she has been in the past.

NeverForget

It gets late and everyone wants to leave to get some sleep, but just as Wanderer is about to leave, Walter wakes back up and gets a little panicky that she’s leaving, so Ian sets her up a cot.  She lays on it without letting go of his hand, and she falls asleep to the sound of Doc humming.

When she wakes back up, Ian comes to collect her to get some work done in the cornfield.  Walter wakes up when she tries to leave again, because of course he does (this chapter is BETTER than other chapters.  That doesn’t mean it’s GOOD.) He does that every single time she tries to leave in this chapter, without fail.

This time though when Walter stops her from leaving, he does actually know it’s Wanderer, not his wife.  He says how hard it must be for poor Wanda because we haven’t been reminded yet this chapter how much of a martyr she is.  Doc gives him some more alcohol to dull the pain and Walter returns to unconsciousness.

Wanderer asks if there’s anything she can do, and Doc says she can only do as much as he can, which is nothing. Doc is realistically upset at his impotence in this scenario and I can feel for the character.  There’s not much harder than watching someone you care about suffer and being powerless to do a damn thing about it.  Ian tries to assure him that it’s not his fault and no one expects him to do more than he is already, but I can safely say that wouldn’t be much of a comfort.

Frustrated

Ian tries once more to take Wanderer to breakfast, and once again Walter wakes up (less than 2 minutes since he last passed out.  Like I said, this literally happens every single time she tries to move.) He panics that his wife is leaving so obviously Wanderer can’t go to the kitchen with Ian, so he goes without her.  Because this story isn’t at all contrived to keep her where she’s most plot convenient at all, nope!  I keep saying this chapter is actually decent, and it is.  The strongest writing in this whole book so far is in this chapter.  But my god there is still some frustratingly annoying writing short cuts.

Anyway, Ian leaves to go bring her back some food and there’s some time passage as Walter mutters his wife’s name and Wanderer waits.  After a while she says she hears something that isn’t footsteps, but she doesn’t say what she thinks it is.  Doc almost says what he thinks it is, but then it goes away so his line of dialogue just drifts off unfinished.  They shortly thereafter hear running, and assuming it’s Ian, Doc jogs out to meet him for some reason that also turns out to be just plot convenient, because it’s not Ian.

Brandt, who was one of the guys away with Jared on the raid, demands to know where Wanderer is.  The noise comes back, and Doc finally says it’s a helicopter.  Apparently Brandt is there because Seeker is flying overhead in a helicopter looking for Wanderer and they think she’s going to use the mirrors to signal to her.  She flinches at the theory because the idea of having to interact with Seeker again is horrific to her, but Brandt assumes (justifiably) that it’s because he guessed her plan.  He wants to tie her up but Doc won’t let him, so instead he just sticks around and watches her.

Doc checks with him that Sharon is okay and wants to know if they have to evacuate. Brandt calms down and says that they should be fine as long as they’re careful, but everyone is packing for a quick escape just in case.  Brandt asks why they all trust Wanderer so much, but Doc doesn’t answer.  You would think he would at least try to explain that she’s been there for several weeks, helping them with farming and cooking and keeping them entertained, without hurting anyone or behaving suspiciously at all, so they have no reason to distrust her.  You would think they would try to make the raiders understand that they aren’t just trusting her for the sake of trusting her, they’re doing so because she worked for it.  It might not win them over, but they might at least be less aggressive about their distaste.  But no one seems to be doing that.  Whatever.

Whatever

She spends a few paragraphs describing how the helicopter circled back and forth throughout the day, and Brandt was just sitting there, watching her the whole time.  She says that they ran out of alcohol to keep Walter as out of it as possible, around lunch time.  Somehow the frail man with bones so brittle they broke under his slim weight, manages to bruise her fingers with his grip.  Not sure how he manages to do that, but I have lost all ability to expect realism from this book.

She does leave his side once to use the bathroom, and apparently without her there holding his hand he wails like a banshee the whole time she’s gone.  Ian had come back around lunch and so he was there when she needed to use the washroom, and since Brandt insisted on following her, so did Ian.  Not awkward at all, having two big guys follow the girl to the bathroom.

Jamie comes at supper, bringing everyone food, but Wanderer doesn’t let him stay because she doesn’t want him to have to live with the sound of Walter’s pained screams cemented in his head.  I don’t particularly blame her for that.  She sends Ian with him to make sure he doesn’t try and sneak back in.

Doc did not try to distance himself from Walter’s hideous suffering; instead, he suffered with him. Walter’s cries carved deep lines in Doc’s face, like claws raking his skin.

