Breaking Dawn: Breaking Wind, Breaking Minds – Part One

By this point in my reviews of the Twilight Saga, it should be well-established that I feel the series got steadily worse with each successive book. As the bad-but-not-terrible Twilight was the absolute pinnacle of the series to start the saga out with a  “meh”, so Breaking Dawn must be the absolute nadir of the series, crashing from merely bad or awful like the previous three books into rock-bottom horrible. I would not be surprised if Breaking Dawn was a major factor for the Twilight Hatedom’s militant loathing of the series, and I cannot blame people who would come to this conclusion. Eclipse was an awful book. Breaking Dawn is one of those books I must classify as a literary atrocity.

As always, we are thrust into the perspective of the whining wonder Bella Swan, who is about to take the plunge and get married to and turned into a vampire by her undead boyfriend Edward Cullen. Jacob black, the romantic runner-up from Eclipse, is off somewhere being a wolf 24/7, something that causes Bella great distress and no doubt has Edward laughing himself to sleep every night. Still, for once Bella is keeping her whining to a minimum, although she is still annoyed by her future in-laws showering her with love, attention, and ludicrously expensive cars that aren’t on the market yet. Life’s so tough sometimes, isn’t it?

Most of the first few chapters focus on Bella and Meyer’s favorite pastime of pointless meandering around, but Carlisle does drop something interesting at one point by talking to Bella about immortal children, babies or toddlers turned into Vampires. These little abominations have all the powers of a vampire with the temperament of a small child, and to look upon them is to love them unconditionally. Evidently the Volturi look down on this practice and kill the hell out of anyone that makes one.

I’m sure THIS will never come up again.

As the “plot” gets moving, Bella finally gets hitched with her chalky disco ball and chain. Jacob shows up at the last second, not to object like many in his position would, but just to say goodbye. Unfortunately, Meyer seems determined to keep Jacob in asshole mode, so Jacob flies into a rage when he finds out Bella’s intent on loosing her virginity before she turns into a vampire and is dragged off by the other werewolves.

Bella and Edward go off on their honeymoon, where we find out that Carlisle is not so much “wealthy and successful” as “richer than God” and bought Esme a private ISLAND that Esme lends to the newlyweds for their honeymoon. Bella and Edward stand on the beach for a bit, and then the “camera” thankfully blanks out for some biologically impossible necrophilia.

Bella wakes up in the morning happy but covered in bruises while her knight in whining armor is doing what they both do best, equating love with endless whining. Bella and Edward argue over Bella being hurt by her insistence on having sex with a human (no update on Edward blowing a load of venom inside Bella’s sensitive and most certainly bloody tissues when he popped her cherry, so it’s pretty safe to assume Meyer is ignoring her own rules and basic biology for the sake of plot) but both admit sex felt awesome, including our 110-year-old former virgin.

That revelations to “no shit, Sherlock” ratio is holding pretty strong at 1:1. I think it’s gonna stay there.

After deciding he’s not going to hurt Bella during sex again no matter how much she wants it, Edward tries to keep Bella too entertained and tired to try again, proving in the process that he is fundamentally evil and unlovable when porpoises display fear and dislike for him. Bella, meanwhile, is suddenly holding off on wanting to get vamped while Edward’s all for it. Not because the dumbass has finally realized that giving up on life past 18 is stupid and childish, of course not; she wants to keep having impossible and dangerous sex with Edward and is worried that becoming a vampire will put a damper on that. Bella tries to cut deals and will even make the tremendous sacrifice of going to college if that’s what it takes, but Edward decides its time to establish who wears the sparklepants around here and will have none of it, seeing through Bella’s attempts to get him back in the sack.

Still, Bella has decided that sex is a far stronger incentive to stay human than her mortal family and friends, the chance of having a career instead of repeating high school ad infinitum, or actually experiencing adulthood, and so for once finds herself struggling with the choice (She could, of course, have had it both ways like she always wants it with Jacob, but too late for that now) of when exactly she’ll become a vampire. I think at least partially because she’s already aware that once she’s changed, sex will be about the only thing she and Edward will ever talk about until the sun goes out. After several attempts, Bella gets Edward to start sexing her up some more, thankfully sparing us the details besides Bella having strange dreams and an odd appetite.

Then Bella gets sick, and realizes she’s pregnant.

…Well, it’s slipped. There is no longer a 1:1 ratio between revelations and “no shit, Sherlock” moments, even with the typically unsubtle foreshadowing leading up to the pregnancy. Perhaps, silly me, I had hoped that Meyer wasn’t this stupid.

So yes. Edward Cullen, to his immense CHAGRIN, has knocked up his blushing bride despite being 93 years past the expiration date of his teenage sperm. Apparently the complete replacement of Edward’s bodily fluids with vampire venom, down to the water in his eyes, did not extend to the testicles, and now a tumor obscenity hellspawn baby is growing abnormally fast.

