Welcome to the review of the third book in the Twilight series, Eclipse. The plot thickens, but not really.
Why The Hell Is It Called ‘Eclipse’ Anyway?
Really, I got the symbolism of the first two titles. I’m lost on this one. I might be able to stretch and say it’s because Bella’s love eclipses her friendship with Jacob (?). I need a little help there.
This part of the story revolves around the continuing struggle of vampire versus werewolf, a story as old as the cross-fictional 1990s themselves. There’s also that continuing struggle between Team Edward and Team Jacob, as the kids and semi-middle-aged women call them, and the critical dilemma of whether humans will one day realize that sparkling is not a limitation for the UnDead in the least.
While we’re at it, we add in a dash of Villain Vampire Vixen (hereafter VVV) who wants revenge and that Special Episode of [insert TV show here] where they had to put aside their differences and learn to work together.
Did I leave anything out? Yes. Bella’s given standing “orders” from her boyfriend not to consort with the wolfman. It smacks of a few things, including possessiveness, but at the same time Bella said she is willing to do anything for Edward’s love, and is even asking to be made a vampire – necessitating turning her back on her entire family for all time – but dropping the friendship of someone who clearly wants to wreck her relationship? That’s just too much!
The worst part of these books is that Meyer wastes a lot of time trying to be clever about where the plot is going. It’s so painfully obvious what’s going on that it gets tedious. I can handle taking the time to let things develop an I’m in favor of being very descriptive of the world you’ve created, but she only purposely delays things to get a page count and that’s just rude. Through the majority of the book you’re left saying to yourself, “Get on with it already!”
VVV is naturally trying to blah blah blah, with the blah blah blah, so she can kill Bella to blah blah blah. This doesn’t stop Meyer from having a dramatic ‘reveal’ that you were exactly right when you guessed what the big surprise was 40 pages into the damned thing.
Again, that’s just rude.
The Big Climax
It’s a major disappointment. After a book’s worth of build, the big confrontation happens and there’s never any doubt that only bad guys have bad things happen to them. The description of the action is like a 4 year-old trying to explain the fight between Darth Maul, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. You know that they’re trying to tell you something cool, and they’re really excited about it, but good luck making sense of it.
In a way I feel bad that Meyer didn’t have a better editor. Through this book even more than the first two, while I was reading it I was rattling off edits in my head that would have made the action move quicker and helped clarify what she was trying to say. But I suppose with books like this, the publisher is more interested in making a buck before the audience moves on.
In a way, maybe that’s one of the more deleterious effects of the modern digital audience. We want it fast, and we’ll worry about good later. Then we don’t know what to go with good when it takes its time because we’re so used to fast. The other possibility is that I’m becoming a cranky old man earlier than others. I am, after all, bald. We’re all cranky because our heads are constantly cold.
What I Liked
There is a scene in this book, shortly before the big confrontation, when Edward and Jacob have a talk about their feelings for Bella. It’s some smart dialogue and I’ll give credit to Meyer that all around, the dialogue is better through the book. I also liked when the Vampire Council showed up at the end and mopped up what was left of the Army of the UnDead that caused problems, but that’s just because I like hard-nosed justice a whole lot (hence my love for Westerns).
That Ends This One
Next on the horizon is the fifth in the Vampire Blogs series and the final of the Twilight reviews. And if it’s as the author promised, it’ll be the last Twilight book ever to be reviewed.