Jun 28, 2010

Eclipse - Stephenie Meyer

I am not a fan of bashing popular things. In my view, if something is really popular, there's a good reason for that, and even if it is by no means my reason (as is the case here for example), I'd at least give it the benefit of the doubt. I also like figuring stuff out for myself, so when the first Twilight movie was around the corner, I took a deep breath and jumped into the book itself. I was surprised at how "ok" it was. I was expecting either something way better, or something way worse. It wasn't until I learned more about the modern vampire branch of the Urban Fantasy genre that I realized that this series is obviously if not as good as it gets, then pretty darn good considering the competition.

All in all I enjoyed Twilight. Not enough to grab New Moon right after it, but enough to appreciate that there was a reason for the whole madness surrounding the series. Even if the book is not the best literature there is, it still somehow connects to you, makes you care about its characters and the world they live in. Still, I only read New Moon when that movie was around the corner, and even though it was a bit worse than the first one, it was still fine.

But then came Eclipse. In New Moon I had survived Bella's constant whining and spinelessness where her beloved vampire Edward was considered; it was somehow justified, since he had abandoned her and all. Not so in the third installment of Stephenie Meyer's series. There is a certain quality to Bella, which I like to call BLATANT SEXISM. Something one wouldn't expect from a woman author, but something one gets in abundance from Eclipse anyway. In one word - Bella acts like a cow. Easily distracted from what's important by her Edward staring at her, able to forgive him any transgression into her privacy and freedom, constantly reminding us how much she loves him and how she gets epileptic seizures whenever he's away from her... If it were a 300-page book, that would have been tolerable, considering that there's also a lot of world-building and action for a change. However, Eclipse is more than 600 pages long, and when you add lovestruck wolf-boy Jacob in the picture, constantly panting around Bella and asking her to choose him instead of Edward, the soap drama just gets way too effin' much!

See, the problem with this book is that it's about half as big as it should have been, and most of it is comprised of the main characters being annoying as hell. Too much attention is given to trivial details, and even though the plot is supposed to be about the newest plan of deranged vampire Victoria to kill Bella as a revenge for Edward killing her mate James in the first novel, you end up feeling that the most important parts are the ones where Bella whines about how she wants to be turned into a bloodsucker herself so that she can be with her love forever and ever and ever, and how she doesn't want to marry Edward even though she is willing to die for him, because - apparently - she doesn't want to be "that girl", whatever that means.

So, as much as I've been defending the Twilight series over the years, I have to say that Eclipse was plain bad. It just drones on and on, and if you are not a girl, imagining Rob Pattinson and Taylor Lautner shirtless while reading, it simply doesn't work. There is a decent world-building part, and the action scene in the end is by far the best in the series so far. And it still isn't enough to drown all the whining and lip-biting. I have the tentative hope that the movie will be better, because it seems to focus more on the action, but I still don't think I'll be reading Breaking Dawn before it hits the big screen.


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