Monday, April 20, 2009

Breaking Dawn: Stephanie Meyer

In this finale of the Twilight series, Bella's world changes forever, and all the things that avid fans have been hoping for, finally happen. New characters are revealed, old characters are revisited, and yet another war is waged. Worlds collide when wolves and vamps are again tied to each other, and I can't help but feel that I have liked the wolves best all along and that this finale only confirms my admiration.

First of all, I have to say that I was anxious to hurry through this book just to be finished. My feelings about the Twilight series have waned considerably since cracking that first volume. I was told exactly what happened to all of the characters before I even picked up the first book, so this climactic novel was...well, anticlimactic.

The introduction of new characters in the final installment was unsettling. While I recognize the necessity of the characters for the sake of the plot line, as a writer I disagree with pulling in quite so many brand new faces with individual stories at the last minute. It seems obvious to me that Meyer didn't know how her series would end or she might have introduced these characters over the span. Which is not a flaw so much as a lack of forethought. I was once told that a good author never sets a gun on the nightstand unless they intend to use it--meaning no detail goes without purpose. In that line of thought, I find that Meyer puts a lot of guns on a lot of nightstands and then neglects them. I find myself questioning what happened to so-and-so character or such-and-such prop. Likewise, things tend to pop up in her stories that seem to appear from nowhere. While I knew that Meyer had to tie up her series neatly with all loose ends answered to, there were flaws with her conclusion.

For one thing, Meyer supposes that her reader is simple enough to unquestioning believe the incongruent actions of a character who has been steadfastly consistent. When Alice takes leave in an act of self-protection, none of the characters question it. An intelligent reader will spend the following 500 or so pages asking why the sudden change of character and suspect that there is a secret plan which will surely unravel in the final stages of the plot to help things wrap up neatly. It is predictable and placating--two qualities I despise in my reading.

All that said, there were parts of this novel that I enjoyed immensely. There is something inherently pleasing about seeing a beloved character get all that she wants. Also, Meyer has a subtle humor that presents itself through cranky characters and unexpected situations. Her characters grew flat throughout the series, but there were flashes of personality that appeared here and there to keep the story moving.

Now that I've read all four books, I can put Stephanie Meyer and her Bella, Edward, Jacob, Alice, Charlie, and all the other misfit characters to rest.

1 comment:

  1. Hah! Chekov's gun. I learned about it in a kid's magazine (Disney Adventures) and have used it to predict the plot/ending of Disney movies ever since.