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Friday, 28 August 2015

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (Twilight Saga, #3) - Book Review

4/5 Stars

We were trapped...

"Victoria," he said, spitting the word, making it a curse.

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Edition: Paperback
Pages: 559
Chapters: 27 (Plus a preface and an epilogue.)
Publisher: Atom

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

Eclipse manages to sooth some of my misgivings. It doesn't remove them, it just handles them better. There's a familiarity with this entry to the series, almost as if the author's become more comfortable in all of her story's aspects. It translates to the reader, at least in my opinion; everything feels natural. The plot is centred - of course - around the relationships of the cast: Their troubles, joys etc. The bigger, overarching plot - of course - doesn't kick in until the end.

Luckily, if you've been captivated by Twilight and New Moon, you're going to love Eclipse. 

If not... well, I wouldn't push yourself on.

SPOILER WARNING

Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)

Bella and Edward have been reunited.
Their worlds have resumed a steady orbit around one another.
So, naturally, everything spirals into chaos.
An old foe lurks in the shadows.
Dozens of new vampires are made.
The Volturi are coming.
And they all share the same goal.
Bella's death...

Plot - 4/5 Stars

Let's keep it simple:

Eclipse focuses on its characters, first and foremost. It's their interactions and emotions that make up the bulk of the book, and if you love that, great, you'll love this. Thankfully, I do love it, because Meyer has an excellent cast to play with. While it's certainly a long-winded and often frustrating story, it's often very sweet. Meyer's ability to manipulate emotions comes in to effect, and despite the many times you roll your eyes, you're hooked. 

I also enjoy the fact that characters with scarce histories are elaborated on. There are darker dynamics that are fun, and scary, to explore.

The suspense is well-built, and leads to a very satisfying conclusion. Victoria's vendetta is finally resolved in an action-packed fight that leaves me baffled as to why the author doesn't incorporate more. 

There's the usual hyperbolic situations and reactions, but, I take them in terms of this world's reality. These are how these characters feel, how the story progresses, and I'm fine with it. The 'love triangle', never hit the mark for me, though. Bella's relationship with Edward never really feels threatened enough; there's never any real doubt in Bella's mind, so the label of 'love triangle' is weak.

Not that I'm complaining. Team Edward!

Pace - 3.5/5 Stars

Eclipse is the biggest in the series so far, but if you've made it this far, the pace is pretty much second nature. I've definitely settled in for the long-haul, so the frustrations I usually have at the speed of the novel are lessened.

Characters - 4.5/5 Stars

The biggest - perhaps the only - plus that the length and pace grant you is more time with the cast of wonderfully diverse and distinct characters.

Bella is again 50/50. She's much closer to her Twilight character, i.e. she's wicked funny at times, very perceptive, and all round, a decent first-person viewpoint. Then there's the darker part of the 50/50. I'm not surprised at a lot of people's animosity towards her. Her self-pitying nature and constant guilt-trips can be extremely annoying. She does air her views and wants more, but a lot of the time you're left frustrated.

Edward, despite his negative criticism, is fine. He's sweet, loving, creepy, a little controlling. Meyer, however, injects him with an overall good vibe. He's the tough, strong dude most people dream of.

Plus, Team Edward! Crap, I'm getting sappy.

Jacob takes a darker turn. He's far different from his good-natured New Moon character. He tries to win Bella over to no success, and uses a few dirty tactics to try and achieve it. It's a little iffy, but I really enjoyed the intricate web of relationship drama. I know, that's scary unlike me, especially on Eclipse's level. There's a strange epilogue from his POV at the end which caught me by surprise. I hope that's not a recurring thing...

There's great, natural humour highlighted in the dialogue between certain individuals, and it's hilarious.

Every character is awesome.

Every. Damn. One.

Writing - 4/5 Stars

Not uber-mondo bad; not uber-mondo good.

It has a nice balance. It can be flowery, cheesy, over the top; but, it can also be sweet, fast and addictive. I'm not sure if I can remember a book that has divided so many opinions.

Overall - 4/5 Stars

The series has kept my interest without too much difficulty. There's just too much I love about it. The author also manages to keep you heavily invested in the future. Breaking Dawn has a vast amount of hype to live up to.

I'm excited nonetheless.


Previous Instalment: New Moon


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