Published 2006 563 pages
Bella has been going out with her vampire boyfriend Edward for six blissfully happy months. The only thing that worries her is his steadfast refusal to even consider making her into a vampire like him. As the day of her eighteenth birthday rolls around she feels less than happy because she is now older than Edward, who will never age past seventeen.
To celebrate her birthday Edward takes Bella to a birthday party at his family home but when a stupid accident that leaves Bella covered in blood and nearly triggers a feeding frenzy in Jasper, Edward’s brother, the party falls somewhat flat.
Edward suddenly becomes more distant towards to Bella and finally he tells her that he and his family are leaving Forks, to never return, and he no longer wants to see her.
Edward is Bella’s whole world and his abandonment is a harsh blow. Her whole world falls apart and as she becomes withdrawn from the world she soon loses most of her friends becoming even more isolated and lonely.
When she does something dangerous she starts hallucinating and thinks she can hear Edward telling her not to do anything stupid and to be more careful. This leads to a whole new range of interests for Bella including learning to ride a motorbike and cliff diving because she feels that he is still with her at those times. Her old friend Jacob Black becomes her partner in crime, fixing up her motorbike for her and teaching her to ride it. Although the pain of Edward’s departure never leaves Bella, Jacob soon becomes her best friend and he helps to fill some of the voids in her life.
Jacob himself is no ordinary boy and soon Bella discovers that part of his Quileute heritage is to be cursed to be a werewolf. Certain members of the tribe turn into werewolves in their teenage years in response to the presence of vampires. Werewolves and vampires are natural enemies and the enmity runs deep on both sides.
Alice returns to Forks and although she brings no news of Edward with her, her extraordinary gift of being able to see the future soon tells her that Edward is heading on a path of self destruction that only Bella can advert. But will Bella be in time to stop the tragedy?
New Moon is the sequel to Stephenie Meyer’s remarkably good debut novel Twilight. This novel works well enough as a stand alone but I think that you will get a better understanding of the story and maximum enjoyment from reading it if you have read Twilight first.
New Moon is always going to be compared to Twilight and people who are expecting this novel to be essentially the same as Twilight may be disappointed. Twilight had an almost dreamy, fairytale quality to the writing, which this story lacks. The Cullen family of vampires are also absent from a large proportion of New Moon, and vampire fans may keenly feel their absence. Do not let this put you off reading the book however because it is still one of the best books that I have read this year.
New Moon is narrated in first person by Bella and has an obvious parallel with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and I mean obvious because even Bella recognises that she is in danger of playing out history’s greatest romantic tragedy. I think keeping Romeo and Juliet in the forefront of the readers mind actually helps the author build the tension for the climax of the story because we can all see the tragedy that is waiting to happen.
The pain that Bella feels when Edward abandons her is extremely well written and is really what this story is about. Most of the things that happen to Bella in New Moon are as a result of the overwhelming loss that she is trying to bear. Her friendship with Jacob has a doomed quality to it not only because he obviously loves her while she is in love with Edward but because he is a werewolf and he naturally hates all vampires.
For fantasy fans New Moon isn’t all about Bella and her emotional pain. The rogue vampires Laurent and Victoria return to Forks. They are looking for revenge against Edward but they only find Bella. The Quileute werewolves are an exciting addition to the story and it will be interesting to see how this plot line is developed in the next novel in this series.
I stayed up until the early hours of the morning reading this book because once I was caught up in the story I couldn’t stop reading. I’m sure I’m not the first person, and won’t be the last person either, to say that about this novel. New Moon is highly recommended reading.
LoveVampires Review Rating:
New Moon Audio CD
New Moon is available in audio CD format too. Narrated by Ilyana Kadushin the novel is completely unabridged making the audio book nearly 15 hours long (that’s 12 compact discs.) 15 hours sounds like a long time but Ilyana’s story telling soon becomes compelling listening and time flies by as disc after disc is feed into the CD player.
After listening to Twilight I felt that Ilyana’s breathy rendition of Edward was a little off putting but with Edward having a much smaller part in New Moon than he did in Twilight there isn’t so much of that in New Moon. Jacob and Charlie have larger parts and Ilyana narrates both parts well (an angry Charlie is probably her best character so far) making for an enjoyable listening experience.
Audio CD is a whole new way to enjoy this story, and as the audio book is completely unabridged the listener doesn’t miss out on a single word from the printed version of this novel. Be warned – New Moon is just as addictive in audio format as it the first time you read it in print - you will end up making excuses to take your CDs or iPod with you where ever you go, so you can keep listening!