Breaking Dawn (Twilight Saga, Book 4)
The astonishing conclusion to the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn, illuminates the secrets and mysteries of this spellbinding romantic epic that has entranced millions. Now that Bella has made her decision to join the dark but seductive world of immortals, 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.
I wish I could say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I wish I could say that I enjoyed it far more than…say New Moon or Eclipse, but I can’t. Allow me to explain why:
Item the first: I found Bella’s miraculous skipping of the whole inconvenient new vampire emotions to be hard to believe at best. We won’t go into what it is at worst. Here’s the thing: it’s never really explained. You’re just handed this bizarre platter of oh-it’s-okay-she-has-more-emotions-than-just-raw-unrepentent-hunger. It’s made out like it’s some secret power she has, but then Meyer never really goes into what that would mean as a power. Also, if a vampire’s power comes from latent skills they had prior to changing (which I know because it’s been said throughout the series over and over and over…) the one thing that Bella has not been noted for has been her self-restraint. If anything, I would imagine that she would be the most out of control new vampire given her rather consistent need to made crappy life decisions.
Item the second: telling me that everything’s hunky dory now that Bella’s a vampire is one dimensional. Saying that she was clearly made to be a vampire multiple times is ham-handed (surprising, I know.) Sure, it’s nice that she has all kinds of crazy awesome skills and that she’s no longer klutzy, but painting her as this bizarre super-vampire who’s somehow more powerful and slightly smarter than everyone is not believable. I’ll admit that a girl who reads a lot that learns that her boyfriend is a vampire and doesn’t immediately put a stake through his heart is extraordinary, but not necessarily in a good way. It seemed weird for a person who spends oh… let’s say 80% of the series in immediate danger whether from herself or from the supernatural beings she chooses to surround herself with. This is the girl who was destined to be a vampire. Sure, and I’m the Pope. Oh, and literally spelling out the exact fraction of the second it took her to respond to anything is a few steps beyond ham-handed. I get that Meyer was trying to really show me just how fast that is, but unfortunately my measly human mind reads 1/64th of a second and immediately rounds up to just really fast. The fact that it happened early and often didn’t help me stay in the book.
Item the third: this is a small point, admittedly, but it was galling to the extreme. Now, keep in mind that I’ve read books wherein there are so many characters that it gets confusing. This is not one of those books. Why? Because there aren’t two Georges who are absurdly similar in mentality. That’s why. In fact, Meyer seemed to go out of her way to select intentionally odd and distinctive names for her secondary characters. There’s really no mistaking Garret with Benjamin. Oddly, she wrote them too well. This is why when I read a sentence about Jacob grumbling, saying that there were so many people in the house that someone should give him a list, I willingly followed the footnote to the bottom of the page. I looked down to see a different page reference, with no context as to what I might find when I flipped forward. Yeah, shockingly, I flipped forward into the exact list that Jacob had just requested. While I understand that Meyer is writing for a younger demographic, even they aren’t stupid enough to need a freaking index. In fact, let’s make a rule, we’ll call it the Jacob Index rule. It is: if you feel compelled to compile a listing of your characters anywhere other than where that traditionally goes, then you probably haven’t written your characters well enough. Go back and fill in the gaps without an index. Trust me, readers know a shortcut when they see them.
Now, if you’ve read the other three books, you might as well finish out the series with this book. It’s entertaining, but only to the eleven year old in me. The adult is standing behind that eleven year old shaking her head in disappointment the entire time.
2 ink bottles.
Character Believability: 1.5 Buffys
Character Investibility: 2 Doctors
Pacing/Urgency/Tension: 1.5 Dresdens
Worldbuilding: 3 Snyders
Language: 2 Feegles
Mystery: 1.5 Sherlocks