Well. I got around to reading this over the weekend. I'm not going to weigh in on the controversies. (Though I do have to say that people who get all worked up over a work of fiction are a bit uptight. And, yes, I know I get lumped in that. I got all upset about Eclipse, after all.) I'm also not even going to try for a spoiler-free review. You've been warned.
Initially, I wasn't excited about reading the book, but I actually became curious about it afterAndi's review . I kept reading reviews though, and I have to admit that I knew more than my fair share going in. So, I can't say if my reading experience is entirely fair: I was bored. Honestly. For about 3/4 of the novel. I think part of is that Meyer needs a long break from writing. This horrid writing schedule Little, Brown -- at least one book a year! -- is keeping her on is showing. The stories are lame, the writing is bad, the editors are lazy. Either that, or intimidated. Because there was an awful lot of unnecessary passages in here. Did we really have to have all that leading up to the wedding? Did we really have to have all that with the pregnancy? Did we really really have to have all that waiting?? It seemed so pointless. Cut a good two to four hundred pages out and this might -- MIGHT! -- have been a decent novel.
I complained about this in the Host, and it fits here: Meyer has pacing problems. Just when the book starts to pick up, she grinds it to a halt with pages and pages of description (really? Khakis and a sweater pullover? How quaint!) that do nothing for the plot. It was frustrating.
But, I didnt' think it wasn't that great. I kept rolling my eyes. It just felt so over the top. From the super vampire sperm (okay, I can accept that; Meyer is inventing her own vampire lore, after all) to the super half-vampire baby (and I agree: the name is horrible) , to Jacob imprinting on the baby (oh, puh-lease. What a consolation prize. Can't have Bella? Here, have her baby instead. Ugh.), to Alice conveniently arranging the entire ending. Bah.
I liked it better than Eclipse, but that's not saying much. I think Twilight's the best, though, and I have to say that I'll keep recommending that one. But with one caveat: don't bother reading the rest. They're not nearly as good.
The reviews that I read:
Julie at Best Books' review
Cross-posted at Book Nut.