[openbook booknumber=”0316160202″][rating:1/5]

Edward’s soft voice came from behind me.

I turned to see him spring lightly up the porch steps, his hair windblown from running. He pulled me into his arms at once, just like he had in the parking lot, and kissed me again. This kiss frightened me. There was too much tension, too strong an edge to the way his lips crushed mine–like he was afraid we had only so much time left to us.

As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob–knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

I have sat and stared at this book for days now, have turned its pages and just could not find words to express how much it disturbs me. I can’t begin to describe my fears about the deeply held beliefs in this world that allow such a book to be so incredibly popular. I don’t even know where to begin to list all of its problems. I could understand the happy escapism of Twilight I could even begin to appreciate the attractiveness of the attention seeking self harm in New Moon, but there is nothing I enjoyed about Eclipse. It made me feel physically ill in my stomach to read it as all sorts of warning bells went off even more desperately than in Twilight, and without the hope of salvation that was in New Moon. So I will proceed with only a portion of my displeasure at this book, because it’s better than nothing.

That’s why it was so impossible to tell him goodbye — because I was in love with him. Too. I loved him, much more than I should, and yet, still nowhere near enough. I was in love with him, but it was not enough to change anything; it was only enough to hurt us both more. To hurt him worse than I ever had.”

The abusive boyfriend signs were even stronger here than in past novels in this series. Bella has choices taken from her, is actually kidnapped at one point, has her car engine disabled at another and in every way is treated like a child by Edward. He keeps information from her that might harm her, he restricts her movements within her social circles, sometimes physically and once even in her own home. He makes decisions throughout that should not be his to make, but it is written off again and again as okay because he loves her.

Jacob’s character has taken a turn for the worst as well. His character turns abrasive and violent and he even forces himself on Bella at one point and when she attempts to defend herself and hurts herself in the process he laughs at his victim and blames her for the broken hand that results. Her father joins Jacob in the laughing and in the blame further validating the misogyny behind the act.

Other plot points develop including more back story on several of the characters and the world of vampires as a whole. Several of these reveal underlying racial prejudice, anti-catholic beliefs and yet more misogyny. The vampires in Central America are violent and volatile and need to be tamed by the Italian based Volturi, meanwhile the North American vampires sit and wring their hands over it all but ultimately do nothing, need I say more?

The werewolves also are expanded on. Their history is explored and their characters developed. More disturbing themes come to light. Leah, the first female werewolf is hated because her fiance married her cousin when he imprinted on her and so the entire pack has to deal with her thoughts as she deals with her ex every day. The leniency given Bella when she mourned the loss of Edward is not extended to Leah. She is treated like, and so rightly becomes… well, a female dog.

I have yet to speak on the imprinting. The concept of the male werewolf attaching himself to a mate and becoming fixated on them for the rest of his life robs him of the choice certainly, but the female is also assumed to not have a choice as well. The reason being, why would you choose differently? That non-decision apparently extends even to the youngest members of the tribe when a werewolf imprints on a two-year-old child. We are told this is okay because he will be the best friend a two-year-old could ever have and as she grows he will be the best big brother, the best father figure, the best everything until they turn eighteen.

The age discrepancy is also waved away in much the same way Edward and Bella’s is waved away. Edward looks seventeen, so he is essentially treated like he is seventeen. The werewolves also similarly do not age while they actively transform so when the child turns eighteen and the werewolf looks to be still eighteen that makes everything right and tight. The concept of pedophilia, of the very close similarities between what these werewolves do that bond with toddlers and the concept of grooming seem to be lost entirely.

I won’t even really touch on the de-evolution of Bella’s character. Her self-centeredness, her insistence on throwing gifts and parties and other things people do for her back in their face, her eerie pro-bigamy arguments and despair, her lack of self respect and the way she allows herself to be treated “for love” are all absolutely horrific to read about. This on top of everything else earns this book one of my rare one star ratings.

2 Responses to Eclipse

  1. EL Fay
    3:33 pm on December 6th, 2010

    Your review is one of the few I’ve come across that addresses Twilight’s racial issues, and there definitely are racial issues. You might want to read this. She’s a women’s studies professor who’s done a lot of writing on Twilight and paranormal/horror fiction. Very interesting read.

  2. Bitsy
    6:52 pm on December 6th, 2010

    Thanks so much for giving me that link! The more I have read in the past about Mormon beliefs especially concerning Native Americans and comparing that with their treatment in Twilight the more I was concerned by what I was reading. This article brings it much more to light and definitely fills in some more thoughts on the matter I hadn’t even considered. It also adds new points of view to the love triangle presented and to the entire theme of the third book as a whole as well. Very interesting reading, indeed.

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