Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer: Not Bad (Ch. 20)

Is it read-worth? This is going to surprise you: I actually liked this chapter. The writing wasn’t fantastic and I found a few things off-putting, but overall it wasn’t bad. I really enjoy getting to know more about some of the characters in the Twilight series, particularly Carlisle and Jasper. I could, of course, do without Edward…But beggars can’t be choosers I suppose.

SPOILER ALERT

However, I will note that I am still a bit overwhelmed by my continued belief that vampires in the Twilight universe are way too overpowered. It’s like they’ve all been given the cheat codes for life. They have no weaknesses. The sun doesn’t bother them one bit and garlic is a joke. Vampires are super strong, insanely beautiful, don’t need to sleep, don’t need to breathe, don’t actually need to drink blood to survive, and are often given special talents. 

Of course, Meyer has said it’s rare for a vampire to get a special talent, but we’ve met so few vampires that don’t have one that I don’t really buy it anymore. Almost all of them have something going on to give them a little bit of an extra edge. It’s crazy.

And to me it’s a little bit too much. It bothers me that vampires are so souped up. I want them to have some type of big weakness for humans to exploit. I want vampire hunters. I don’t want their only threat to be some other type of supernatural being. It just doesn’t feel realistic. Everything needs to die one day. Why not them?

Maybe if they at least needed to drink blood I might feel a little bit better. What’s the point in having them drink blood if they don’t need to? And how do they survive without it? I thought it fueled their body. Nothing can run off of no energy. Is it that they can die without blood, it just takes a very long time? I don’t get it. 

I did enjoy hearing more about Carlisle’s past though. I like the fact that he does feel a strong sense of affection for the Volturi. It feels entirely unrealistic that he could spend so much time with them without developing some sort of bond. Carlisle feels things like love and loyalty so strong. It would obviously extend into his relationship with the trio.

I also personally just admire the Volturi. How they’ve stayed in power for so long is impressive. And, while they may differ at times from their direct area of jurisdiction, I do feel like they have the well-being of their species at heart for the most part. They genuinely want the vampire world to go undetected. That makes sense to me, especially now with human technology rapidly improving. Maybe we could even threaten the existence of overly powerful vampires one day. 

Yet, how long do vampires really think they can go undetected? Humankind must already know about vampires in some regard. It is impossible to think that an entire species would live on this planet, next to us, and we wouldn’t know a thing unless they had some advanced form of technology that we can’t detect. Vampires don’t. They’re not aliens. They’re us with extra steps. 

Carlisle’s art collection is also probably not the only example of a vampire being seen in art throughout the centuries. I understand that he’s only in one piece of art, but there’s probably other vampires who are in many. Some are incredibly old. But it isn’t entirely unbelievable that a modern person born today couldn’t resemble someone in a painting. How likely is it that anyone would assume that the same person they’re looking at is the person from the artwork drawn hundreds of years ago? I wouldn’t. Authors of vampire books always make it sound like art is an immediate giveaway, but I disagree. Doppelgangers do occur in nature. However, there would be clues somewhere for humankind to discover that vampires exist. Bella did. 

During this chapter, I did enjoy the fact that Edward admitted that the only reason he was not more like Carlisle is because of his own lack of effort. He had thought it impossible for so long that he did not bother to put the work in. That’s such a great life lesson for readers. Put the work in, see results. 

But then my enjoyment of Edward abruptly ends. Honestly Edward sometimes comes across as straight up stupid and naive. When he said that it had never occurred to him that all vampires don’t live like Carlisle before meeting Siobhan, I was flabbergasted. It had never occurred to him that vampires living only off of animal blood was a unique lifestyle choice? Had he never heard any type of folk story growing up? 

Vampires drink human blood.

It’s in literally every vampire story that that is what they do. Vampires who don’t drink human blood have to be the exception, not the rule. 

Plus, how can the idea that vampires drink human blood be such a surprise to him when he himself has such a strong instinct to drink human blood? Even being near humans is a struggle. Of course not everyone would have the strength or desire to resist that urge. It is common sense! 

Sometimes I just don’t get why Meyer adds these small details. They make so little sense. They are so clueless. Is she messing with us on purpose?

I also don’t know how realistic it is that everyone Edward hunted when he separated from Carlisle and Carlisle’s lifestyle were so extremely cold. I get that some people are natural predators, but most aren’t. Even people who do bad things tend to have a conscience. If you watch crime documentaries about people in prison, most don’t view themselves as innately bad people. They are often just normal people who did something bad. How often is it that you actually run into someone who one hundred percent believes that they’re evil incarnate? 

Give me a break.

The scene where the child molester / murderer was killed by Edward was also way too much for me. It came across as extremely inappropriate and unnecessary for Midnight Sun. As the reader, I had already understood that the people Edward chose to kill were people who wanted to do bad things to others. I really didn’t want or need a deeper explanation. It kind of grossed me out. 

Of course, I am relieved that the man didn’t hurt anyone in the end. I just didn’t need a justification for Edward’s kills beyond the basic explanation. Perhaps Meyer should have spent more time justifying the way he controls and stalks Bella than talking about him killing a pedophile. I don’t know.

When Alice and Jasper entered Edward’s room towards the end of the chapter, I did find myself enjoying the further explanation of Jasper’s special talent. I had no real understanding of his talent prior. It didn’t occur to me that he really felt the emotions of those around him, even though I’m positive that Meyer has previously mentioned it. I just thought he was capable of controlling it, kind of similarly to one of the talents in the Graceling books where the character can control someone but not really know the depth of their mind. I thought it was more of an outside force than internal knowledge, particularly because it’s capable of influencing Bella. 

But I don’t really know if I’d want to be around Jasper after reading this. Knowing and controlling my emotions feels kind of like a violation to me. I don’t want him intruding on my emotions. Keep out! 

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