Eclipse – Stephenie Meyer

Hmmm, I am in quite the quandary as to how to go about writing about ‘Eclipse’ by Stephenie Meyer as know it’s the readers, on and off the blogs, book version of Marmite. Some people love it, some people hate it, and some even avoid it. However strangely as someone who after reading Twilight was left completely puzzled by the experience I didn’t think I would read on. Then the film changed all that and reading ‘New Moon’ before seeing the film which carried on making me want to read further. Naturally with the ‘Eclipse’ movie coming out in the UK and wanting to see it – I had to of course read the book first. Warning there are some spoilers if you haven’t read ‘New Moon’.

It almost seems pointless to mention the characters or plot of ‘Eclipse’ because due to its success I think even those people who haven’t read it, steer clear of it or don’t want to touch it with a barge pole probably know the in’s and out’s. However what is a review with out mentioning either of these things? I must and so I shall. ‘Eclipse’ is the third of the Twilight series in which Bella Swann has moved to Forks and fallen in love with Edward Cullen who happens to be a vampire. This then gets doubly complicated when she discovers her friend Jacob, who she might or might not have feelings for – teenage hormones are devious aren’t they, is a werewolf. She also has a team of the Volturi (a vampire coven) after her, as knowing Vampires exist is something no human should know as it threatens their existence. She also has another vampire, Victoria, trying to kill her after Edward killed Victoria’s partner who tried to kill Bella… have I lost you yet?

So that’s where we are when ‘Eclipse’ starts and strangely, and rather annoyingly, that’s where we stay until around page 350 and things start to move at long last. After all Bella’s graduation is looming and she has said she wants to become a vampire herself after that, Victoria has been spotted by the werewolves and Cullen’s locally, and a new threat arrives as the ‘Newborns’ (uncontrollable young vampires) start a killing spree in Seattle and start looking in the direction of Forks. I can’t tell you what happens as that would be taking spoilers too far.

I feel rather like I did after reading ‘Twilight’ in terms of not being sure how I feel about ‘Eclipse’. I enjoyed it to a degree but I wasn’t bowled over and after ‘New Moon’ I expected quite a lot. I think if I look at it objectively it really did feel like a filler book in the series, we moved on a few people died, characters histories came to light (which was one of my favourite parts of the books as it had a mythical feel) and yet we weren’t really any further forward than I felt we could or should have been after 628 pages. I am well aware I am not the target audience for this book so that probably has something to do with it, but the teen angst that ‘Twilight’ was so full of and I got irked by seemed to have returned. If the book had been 200 pages shorter I would have been happier, I think for the true hard core fans it could happily have been another 200 pages.

All that said I will still be reading ‘Breaking Dawn’ how can I not when I have got three quarters of the way through the whole lot. I have also heard it is brilliantly over the top which I am more than happy for it to be, as long as it doesn’t dawdle over too much angst. Drama over angst anytime for me with this series which has been a rather bizarre and yet brilliant in parts reading rollercoaster for me.

A book you will: read because you have read the rest of the series.

What are your thoughts on the Twilight Saga? Love it or loathe it, or really not fussed at all? (By the way have seen the film and its brilliant escapism which of course made my dilemma all the more complex!)

43 Comments

Filed under ATOM Books, Little Brown Publishing, Review, Stephenie Meyer

43 responses to “Eclipse – Stephenie Meyer

  1. Think I fit into the category of just not terribly interested! I hope the last book is back to good form.

  2. teadevotee

    I’m just mystified by the whole thing. They just aren’t very good! They aren’t terrible, but they are quite boring, and I can’t understand how teenagers – who ain’t exactly known for their attention spans – can love them so much.
    Is there teen-crack hidden in the spines or something?
    Lyndsey

    • Hahahaha that last line made me laugh and laugh. My sister read all these aged eleven and really got into them, she now reads all sorts of books with vampire themes. I will ask her the appeal this weekend.

  3. Ha! I haven’t read the books and don’t plan on doing so but I went to see Eclipse with my friend who made me go with her last night. I’ve seen the first film, also under duress, but not the second, so I was a bit worried I’d be lost, but I wasn’t. NOTHING had changed since the first film. Still the sparkling, still the staring, still the nothing below the waist action, still two blokes fighting over one annoying girl. Having said that I did enjoy myself, giggling away as RPatz sparkled and everyone else walked around looking really INTENSE. Hilarious! The vampire battle was fun as well. But we left the cinema really late and I’d parked my car in a creepy underground multi storey car park, so we freaked out big time! Vampires!!!

