25 February 2008

Review:: Eclipse (novel)

Stephenie Meyer has been lauded as the new J.K. Rowling, and if there is going to a be a new phenomenal writer, Meyer would fit in quite grandly. By now, who hasn't reviewed Stephenie Meyer? I mean, really. So instead of reviewing the first two installments of her series (Twilight and New Moon), I'm going to talk about the latest book, Eclipse.

The new installment, though still magical and thought-provoking, suffers from a bit of "middle child" syndrome. This is indeed the third novel in the five-part series. Like the troubled kid in a "normal" family, this one is just not as widely accessible as her previous work. This is the type of novel that can really turn off hard-core fans who feel invested in the lives of the main characters and are convinced that the story needs to go one particular way.

This is to Meyer’s credit, though, because she has taken a tale about a love triangle between a clumsy high school girl, an immortal and old-fashioned vampire, and a red-blooded but generous guy, and made it unpredictable. The ethereal scenes between Bella and Edward will appeal to romantic teens, and the action sequences of vampires and wolves battling evil will ensure that this series will continue to accumulate a large number of new followers.

8.39 of 9. I have to say that so far, New Moon has been my favorite, as loss is very familiar to me. Parts of Eclipse make this installment my second favorite. Ultimately, though, the beginning was slow and it's kind of tiring to see the beginning start the exact same way as the other books.
Okay. Some feel that Bella is a bit of a wussy pants, and while that may be the case, her fragile self definitely resonates with many teens. She's not perfect, but she gets the sexilicious vampire. That's totally part of the appeal. I'm personally quite fond of Jacob Black but perhaps I shouldn't say that. Fans are VERY... umm... fanatical.
Just like the Harry Potter books got darker with each additional volume, Eclipse one is the darkest yet. The first couple of hundred pages were mostly filler but Meyer swiftly picks up the pace. Big time.
I know preteens, parents, and even grandparents who totally go ga-ga over the books and wear "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob" pins at library conventions. :D I also enjoy the fact that this series proves that you can write love scenes that can get anyone's pulse going without moving it past PG-13.
Like it? Try this!::
Obviously, read Twilight and New Moon. Do a Google search and you will find a plethora of information/fan fiction. I also recommend reading what other critics and librarians have to say about it. Try the New York Times and the blog for the Seattle Public Library.
Further Notes::
As many of you know, Summit Entertainment is filming the Twilight movie as we speak... uh, as I write and you read. I have to admit that I would rather have had Emily Browning and Henry Cavill as the lead actors, the way Stephenie had originally wanted. I guess I don't mind Kristen Stewart (hyper skinny hippie singer in Into the Wild) and Robert Pattinson (Cedric Diggory in... well, you know). No matter what, though, I will be in line for the movie and for the new book Breaking Dawn, out August 2nd!

And now, the pièce de résistance! Here's the pic I earned by volunteering for Stephenie's author booth at the Texas Library Association convention last year. It was awesome! And exhausting! Librarians can be quite enthusiastic and forceful. ^5

Eclipse. By Stephenie Meyer. Little, Brown Young Readers, 2007. 629 pages. $18.99.