Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer I came late to Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series, so I missed the furor, but was able to read all four books back-to-back. While not necessarily the intent of an author, reading a series in order without stopping allows for more comparisons without the build-up while waiting for the next book.Breaking Dawn is, according to the author, the last book in the Twilight series, although Meyer certainly leaves the story open for more sequels or spinoffs. Continuing the story of human teenager Bella Swan and her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen, Breaking Dawn is divided into three "books:" the first and third are told from Bella's point of view, with the second being told from the perspective of Bella's best friend, the werewolf Jacob.Without giving too many spoilers away, the first book describes Bella and Edward's wedding and subsequent honeymoon. Events that occur on the honeymoon force the newlyweds to cut their vacation short to return home, where Jacob takes over the story, and he is forced to choose between Bella and his werewolf pack. Again pushed into a lopsided love triangle with Bella and Edward, Jacob has to face his love for Bella in every choice he makes. Edward, however, is willing to sacrifice his relationship with Bella to save her life.The third book, returning to Bella, deals with all the series' loose ends: Bella's desire to join Edward's vampire family through more than just marriage, Jacob's relationship with Bella, the laws of the Volturi, who are the vampire world's "royal family," and the various vampires who were mentioned or introduced in the previous novels.::: A Messy Tying of Loose Ends :::Meyer had said in interviews that she wanted to be true to Bella without upsetting too many fans, most of which had declared themselves part of "Team Edward" or "Team Jacob" depending on how they wanted the story to end. She does exactly that, but it's obvious that she really needed more than just the one book (even a long one divided into three books) to do that.Shakespeare's plays are often referenced in the series, with A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Merchant of Venice said to have influenced Breaking Dawn. Other influences haven't been mentioned, however, and it's glaringly obvious that Meyer read Anne Rice's novels. She didn't stop at Rice's vampire novels, however, as Breaking Dawn borrows heavily from Rice's Taltos series for some of the plot contrivances. The problem, however, is that the plot turns are a pale imitation of some of Rice's best work.Breaking Dawn is still a good book. None of the sequels, however, match the genius of Twilight, when Meyer was writing for only herself, and not an ever-growing fan base analyzing every plot point. While Breaking Dawn may end the story the way Meyer felt it should end, it will probably disappoint most fans with it's rushed conclusions, plot contrivances, and heavy borrowing from Rice. The biggest disappointment is wondering what could have been had Meyer stayed true to herself and her writing rather than what she felt was true to the characters which had been overanalyzed by far too many fans by the time Breaking Dawn was written.This review originally published on Epinions:

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