  4. Dot

    I preferred Eclipse to New Moon, I think once you have read Twilight you just have to continue. Look forward to hearing what you make of Breaking Dawn, it is very, very over the top!!

  5. I liked the first and last books, but New Moon and Eclipse felt very much like fillers to me, especially Eclipse. The ends of both were alright but the climax was dampened. Yes, definitely you read this book because you’ve read the others, because otherwise it’s skip-able.

  6. The first book hooked me. I wasn’t crazy about the middle two books…too much moping and angst (even though those things do define teenagers, vampires or not)…and felt like the pace picked up again with the last book. I suppose I am glad I read them, so I am not a pop culture idiot. But that is as far as I will take it. But you are right. Once you start the series, you have to finish.

    • Interestingly I have heard really good things about Meyers book ‘The Host’ so maybe one day I will give that a try too. I will NOT be of reading these blinking novella spin offs though.

  7. Well, I had the interesting experience of reading Twilight well before Breaking Dawn was published and at the time I was under the impression that it was a trilogy so I didn’t think it was a filler book, just unresolved. Breaking Dawn is hyperbolic; Meyer really goes all out and it’s ridiculously crazy (in a fun way).

    I’m so over the Twilight craze that it’s not even funny; I read the books like they were oxygen but the blown-up media craze surrounding the [tedious] films is cringe-worthy. Bella is eye-roll worthy in her pathetic “Edward is my world and I can’t think about anything else” state but I get why teenage girls identify with her (even if she is a terrible role model); I loved the nostalgic feeling of first love (ahem, obsessive crush) when I read them.

    Have you seen this Guardian post? All too true.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/15/twilight-feminist-backlash-bella

    • I am looking forward to Meyer going crazy, maybe its the fact people hinted that to me a while back thats kept me going?

      The Bella issue bothers me, I weirdly want to just keep silent about it as I am a boy and so what do I know, but the idea young girls all feel (or might now want to feel) so passive to men orries me.

      Great link!

  8. I will be on the lookout for your review of Breaking Dawn! I don’t want to give anything away but it’s very, very different from the rest.

    I don’t know why but Eclipse was always my favourite. Twilight was okay, New Moon was kind of boring, but Eclipse had the best chemistry. I think YA fiction (especially this new genre of “vampire romance” that seems to have become popular recently) is pure guilt-free guilty pleasure reading. I don’t necessarily expect fantastic writing but the promise of entertainment and frivolity is somewhat seductive. To me, anyways. 🙂

    • You may have to wait a little while on Breaking Dawn. I don’t have the book (the library never does)I do have it on an e-reader I was kindly sent a few months back… I just don’t like e-readers, not even for Twilight!

  9. I really enjoyed Twilight for what it was when I first read it, back before the movies were being made. I think it was big in the US by then but no one had really heard of it in Australia so I didn’t come to it with any preconceptions, which was nice. I wasn’t into New Moon as much though, Bella wanders around being depressed for so much of the novel.
    I think I’ve really moved on to Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood now though. I went to see the Eclipse movie last week and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped, I think Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood may have ruined the series for me a bit by being so fantastically addictive. That’s what happens when you cheat on your vampire series books with another vampire series I guess 😉

    • I quite liked the depressed Bella, at least she got angry and stopped mooning around the place dropping plates and so forth.

      I have the first two True Blood books on the TBR but am definitley in the mood for a vamppire break for a while. Though having said that I do fancy reading ‘The Radleys’.

  10. I just love love loved Twilight! I think because I was expecting to hate it (I wanted to see the film to see what the fuss was about and made myself read the book first – it ended up being one of my favourites of 2008!). I read New Moon straight after and then started Eclipse straight after that but only gop half way through – I think I had overdosed (even though I am not sure if would be possible to get too much of the delicious RPatz- hubba hubba!). I had severely vamped-out! I have seen all the films (and still love them all) but I think I could now live quite happily without reading Breaking Dawn – but never say never.

    • I didn’t know what I wanted when I started Twilight. I think just to see what the fuss was about and then I didnt get it and yet sort of wanted to read one. The movies pushed me on with the books which is something I never thought I would hear myself say.