It was strange to see such depths of compassion in a human, particularly Doc.

She follows this up by saying something nice, but I just wanted to remind you that even in the horrors of watching someone die slowly and painfully because her people destroyed the meds that would allow him some peace, she’s still thinking in terms of ‘human beings are terrible, uncompassionate creatures who are full of nothing but negative emotions’.  And I am just incredibly fucking sick of it.  She experiences HUMAN emotions.  She should KNOW that humans have strong senses of compassion!

Annoyed smoke

I couldn’t look at him the same way after watching him live Walter’s pain. So great was his compassion, he seemed to bleed internally with it. As I watched, it became impossible to believe that Doc was a cruel person; the man simply could not be a torturer. I tried to remember what had been said to found my conjectures–had anyone made the accusation outright? I didn’t think so. I must have jumped to false conclusions in my terror.

This is the first (and probably last) time she admits she may have actually been wrong to assume something terrible about someone.  She’s right, no one ever said he was a torturer.  She just assumed it, and then kept assuming it for the next month or two or however long she’s been there, with absolutely no evidence to support it.

After nightfall, the helicopter sounds stop long enough that Brandt gives in to his desire to not listen to Walter’s screams anymore and he gets up and heads out, taking their lantern with him ‘just in case’.  Walter wakes up again and begs her to make his pain stop, so Wanderer ignores Brandt as he leaves and pays attention to Walter instead.

Somehow Jared comes in without her hearing him. She never ever hears him coming.  I assume Jared is a ninja.  Or he managed to find the softest shoes on the planet.

This is how I'm going to picture Jared from now on.

This is how I’m going to picture Jared from now on.

She panics when he tries to wake up Doc, letting go of Walter’s hand.  Melanie wakes up again of course, but since she let go of Walter, you should all know by now that that means he wakes up and starts panicking again.  She goes back to him and assures him it’s fine, she’s not going anywhere.

Doc wakes up and Jared asks what the hell is going on.  Doc tells him that she’s the best painkiller they have for him at the moment, and Jared says he found something better than a ‘tame seeker’.  Which seems to suggest he still thinks she’s a seeker, but that he does believe she’s not going to hurt them.  So I’m a little confused why he’d bother to say it that way at all.

Jared brought back morphine somehow (I thought they said it was all destroyed.  So where the hell did he find it?) and Doc immediately gives some to Walter.  But Jared tells him that there’s not enough to just manage Walter’s pain and let him die naturally, but there is enough to euthanize him.  Not sure how Jared knows that either, since I’m pretty sure the average person would have no idea, a) how long it’ll take before Walter dies naturally, or b) how much morphine it takes to kill someone.  Anyway, he puts it vaguer than I did so Wanderer doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

Melanie explains what they’re going to do, and Wanderer freaks out.

No, I thought, no. Not yet. No.

You’d rather he died screaming?

I just… I can’t stand the… finality. It’s so absolute. I’ll never see my friend again.

How many of your other friends have you gone back to visit, Wanderer?

I’ve never had friends like this before.

I understand being upset by this, but she can’t object to them relieving his pain simply because she’s upset at the idea of losing a friend.  In this one instance she has my pity.  It’s never easy having someone you care about die.

My friends on other planets were all blurred together in my head; the souls were so similar, almost interchangeable in some ways. Walter was distinctly himself. When he was gone, there would be no one who could fill his place.

So when are you going to finally come to the realization that destroying the unique consciousness of humans so the souls can live in their bodies is the same as losing Walter?

Probably never

Probably never

I know. Another first, Melanie whispered, and there was compassion in her tone. Compassion for me–that was a first, too.

Do I even have to say why this is stupid?  How many times has Melanie helped Wanderer even though Wanderer was a bitch to her?  How many times has Melanie been sympathetic to her even when in the same conversation Wanderer was saying how everything was Melanie’s fault?

Doc tries to get Wanderer to leave, but she gets angry and glares at him.  She asks if she leaves will Walter still be there when she gets back.  Doc asks if that’s what she wants, and she says she wants to be able to say goodbye to her friend.  He tells her to get some air and he’ll be there when she gets back.

She takes a lingering glance at Jared, who’s again looking at her with distrust, which annoys her as much as it does me.  Then the chapter ends with her leaving.

So finally done, only 2 weeks late.  Sorry again about that, life just kind of got annoying.  But I will get caught back up, I promise!  And once I do I have a little fiction short piece to apologize for the backlog!

Till next time!

