Thursday, September 06, 2007

Eclipse – review

Author: Stephenie Meyer

First Published: 2007

Contains spoilers

This is the third book in Meyer’s teen aimed series that concerns the relationship between the human girl Bella and the vampire ‘boy’ Edward.

The book, like the first two, is at heart a romance, but where the first book, Twilight, seemed to be the heady first romance and the second, New Moon, concentrated more on unrequited love, this seems more orientated towards the fickleness of the human heart. The examination of whether it is possible to love more than one person and what that really means.

Of course, this is set with a backdrop of vampires and werewolves. Meyers, in volume two, really increased the levels of supernatural intrigue and peril and continues in that vein with this. The lives of Bella and Edward are played out with the fear that the hate filled vampire Victoria will return to destroy Bella, the fact that ruling vampire coven the Volturi have decreed that Bella must be turned or die, the fragile truce between the Cullen vampires and the near-by werewolf pack and the fact that there appears to be a serial killer running amok in nearby Seattle.

We get to find out detail about some of the, so far, lesser explored members of the Cullen family and this opens up detail about the history of the vampires. We also get the background and myths about the appearance of the werewolves in the native American tribe – this aspect, to be honest, makes the book worth reading in itself as Meyers creates a unique and interesting history for the wolves.

Negatively, as good as Meyers is with characterisation I found myself getting annoyed by the central characters part way through the book. I have no doubt that Meyers is capturing teenage confusion as well again as she did in the previous books but they really did begin to get on my nerves. This got me to thinking why, a good many years beyond teen, I would enjoy these books. After all I enjoyed the first two and, other than that brief moment of annoyance, I enjoyed this.

These books are teen aimed and perfect for the market they are aimed for. As a more mature reader, other than the fact that Meyers is a fine character author, what keeps my interest? I decided it was because she draws teenage feeling, moods and perspective so well it reminds me of younger days – perhaps this is enough for any older reader to want to delve into these books, they are a reminder of where we were.

It is worthwhile, even if it is a tad annoying in places, as the supernatural elements grow stronger and make this an interesting addition to Meyer’s series. 6 out of 10.

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