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Twilight: Journey Into the Abyss (Part Nineteen)


Chapter Twelve

Incoming threat: Beware, as a new villain enters the fray: An old obese guy that has to get around via wheelchair.

Scary indeed.

Ok, actually I have no idea what his story role is just yet to be honest, but he was certainly introduced as the spooky villain type, so I’m just going to run with it until told otherwise because I find it amusing.

Try harder: “[Billy’s, a.k.a. the obese dude’s] dark eyes flashed up to me again, their expression unreadable.”

But you’re so good at reading eyes! You’ve been practicing this whole book so far. Practically every other sentence is you reading some inane expression in someone’s eyes.

Is something the matter? Are you not feeling well? You can tell me. It’s ok. I know you’re capable of this. Just concentrate and try again. We’ll get through this together.

Self-plagiarism: “Jacob stared at me for a moment, and I couldn't read the expression in his dark eyes.”

Hmm... This sentence sounds somehow... familiar.

Call me crazy.

Another case of unreadable eyes, and not even a page after encountering the first, dark, mysterious pair. Well, I think Billy is Jacob’s dad, so maybe it runs in the family. 

Or maybe Steph’s just getting lazy. Well, lazier.

Probably both.

So much warmth: “I stayed in the front room after I carried the food out to Charlie, pretending to watch the game while Jacob chattered at me.”

While he “chattered” at her. Can’t you just feel the affection for this kid oozing out of Bella’s every pore? Love at first sight, no doubt.

Come to think of it though, isn’t this the dude all the New Moon trailers say steals Bella’s attention post-Edward? That’s a hell of a relationship development right there.

From doormat to love interest in only one book. He must have some good moves.

Indecisive: “I winked at [Charlie], and he smiled his crinkly-eyed smile.”

I’m going back and forth on whether I think this is an acceptable description of a smile or whether I think it’s a bit freakish. I kind of know what she means, but I can’t get over the fact that eyes don’t smile and her phrasing is really weird. Not that poor phrasing is anything new to this book.

I think I need help with this one. Thoughts?

Nauseous love: “[Edward, who else?] grinned his crooked smile at me, stopping my breath and my heart. I couldn't imagine how an angel could be any more glorious. There was nothing about him that could be improved upon.”

Damn lady, tone it down a little. I get it already, Edward is a delicious hunk of man meat. I’ve read less gag-worthy love lines in a Harlequin novel.

Yes, I’ve read a Harlequin novel. Stop reminding me.

Shut up.

Narcissistic much?: “I wondered if he had any idea how appealing his voice was.”

If he’s anywhere close to as self-absorbed as you are, Bella, I’m sure he’s well aware. 

Pet peeve alert: “‘If I'm going to be alone with you tomorrow...’”


Land of darkness: “‘Perhaps you're right,’ he murmured bleakly. His eyes seemed to darken in color as I watched.”

Is there some sort of genetic condition being passed around in this town or does Steph just have some sort of fetish with “dark” eyes? Because I don’t think she’s described one character without “dark” eyes, and trust me, she’s described a lot of eyes.

She never even describes it any more than that. Just “dark”. Not brown or green or purple with red dots. Just “dark”. As if sticking exclusively to eye color for description weren’t generic enough, she can’t even be assed to give a specific color most of the time. 


She’s hiding something: “[Edward] restrained a smile.”

I still maintain that there must be something Steph isn’t telling us, because Bella continually exhibits this fascinating ability to detect what emotion or action other people were going to display, but decided not to.

That’d be a fun party trick to have, come to think of it, but not really as useful as full-bown mind reading, a la Edward. It’s kind of a limited use talent. It’s only good around erratic, indecisive people.

Fortunately for Bella, there are a lot of those in her world.

Knowing smile: “I beamed at the memory of how conveniently things had worked out.”

Yes, it’s strange indeed how conveniently events always seem to unfold for Bella. Odd how that works out...

Surely there must be a logical explanation for this.


Lamentations of inconsistency: “Only now they were four; their beautiful, bronze-haired brother sat across from me, his golden eyes troubled.”

But... But...

You just said...

Sentences ago...

The darkening eyes...

Right in front of you...

Dark... not golden... 

Gold isn’t dark...

So much confusion and inconsistency...


A little slow: “‘Having the advantages I do,’ [Edward] murmured, touching his forehead discreetly, ‘I have a better than average grasp of human nature. People are predictable. But you... you never do what I expect. You always take me by surprise.’”

That could be because Bella is, as you say, unpredictable and interesting.

Or it could be that you’re an idiot.

I’ll give you one guess which theory I support.

WTF moment #837: “...I couldn't look at him yet, afraid he might read the chagrin in my eyes.”

If I never see another description of the human eye again in my entire life it’ll be too soon.

What is this even supposed to mean? How do you display “chagrin” within the confines of an eyeball? 

My dictionary defines the word as “distress or embarrassment at having failed or been humiliated”. 

What, is that displayed by a special eyebrow formation or something? A series of blinks? Half a teardrop in the left duct? Just once I’d like to hear how Steph would actually explain some of these bizarre eye emotions with more detailed descriptions. It’d certainly be interesting to hear her try.

Where’s the skip button?: After numerous passages of drippingly terrible attempt at drama between Edward and Bella, Steph finally sees fit to introduce one of Edward’s family members up close.

Alice, apparently, has “hair in a halo of spiky disarray” - whatever the hell that’s supposed mean. Sounds like fancy talk for “bedhead” to me, but whatever. 

What color is said hair? 


Yes, inky hair. Steph apparently got tired of describing so many things as “dark” and brought out her trusty elementary school thesaurus, coming up with “inky” after a couple of days of hard, hard work. I’m sure she thought she was immensely clever, using a word for “dark” that wasn’t “dark”. Surely nobody would notice her little ruse. It would be her little awesome writer in-joke.

Oh, and Alice has the face of an elf. Good to know. She sounds like just a picture of beauty, doesn’t she? I can really see why Bella is calling Edward’s family so pretty all the time. Inky halo hair and an elf face. Yup. Gorgeous.

Surprisingly though, while we do get a face and hair description of Alice, prerequisites for any new Stephenie Meyer character introduction, we’re missing the only other thing she ever describes: eyes.

I don’t know what color Alice’s eyes are! Woe is me! How shall I ever visualize this terrifically distinctive character?


Oh, wait. They’re obsidian (another word for “dark”, you’ll notice - very clever). Just took her a bit. She had me worried. Trusty ol’ Steph. She wouldn’t let me down.

And you’ll simply never guess what kind of look Edward flashes at Alice when she tries to introduce herself to Bella.

Go ahead, guess.  

You give up?

“A dark look”.  

Oh yeah. Steph’s at the top of her game.

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    Zestful Contemplation - Blog - Twilight: Journey Into the Abyss (Part

Reader Comments (2)

Holy crap, I should be saying this after each post, but back when we challenged you to do this blog series I never meant to cause you this much pain. I just thought it would be nice to read this from the point of a college graduate with a Professional Writing degree, I never meant for all this to happen. Hopefully you are getting close to finishing the book and can be done with this nonsense. Keep fighting the good fight for all literate and creative people out there.

December 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBryan

Ha. Close to finishing. Wouldn't that be nice. If I remember correctly I'm barely past halfway. I'm even trying to go through it faster than I used to just to get it over with, but it just won't end.


December 15, 2009 | Registered CommenterBrendan T. Smith

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