The Host Review: Abbreviated (Ch 30)

I SURVIVED TILL THE HALF WAY POINT!  WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Stephen-colbert-celebration-gif

For a bit there I really wasn’t sure.  I thought this book might kill me first.  Even better?  This chapter isn’t as bad as the last few!  Huzzah! It still sucks, but hey, my standards for this book are incredibly low.  I’ll take what I can get.

The chapter starts with Jared apologizing to Melanie for kissing Wanderer.  It’s actually kind of sad as hope finally overwhelms him and he genuinely believes she’s in there now, and he doesn’t know how to handle it, and everything he’s done to her.  He knows she was the one to punch him and that she felt betrayed by it, and he wants to fix it.  But he’s still conflicted with his hatred for the parasite between them.

Wanderer keeps trying desperately to stop crying and just wants him to leave.  I can’t actually say I think that’s unreasonable either.  She did just get her first kiss by someone she does actually love, and it was immediately followed by intense hatred from both inside her own mind and the man she’s fallen for.  I think her reaction is certainly on the pathetic and immature side, but she is a pathetic and immature character, so it doesn’t feel out of place.

super meh

“If you’re in there, Mel…” He paused.

Melanie hated the “if.” A sob burst up through my lungs, and I gasped for air.

“I love you,” Jared said. “Even if you’re not there, if you can’t hear me. I love you.”

I can’t help but feel for the guy here.  I know he’s been a massive dick up till this point, and I have no doubt he will be again, but, this has got to be hard.

Anyway, Jared leaves and Wanderer spends way too long describing the incredibly dumb position she’s got herself stuck in.

And how long was I supposed to hold this position?

Who asked you to hold the position?  You’re not ‘supposed’ to do anything.  He left.  Melanie certainly isn’t telling you to sit there and suffer.  No one else expects you to sit there and suffer.  So just stop being a dumbass and move.

Melanie had nothing to say to me. She was quietly working through her own relief and fury. Jared had spoken to her, finally recognized her existence. He had told her he loved her. But he had kissed me. She was trying to convince herself that there was no reason to be wounded by this, trying to believe all the solid reasons why this wasn’t what it felt like. Trying, but not yet succeeding. I could hear all this, but it was directed internally. She wasn’t speaking to me–in the juvenile, petty sense of the phrase. I was getting the cold shoulder.

Llama goes into this in more depth than I have any desire to, but I’m just going to say you can’t say she’s not speaking to you because she’s attempting to work through her own shit and then call her petty and juvenile for not speaking to you all in the same paragraph.  A lot just happened, and Melanie is trying to work through it all, and you DID just make out with her boyfriend, complete with hair fondling.  She’s not yelling at you, you’re not trying to get her to talk to you and she’s just not answering, she’s just trying to work through her emotions like an adult.  Try doing that yourself for a change.

I felt an unfamiliar anger toward her. Not like the beginning, when I feared her and wished for her eradication from my mind. No, I felt my own sense of betrayal now. How could she be angry with me for what had happened?

You fondled her boyfriend.  This is not hard to understand.

How was it my fault that I’d fallen in love because of the memories she forced on me and then been overthrown by this unruly body?

Well, yes, she showed you her memories, but I’m pretty sure it’s common for women to share the good things about their partners, and I do think it’s not unreasonable of them to expect their friends to be happy they have that in their lives, not be like ‘well fuck, I want him now.’  I don’t fall in love with everyone my friends date just because they tell me how awesome they are.  Melanie wanted Wanderer to understand what she was taking from her.  She wanted empathy.

And really Wanderer?  Sure, it’s all the body’s fault.  You can stop Melanie from taking over when she’s fighting you with everything she has, but you can’t control the body itself?  REALLY?!  TAKE SOME FUCKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR ONCE IN YOUR WORTHLESS GODDAMN LIFE YOU STUPID FUCKING PARASITE.

take responsibility

I cared that she was suffering, yet my pain meant nothing to her. She enjoyed it. Vicious human.

When the fuck did you say anything that implied you gave a shit about her suffering?!  And when did you say anything that implied she was revelling in your pain?!  From what you JUST DESCRIBED she’s not revelling in your pain, she’s too caught up in her own thoughts to notice your pain AT ALL.  THAT’S NOT THE SAME THING!

She finally starts to try and pull herself out of the cave and gets stuck.  Melanie gives her advice, but Wanderer does to her what she CLAIMED Melanie was doing to her, by just outright ignoring her despite the fact that she’s entirely correct and it would end her physical pain to just fucking listen.  Also this goes against Melanie ENJOYING YOUR PAIN.  She’s clearly NOT enjoying it or she would have just let you sit there and suffer you stupid fucking bitch.

