February 2, 2009

Twilight Book Review

Over the holidays, my girlfriend convinced me to read the Twilight series of books. I justified it by saying that I really enjoy reading Harry Potter, so Twilight can't be that far from Potter, could it?

Turns out, it can.

I don't want to spoil the series for anyone that plans to read it. Stop reading now so I don't ruin the magic for you. Here is relevant lolcat:

The picture should read - "VAMPIRE CAT, WILL TALK ABOUT HOW GOOD YOUR BLOOD SMELLS FOR 600 PAGES." The series, if you don't already know, is based on vampires. These are not the traditional vampires that turn into bats and suck the blood of the innocent in Eastern Europe.

Contrary to the Harry Potter series, the Twilight series is completely character driven. The novels are set in modern day but could easily have worked 500 years into the past or future. Most of the novels take place in Northwestern Washington, because it's cloudy and full of angst.

Getting back to the characters, they are given video game god-mode characteristics. They are super fast, incredibly strong, can hear and smell things miles away. If this wasn't enough, some vampires have special skills on top of their god-mode characteristics. One can read minds, one can control earthly elements; One can even block out the super-special powers of the other vampires.

I don't really like overpowered superheros (more Spider man, less Superman) Twilight characters are Supermen, but it really did not matter because the focus is on Bella, Edward and halfway on Jacob (who is, of course, a werewolf). The plot circulates around their romance and the conflict in the books is based on keeping Edward and Bella from being happy.

I don't want to go through very detailed plot descriptions, but here are a few lines on each. I also included my quick reactions to the books.

Twilight - First book in the series. Bella moves to Forks, a small town with very little sunlight (hence the vampires). She seems to really like Jane Austen. She meets Edward, who is infatuated with her because she smells really nice. After much awkwardness, she goes with Edward's family (good vampires) to play vampire baseball in the woods. There they run into more vampires (bad vampires) and one of them wants to kill Bella. The good vampires kill one of the bad ones and everything works out alright.

This book had a definite ending - it could stand alone as a single story. Twilight was alright, it did a great job of sucking readers into the series.

New Moon - Second book in the series. Edward's brother (who has the best name ever, Jasper) tries to kill Bella because he smelled her blood when she cut her finger. Edward leaves because he doesn't want to hurt Bella. Bella is really depressed, until she starts to hang out with her childhood friend Jacob (a Native-American werewolf). They hang out and there is more awkwardness. Bella cliff dives on the Indian reservation and Edward's sister (who can see the future) thinks she killed herself. Edward's other sister (who's a capital B) tells Edward that Bella killed herself, so he goes to Italy to get the vampire mafia to kill him. Bella goes to Italy to stop him. She does, then all is good in the world.

This one was not as exciting as the first book. Edward's non-B sister steals a yellow Porsche in Italy, which was kind of fun.

Eclipse - Can't really remember what happens in this one. Bella is confused because she wants to be friends with vampires and werewolves. Edward tells her that she has to marry him before she becomes a vampire, which makes things more awkward. One bad vampire from the first book wants to kill Bella because the good vampires killed her mate. She raises an army of vampires that fight the good vampires and a bunch of werewolves. The good guys win and all is good in the world.

The fight was pretty cool and will look really good when the movie is made.

Breaking Dawn - Last book of the series. Bella marries Edward, and she gets pregnant with a half-vampire baby that is really smart. They have the kid and it has special powers. A random vampire tells the vampire mafia that Bella and Edward turned a child into a vampire (which is not good) so they all come to Washington to mess stuff up. While the vampire mafia is on the way, a bunch of other vampires show up to help Bella. Right before the vampire mafia is about to fight, the vampire mafia don learns that they might lose so he calls the whole thing off. The book ends and all is good in the world.

This was a huge letdown. The vampire mafia doesn't fight the good vampires. While I was reading, I realized that they couldn't fight because there was only a hand full of pages left. Ouch.

The books jam in a lot of subplots, here's a few:
  • Creating and destroying vampires
  • Edward's family history (Jasper's past was awesome)
  • Vampire mafia (actually called Volturi)
  • Werewolf history
  • Teen angst
  • Clumsiness
Overall, the books were entertaining, but they could have been so much more. It had the making of the next Harry Potter, but it fell short.

1 comment:

  1. Dude, please get a non-fixed width template. I can help you.