Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer, continues the saga of Bella Swan and her ‘star-crossed’ love for Edward Cullen, mysterious and gorgeous vampire with whom she is hopelessly in love. The serious nature of her desire to be with Edward, and by proxy, his family of vampires, becomes evident in the second of the series. A lavish party to celebrate her 18th birthday is hosted by the Cullens. Bella, known for her clumsiness, manages to break glass, cut herself, and bleed profusely. This triggers a feeding frenzy in Jasper, one of Edward’s family.

Soon after this narrow escape from disaster, Edward, in his need to protect Bella, leaves Forks to keep Bella from continuing a life around vampires. His rather harsh pronouncement of his decision to never want to see Bella again, coupled with the entire Cullen family departing, crushes Bella.

Bella’s withdrawal into a lonely and heartbroken existence soon takes its toll on her friendships with her human friends. She begins to follow a path that leads to dangerous activities. Still haunted by her love for Edward, she imagines that she hears his voice as she partakes of activities best described as dangerous.

Enter Jacob Black, her friend from the Quileute tribe nearby. Jacob gleefully assists Bella in her new adventures. He is a co-conspirator in her quest to repair and ride a motorcycle, something that Bella’s dad Charlie frowns upon. As if involvement with a vampire isn’t enough, we soon learn that members of Jacob’s tribe have a history of becoming werewolves. And, of course, Jacob is one who is cursed with this heritage. Bella once again is thrust into a relationship with one who loves her, and is supernatural as well. Bella’s first person narrative reveals her anguish, and she even refers directly to her perceived life as a parallel to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Did I mention that werewolves hate vampires, and vice versa?

New Moon somewhat drags along, without the continuous fast pace of Twilight. However, Alice Cullen returns near the end bringing news of Edward’s impending doom. Only Bella can save his life, a daunting and virtually impossible task that must be played out in Italy. Meyer does not disappoint the reader with the fast-paced climax of this, the second in the Twilight series.

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