Wanderer makes her APOLOGIZE before she will take the advice that will end her OWN pain and it’s just so goddamn stupid I’m not even going to talk about it because it’s just so fucking dumb.  I did say this chapter was less stupid than the last couple right?  Maybe I read the wrong chapter the first time through…

Huh-sheldonsf

The multiple paragraph description of her getting out of the cave makes me wonder how the hell she got in in the first place.  Are the boxes unable to be pushed out of the cave?  Is there something holding them in place and that’s how she got stuck?  But if that’s the case how did she get in it in the first place?  Oh whatever.  I’m not putting more thought into that than Meyer did.

There’s a mat right where she fell out, that was most definitely not there before she went in, so either Jared left it there for her or Meyer sucks.  Either answer would make sense to me.  She curls up and thinks too much about more things I don’t care about.

What was Jamie doing now? Did he know I was here, or was he looking for me? Ian would be asleep for a long time, he’d looked so exhausted. Would Kyle wake soon? Would he come in search? Where was Jeb? I hadn’t seen him all day. Was Doc really drinking himself unconscious? That seemed so unlike him…

I woke slowly, roused by my growling stomach. I lay quietly for a few minutes, trying to orient myself. Was it day or night? How long had I slept here alone?

There is no break between those paragraphs in the book.  Not so much as a ~ or extra space between them to indicate any passage of time.  Meyer has no idea how to transition.  And if an editor even looked at this book they should be fired for incompetence.

you're fired

I considered eating something from the supply pile in the hole–after all, I’d already damaged pretty much everything, maybe destroyed some. But that only made me feel guiltier about the idea of taking more. I’d go scavenge some rolls from the kitchen.

So why not just eat some of the things you destroyed since they won’t be able to prepare them for other people?  You destroyed a bunch of their food so you think you deserve the fresh rolls they have to tirelessly farm to produce?  Right.  Selfless this one.  Just a saintly martyr.

She leaves, whining on the way out that no one came looking for her.  When she reaches the mouth of the tunnel Jamie is there waiting patiently for her and she’s relieved because she’s selfish and likes that other people are inconveniencing themselves because of her despite how much horrible shit she thinks about them constantly.  She does not deserve their affection.  You don’t get to reap the benefits of love and respect from people you spend 90% of your time internally convincing yourself that they’d chop you up just for fun.  You are a terrible person and while everyone here is dumb, they don’t deserve your disrespect and distrust in ungrateful little shit.

Jamie rambles on about how Jared told them what happened and assured them he didn’t hurt her, but that she wanted to be left alone.  Jamie wanted to go to her, but no one would let him so he sat there waiting.  When Jamie asks if Jared was mean to her, she says no and then internally accuses him of treating her like a lab rat, giving me a perfect example of what I just said.  I did not time that on purpose, Wanderer is just such a bitch she can’t go two paragraphs without thinking something mean about someone.

This is what Melanie should be saying to Wanderer

This is what Melanie should be saying to Wanderer

He asks how she feels about Jared believing her about Melanie, and her response makes me think she wished he didn’t believe her.  She says that telling the truth is easier, but then thinks that that’s an evasive answer, which, to me at least, suggests that she’s trying to make it sound like she’s happy about it, but she’s not.  So she’s saying that she would rather Jared not know Melanie was in there and that that kiss was for her, and yeah, sure, Melanie has NO REASON AT ALL to be a bitch to you right?  Not fair at all of her!  Because you TOTALLY care about her suffering!  Fuck you.

How is this chapter not even half done yet?

Jamie wants to feed her the good food, she tries to eat the rolls instead, and of course we’re reminded again that she’s soooo selfless!  Fuck I hate this character.  Anyway Jamie makes her eat the meat and this three line paragraph sums up an entire page in the book because we totally need all that detail of the colour and texture of the meat right?

A bunch of people are gathered to listen to her teach and we’re spared more details she couldn’t know about the ‘dolphins’ by a scene skip.  Thankfully.

A day or two pass without her seeing Jared around and she says life mostly goes back to normal, which is incredibly boring but it takes up a couple of pages despite absolutely NOTHING happening.  Another session of alien Q&A happens.  Someone asks her about medicine, which she’s already been asked about in previous chapters, but the reasoning they end up revealing does justify them trying again so I’ll not complain about that aside from not wanting to hear it.

