Archive for August, 2007

Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer

August 28, 2007

From the Publisher

Readers captivated by Twilight and New Moon will eagerly devour Eclipse, the much anticipated third book in Stephenie Meyer’s riveting vampire love saga.

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?

My Comments: This is the third book in the charming vampire romance series. To say it was eagerly awaited would be a gross understatement.

In Eclipse, I struggled with Bella’s selfish and immature nature at first. It would have been off putting if Bella wasn’t such a realistic, fully flushed out character. But it provided room for a lot of growth for Bella and invaluable learning experiences that I’m sure will play into her future.

Bella’s relationships with the inevitable enemies of vampire and werewolf is more exciting then I imagined, bringing a lot of growth to some characters I’ve adored more with each addition to this series.

The ultimate confrontation in the end filled me with delicious nervous tension I’ve come to expect from Meyer’s books. It was a beautifully choreographed dance I didn’t want to be over. The timing was great. The pacing was perfect, keeping me interested and reluctant to put it down.

If you’re an adult, don’t let the “Young Adult” category scare you away from one of the most classic versions of a substantial love of a lifetime, a tempting love triangle that could have you wishing for fur or fangs. Once you get away from the high school setting, which takes up such a small part of this story, you’ll find a surprisingly deep, resonating tale.

I appreciated the parallels to Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte that the author led us to. In New Moon, the second book in this series, the comparison to Romeo and Juliet was palpable. I found it to be a unique and clever way of interesting the reader in classic literature if they weren’t already. Or those of us who are a little familiar with it will enjoy the new twist on an old, much loved story. It inspired my daughter and me to explore Wuthering Heights together. Since Bella loved it so much, I’m sure she will enjoy it too.

As a mother, I can’t express how much I appreciated the care the author took with many sensitive issues such as morality, mortality, premarital sex, the consequences of losing ones soul and the responsibility that comes with becoming an adult. I felt comfortable reading and sharing these books with my teenager and the thought provoking discussions that Eclipse has led us to.

Meyer’s writing is the very definition of captivating no matter what your age. It was priceless to share Eclipse with my daughter. I’ll treasure the long talks we had about Bella and Edward and Jacob and the consequences of their decisions. What a wonderful gift Meyer gave us and future generations of mothers and daughters to come.

The Harlequin by Laurell K. Hamilton

August 16, 2007

From the Publisher

Readers haven’t seen anything yet-new in the “fabulously imagined series” (Publishers Weekly) from the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

Anita Blake is about to face the challenge of her life. Into her world-a world already overflowing with power-have come creatures so feared that powerful, centuries-old vampires refuse to mention their names. It is forbidden to speak of The Harlequin unless you’ve been contacted. And to be contacted by The Harlequin is to be under sentence of death.

Long-time rivals for Anita’s affections, Jean-Claude, Master Vampire of the City, and Richard, alpha-werewolf, will need to become allies. Shapeshifters Nathaniel and Micah will have to step up their support. And then there’s Edward. In this situation, Anita knows that she needs to call the one man who has always been there for her…

My comments:

Anita Blake is a walking paradox. A vampire executioner feared by most vampires and lycanthropes everywhere, she is also in love with some of the most powerful men in both groups of monsters. Not all vampires fear her, but they all fear The Harlequin. And The Harlequin are watching… Anita has become too powerful to avoid attention from the heaviest of heavy hitters, but will she be powerful enough to unite them all in a struggle for dominance that could change everything?

I was a passionate fan of the Anita Blake series, and then after Narcissus in Chains, I felt like the focus was gradually falling away from the outstanding stories and Anita has lost control of herself. She was ruled by sex and no longer spent enough time out of bed to fight the monsters and protect the innocent. I missed the detailed plots and storylines that so enthralled me. In their place were hundreds of pages of eroticism that were shocking and exciting at first, but quickly became long winded and boring. There were too many characters and not enough time spent with many of them.

Then came The Harlequin.

It was a wonderful blend of fascinating characters with a bottomless well of possibilities, a story that kept its exciting pace and made me sad when I had to put it down. The sex scenes were steamy and well thought out. They only added to the plot without distracting from it and never replacing it. Oh, joy!

This is the fifteenth book in The Anita Blake series. I would discourage anyone from starting out in the middle of what has become a saga of epic proportions and endless potential. Start at the beginning and take your time enjoying them all. If you haven’t read them before, I have to admit to being jealous of the excitement that comes with meeting Anita and Jean Claude for the first time.

Laurell K.Hamilton has found a winning combination of a captivating story with an erotic edge. It’s a pleasure to enjoy Anita Blake and her adventures again.