After feeling up Renesmee for a bit, Aro is surrounded by his dark cloaked cronies as they conspire ‘in secret’ in the middle of the field. The Cullens/wolfpack(s) retreat back to their side of the clearing as they wait for an intense and possibly deadly game of Red Rover to begin. As Bella points out, everyone is vocalizing their opinions about the situation rather than just allowing Aro to read their minds. While ‘Team Aro’ is having a meeting 50 yards away, Bella hears them arguing about what to do while the crowd of angsty wolves and sparklepires angstily await the go ahead to rip each other apart.
While Bella holds a shield over the Cullens and the wolves, she wait for the Volturi to address the crowd. Bella begins to spread her shield and “tugged in more threads of the fabric” to cover all of her allies. In this moment she realizes that the wolf mentality allows her to protect all of them when only the Alpha is protected. We also learn that the Werewolves in the U.S. are different than European and Asian ones as they can shape shift during the day (so they aren’t REALLY werewolves — more like a cute hypo-allergenic hybrid). WHY? Aro points out that they are not, in fact, werewolves, just shape shifters.
The Volturi huddle commences for a long time as everyone is worried about their next play against team Cullen. Irina is called forward to explain her obsession with the Cullens that led them to their current state of affairs. She whines a bit about them killing her friend and then lets it go, apologizing for the misunderstanding about the immortal child and asking for forgiveness, only to have her head ripped off (literally) and have her remains burned by Caius. Irina’s family — Kate and Tanya — can no longer hold back their rage, and then the “epic” battle begins!
Or not. Unfortunately, all the “good” sparklepires use their powers against Kate and Tanya to stop them from provoking Caius more. And then Carlizzle pwns them with his words of wisdom: If they fight Caius, EVERYONE will die. (But… but… it would be so nice if we didn’t have two more chapters to read…) There is a lot of tension…some more angst… and some angsty tension… introduction of new characters as if they had been mentioned in the story before…
Amun and Aro speak about Nessie, and Amun’s final observations are that Nessie is not an immortal child, because she was not turned but born of Edward’s glitter-glue-filled loins and tht she “grows and learns.” Siobhan agrees, stating she is no danger to humans and blends in well. Aro decides no law has been broken, but it does not mean that there is no danger. He begins a rant about humans and technology that really has nothing to do with anything and decides that not knowing what Renesmee will become makes her a vulnerability to the entire sparklepire species!
Garrett steps forward to address Aro and gives beautiful speech about how the Volturi are douchebags who will think of a reason to get what they want, even if it makes no sense in terms of ‘’vampy law,” and proclaims his love for the Cullens. He begs all of the witnesses to understand that the Volturi will go to any lengths to make sure the Cullens are killed because they sees competition in them, especially because of their differences and “amber eyes.” And with one final proclamation, “They seek the death of our free will!”… they still continue to have a long, drawn out conversation. Aro and Garret and ALL of the witnesses take turns presenting THEIR side of the case… And one by one the Volturi “witnesses” leave because they do not want to fight.
It’s now 37 versus the Volturi, and the Volturi start having another meeting in their black-shrouded triangle while Bella prepares to let go of Nessie and send her off with Jacob into the forest. All of the sparklepire couples share loving embraces in preparation for the fight, and then Jacob and Nessie slip out of Bella’s protective bubble.
Best Worst Lines
“Fascinated, I tugged in more threads of the fabric, pulling it around each glimmering shape that was a friend or ally. The shield clung to them willingly, moving as they moved.”
“’Will you defend that alliance, too, Aro?’ Caius demanded. ‘The Children of the Moon have been our bitter enemies from the dawn of time. We have hunted them to near extinction in Europe and Asia. Yet Carlisle encourages a familiar relationship with this enormous infestation — no doubt in an attempt to overthrow us. The better to protect his warped lifestyle.’” (704) (What he meant to say was: “Ewie! Those wolves smell like wet doggies! Didn’t we kill them all off yet? I CANNOT believe Carlizzle would mingle with those unhygienic mutts. Disgusting.”)
“Though the creatures think of themselves as werewolves, they are not. The more accurate name for them would be shapeshifters. The choice of a wolf form was purely chance. It could have been a bear or a hawk or a panther when the first change was made.” (Or maybe a cuddly kitten or a pumapard or lyger. But of course not, lets stick with animals popular in Native American culture, history and stories rather than branch out of the box.)
“Maybe Caius didn’t understand real families — relationships based on love rather than just the love of power. Maybe he overestimated the potency of vengeance.” (REAL families. The ones that get married just so they can bone, have babies that everyone else takes care of and has sordid quasi-love triangles. You know — families? Like the ones found on day time soap operas.)
“Edward was watching us now, his topaz eyes wide. Jacob stared at us from the corner of his big dark eye.”
“Edward’s and Jacob’s faces were almost identical masks of horror, despite the fact that one of them was an animal.”
“Edward leaned his head against the same shoulder where he’d placed Renesmee.”
“Goodbye, Jacob, my brother… my son.” (723) (And to think that earlier in this book, you offered up your wife to your future son in law to impregnate her. NICE.)
“A tear the size of a baseball rolled into the russet fur beneath his eye.”
“The strained peace of this summit already teetered more precariously than an elephant on a tightrope.”
Things That Really Irk Us
The chapter has crowds of vampires in it: nomads, vegeterians, “regular” vampires, friends, enemies, frenemies… but there is a COMPLETE lack of tension in the dialogue and the narrative. Yes, it is an angsty chapter because Bella is just plain angsty and this is from her POV. But seriously SMeyer, this is leading up to a FIGHT??
The random introduction and then ‘writing off’ of vampires. They are introduced for ONE line, make a statement and leave. WRITING FAIL.
Jacob is still sad about having to leave Bella with his future fuck buddy. Why would anyone be sad to leave Bella?
Aro keeps pacing and saying “peace” and “peace be with you” — is he a priest now?
What is with all of the Volturi huddles? They LITERALLY form a circle, triangle or rhombus and THEN push their black cloaks up around them so nobody can see in… even though most of the vampires have powers that allow them to read minds or they have sharp hearing, etc.
FAIL.Go to Chapter 38.