She reiterates that she knows nothing about the alien medicine and everyone gets really disappointed.  She asks why and she’s told that people have ‘mortality on the brain’, and she finally puts two and two together and asks where Walter is.

Wanderer is as slow as Adam Sandler.

Wanderer is as slow as Adam Sandler.

Walter is in the final stages of dying of cancer.  Having known many people who have died of cancer and even more that have suffered from it, if this is not handled well, you will see a rage from me that makes all my previous rants pale in comparison I can promise you that.  I’ve lost friends and family.  I watched a friend and classmate die of a brain tumour just before Christmas when he was only 14 years old.  I was there as my grandfather sat in his hospital bed on his final day, a pale reflection of the man he had been only weeks before.  I watched my mother struggle through chemo, being so sick from it as to be barely functional despite being on the best medications money could buy.  Meyer, you have had glimmers of decent writing, you better fucking use that for how you handle this.

“Why didn’t anyone tell me?”

“Things have been… difficult for you lately, so…”

Because the little woman must be protected?  Everyone else has had a lot going on too, but they all know.  Maybe they just think she’s too dumb to handle this information.  I’d support them if it was the latter.

Anyway, she asks to go see him and they agree to take her saying that if anyone gets upset about it they can go shove it since Walt’s been saying her name so he probably wants to see her.  I have got to say they are actually doing the right thing here.  The wishes of the dying are more important than everyone else feeling comfortable.

It takes way too long and they make it way too dramatic getting to the medical cavern.  They have Kyle walk past and Ian antagonize him, but he does nothing but get cranky, so other than making Ian seem kind of shitty I see no point for this.  And by making Ian look bad I mean he takes her hand to give Kyle even more reason to dislike her, in the name of telling him to shove his hatred up his ass, making him even pissier.  And then when Kyle passes he refuses to let go of her hand despite her indication that she would like him to, he’s a love interest remember?  That’s totally a love interest thing to do, disregarding the desires and comfort of the one you’re supposed to like?  Yeah, sure.watching you

“Jeb’s made his opinion very clear,” Ian said.

“What do you mean?” I asked Ian.

“If Kyle can’t accept Jeb’s rules, then he’s no longer welcome here.”

“But that’s wrong. Kyle belongs here.”

Here’s more of that damn ‘selfless’ insecurity.  You tell me, which would you rather have in a confined, tense space?  The calm girl who does work and keeps everyone entertained or the big brute who just makes everyone tense and cranky?  Which one of those people seems to belong more?  As much as I hate Wanderer it’s not really much of a competition.  Especially if he can’t even be trusted to go out on raids without supervision because he’s too much of a rash blowhard.

Melanie tries to make her feel better, yeah, more proof that she totally hates you and wants you to suffer right Wanderer?  And Wanderer gets all emo about it saying that Melanie belongs there, not her.  Melanie says they’re a package deal and Wanderer gets annoyed by that too, because of course she does.

Wanderer mentions that Melanie has been mostly silent since Jared left.  Because love is the only thing that matters apparently.  Melanie actually only wants to see Walter because she thinks that’s where Jared is.  Which makes her a massive bitch in my books even if she does have a point that Walter is Wanderer’s friend, not hers.  She’s still walking into a room where someone is dying and making it about her, and for a change I actually have to give Wanderer props for berating her for it.

you-re-good-o

But Wanderer DOES say Walter is HER friend.  Which kind of goes against all the ‘I don’t belong here’ and ‘no one wants me here’ emo crap.  She knows that Walter is her friend and he defended her and wants her there.  So she’s devaluing his feelings by saying that NO ONE wants her there and she doesn’t belong, implying that the risk he took defending her doesn’t matter.  So I have to qualify the props I give her with ‘but she’s still a massive bitch’.

They finally get to the medical corridor and Doc is sleeping on the cot next to Walt.  It smells like death and I am glad to say the scene feels appropriately heavy.  Walter is awake, but barely.  When Ian asks if he’s up for company he can’t immediately vocalize a response and she describes his skin as pale and thin.  Wanderer takes her hands back from Ian and Jamie and asks if there’s anything she can do for him.

“Finally,” he gasped. His breath wheezed and whistled. “I knew you would come if I waited long enough. Oh, Gladys, I have so much to tell you.”

And I have nothing to say to this, the final line of the chapter.  It’s actually impactful, and I will beg the universe to let this be the mood for the whole scene.

I think it must have been this part of the chapter when I first read it that made me think this chapter didn’t suck that bad.  Because that last page really doesn’t.  It’s effective, and a little hard to read.  I have nothing else to say about this chapter.

Till next time.