Remember what happened last week? Bella decided to repeat her departure from the previous book, by taking off but this time running to Edward, rather than away with him.
This chapter is called Race, so we'll find out whether she makes it.
Bella and Alice catch one plane, then another, then steal a car, in their mission to get to Edward before he commits vampiric suicide. And they talk a lot.
Thoughts as I read:
Well it's called Race and I'm fairly certain that this book isn't deep enough to get into discussions about skin colour, so I think this will be about Bella's race to the airport.
Except it's not, because when the chapter opens Bella and Alice are already on the plane, having made it there with barely seconds to spare. Once they're in the air, Alice picks up the phone (planes have phones in their seats? clearly I've been flying with the wrong airlines) and calls Jasper. She's having visions about what Edward might get up to and they're not pretty:
"I can't be sure, I keep seeing him do different things, he keeps changing his mind... A killing spree through the city, attacking the guard, lifting a car over his head in the main square... mostly things that would expose them - he knows that's the fastest way to force a reaction..."
Edward is such a drama queen.
We only hear one side of the conversation which kind of feels like a NaNoWriMo trick to me. None of what you're hearing makes much sense so we'll have to wait for her to get off the phone and rehash it all with Bella so we can hear the other side of the conversation. Excellent for word count purposes.
Alice can't get the others to help them because if Edward sees them coming and doesn't see Bella he'll just act out all the more. Jeez, I'd just leave him to get on with it personally. Especially as if the others see the Volturi kill Edward, they'll then attack the Volturi, which is unlikely to go very well. Alice isn't particularly keen on sacrificing anyone else if she can absolutely avoid it.
And when Bella asks about Edward hearing Alice's thoughts but apparently he would just think Alice was lying to him. Because he's a complete pillock, that's why. Because he's basing all this on a vision Alice had which may have been inaccurate and a random short conversation with someone about a funeral. He's really not got the smarts, has he?
Since they've got nothing better to do during the flight, Alice asks how Bella knows about the Volturi. Well, obviously Edward had told her about them. So now it's time for a lesson into just who the Volturi are.
"There were three of them originally, Aro, Caius, and Marcus."
The group has grown over time and there's five of them in the main group. Then there's the guard. The family basically rule over all the vampires by punishing people who break the rules. And when they do that, it's not pretty.
Bella's miffed that no one told her about these rules soon. Like she would've done anything about following rules. When has she ever followed rules?
As it turns out there is only one rule (what is this, Fight Club?) Vampires must remain secret at all costs. Edward's grand plan is to head to their city and out himself in the most public way possible, so that they can bring him down. Surely if that's all it takes, Edward just needs to head to the Volturi and say 'hey, I hooked up with a human and she knows all about what I am, and what you are, come to think of it'. It'd save him some time and effort.
Alice points out that this case will probably be rather different because you don't often get suicidal vampires. I'm surprised by this. If you suddenly found that you were a vampire and it went against everything in you, perhaps you'd want to try and end it as soon as possible. Whatever the outcome, Alice is determined that whatever happens, she's getting Bella back to Forks and to Charlie in one piece. Will the Volturi really go for that though? If Bella knows about them, perhaps they'll want to bump her off to tidy things up and make sure the word doesn't get out?
After this Alice does the vampire equivalent of taking a nap. She's not really napping, she's just thinking very deeply. Bella thinks too, but it's nothing that we haven't heard before so I think it's safe to skip past this bit.
I do catch that Bella can see the movie her neighbour is watching and she can't tell if it's meant to be a romance or a horror film. I'm not sure what kind of romances she's watching, but even without sound I think it's fairly easy to tell the difference between the two!
Eventually their flight lands in New York and Alice hasn't got anything new from her little divining session. They have to wait for their connection and considering this chapter is called 'Race' there's not a whole lot of racing going on. This is all very slow moving and Bella uses the down time to consider what she'll say to her father if she makes it back home. That'll be an interesting discussion to read.
At some point along the way Edward had made it to the Volturi and they've offered him a spot on the guard because they can use someone with his talents. I'm guessing this is his mind reading talent, not his ability to make teenage girls obsess about him, though I suppose that could come in handy occasionally too.
As this isn't what Edward wants to hear, this'll push him to consider an alternative tactic but this is apparently a good thing for the girls because it'll delay him and give them time to get to him.
This leads on to a conversation about how Alice's talent works and how she saw Bella becoming one of them 'at the time'. Then she drops the bombshell that she has been wondering if she shouldn't just turn her herself. And I'm not going to lie, these two have such brilliant chemistry that I thought she meant turn Bella away from Edward and over to her, but that's not what she meant. She meant turning Bella into a vampire.
Bella immediately starts begging to be bitten which sounds incredibly kinky. Alice won't do it right away because it will be very painful but she doesn't say she won't do it either. She is worried that she'd get it wrong and would kill Bella, which Bella probably wouldn't mind either given her recent behaviour.
Then Alice starts getting some more information about what Edward is up to. The Volturi aren't offing him so he's planning to out himself in the easiest way possible. He's going to walk out in the sunlight. This means everyone will see him sparkling. Personally if I saw someone being all sparkly in the sun I'd just assume he was rocking some awesome body make up. I'd maybe want to know how he did it, but I wouldn't immediately assume he was a vampire or something supernatural. I've been for nights out in Glasgow and seen way weirder things than sparkly people.
The Volturi would not be impressed by this, however and the time is running out. The sun is rising right now. But Alice knows Edward, she even highlights the fact that he'll want to be melodramatic and wait til noon, which gives them another few hours.
And then they decide to steal a car to get there.
Frustratingly we don't actually get to see the car theft, which I would've enjoyed. This is now apparently the 'race' part of the chapter.
They get close to Volterra and can see that there's a festival going on. It's somewhat ironic that it's Saint Marcus Day, celebrating the saint who drove out the vampires. What they don't realise is that he managed this because he was one of them. I bet Marcus loves that.
This is another reason why Edward will be in serious trouble if he messes things up. So the plan is for Edward to see Bella before he sees Alice. Bella just has to be somewhere that he'll see her before he reveals himself to the crowds. There's absolutely nothing that could go wrong with that plan.
"I'm going to get you as close as possible, and then you're going to run in the direction I point you."
"Try not to trip," she added. "We don't have time for a concussion today."
Heh, nice one Alice.
So we leave them standing there, looking over the city, waiting for the sun to finish rising.