Eclipse, the third book in Ms. Meyer’s Twilight series, escalates the human-vampire-werewolf triangle, and provides deeper background on the werewolf legends, vampire armies and the ever-present threats of Victoria and the Volturi. As with the previous volumes, this one is a mix of a teenage love story and the supernatural, both well-paced and well written. Even though I skimmed the love story pieces (with apologies to Ms. Meyer and my wife (who cried at the end of this book…and no, Bob&John, I continued to show my insensitive side by not)) as with the previous books, I enjoyed the unique back-story she provides with her created world/history on vampires and werewolves.
Bella is freed from grounding (after racing to Italy to save Edward from the Volturi) and wants to go see her best friend Jacob the werewolf. She wants to be turned into a vampire to be with Edward forever, but she also now has to do this or the Volturi will kill her (as they do not like humans in on the secret of their existence). A series of killings in nearby Seattle convinces Edward and the Cullens that a newly created vampire is on the loose, worrying them that the Volturi will come to clean up that problem (keeping the world’s vampires from flaunting what they are is part of what the Volturi do).
Add to this mix the Victoria, James (who tried to kill Bella in book one but was killed by Edward) is hunting Bella, and you’ve got lots of conflict.
Bella’s jeopardy and her attachment to both Edward and Jacob brings the vampires and werewolves together in a unique alliance to protect her from these threats, and the additional threat of the Seattle killings turns out to be the work of a vampire army of new vampires (newborns) , similar to armies Jasper Cullen had formed and led before finding Alice Cullen and the vegetarian (non-human biting) vamp family.
This is all overlaid, of course, onto the Bella-Edward-Jacob triangle, which gets even more teenage angst laced as Jacob realizes that Bella is soon to be turned into a vampire and will be his natural enemy.
Again, as with the first three books, the background of the supernatural creatures is unique, the pace of the book makes it a quick read even at 600+ pages, and, though there is a lot of the love triangle aimed at teenage girls and romance book lovers (categories for which I do not hold membership) , it did not get in the way of the suspense/horror/action part of the story. Looking forward to plowing through book four and seeing how it all ends.