Published 2008 754 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both a fantasy and a nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to werewolf Jacob Black, she has endured a tumultuous year of temptation, loss and strife to reach the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice, to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or pursue a fully human life, has become the thread from which the fate of two tribes hangs.
Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating and unfathomable consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella’s life – first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse – seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed… forever?
Breaking Dawn is the fourth and final novel in Stephenie Meyer’s hugely popular Twilight saga. With all the hype surrounding the release of Breaking Dawn I doubt that there is anyone left on the planet that isn’t aware of the books publication! However, readers who haven’t read any of the previous books in this saga should not be tempted to start here – you really need to read these books in order since the story continues over the series.
For readers who have read Stephenie Meyer’s previous offerings Breaking Dawn is the long awaited and highly anticipated end to the compelling tale of vampire Edward and human Bella’s impossible romance. Beginnings can be tricky but Twilight got this series off to a fantastic start with its modern day fairy tale quality and heart stopping romance. New Moon further built on that with Bella and Edward’s bleakly painful separation and subsequent happy reunion - but since the end of New Moon the romantic tension that had been driving the story into the heady heights compelling reading has been lacking.
As a result Eclipse was a different novel – it was clear that what ever happened in Eclipse Edward and Bella would be together forever – and the stresses on their relationship came from outside forces rather than from within the relationship itself. Breaking Dawn is similar. The romantic tension between Edward and Bella is non-existent – it is clear that whatever happens to them (death, Jacob, mutant vampire baby) their love is non-negotiable and to a certain extent this alters the feel of the story, losing some of the romantic magic of Twilight in the process.
If beginnings are tricky, endings are fraught with difficulties. At the beginning readers have no expectations but by the end everyone seems to have an opinion on how they would have finished the book if they were writing it. Thankfully Stephenie Meyer was writing the ending so the resulting story is a good one and in my opinion a fitting end to this fantastic series.
In Breaking Dawn Stephenie Meyer addresses one of the major issues that some readers had with Bella’s character – namely that she wasn’t independent enough. This novel sees Bella coming into her own power and proving that she is more that capable of independent thought and action. While the Cullen family vampires have always been kind to Bella, it has been clear that she was no match for this talented bunch - but Bella’s character gains strengths that make her just as unique and talented as the rest of her new family.
Breaking Dawn is a weighty novel, weighing in at over 750 pages but it doesn’t feel like a long read. The story is well paced and well balanced, with a mixture of exciting supernatural action as well as good character development and romance. The strength of Stephenie Meyer’s writing as ever lies in her exploration of love in its many guises and Breaking Dawn gives her the opportunity to examine the relationships between mother and child, father and daughter, husband and wife and the bonds of friendship.
Breaking Dawn is a different novel to Twilight (and New Moon) and some readers may be disappointed by this but I’m not one of them. I don’t want to keep buying the same story over and over again just with a different title and cover picture – I enjoy seeing the development of the characters as well as seeing the development of the author’s writing. Breaking Dawn is more like Eclipse, Edward and Bella are sure of their love for each other but outside forces (this time it’s the Volturi) may tear them apart as the story reaches its thrilling climax.
The only small gripe I have about this novel is that in wrapping up the story every loose end has been neatly tied into a pretty bow - sometimes it’s good to leave something dangling in the breeze! Oh, and I don’t like the book's cover either. But apart from that, this book is all that I was personally hoping it would be.
Full of Forks goodness, Breaking Dawn is recommended reading for any self-respecting Stephenie Meyer fan.
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