  11. I’ve read all of the books, because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and well, I just love a good vampire story. They were fun reads that I would categorize as beach reads – frivolous and light (well not in weight). The writing was bad and the whinging got rather annoying after a bit, but for some reason I just couldn’t stop reading. I’ve seen the movies and love them – and let me just say that Eclipse was the better film. Well, in my opinion, Eclipse was the best read out of the entire saga. As for Breaking Dawn – I just did not care for that book at all. Hopefully you will enjoy it! I’m not really looking forward to the two films that will be made from the book, but I know I will be there watching them. And as for the latest installment – The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner – what a waste of ink and paper! Just another way for Meyer to pocket more money – the book had nothing to contribute to the Twilight saga. Alright, enough of my ramblings. Have a great weekend! Cheers!

    • I won’t be reading the novella’s I have to say Nadia, they dont interest me in the slightest. Nor does the rumoured idea of all the books from Edwards perspectives.

  12. Deb

    I work in a junior high school library and we cannot keep these books on the shelves: They’re checked out all the time and there’s always a waiting list for them. I read TWILIGHT (more from curiosity than anything else) and was disheartened by Bella’s passivity and Edward’s controlling nature (in a different kind of book, Edward would end up being the psycho boyfriend). But teenage girls love these books–and a few of them then go on to read WUTHERING HEIGHTS and JANE EYRE (books Bella likes), so it’s not all bad. But I suspect I’ve just “aged out” of these types of books as I had no desire to read anymore of the saga and didn’t care about Bella, Edward, Jacob, etc. But my teenage daughters would beg to differ of course.

    • Its exactly “disheartened by Bella’s passivity and Edward’s controlling nature” that bothered me. Mind you look at Wuthering Heights (which I didn’t like) thats very similar in some basic ways.

  13. I absolutely, completely, utterly, totally loathe Twilight. She ruined vampires. RUINED them. Vampires are frightening undead bloodsuckers, NOT fangless sparklies who spend all eternity in high school. (Why don’t they just tell people they’re homeschooled if they want to come across as younger?) But I’ve ranted about this before so I’ll stop now.

    • Oh blimey thats quite a string reaction to the books then!!! I loved Count Alucard when I was at school, he was a funny and friendly vampire – he didnt sparkle though.

  14. I haven’t read any of the books (so NOT my thing), and for a while simply didn’t care about Twilight at all. But then my cousins dragged me along to the second movie, and I was super grossed out by the messages I felt it sent to teenagers about love and relationships. Like, the whole vampire/werewolf thing just seemed like a big metaphor for hormones, and they both channeled their repressed energies into violence and stalking (often aimed at Bella, who seems flattered by if it, if not just okay with it) until the end, when they decide the answer lies in marriage. Also, the Native American characters running around barely clothed all the time, like animals (excuse me, werewolves)? Struck me as a bit racist.

    I wouldn’t always judge a book based on the movie version, but I’ve had quite a few conversations with friends who have actually read them, and they’ve only deepened my suspicions.

    So now, yeah, count me in the wouldn’t-touch-it-with-a-ten-foot-pole camp.

    • I was giggling about the fact that Meyer is supposed to be pro-marriage and no sex before and all that gubbins. But the fact she is also saying ‘once your married your life is over’ sort of just makes me laugh.

  15. I’m not terribly bothered by the whole thing, to be honest. I attempted reading Twilight (i.e. the first book), and just couldn’t get through it. Figured it’s not for me. Shut the book, moved on.

    I’ve not seen the movies, although I have heard that they’re far better than the books. I guess I’ll just have to take people’s word for that, as I’m not really inclined to watch them.

  16. I get people asking me all the time how I can love this series, especially since I can easily acknowledge its faults, but it’s just one of those things 😉 I recently saw the movie Eclipse and rambled about it here, and people on Goodreads ask me Why?, like they expect me to have the answer! I think the short one is that it’s a personal thing, and for me, personally, I love the emotional intensity.

    It’s sheet entertainment for me, and since I’ve read a lot of YA spin-offs or YA books that have followed after it in the same sub-genre (paranormal romance), I can honestly say that Meyer’s writing isn’t half-bad compared to some of the others out there!

    This one is my favourite in the series, I think, but I enjoyed them all.

