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Carmen (UK)

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Breaking Dawn: Twilight, Book 4 (Twilight Saga)
Breaking Dawn: Twilight, Book 4 (Twilight Saga)
by Stephenie Meyer
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.94

33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Clumisly Written, 12 Aug. 2008
**Contains very mild spoilers**

Breaking Dawn is the massively anticipated fourth book in the popular Twilight series written by Stephenie Meyer. The story picks up where the previous book, Eclipse, finishes with the main character, Bella, looking forwards to her future life with her fiancé, a vampire.

Considering the popularity of this series there has been an understandable amount of hype and excitement surrounding Breaking Dawn. Unfortunately, as the book progresses it becomes increasingly obvious that it was never going to be the classic that many fans had anticipated. In the previous three books in the series, Meyer has shown that she is an author not afraid to tackle difficult subject matter and potentially controversial attitudes. This is something that she continues to do in Breaking Dawn though with noticeably less success. While never the most subtle writer, what subtly was there seems to be missing and this may have something to do with what at times feels like shoddy editing. There are plot holes, significant continuity errors, and not infrequently typos. Characterisation occasionally seems off and Meyer tears apart the universe that she created in order to rework it to include a whole new set of `rules'. The genre of the book seems to change halfway through.

Ironically, Breaking Dawn is often a more entertaining read than the previous books. There are more twists and turns, more interesting new characters (both minor and major), and we even get to see the events for the perspective of more than one character (unlike with the other books). Meyer works hard to justify the significant changes that she has made to the `rules' of the Twilight universe, with explanations that, while factually impossible in places, are entertaining all the same. Unfortunately, what makes the books entertaining also leaves it feeling unbalanced to read. The exciting revelations about Bella are interrupted by `Book Two', which is told entirely from Jacob's perspective and while interesting at times feels an entirely different story as he tackles (at length) events that might have been dealt with far quicker. Furthermore, what should have been an exciting final climax to the book is almost turned into a footnote by events which occur several chapters (and many pages) earlier.

This brings us to one other issue with Breaking Dawn: it is simply too long. At 768 pages it is over a hundred pages longer than any of the previous instalments and this is evident in the lulls in pace and overly flowery descriptions that are scattered through the book. Unlike the other Twilight novels that are renowned for their readability, Breaking Dawn drags at times.

Breaking Dawn is a good read. At times it is even a very good read. Poor editing and occasionally dubious content aside, the problem with it is that the reader is too frequently expected to suspend disbelief and accept significant changes to the world that Meyer has previously created. With a following which dedicates itself to learning every facet of that world this book was always going to receive a mixed reception.

Pigeons, Doves and Dovecotes (Gold Cockerel)
Pigeons, Doves and Dovecotes (Gold Cockerel)
by Michael Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sound Start, 28 Oct. 2005
This book would be interesting introduction for the reader who knows nothing or very little about pigeons, doves and dovecotes. There is an excellent guide to the different types of pigeons and a thorough (perhaps even excessive) study of dovecotes and there history. Overall well worth the money.

The Sunday Philosophy Club (Isabel Dalhousie Novels)
The Sunday Philosophy Club (Isabel Dalhousie Novels)
by Alexander McCall Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly as Precious, 14 Sept. 2005
As an avid fan of The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series I was looking forwards to reading Alexander McCall Smith's new series. I was interested to see what new and fresh character the author would come up with to compete with my affections for Precious Ramotswe. For me though The Sunday Philosophy Club fell flat. Before long it became clear to me that McCall Smith had unfortunately attempted to recreate Precious in his new female lead, Isabel Dalhousie. The truth is that where the somewhat imposing moral tones of Precious had worked in that woman, in Isabel they simply come across as overbearing. From start to finish the book felt to me like one long lecture on morals; a complaint about the youth of today and the way in which they no longer had the manners, the respect that they used to have. As a reader in my early twenties it was this which destroyed what could have been an interesting and exciting story.

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