Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Review: New Moon

New Moon - Stephanie Meyer

New Moon

There is something weird about these books. Overall I felt exactly the same about the second book as I did the first, except in every case my feelings were stronger.

New Moon picks up shortly after the events of Twilight. Bella and Edward are madly in love, the type of love that is so sickly and dare I say it “teenage girly” that has turned so many people off the series and prevented many from even picking it up to begin with.

However, the dynamic soon changes. An incident highlights just how fragile and impractical their relationship is forcing Edward to withdraw his love and move away. From Bella’s silly opinion, this is because he doesn’t love her anymore. Why she thinks this is beyond me. Edward is mean but it is obvious why he is doing it. What follows (I read this on the Kindle so forgive the percentages) is from 5% to 30% utter mind numbing drivel. Bella is distraught, she wallows in self pity and pines like someone has never pined before.

This section of the story was way too long. I was wanting to stick pins in my eyes and came so close to giving up on the book. I thought I had finally realised why so many people ridicule the series.

Thankfully I persisted a little bit longer. Enter Jacob. By far and away, Jacob is the most interesting character in the story. Bella’s attraction to him is believable, their growing relationship (after the initial ooh I think I love him now), is actually well handled. Jacob comes with a good back story and an air of mystery to him. Unlike the Bella / Edward relationship which is too impossible to imagine (both are madly in love with each other, the type of love that when they don’t see each other they ache).

Following Jacob’s appearance, the story also begins to get some semblance of a decent plot. My main criticism of the first book is that nothing happened.  Although this story suffers from the same fate, there are story threads going on.

The story here surrounds random attacks on innocent hikers. There is also the angst going on around Jacob and his friends and the return of some vampires that appeared in Twilight.

The ending of the book is actually quite good. Why it comes about on the other hand irked me. Some minor spoilers follow: Bella in an effort to overcome Edward, resorts to taking part in dangerous activities. The logic being, she hears Edward’s voice in her head warning her to be careful when she does these and can therefore imagine him again. I made a logical assumption here that Bella was actually hearing Edward and not imagining him. This proved to be incorrect as later in the book Edward acts upon something he hears Bella has done which proved my assumption wrong (sorry for the confusion, trying not to give too much away). However, later Bella can hear Edward in her thoughts again, which makes no sense whatsoever.

Another strong element to the book is the natural and growing hatred between werewolves and vampires. When Edward and Jacob finally come face to face, the animosity is evident. Obviously anyone with a y chromosome will root for Jacob (I can’t believe I just weighed in on that argument).

Overall then, I had mixed feelings about the book. After the appalling start, the story kicked in and dare I say it was quite enjoyable. The ending was satisfactory and there is enough left over to keep me interested in the next book. My rating: 8.0