  17. I’ve read all the series but I wouldn’t say I love them, similar to you my friend lent me 3 of them so I had to read 4? I really enjoyed Twilight and New Moon however Eclipse is where I started to lose interest a little. Don’t get me wrong I really like how Meyer writes but Eclipse onwards is where it all got a bit far fetched for me (what you’ve heard about Breaking Dawn being over the top is soooo true!). As for me the original attraction to these books was the characters especially Bella, her Dad Charlie and Jacob while as these last two books seemed more about causing controversy and throwing in as much fantastical situations as possible and fights for the sake of fights. Overall though still a perfect read if you want pure escapism.

    • I couldn’t say I like how Meyer writes, and yet I read along, its a bit elow Dan Brown for me (oooooooohhhhh lol) I think I would need to read The Host though to judge properly. I just think she is a little too repetitive in parts. I think I will love her going crazy with Breaking Dawn though.

  18. bookgazing

    I’m a Twi lover/hater and I swing between both states quite violently depending on which bit of the book or films I’m experiencing. I always prefer the films because they tend to neutralise those tricky ‘what are you thinking Meyer’ issues by just blatantly ignoring them (Oh your werewolf fiance ‘accidentally’ scarred you for life during a fit of rage and is ‘oh so sorry about it’ – danger, let us run through that bit at top speed and never look back!). Also I do not always have to be hearing about Edward’s golden eyes in the films.

    I was kind of bummed about the Victoria change in ‘Eclipse’, because new Victoria is not scary at all and I still think old Victoria took down a gorilla with her own hands to make that coat.

    I read a fantastic post by cleolinda the other day (she is always writing intelligently and hilariously about Twilight actually: http://cleolinda.livejournal.com/891365.html) about how people who hate aspects of Twilight, but are also addicted to the series (like me) don’t feel the need to defend the series, we instead compartmentalise and shout about the bad bits while adoring the non-crazy bits. So we are angry about the racism and the crazy gender messages all the time, but at the same time we love, say the emotional intensity. But we would never use that love as a reason for saying ‘Oh well the awful messages in these books are not important because…, instead we say ‘Awful messages and at the same time hotness, means I like some of Twilight and hate a whole lot of other things in Twilight’.

    People can say that’s problematic (and yes it is and it is very personal, so in some cases others might be able to compartmentalise when reading where I can not and vice versa) but it’s what people have been doing with novels for a very long time. I’m not comparing Meyer’s writing with the greats at all (it’s just awful in my opinion) but classic authors like Roth, Eliot and even the Brontes all require many of us to compartmentalise to enjoy them. Roth is a huge mysognist for example, but I’m told he’s a fantastic prose writer. Eliot was scathing about other women, but is probably one of the best writers on human nature ever. The Brontes had some serious hero issues. So, the choice is to reject all problematic work entirely (a totally valid option if you feel too personally affected to split out the good from the bad), ignore the bad and find ways to excuse all the bad because you love some bits (totally rubbish solution if you ask me) or compartmentalise so you reject and shoot down the bad, without ever trying to excuse the awfullness, but at the same time embracing the good.

    And I would just like to point out that I’ve heard more mainstream criticism about how mysognistic Meyer’s work is since she started publishing than I have ever heard about Roth, or Mailer although neither of them exactly embraced the feminist cause. Is that because people think excellent writers (and I’m going on hearsay here, because I haven’t yet been able to pick up Roth) get a pass on these issues because they’ve produced something of great beauty, while trashy writers need to be brought to account? I’m not saying Meyer doesn’t deserve to be brought to account – she’s does, she’s putting a lot of anti-women energy out there, but she’s not the only one by a long way.

    Ok longest comment ever – end with, ah the final book is going to be insane!

    • Thank you for your thoughts, blimey, what a lot to try and comment back on. First comment though has to be thanks for the link as its great am going to be playing some blog catch up.

      I know what you mean about the films. I think I prefer them which is not normal for me with books vs film. Mind you I didnt like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo as a book and couldnt finish it and yet I thought the film (which I watched just this afternoon) was brilliant.

      I noticed the Victoria change I have to say and couldnt see why they had done that at all!!!

  19. savidgereads :
    I shall give it whirl on your recommendation… if it ever turns up in the library!

    I agree with Jessica’s recommendation of The Host, I loved that one. Couldn’t put it down.

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