bookrev: Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Breaking Dawn is the fourth and supposedly concluding book in the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. The book still provides the same mix of teenage lust and supernatural suspense, but this time sex, marriage, blood and gore are added into the mix. Though there are some twists, the fact that there is a fairy tale ending is somewhat predictable. But the back story of the supernatural world grows large and interesting, in spite of some convenient plot twists.
I’ve read through all four of the books in this series in short order, in a little over two weeks (and managed to read the very funny Boomsday and several short stories in a forthcoming John Joseph Adams edited anthology). And though I did skim in places where the teenage angst and lust was obviously aimed at readers 30 years younger and female, I enjoyed the different and non-sex-drenched take (until this novel) on the vampire-werewolf (shapshifter) myths.
I’ll be guest reviewing her adult novel, The Host, for my friends at SFSignal soon.
But I was somewhat disappointed in the Disney-esque ending…though with a novel and series clearly aimed at teenage girls, that was to be expected.
The novel starts with a very interesting table of contents that only goes a bit past one hundred pages (of a 700+ page book), marking the beginning plot where Bella gets what she wants: marriage to Edward, a romantic honeymoon, and sex (though, unlike many other vampire books, the sex happens mostly off-stage; quite age appropriate).
Then Bella gets pregnant (via a vampire, something none of the Cullens have heard off before) and the coincidences begin. The story switches to Jacob the werewolf’s (no, actually, they are termed shapeshifters part way through this novel) point of view, as he breaks from his pack, becoming the Alpha we all knew that he would, when they threaten to kill the baby/monster growing very quickly inside Bella.
Bella is, of course, turned into an immortal vampire to save her when the baby comes. Until this point in the series, I could recognize and sympathize with Bella. My own daughter had some of the same feelings, as the girl who never thought she was beautiful, but obviously was…Bella was obviously quite realistic, and I assume that was a large part of her appeal to the young female readers.
But when she is turned into a vampire, she is Wonder Woman; fast, strong, more beautiful than before, her world mostly perfect. I do not have any clue how else Ms. Meyer could have written this “transition”, but it all seemed too perfect. I won’t give away what happens with Jacob, as this was the main twist / coincidence that suprised me.
The book ends with the obvious showdown with the Volturi, who covet Edward, Alice and Bella. This part was well written, with some excellent backstory, but, again, the ending was very Disney.
I do recommend the series, even for fathers like myself who will skim the “mushy teenage lust” parts. I’m looking forward to reading the host.