“He’s like a drug for you, Bella.”
Eclipse, Stephanie Meyer
I’d actually forgotten about Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer. I had only remembered three books until I was sorting out pictures of the book covers and noticed Eclipse. That’s not a good sign. Eclipse continues Bella and Edward’s story from Twilight and New Moon.
In Eclipse, Edward leaving is forgotten, but the couple have to deal with Jacob, who is in love with Bella. A love triangle is born and the majority of the book is about how all three of them deal with this. Plus, there is a new threat to Bella’s life. Victoria (from Twilight) has bred an army of newborn Vampires for the purpose of killing Bella, and the Vampires and Werewolves have to work together to stop them. Will Bella survive yet another threat on her life?
In terms of Bella and Edward’s relationship, Meyer keeps on surprising me. Not only has their relationship been unhealthily obsessive so far, Meter takes it to a whole new level in Eclipse. Bella and Edward adopt gender stereotypical roles from before women’s suffrage was achieved. Bella is completely controlled by Edward and does only what he says. He says she can’t see Jacob, her best friend, so she doesn’t. He even puts her under house arrest to enforce this rule. When Bella finally manages to escape to see Jacob, Edward is furious and almost starts a war between Vampires and Werewolves when he considers crossing the boundary to fetch her back! When Bella gets back, Edward is waiting and she is in big trouble. This relationship does not represent modern relationships, instead it romanticises jealousy and possessiveness.
Towards the end of the book, there is a plot point that is the most cringe worthy thing I have ever read. Bella decides that before she becomes a Vampire she wants to have one more human experience: losing her virginity. She tries to tempt Edward by losing control when she kisses him (a theme running through all three books: Bella essentially becomes a wild woman when she kisses Edward), unbuttoning his shirt and things like that. When he refuses because it is dangerous, she begs. It is so degrading to read; who in their right mind would beg someone else for sex?! Edward counters this by agreeing to take her virginity and turn her into a Vampire only if she agrees to marry him. Bella is reluctant but really wants to be a Vampire, so agrees. *Rolls eyes* Do I even need to comment on this?
Also, I would just like to comment on the level of cheese in this book. I wrinkled my nose up in disgust way too often. I’ll give you a two choice quotes (there are many, many more though). First, “Look after my heart – I’ve left it with you,” and second, ‘“And the sound of your heart,” he continued. “It’s the most significant sound in my world. I’m so attuned to it now, I swear I could pick it out from miles away. But neither of these things matter. This,” he said, taking my face in his hands. “You. That’s what I’m keeping. You’ll always be my Bella, you’ll just be a little more durable.”’ I just threw up a little.
The sub-plot of Victoria and her army of newborn Vampires was interesting. The Cullen’s slowly come to understand that the various violent murders in the nearby city of Seattle were the result of newborn Vampires being let loose. It was a tad obvious that Victoria was behind this, despite Meyer trying to conceal it. I knew as soon as Alice had a vision of a Vampire hunting Bella, even though Alice didn’t know who the Vampire was. Victoria had tried to get to Bella at the end of New Moon, to kill her as a means of revenging James’ death (the Vampire Edward killed to protect Bella at the end of Twilight). To me it was obvious that she wouldn’t just give up, especially as James was her mate. Anyway, I actually looked forward to the battle at the end of the book that pitted the newborns against the Cullen’s and the werewolves. The problem was I never got to read about it! Bella couldn’t be at the battle because she’s human, and she begs Edward to leave with her. The reader, of course, goes with them and while the battle rages on, the reader gets to hear more about Bella’s love triangle between Edward and Jacob. Boring! I wanted some action. It is a book about Vampires and Werewolves for crying out loud. This confirms that the main plot of this tetralogy is romance. The supernatural element (Vampires and Werewolves), and any action is purely sub-plots. In my mind, it should be the other way around.
Final Verdict: Skip to the last quarter of the book. There is at least a little bit of action when Edward and Victoria fight.