Eclipse is the third book in the Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer. It continues the story of 18-year-old Bella Swan and her vampire love, Edward Cullen. Eclipse is preceded by New Moon and followed by Breaking Dawn.
A few months prior to the release of Eclipse, Meyer hosted an "Eclipse Prom" event at Arizona State University with the help of a local bookstore and ASU's English department. Tickets sold out in seven hours, resulting in Meyer holding a second prom on the same day for which tickets sold out in four hours. At the event, Meyer read the first chapter of Eclipse, which was released in the special edition of New Moon that same day. Meyer also released the first chapter on her website and posted a "quote of the day" from the novel on each of the 37 days leading up to its release.
The book jacket features a torn red ribbon. Although it was supposed to be disclosed to the public in May 2007 at the Eclipse Prom, Barnes & Noble and Stephenie Meyer's official website premiered the newly released cover in March 2007, along with a preview summary of the book's plot. The broken ribbon represents choice, as in the book Bella must choose between her love for vampire Edward Cullen, and her friendship/love with werewolf Jacob Black. Meyer also stated that the ribbon represents the idea that Bella can't break away completely from her human life.
Early book release and critique
On July 25th, an incident similar to the early release of the seventh Harry Potter book occurred with shipments of Eclipse. Barnes and Noble booksellers accidentally shipped advance copies of Eclipse to some of the customers who had pre-ordered. Barnes and Noble said that it was a computer error, as their entire online store is computerized.
To prevent any spoilers from popping up online, many fansite forums for the Twilight series were shut down, such as the Twilight Lexicon. It was also suggested that Stephenie Meyer lock her MySpace comments so as to avoid spoilers being posted. In an open letter to the fansite the Twilight Lexicon, Stephenie Meyer pleaded with these "lucky readers" to please keep the ending to themselves until the rest of the Twilight fans had the chance to read and enjoy Eclipse as well.
An early book release also occurred with Stephenie Meyer's release of Eclipse Special Edition. The special edition was to hit store shelves on May 31, 2008, but multiple copies were released up to a whole week early. Stephenie Meyer herself knew that some copies had been leaked, and released the following quote:
"There is a lot of speculation on the internet about possible covers, content and text of Breaking Dawn. I hope everybody knows that you shouldn't believe everything you see on the internet. The only way you will know what is real is when you have the book in your hands. Until then, people should really take everything they see with a grain of salt."
Meyer had this quote posted on her website on May 22, 2008 because Eclipse Special Edition included the first chapter, entitled "Engaged", and cover art of the upcoming novel Breaking Dawn.
The story begins with the revelation that Seattle is being plagued by a string of unsolved murders, which Edward suspects to be the cause of a newborn vampire that is unable to control its thirst. Edward and Bella fill out college applications, while Bella explains to Edward her desire to see Jacob, her werewolf friend, again. Meanwhile, Alice Cullen has a vision that Victoria, a vampire that is hunting Bella, is back in town. Although Edward fears for her safety, Bella insists that Jacob and the rest of the werewolf pack would never harm her, but Edward is still not convinced. Bella escapes to La Push to see Jacob while Edward is away, and arrives afterwards at her house unharmed. This convinces Edward that the La Push werewolves are harmless to her and he allows Bella to visit Jacob once in a while, as long as she keeps a phone with her at all times.
A few days later Bella tries to get Edward to make love to her before turning her into a vampire. Edward initially refuses, explaining to Bella that he could very easily kill her. Eventually, upon realizing how much it means to Bella, he says that he is willing to try in the future as long as they are married first. Despite having an aversion to marriage, Bella realizes that spending eternity with Edward is more important to her than anything else and accepts his proposal.
Bella and the Cullens realize that the murders in Seattle are being committed by Victoria and an "army" of newborn vampires. The Cullen family joins forces with the werewolf pack in order to combat this threat. As everyone else prepares for battle, Edward and Bella camp up in the mountains, where they are later joined by Jacob and Seth Clearwater, a young member of the werewolf pack, to wait out the fight.
In the morning, Jacob overhears Edward and Bella discussing their engagement and becomes very upset. He threatens to join the fight and get himself killed because Bella doesn't love him. When Bella begs him not to, Jacob insists that he will unless she asks him to kiss her. Furious, she does so, and while kissing him she realizes that she loves him, too. However, she explains that her love for Edward is eternal and that she cannot live without him.
Their family and friends successfully destroy Victoria and her "army", though Jacob is injured when saving Leah Clearwater. He heals swiftly under the supervision of Carlisle. Bella visits Jacob in his home to tell him of her choice, and Jacob, angry at Bella's decision to become a vampire, runs away in his wolf form to escape the pain he feels.
Eclipse received mixed reviews. LoveVampires.com states that, "Adult readers may be put off by the teenage relationship angst in this novel but if you have already enjoyed the author’s previous offerings I think there is still plenty here to entertain." Based on this, they gave Eclipse four and a half out of five stars.DearAuthor.com said that, "It was clear to me that once the decision to remake Bella into a vampire was made, all natural tension evaporated and thus the author had to manufacture false conflict after false conflict to keep the storyline interesting." Dear Author also gave Eclipse a C- grade. Revish.com said that Eclipse, " never [had] a dull moment... [and is] one of the greatest love stories I've ever encountered."
[wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclipse_(novel) ]
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