Thursday, April 19, 2007

New Moon – review

Author: Stephenie Meyer

First Published: 2007 (UK)

Contains spoilers

If you read my recent review of Twilight, of which this is the sequel, you’ll know that Meyer’s books are for a teen market and yet they are written with a level of maturity that enables them to be easily accessible to a more adult readership. The previous volume was very much a romance and this, in its way, is a romance also.

I say ‘in its way’ as this is much more of an unrequited love story – for the most part. It begins where the last book left off and we have (human) Bella and (vampire) Edward together and very much in love. However, after an unfortunate paper cut on her birthday, which results in Edward’s ‘brother’ Jasper almost attacking Bella, Edward decides that being with her is too dangerous for her and leaves.

A vast majority of the book then follows Bella as she tries to cope with her loss. She lives a half life at first, even describing herself as a zombie, but with the help of her friend Jacob – from the near by reservation – she begins to rediscover some form of life. She also develops a taste for putting her life in jeopardy, not the thing to do when you are somewhat of an accident prone klutz, as she can hear Edward’s voice when she does so, admonishing her for her actions.

The first story had a degree of supernatural thriller as well and this volume expands on that greatly. I do not believe it to be too much of a spoiler to say that werewolves appear; whilst their presence was presented as a mystery at first, it wasn’t too difficult to spot. We also have, of course, vampiric action and get to see a lot more of vampire society. We do get a little more vampiric lore but I fear that looking at that might be a spoiler too far.

I actually enjoyed this volume more than the first. The prose was good, again, and I must commend Meyer for her flawless ability to draw characters that are utterly believable – especially when writing in first person. Sometimes the reactions of the main characters can seem a little too overwrought but this is in no way a criticism of the novel or the writing as those reactions were fitting of teen characters (or, in Edward’s case, a character whose romantic experience is underdeveloped despite his advanced chronological years) and will resonate with the target audience.

The fact that the romance aspect became unrequited was more in keeping with my tastes. Meyer draws similes with Romeo and Juliet (Bella is studying the play in school) but the references are not overplayed. However it is the expansion of the supernatural thriller aspects, to make them a more vital part of the novel, which really increased my enjoyment.

6.5 out of 10.

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