I can’t even begin to articulate how stupid and wrong this is. Bella tries to come up with an explanation that Rosalie couldn’t have Emmett’s babies because vampire women are frozen in time and therefore can’t change to accommodate a baby, but Rosalie was born with all the egg cells she will ever have or need while Edward’s sperm should be useless and dead even if they somehow weren’t replaced by venom like everything else. Given that vampires reproduce virally, the idea of them also being able to reproduce sexually is utterly laughable, especially given how long it has been since any of them were humans.

This doesn’t change that a biologically impossible baby is now inside Bella, and growing fast. Edward, surprisingly getting me on his side for once, immediately decides this should not be and that Bella needs to abort the hellspawn before shit hits the fan. Bella, who has gone from not caring a jot about babies to squeeing internally about having a son in the space of five seconds, resists the idea, intimately attached to the fetus she has known about for all of five minutes. As Edward prepares to get Bella back home so Carlisle can abort the impossibaby, Bella calls on Rosalie to help protect the child-to-be, demonstrating that even when addled by hormones, she is first and foremost an emotionally manipulative bitch to the core.

Meyer then surprises me again by FINALLY telling the story from a perspective other than Bella’s; yes, we switch over to Jacob Black’s point of view, only to discover that like Bella, he’s taken up wallowing in self-pity inside his head. Still rather pissed off about being second-best to Edward Cullen, Jacob hears Bella has returned sick from the honeymoon and rushes off to pick a fight with Edward once Sam decides the pack is not going to enforce the “no biting” agreement they had with the Cullens in Bella’s case. Once he arrives, we find that Bella’s baby is continuing to grow, but her pregnant glow has to take a back seat to clearly dying as her hellspawn leeches off her. Edward, unable to force Bella to get an abortion with Rosalie on Bella’s side, takes Jacob outside and begs him to convince Bella to change her mind. To sweeten the deal, Edwards offers to let him sleep with Bella so she can have babies to replace the genetic impossibility that is killing her.

You heard me right, Edward offers Bella without her knowledge or consent to his rival in hopes she’ll get an abortion if she’s allowed to have someone else’s baby.

Their marriage should be a long and happy one.

Jacob, who I at least hope is more interested in saving Bella’s life than getting into her pants, decides he is on board with aborting the demon fetus, but Bella’s having none of it, crooning lovingly to “Edward Junior” as it kicks her apart from the inside out. To try and sustain Bella and the baby, Carlisle starts having Bella drink blood for two despite still being human. How exactly a purely liquid, not particularly nutrient-rich diet that is mostly for the baby’s sake helps Bella stay alive somewhat escapes me, and I’m wondering if this is just to make Bella’s pregnancy as nauseating as possible. If so, it’s working.

Meanwhile, with Jacob, Sam changes his mind about fighting the Cullens when he finds out what’s going on with Bella, but Jacob has decided he will protect Bella and her new family no matter what it takes and leaves the pack. Seth joins up with Jacob, followed by his big sister Leah Clearwater, the only female werewolf in the history of ever and one of the only good things about this book. Sam’s old girlfriend and even his fiancée before Imprinting forced Sam to dump her and hook up with her cousin, Leah appears to be considered an annoyance by the rest of the pack because she still has some lingering bitterness at being forced to spend large amounts of time in Sam’s immediate presence, and Jacob initially attempts to get Seth and especially Leah to leave him alone. Leah, however, has taken the opportunity offered to finally get away from her old life and a pack that resents her and acts as Jacob’s primary supporter for the rest of the book, the two gradually growing to understand each other better.

After this, things meander around a lot as Bella is bloated, still near death and more useless than usual. The only thing of any particular interest that happens is Carlisle tries to do the one thing that should not be attempted and introduce science to all this, claiming Werewolves have 24 chromosomes and Vampires have 25.

What?!

…OK, leaving Meyer’s F-grade understanding of Biology for later, the “plot” moves on as Bella is approaching the time of birth and drops a cup, leaning over to pick it up. The horror begins as she hears a “muffled ripping sound” inside her as hellbaby apparently decides it wants out now and breaks Bella’s spine thrashing around inside her. Bella vomits up a lot of blood, Jacob freaks out, and Edward has no choice but to give Bella a C-section with his teeth to get the baby out of her before injecting her with venom to try and save Bella by making her into a vampire.

I have said repeatedly that Vampires in the Twilight series are total pansies. They are. They are not scary at all. This doesn’t change that this chapter shows that Stephanie Meyer can indeed write horror.

Bella, still “dying” (with over half a book left in this doorstopper, you’ll forgive me for not feeling any tension or hope that we might finally be rid of her) gets to hold the horrible chestburster and proves she was not meant for motherhood by naming the little abomination “Renesmee” before passing out and starting to change.

And then Jacob, going to kill the little monster in revenge for “killing” Bella, imprints on Edward and Bella’s 15-minute-old child.

I had to put the book down for a while at this point and go outside.

More later

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