Adventures in Reading

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
August 7, 2008, 9:57 am
Filed under: book reviews, fiction | Tags: , , , , , ,

A co-worker asked me to define my Stephenie Meyer experience up through the initial three books and the only way I could aptly describe it was by pointedly saying the series starts at a high point and proceeds to steeply decline. Meyer’s pumps Twilight full of teen angst and heartbreak that many people seem to relate with, but it has now been two additional novels and more than one thousand pages that she’s trying to string this out on.

Come on Meyer, I need more than that.

In Eclipse the reader delves into the drama of Bella’s love for both Edward (a vampire) and Jacob (a werewolf). Of course they’re arch-nemesis because of species but are now drawn into a selfish and long drawn out love triangle. Over these three books Bella has proven she is more than willing to alienate nearly everyone around her for her drug-like addiction of Edward. Eclipse is another book without a great deal of plot. Yes, Victoria reappears with a herd of newly turned vampires to kill Bella and you think this would be sensational but it’s not. In fact, it’s almost an afterthought tossed into the text. Once again Meyer produces a book highly dependent on pathos and one that barely responds to all of the questions produced in New Moon.

It’s also becoming more apparent that while Meyer is by no means a poor writer, her writing reads as stilted and she seems overly dependent on certain style techniques. For example, you’ll be hard-pressed to pages in her series not highly decorated with dashes. Often what Meyer is dashing off are unimportant asides that would be better suited for parentheses or commas, but the dashes help add qualities of emergency and excitement for the reader. However, I’m not sure if these aspects of the book would be as strong without them.

While I did not read Eclipse nearly as quickly as I read the previous two novels in the series (it actually took me about three days), I did still finish it and intend on reading the final book of the series Breaking Dawn. I confess my excitement is flagging. Despite this increasing lull in the books and Meyer’s exhausting abuse of emotions, I still admit I like it and found myself in an Edward versus Jacob (versus Mike) conversation at work. The series has started to dally into more philosophical themes of souls and existence as well as more commonplace issue such as sex, but I Meyer’s does not explore any of these issues to a great enough extent to compensate for what the books lack.

Perhaps my favorite part of Eclipse and what kept me going were Meyer’s references to Wuthering Heights. Now there is a real heart-throbbing book and that is well-written and with conviction.

What other bloggers have to say: Kay’s Shelf, American Bibliophile, The Ax For the Frozen Sea, In the Shadow of Mt. TBR, and Book Nut.


I think that Eclipse is her weakest book in the series. Having said that, I’m currenty halfway through Breaking Dawn and really feel like Meyer has brought the story to whole new levels. So far I’m liking what I’m reading.

Comment by Stephanie

I enjoyed this review, and just finished Eclipse myself (not reviewed quite yet- I read the first three books this week). I agree with you completely, and wish I had articulated that as well as you did. I started to get annoyed with book 2, and felt like I was over the drama in book 3. Like you, I still enjoy the series though (and I hope she’ll end up with Jacob).

Comment by Rachel

I’m one of 8 people on earth that LOOOOVED Eclipse, and it’s purely a teenagery compulsion to pick one of the boys for myself. GO JACOB! I hope you find the final book rewarding. If nothing else it’s something of an ideological train wreck, and a ton of fun, as always. A scholar friend of mine summed it up nicely: “These books are complete smut, but I love them anyway.”

Comment by Andi

I think that the lack of drive in the story may be attributed to the fact that everything started from a dream, and there was no intent to make it into a full blown series – unlike J.K. Rowling, who had plotted everything from the start (and knew how things would end, from the moment she started writing). Harry Potter series has more drive in the stories, and each book got more exciting.

Comment by ria

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