Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, she has endured a tumultuous year of temptation, loss and strife to reach the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fate of two tribes hangs. Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating and unfathomable consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella’s life – first discovered in TWILIGHT, then scattered and torn in NEW MOON and ECLIPSE – seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed…forever?
This was every bit as predictable as the previous books in the series, but slightly less enjoyable. It follows a different format in that the different sections are narrated by different characters (namely Bella and Jacob), but the Quileute wolves, although playing a major part near the end of the story, do not feature so much in the actual plot this time round, which is a shame because Jacob has remained one of my favourite characters, along with Alice (who also disappears for a large part of the story).
There were moments in Breaking Dawn that turned my stomach just a little, namely the imprinting and, yet again, Bella and Edward’s sickeningly obsessive relationship, and there wasn’t enough to keep me really gripped for the entire length of the novel (which is a hefty 754 pages) – I really felt that the story could have been told in half that length and been done far more neatly and enjoyably. From about two thirds of the way through I felt I was just marking time till the final page could be reached, rather than really wanting to find out what would happen (it’s actually very easy to see where everything is going, so I could have quit at that point and still have been pretty certain of the outcome).
There are strong rumours of another installment (Midnight Sun, which is the story of Twilight told from Edward’s point of view), which might be interesting, but only as a completion of the collection, rather than it being a “new story”. I would hope the standard of that installment would rise a little above that of Breaking Dawn, which, in my opinion, doesn’t really stand up quite as well as the other novels in the series. Read it, but don’t expect anything special or you may find yourself a little disappointed.
Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite