January 29, 2010 in Book Reviews
Eclipse is the third book in Stephenie Meyer’s mega bestselling Twilight Saga.
I had read the first book (Twilight), but to be honest it didn’t do much for me. I could see the appeal of the story and characters, but it just didn’t appeal to me. Nevertheless, being a ‘watch-anything’ movie buff, I watched the movie adaptation of Twilight, which was average, and then more recently watched its sequel, New Moon, which I thought was pretty good (review here). Watching the movie, however, didn’t inspire me to read the book version.
I didn’t intend to read any more of Meyer’s books, but friends from work started telling me that Eclipse was the best book of the series, and eventually I ended up borrowing it off one of them. The movie wasn’t going to be out until July, so I thought, why not?
Well, I have now finished the book, and I must say it was another pretty ‘meh’ affair. Now, before you berate me, please remember I am a guy.
Eclipse has a good premise. It picks up where New Moon left off, with Bella Swan torn between her love for her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen, and her werewolf best friend Jacob Black. And the whole 600+ pages of the book just goes on and on about that. There is an imminent threat brewing in the background the entire time, but it takes a back seat to the romantic tensions.
If you’re into teenage love triangles and star-crossed lovers, then I imagine Eclipse will be a pretty good read for you. For me, however, I just felt as though not much happened. There was a lot of talking and a few minor incidents, but for the most part the story just dragged on. The biggest disappointment for me was the final climax, which was supposed to resolve that whole imminent threat issue I mentioned earlier. Unfortunately, the action was predominantly emotional, as opposed to the physical action I had hoped for (I know, that’s such a guy thing). I imagine, and hope, that the movie will do a much better job of handling it.
My main problem with Eclipse was with the main characters, especially Edward Cullen. I know the dude is supposed to be the perfect man (vampire), but he didn’t feel real to me. He was simply too ideal. Everything he did or said felt like it was calculated by Meyer to make girls love him more. Men like that don’t exist! But I guess that’s the whole point of his appeal, isn’t it? I used to complain that Robert Pattinson (who plays Edward in the films) was too wooden, especially with that pained expression permanently fixated on his face – but now I am starting to think that he captured the essence of the character perfectly!
And Bella Swan. I don’t even know where to begin with Bella Swan. All I will say is she really is, when you think about it, a total bitch!
The saving grace of Eclipse is Jacob Black. Now Jacob might be a selfish, manipulative dick at times, but his emotions are much more real and capable of empathy. His pain is what keeps the book afloat. Consider me ‘Team Jacob’.
The way I read a book is usually quite indicative of what I thought of it. I ended up reading Eclipse in about three weeks, primarily while travelling to and from work. I never felt like I didn’t want to read the book on the train each day, but I never felt the urge to read it when I had spare time at home. I suppose that means Eclipse is a 2.5 out of 5!
[PS: I have no desire to read the final book, Breaking Dawn, even though I was told today by someone else that it's the best book of the series. I think I need a break from Twilight. I'll just wait for the movies.]