Wednesday 6 January 2010

New Moon - Stephenie Meyer

New Moon is the sequel to Twilight, where Edward takes off due to the most spurious of reasons and leaves Bella in a catatonic state. The only ray of sunshine in her life is Jacob Black, who she grows closer and closer to - until the day she finds out her new best friend is a werewolf. Despite this, she still has feelings of affection for him and is contemplating a life with him in the absence of her soulmate. But then she finds out Edward is in grave danger and goes on a mission to Italy to bring him back into her life...

I didn't like this book much. I felt that there was a real 'plot device' moment going on when Edward leaves - he has been through bigger problems concerning his relationship with Bella, yet decides to take off at this point. Before he leaves, he managed to bring up the Volturi in a 'signpost' moment - they weren't mentioned by name even when Bella was beginning to learn about the vampire culture, so once again Meyer introduces something because she needs it rather than as a natural flow to the story.

Some of the language is problematic, with such gems as "Bright light shined from every window on the first two floors." I do accept that this might have been more of an editting problem than Meyer's choice.

I sincerely disliked the whole sequence where Bella discovers she is hallucinating Edward's voice in moments of recklessness - and the culmination of that particular thread to the story (in an epiphany experienced by Bella) is true melodrama. Not fun to read at all.

The best part of the book by far is between when Bella first starts going round to visit Jacob and when she discovers he is a werewolf. This part of the book is natural and fun. On the downside, it doesn't last for long.

Jacob is a lovely character, and is characterised well. I don't think Meyer treats him particularly fairly, especially when Bella drops him immediately on Edward's return. I know the love triangle becomes a large part of the third book, but I wish that both men had a fair chance at Bella's heart.

(For people who enjoyed this book, and the love triangle angle about to start, I would recommend L J Smith's Strange Powers trilogy).

Altogether, a book where the quality dips from Twilight. At times I was openly mocking the story as I read it, and I simply could not suspend my disbelief. A poor effort.

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