It is nearly a decade since the launch of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga so New Moon, the second book in the series, may already seem like old news to the next generation of teens. Let’s take another peek under the cover…
The Twilight Saga becomes increasingly derivative as it seeks for ideas to expand upon its potentially intriguing but ultimately restrictive central romance.
Things get off to a promising start with Meyer adding a third-party to her ongoing variations upon the classic and reliable “Beauty and The Beast meets Romeo and Juliet” yarn. Replacing static lust-object Edward with the earthier and charismatic Jacob makes for a more mature and complex romance, whilst the Native American Shapeshifter lore feels original and fresh.
There is also some vastly improved prose. The stormy build-up to Bella’s cliff jump for example crosses the line between pulp to literature with description which feels poetic instead of merely perfunctory.
Unfortunately, after improvements, Meyer bungles the ending with an Italian episode that feels transferred wholesale from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles to a degree that borders on wholesale theft. The Volturi are audaciously similar to Armand’s Grand Guignol performers or Santino’s Rome-based coven and Edward’s decision to provoke the elders by revealing his true nature at a public event is pure Lestat. Anne Rice fans will also recall Armand’s attempt to immolate himself.
Despite the Euro-based mis-step and a shallow attempt to introduce older vampire lore Meyer shows increased promise when handling the nuances of small-town teen-romance and she should be commended for a sensitive and realistic depiction of heroine Bella’s debilitating period of depression.