Well, a month has passed since I reviewed New Moon, the second book in the Twilight series. Once again, it took me far longer than most people to read the third installment, Eclipse. I am happy to report that I thoroughly enjoyed it! I will frame this review in terms of how this book was a vast improvement over the previous one.
- In both Twilight and New Moon, Bella was self centered and extremely annoying. She still had her moments in Eclipse, but mostly she started to grow up and act more mature.
- Most importantly, she finally developed a conscience. Despite having strong feelings for Jacob, she realized that she would always choose Edward over him, and so most of her actions were based on that truth.
Bella and Edward
- There was very little interaction between these two in New Moon, since Edward was off running around in the woods of North America trying to forget Bella while she was stoically going through the motions of high school while secretly pining away for him and being miserable.
- There were more than enough Bella/Edward scenes in Eclipse. We had nostalgic conversations about Edward’s past, serious discussions about things like marriage and becoming a vampire, and plenty of cuddling and kissing. It was nice to see them as a relatively normal couple, going through disagreements, standing by each other during tough times, and often finding that their thoughts and feelings mirrored one another’s.
- Thank goodness that Stephenie Meyer finally spared us the excessive praise that Bella as narrator previously lavished upon Edward. (I couldn’t believe how perfect he was, etc.)
Bella and Jacob
- At times, Jacob’s aggressive tactics for wooing (is that a word anyone uses anymore – probably not, but you know what I mean) Bella were annoying and overbearing, but I guess that was the point. Jacob is the young, fiery werewolf to Edward’s experienced, play-it-cool vampire.
- Jacob has come a long way from the annoying kid in Book 1. I count him as one of my favorite characters in the series. You can’t help but feel bad for the guy: unrequited love, a life of servitude to his tribe, the need to tie a change of clothes to his ankle (for the inevitable next time that he changes forms and shreds his other clothes to pieces), etc.
- We still don’t know a whole lot about them, but I do like that each of their “how I became a vampire” stories is being revealed over time. Each one is interesting, unique, and sad, making me more sympathetic to them (as opposed to seeing them simply as a one-dimensional character).
- It was a small but surprising twist to learn that the pack had grown, when more wolves than expected showed up at the meeting with the Cullens.
- I like the way the pack can hear each others’ thoughts, and how they use that ability as a tool during hunts and battles.
The Cullens and the Pack
- The joining of these two rival sides and sworn enemies made for an exciting climax to the book!
- It was intriguing and somewhat horrifying to finally witness what the wolves and the vampires were capable of, in terms of violence, strength, and speed.
- I wonder if we will hear anymore about the consequences of Bella witnessing Edward’s brutal slaying of his opponents. It’s not every day you see your boyfriend decapitate someone by “lightly brushing his lips against their neck.” It seems like that would require more than a simple “I’m fine” as a response.
The Big Reveal
- I must admit, I was kept guessing about who was behind the planned attack on Bella. I wasn’t sure who was training the newborns, and how that was connected to confrontations the gang had had in the past. I was happy with who the big bad enemy was, and with how it was revealed. There was plenty of tension and excitement to be had, which is much more than can be said about New Moon, which garnered no more than a “huh” from me.
- I foresee some eye rolling on my part during the wedding festivities in Breaking Dawn, but I am highly curious to learn if and when Bella will be changed, and even more so, how it will change her.
- What will become of Jacob? I will be very sad if we never learn more about him than what we were given in the epilogue of Eclipse.
- I am still troubled by the idea of Bella having to leave everything she has ever known behind (namely Charlie and Renee), when she gives up her human life. But, I suppose she loves Edward more than either of them, so the choice to be with him forever at the expense of her parent-child relationships must be a fair trade-off for her.
Bottom Line: Eclipse has been my favorite book of the series so far. I have very few complaints. My main complaint is actually unrelated to the plot. Did anyone else notice the ridiculous number of typos in the book? The book must have been rushed through editing to get it published sooner – either that or they need to hire some new proofreaders. I found this very annoying. I can’t remember ever reading a book with so many glaring simple errors (“that” instead of “than,” “the” instead of “they,” etc.).
But anyway, I’d give the book an A. Good romance. Good adventure. Good suspense. Good twists. I am glad that I pressed on through the murk and mire of New Moon so that I could enjoy Eclipse.