TEEN LIBRARIAN'S REVIEW:
Unless you've been living under a rock somewhere, you already know that "Eclipse" is the third book in author Stephenie Meyer's teen vampire saga. In this novel, the cold, beautiful vampire Edward Cullen and the awkward, plain human Bella Swan are back as a couple, determined to stay together despite some very real obstacles in their path. Victoria, the evil vampire on a mission to avenge her lover's death, is busily tracking Bella, waiting for the right moment to strike. The mysterious Voltori, a clan of Italian vampires, are still angry that Edward's past behavior threatened to expose their very existence. An "army" of newborn vampires is killing scores of people in Seattle, and according to the clairvoyant Alice Cullen, they're headed toward Bella's town of Forks, Washington. Jacob Black, Bella's former best friend, and his werewolf pack are as wary as ever about the presence of the Cullen "blood suckers" near their reservation home of La Push, and the uneasy truce between the vampires and werewolves may soon be broken. Bella's dad, Charlie, continues to despise Edward … and he doesn't even know what Edward really is or that Bella has decided to become a vampire, too.
Yes, drama. Honestly, I'm not sure all that much happens in this story, despite its length. (It tops out at a hefty 629 pages.) Edward and Bella endlessly debate her becoming a vampire, and what conditions each can impose upon the other before the transformation occurs. At great length, the Cullens form a strategy to oppose the newborn army and the Voltori, yet the climactic battle is over in the blink of an eye. Bella and Jacob have the same conversation a dozen times over, the one in which he tries to convince her that she's in love with him while she refuses to even listen. Eh.
There is some interesting back story on Jasper, Edward's brother vampire, and a nice alliance between the vamps and werewolves, including Edward and Jacob. As has been the case for me with the previous novels, I quite like Jacob as a character, maybe because he is so flawed and sort of ragged. It makes him seem more real. For me, Jake's fiery love for Bella — and his self-sacrifice on her behalf — is the best and truest part of these stories. Edward always comes across as too perfect for my taste. He's so patient, forgiving, and devoted to Bella that there is never any real spark between them. Mostly, they seem to just lay around and talk about how much they love each other.
If you're a fan of the first two books, then by this point, you've probably read and re-read "Eclipse." You're also sure to have liked it more than I did. This book is not bad at all, not by a long shot, and there's enough here to keep even casual fans interested. The action, when it does occur, is mesmerizing, and Jacob's agony over loving but not having Bella is very moving. And if you're rooting for Bella and Edward, then all their romantic scenes and heartfelt dialogue will probably not seem as tedious to you as they did to me. So with all that said, this one is recommended for fans of the series, high school age and up.