Breaking Dawn – Stephenie Meyer

WARNING:  Contains Spoilers

 

The final book in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series is a surprise in many ways both good and bad.  She formats the book differently than the previous three.  The content here is a little more mature as well.

 

Jacob has disappeared and no one knows where he is.  This upsets Bella as she knows that she is the one that has driven him to leave.  However her wedding to Edward is fast approaching.  She has not had to do much as Alice planned everything.  We are taken through a description of the ceremony.  Jacob makes his appearance before they depart and has a characteristically angry reaction when he learns Bella plans on having a traditional honeymoon.

 

Traditional is hardly the word that best describes the honeymoon of a vampire and a human girl, especially when it is the male vampire who has to be seduced or persuaded into sexual relations.  In due course though we learn that those relations have a consequence – Bella is pregnant and gestation is accelerated.  Edward and Carslile want to do away with the fetus as soon as possible, but Bella does not allow this.

 

Jacob takes centre stage at this point and we spend some time hearing how he has reacted to Bella and Edward’s marriage.  He is just biding his time, waiting to hear the cover story they release which will prove she’s been transformed into a vampire.  It doesn’t come.  He does hear that Bella and Edward are back from their honeymoon and that Bella is reportedly quite ill.  This, he thinks, is the story they’re putting out as a cover up for her transformation.  He soon finds out that’s not the case but rather that she is pregnant and it is killing her.

 

Edward is devastated by Bella’s looming death.  So much so that he tells Jacob to convince her to give up this baby.  If that’s what she wants, Edward says, she can have them with Jacob.  This does not work though.  Just when it seems that they’ve reached their last hope its Jacob that points out that the child probably wants blood – something that it has not been getting.  This is exactly the case.

 

In short order Bella improves and is able to carry the baby to term – in about a month or so.  The problem is that the amniotic sack is hard, like the skin of a vampire.  Therefore it has to be torn out, something Edward does.  Bella, however, has suffered grievous injury in the process and would have died if she was not immediately injected with Edward’s venom and begun her transformation into a vampire.

 

It is a rapid transformation, taking onto 2 days instead of the standard three.  We are taken through her first experiences with her newfound abilities.  She has heightened senses, but unparalleled self control.  This ability to not attack and to stop hunting is unheard of in a newborn vampire, but Bella can do it.

 

They begin to discuss leaving Forks and going to Dartmouth after all, as had been the plan.  However Jacob, who has imprinted (or found his soul mate in) their daughter Renesmee, tells Bella’s father that he’s a werewolf and directs him to the Cullens.  Bella was holding off on this because of the physical changes she’d undergone.  What could have been a huge and emotionally charged confrontation ends up by Charlie saying he doesn’t need to know.  All of the strange things that have been happening become “need to know‘ things only.

 

Things could have ended there, but for the necessary meeting with the Volturi.  Thanks to a vampire from another coven, they learn of Renesemee’s existence and think that she is a human child that was turned into a vampire – a forbidden transformation.  They come to forks to destroy the child – and the Cullens.

 

This destruction is circumvented by Alice’s premonition.  They are able to call witnesses to show that the child is part human.  However it is assumed that the Volturi will still want to fight given the fact that they have emptied their city of Volterra – something unheard of before.

 

Knowing this will be their last stand, Bella asks to be trained in combat.  As this progresses one of the visiting vampires suggests she try her hand at outwardly projecting her power of blocking people from her mind.  She is able to do this eventually and uses that to protect her side from the powers of the Volturi.  This unknown ability surprises the Italian vampires and they leave without incident after all – claiming peace with the Cullens.

 

Thereafter they can all live happily ever after.

 

 

As is my pattern here are the things that I didn’t like:

 

The pregnancy.  It was one of those disturbing things about these novels.  First of all, Edward is around a hundred years old.  And he’s been dead for all but seventeen of those years.  EW.  Its gross rather than romantic.  If he doesn’t have blood in his body how can he possibly have sperm?  I guess its vampire sperm.  Sharp little teeth and all that.  I guess there isn’t really anything odd about a woman wanting to keep the baby of the man she loves though.

 

I really did not like the scene with the Volturi.  There was this big huge buildup to the battle and then it turned out to be all exposition.  J.K. Rowling would never have done that!  This is how I write, and I don’t think I’m publishing worthy yet.  Three chapters of exposition in a row is far too much I tell you.

 

The things I did like:

 

I have to start out with the line that got me laughing the most.  It was a line from the section written in Jacob’s point of view.  It was thus: “Instead of being the a/v dweeb about to ask the head cheerleader to the prom, I was the finished-second-place werewolf about to ask the vampire’s wife to shack up and procreate.  Nice.” (p. 185).  It was such a true line, but so out of a B-movie that it totally caught me off guard.

 

The above line is just one example of the humor in this book.  I was amazed to find it so funny.  I laughed out loud a few times when I was reading it.  Deathly Hallows was like that too, but that book needed the humor because it was so dark. I didn’t find this book as dark, hence some of the humor.

 

I liked the way she wrote the sexuality.  We are talking about two married people now (even if one is a vampire).  I’m very glad she didn’t shy away from that aspect of their relationship.  It wasn’t written like an NC-17 story at all.  In fact I think it was probably better written than most romances out there.  I guess it kept the romance in it and the raunchy out.  It was the perfect description that would have every girl (especially every teenage girl) wishing she was Bella.

 

Sadistic person that I am, one of the other things that I really loved was the interaction between Jacob and Edward.  I think specifically it was from Edward’s side that we came to understand what he was really willing to do.  This is true love.  Jacob always claimed to love Bella but he wasn’t really willing to let her be happy – he kept trying to get her to change her mind.  Edward, probably too much so, just wanted to do what was best for her even if that meant giving her to Jacob (who I still can’t stand).  There was one exchange between Edward and Jacob that I loved a lot.  It was this:

 

“I couldn’t believe I was even thinking about this.  Bella would punch me – not that I cared about that, but it wold probably break her hand again.  I shouldn’t let him talk to me, mess with my head.  I should just kill him now.

     ‘Not now,’ he whispered.  ‘Not yet.  Right or wrong, it would destroy her, and you know it.  No need to be hasty.  If she won’t listen to you, you’ll get your chance.  The moment Bella’s heart stops beating, I will be begging for you to kill me.

     “You won’t have to beg long.’

     The hint of a worn smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. ‘I’m very much counting on that.'” (p. 183-184)

 

I so very much love this reaction.  Tortured souls are my constant companion.  Again, I think its just that missing part in my life though – having someone that loves you that much that they would want to die without you.  It is mostly a fictional thing, I doubt most people come to feel that in their lives . . . but that’s why we read in the first place, isn’t it?

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