As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob -- knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?
Please note that there may be spoilers for those who have not read the first two books in this series......Sorry!
With all the talk a couple of months ago about Stephenie Meyer knocking Harry Potter off of the number 1 on the bestseller list, I have been somewhat surprised to see so many average reviews of this book around the place. Having now finished this book, I can however see where this is coming from.
Bella is just about to graduate from high school, and that also means that the time where she will be turned from human to vampire is rapidly approaching too. Edward is still not really happy at the prospect of turning Bella so soon, and has imposed his own conditions on this happening, which Bella is not sure that she can meet. She also has to try and reconcile her relationships with Jacob and Edward, as it turns out that they are actually mortal enemies, whose species are fore sworn to fight to the death!
So while Bella is constantly being reminded of the reasons why it is either good to be human, or why it would be difficult to be a newborn vampire, there is a big problem in nearby Seattle with a series of murders. The police are convinced that they are looking for a serial murderer, but the Cullens are convinced that the problem is not a human one, rather a vampire one.
Things change when it is determined that the vampire problem in Seattle is linked to Forks, and that in the end, will end up targeting Bella, and suddenly the vampires and the werewolves must learn to work together to save themselves, and to protect Bella.
There is much that is familiar about this third book - we have a main female who is apparently irresistible to all paranormal creatures (maybe Bella is actually related to Sookie Stackhouse who seems to be just as irresistible to vampires, werewolves etc) and we have a love triangle that include sworn enemies and a beautiful girl.
As to how reviewers are reacting to Bella, I do see where they are coming from. Bella seems determined to put herself in situations where either Jacob or Edward need to either save her, or where Edward in particular has to be the person who shows the maturity and self control to take control of the situation and bring it back under control. Yes, Edward is much older than Bella, but she did seem determined to push him to the limits of his control all the time. She also was quite insecure in many ways, but I am not sure that that is not understandable given the previous events, and that she is marked for death...in more ways than one! Yet despite that, Bella also seems to take any opportunity she can to deceive Edward, or dupe the people who care about her most. Then again, it is very much normal for me to be more hero focussed than heroine focused, and in this case I like both Edward and Jacob. I think that Bella will have to end up with Edward, but I would like to see Jacob happy as well!
Having said that, there was still much to enjoy in this book. The writing was still good (it kept me up until 2am reading last night) and there were plenty of fun moments, including when Edward could read Jacob's thoughts. The night that the three of them spent in the tent was really well written and quite poignant, as two very strong and very different males wrestled with their feelings for Bella.
It was interesting to me when the news stories were happening a while back, how there was such emphasis on the fact that there was no sex in these books, but sex was very much present in this book, maybe not as in the fact that any of our three main characters were having it, but there was certainly a lot of thinking about it and talking about it.
One other thing to mention. Someone on a board that I am on mentioned that she felt that Meyer really laboured the point about Edward being really cold to the touch. To be honest, I don't recall noticing it before, but once it was pointed out to me, it was very much obvious that it was constantly mentioned, but at least in one scene it did mean that Jacob (who is a highly heated creature) gets to do something for Bella that Edward can't, bringing an interesting dynamic to the story.
In conclusion, I did quite enjoy this book. Maybe not as much as Twilight, but it was certainly on a par with New Moon in my opinion. I will still be reading the next book in the series! I will be looking forward to seeing the next cover as Meyer has been quite lucky in the cover stakes in my opinion!
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