The fourth installment of Stephenie Meyer’s epic vampire saga has arrived, ending months of palpable anticipation from a reading public hoping that Meyer will reward their patience with the biggest fantasy novel since Harry Potter.
Her novel, Breaking Dawn, delivers on its hype, giving fans a cavalcade of moments they’ve been waiting for with clenched knuckles, beginning with the wedding of protagonists Edward and Bella.
Bella Swan, the teenage girl who stumbled upon the extraordinary existence of vampires and werewolves in the earlier novels, makes her decision to be with Edward forever within the first few chapters of the book.
The several hundred pages that follow Bella’s temporary wedding bliss are full of unexpected twists and turns. The dangers and surprises make Breaking Dawn a more adrenaline-pumping read than Meyer’s previous novels in the series.
In the beginning, Bella is annoyingly over apologetic, self-critical and self-depreciating, as always.
Luckily, as the plot takes precedence and as Bella matures, her self-criticism ebbs away so the reader can concentrate on the unfolding events. This makes her the most well-developed personality of all Meyer’s typically two-dimensional characters.
The other character that Meyer takes time to flesh out is the werewolf, and fan favorite, Jacob. The last chapter of the third book, Eclipse, was told from Jacob’s point of view.
In Breaking Dawn, the middle section of the book is devoted to Jacob’s perspective. Learning the events occurring in someone else’s life and seeing Bella through their eyes adds up to a fullness that wasn’t present in Meyer’s previous works.
When you first pick up Breaking Dawn, the events that take place are fairly unpredictable. Many fans are split on the early marriage and motherhood that Bella goes through in Breaking Dawn, as well as the controversial love interest of Jacob. Yet, all of these things are set up and rationalized in the preceding books.
Due to countless media interviews with Meyer, wherein she insisted that she believes in a happy ending for all of her main characters, the outcome is predictable halfway through the novel and is wrapped up a little too conveniently. Of course, that’s the luxury that fiction often affords but life cannot.
Currently, Meyer is busy writing her next novel, Midnight Sun. It retells the first book in the series, Twilight, from Edward’s perspective. The first chapter can be read at stepheniemeyer.com. There is no prospective release date yet.
Catherine Hardwicke’s movie adaptation of Twilight is scheduled to hit theaters Dec. 12. PSU alum Solomon Trimble will play a minor roll as the werewolf leader Sam Uley.
Overall, Breaking Dawn is the best book in the series. If you’re searching for a book with a deeper meaning, higher morality and poignant viewpoint on life, you won’t get what you’re looking for here.
But, if you have a spare afternoon, this supernatural fairytale may be the greatest guilty pleasure to hit shelves since the swan song of a certain pubescent boy wizard.
Breaking Dawn****754 pages$22.99