Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

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.

Rating: 5/10

Reviewed by Kell Smurthwaite

Categories: Reviews | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

  1. Jeni

    I find it hard to believe that the same person authored Breaking Dawn that wrote the first three books in the Twilight sage. There is such a shift in focus – from appropriate for all ages to inappropriate for my 13 year old friend. I will highly suggest that she not finish the series but rather find other engaging stories to read i.e Pullman’s, Ruby in the Mist or Tiger in the Well or my favorite – Shabanu. All great books for young teens – and for all ages. I feel that the first three had such wonderful messages about qualities not found in our culture – restraint, and understanding the consequences of our actions and how they affect others. Breaking Dawn resorted to sensationalism, sensualism, violence and descriptive pain and agony – all too prevalent in today’s culture, rather commonplace of Meyer – if she actually wrote Breaking Dawn.

  2. Karen

    Until I read Breaking Dawn, I would have said that I was an enthusiast of the Twilight series (I might have said I was a “fan”, but a truly rabid fan would surely laugh in my face for describing myself as such). Unfortunately, Breaking Dawn completely ruined the series for me.

    I enjoyed the first book in the Twilight series. I knew it wasn’t great literature, but I felt that it was a nice story with a slightly bland but not unlikeable central heroine and a darned sexy male lead.

    I found New Moon to be equally enjoyable. I liked the development of the loveable Jacob character and enjoyed the introduction of the werewolf pack, but on the downside found myself actively disliking Bella who had evolved into a wet, whiny, self absorbed and needy character that I found myself wanting to shake for most of the book. I was still engaged by the love between Bella and Edward though, which was what had originally got me hooked onto the series.

    Eclipse was the first book in the series where I started to feel actual misgivings about the content. The love between Bella and Edward seemed warped in this book. Edward turned into a possessive, controlling patriarch would would “make” Bella submit to his will – by force if necessary. Bella turned into a simpering wimp who would forgive him just about any level of appalling behaviour. And Jacob also underwent a complete personality transplant. He changed from a loveable character in New Moon to an arrogant, aggressive predator. But, he did at least allow Bella to have her own mind, acknowledged her decisions and didn’t treat her like a weak female. But despite the partial rape of the two male characters, I found Eclipse to be an enjoyable read. The love triangle between the three central characters was more fully developed and in a weird way I quite liked that the two male protagonists developed some flaws. I also liked the “action” scene and the build up to it. It added a layer of excitement to a story that would otherwise be quite shallow. The most interesting parts though were the insight into what Bella would have to deal with should she choose an immortal existence – the sacrifices she would have to make as a consequence of that choice and the suffering she would have to endure. Seeing how she would manage this was my main motivation in buying the final book in the series.

    At this stage I would have recommended the books to others. Then came Breaking Dawn, the fourth book in the series. Oh dear, that fourth book…..

    It was dreadful on so many levels. I think the thing that I hated most was that Meyer broke all her own directives in this book. She had spent the previous three books creating a mystical world governed by certain rules and setting certain expectations; vampires cannot have children, newborn vampires spend years learning to control their bloodlust, a new vampire will have to separate themselves from those they love in the human world, vampires and werewolves are mortal enemies who will never be able to co-exist peacefully etc. etc. So, what happens in Breaking Dawn???? Despite the fact that the only fluid Edward has in his body is venom, and despite the fact that sperm dies after 72 hours, Edward somehow has enough seminal fluid in his 107 year old body to impregnate Bella. So Bella gets the child we were told previously it was impossible for her to conceive. Bella is vamped immediately after the birth and has instant control over her bloodlust. So, no long years learning to control bloodlust for Bella despite the long, long preparation in Eclipse for the fact that this sacrifice will be inevitable – she can be around humans and interact with those she loves straight away! Jacob the werewolf conveniently (and creepily) falls in love with the half vampire baby who incidentally has an essentially adult mind and will develop into physical adulthood within six years, so although Jacob doesn’t actually want to have a sexual relationship with her whilst she is still a baby, he’ll only have to wait a few years for that to be a possibility. Ugghhh! Forget the fact that werewolves and vamps are mortal enemies and the kid is half-vamp, Jacob is able to overlook that fact for the sake of a neat ending. Although it’s not really that neat. I personally could get past the fact that Jacob would eventually consider a sexual relationship with this girl he sees as a newborn.

    There is more. The action scene, which has several hundred pages of build up, actually has no action. The baby that forms the centerpiece of the whole story is disturbing and eerie (although she is clearly not meant to be – the author obviously wants the readers to like this creepy kid) and the evil baddies of the piece – the Volturi – turn out to be no more threatening than a bunch of playground bullies. The moral messages abound too giving the book a slightly preachy atmosphere.

    There were some bits of the book I liked – but always with severe reservations. I really liked the chapter narrated by Jacob….. until he imprinted on the baby. I enjoyed the description of vampire life seen through Bella’s eyes…..but found it difficult to get past the fact that she found the transition effortless given the preparation in previous books for difficulties. I enjoyed some of the new characters introduced in the second half of the book….but was slightly annoyed by the fact that most of them seemed to have some sort of extra talent, despite the fact that this is supposedly rare. I liked the development of Leah the werewolf’s character….but was bemused by the fact that the reader was not informed of what eventually happend to her, or indeed to Sam’s pack who had been fairly central in the previous two books. I was drawn in by Bellas preparations for Jacob and the baby to escape using false documents……only to find that that all those pages of activity would come to nothing.

    Suffice to say that Breaking Dawn put me off the Twilight series. It was lazily written and despite the fact that author had laid the ground for the reader to expect some angst and despair, she didn’t have the guts to actually provide any. Everything was all wrapped up in a bow – even if that bow meant breaking rules for the sake of a convenient ending.

  3. Karen, thank you so much for that. I did start Twilight, but have never really been convinced – I think it’ll be winging it’s way to the charity shop now.

  4. I love twilight saga whole series breaking dawn is one of the best as i in it there is lot about other vampire and werewolves i just love the edward cullen he is the best and karen and michelle are you both on TTS, if yes than please let me know.

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