If you’ve ever read a book and wished that there was a chapter where the characters stayed inside one room and literally do nothing to advance the plot, then this is the chapter for you! The first half of the chapter, at least. In the second half, there are some scientific errors, but don’t let that bother you. Because I did.
Bella wakes up in a hotel room in Phoenix. Now I’m going to skip to halfway through the chapter because. There’s some great descriptive language here, but that’s because there’s nothing else to write about.
Alice, Jasper and Bella are waiting for Carlisle to call. He hasn’t called yet, Alice says, because he doesn’t have anything to tell them, or because he’s close Tracker James and he doesn’t want the bad vampire to hear. But Bella senses that not everything is all right.
She starts blaming herself and says she won’t be able to live with herself if anyone dies or gets hurt trying to protect her. But Jasper says it’s OK, the Cullens’ biggest worry right now is losing her. Because if she dies under their watch, they’ll all feel responsible and Edward will probably hate them forever.
As you can guess, there’s not much to do in this hotel room, other than wait for Alice’s phone to ring. Food is delivered every now and then, but Bella is so bored that she memorizes the room and lists a bunch of details that I am sure will become very important in the future, such as the pattern of colors on the couch.
Finding the chapter boring, Bella decides to make things more interesting by asking Alice how one might go about becoming a vampire. Alice says Edward’s going to be very angry if he finds out that she told Bella, but Bella tells her not to worry.
Then Alice (and the author) makes the biggest mistake in the history of paranormal romance, I think.
“Like a carnivorous flower, we are physically attractive to our prey,” Alice says.
This is where I go on a rant. As a professional amateur carnivorous plant enthusiast (I wrote a 10-page research paper on carnivorous plants in high school), I can tell that Stephenie Meyer does not know what she’s talking about. All those carnivorous plants, the Venus flytrap, the pitcher plant, the sundew, they have flowers, yes, but it’s not the flowers that are carnivorous. It’s the plant itself. And the traps are in the leaves, not the flower.
Ms. Meyer, if you ever need help writing about carnivorous plants, don’t be afraid to ask me for help. Or just look it up on Wikipedia. Fact-checking is not that hard these days.
Alice continues. Vampires are venomous. Their venom doesn’t kill their victims, but merely slows them down so that they can’t escape.
Mini-rant No. 2: The author uses poison and venom interchangeably, when, in fact, they are very different. Poison is ingested or absorbed, while venom is injected. In simpler terms, you can eat poison. You can’t eat venom. There’s no such thing as a venomous pancake, unless someone found a way to inject that pancake into your bloodstream. This was a serious error that should have been caught in the editing process.
Anyway, after a person is bitten by a vampire, the venom spreads through the body, and depending on a few variables that are unimportant to the reader, that person can transform into a vampire within a few days. The venom actually heals the body throughout the process.
“But all that time, every minute of it, a victim would be wishing for death,” Alice says. This is probably why we don’t have more vampires running around. If it were painless, vampires would outnumber humans 3 to 1.
This would be the part where we go into some unnecessary backstory on how Alice became a vampire, but fortunately, she doesn’t remember how it happened.
Suddenly, Alice starts seeing things, but it’s okay. That’s her gift. She sees Tracker James in a long room with a wooden floor and mirrors for walls. Then she sees Tracker James in a dark room with a VCR. And there’s a TV and a VCR in the mirror room, too, I think? The wording is pretty confusing in the book, so I’m not sure what’s going on.
What this vision means is that Tracker James has made a decision that will lead him to a mirror room. I wonder if he can see his own reflection or if, as many people believe, vampires don’t have reflections.
Then the phone rings! It’s Edward, who says he and the rest of the Cullens are alive and well. They’re outside Vancouver, but they’ve lost track of Tracker James. He got on a plane. Edward says he’s probably going to Forks to start over.
The bad vampire woman has been to Charlie’s home once, but luckily he wasn’t home. He’s still alive and Esme, Carlisle’s wife, is watching him.
After Edward and Bella say they love each other, Edward hangs up. Alice draws the room that she saw in her vision, and Bella instantly recognizes it as a ballet studio. It looks very similar to the one she went to for dance lessons when she was a little girl living in Phoenix. What does this mean? It means that Tracker James is coming to Phoenix.
Who else is coming to Phoenix? Remember when Charlie told Bella that her mom was going to Phoenix? You probably don’t, but that doesn’t matter. Renee, which is Bella’s mom’s name, is coming to Phoenix soon. This is going to be a problem. What if she gets killed by a vampire?
Bella calls her mom, but Renee doesn’t pick up.