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by Stephenie Meyer

Release Date: 3rd Jul 2008
Publisher: Little Brown
ISBN: 978 1 9042 3391 6
RRP: £7.99

Average Customer Rating: 
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See the cinematic version instead...

So, the latest Twilight extravaganza is currently in our cinemas, so we figured: heck, let’s take a look at the book. In our experience, the book is often above and beyond what we get from the director’s cut – but for once, we were not pleasantly surprised.

The anticipated teenage angst is present in bucket loads as the love triangle that is Bella, Edward and Jacob gets messier and more intense. The constant threat of imminent death or mutilation should be suspenseful, but ultimately ends up being just an anti-climax. The terrifying “Newborns”; a group of deranged, uncontrollably bloodthirsty and super strength Vamps are on the rampage in Seattle and inevitably, they are being channelled towards Forks and more specifically, Bella. At least, the Newborns would be terrifying if they actually got a look in. In place of any real plot or action to distract us from the never-ending self absorption of Bella and the creepily controlling Edward, we just get over-dramatic introspection and self analysis. We get that Bella totally loves Edward and wants to become a Vamp to be with him forever; we even get that she’s a little in love with Jacob (we think we are too) and that all these emotions and physical desires are confusing. What we don’t get is why for ninety percent of Eclipse: this is all we get.

The promise of a huge Vamp on Vamp fight was tantalising, but never materialised. The actual skirmish happens elsewhere, whilst we’re stuck with a miniscule few pages of Edward kicking two Vamp butts. That wouldn’t be so bad if he wasn’t assisted by a novice Werewolf and Bella herself; it kind of calls into question his scary Vamp manliness. Even the appearance of the Volturi (well, just the freaky Jane and a couple of beefy Vamps really), is so brief and uneventful that you almost miss it and then you are left wondering: is that it?

Ok, so the book is well written: if you like schmaltz with a dash of extreme neuroticism. Frankly, we have to say that we prefer the films – Bella isn’t as annoyingly narcissistic and Edward is thankfully nowhere near as possessive and manipulative (which is seriously unattractive). Only Jacob’s character remains adorably teenage-like and unrepentantly full-on with Bella; being a walking muscle house of power helps too. To sum up: if you’re a Twihard you’ll love it because it is part of the saga; otherwise, whilst the book might leave you cold – at least you know we can rely on Hollywood to big up the scary Newborns and downplay any character flaws.

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