Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Little, Brown
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Followed By: New Moon
First, Edward was a vampire.
Second, there was a part of him — and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be — thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
In the first book, Jacob – only a minor character at this point – introduces the protagonist, Bella Swan, to the possibility of a supernatural existence within Forks. In other words, he is the one who gives her the idea about vampires.
While Jacob pretty much remains in the background throughout the first novel, his character still has its uses. After the incident in the school parking lot, Bella gains a bit of an obsession with Edward Cullen after he saves her from being crushed to death by another student’s van. Because Edward refuses to provide any answers to explain his fast reflexes and unusual strength, Bella is determined to find the answers herself.
Although Edward has decided to stop avoiding her – to “give up” trying to be good and do what he wants – and to try to become friends with her instead, he’s still reluctant to get too close to her personally and gives her frequent warnings to stay away from him. He claims constantly that he’s not “a good friend” for her and yet continues to encourage her to guess “what he is,” whether it’s radioactive spiders or Kryptonite – he can’t help but laugh as each theory gets more and more comicy.
“I’ll figure it out eventually,” I warned him.
“I wish you wouldn’t try.” He was serious again.
“Because . . . ?”
“What if I’m not a superhero? What if I’m the bad guy?” He smiled playfully, but his eyes were impenetrable.
When Bella tags along on an outing to La Push, she finally obtains the information that she needs to shine a light on her unusual situation. From a suspicious comment made by Sam regarding the Cullens — his infamous The Cullens don’t come here — her interest is sparked and her curiousness takes over because even though “he’d said that the Cullens didn’t come here . . . his tone had implied something more — that they weren’t allowed; they were prohibited”. While walking alone with Jacob on the beach, Bella skillfully takes advantage of his obvious crush and flirts with him to get the information she feels will help her better understand the “weirdness” that surrounds the Cullens.
“Yes. There are stories of the cold ones as old as the wolf legends, and some much more recent. According to legend, my own great-grandfather knew some of them. He was the one who made the treaty that kept them off our land.” He rolled his eyes.
“Your great-grandfather?” I encouraged
“He was a tribal elder, like my father. You see, the cold ones are the natural enemies of the wolf — well, not the wolf, really, but the wolves that turn into men, like our ancestors. You would call them werewolves.”
“Werewolves have enemies?”
I stared at him earnestly, hoping to disguise my impatience as admiration.
“So you see,” Jacob continued, “the cold ones are traditionally our enemies. But the pack that came to our territory during my great-grandfather’s time was different. They didn’t hunt the way others of their kind did — they weren’t supposed to be dangerous to the tribe. So my great-grandfather made a truce with them. If they would promise to stay off our lands, we wouldn’t expose them to the pale-faces.” He winked at me.
“If they weren’t dangerous, then why . . . ?” I tried to understand, struggling not to let him see how seriously I was considering his ghost story.
“There’s always a risk for humans to be around the cold ones, even if they’re civilized like this clan was. You never know then they might get too hungry to resist.”
It’s through this story, and her research afterwards, Bella begins to put together the pieces of the puzzle, one specific piece – that the Cullens are the cold ones mentioned in the legend and that they are indeed vampires.