I've got to admit the storyline presented this time is slightly more compelling than the last. It's enjoyable for me to see the progression of an author's thoughts and style over time. I was also highly impressed with the four blank pages denoting only the months in which nothing happened. What a completely unique way of skipping forward in time without boring the reader to tears with monotony.
The story continues in much the same fashion as before and picks up exactly where "Twilight" leaves off. But within the first chapter all of Bella's life falls apart and she is forced to quit the perfect relationship she has with Edward. (I'm not giving away the main plot line too much!)
In the vacuum a new beau arrives and takes up the romantic post now vacant-and he's got a secret too!
Jacob Black, a Native American on a reservation town called La Push, WA is the direct descendant of two of the most powerful Werewolves in Washington state history. As he comes of age he too gains the ability to transform from a man to wolf.
Amazingly, Mrs. Meyer does a great job with the werewolf. She actually makes the werewolf animal in form, although slightly larger. In the book the werewolf is originally described as big as a Black Bear. This was to my great relief. Hollywood has truly destroyed the myth of the werewolf with its Wolfman. I guess it was too difficult or expensive to train and film actual wolves back in the 1940s.
These werewolves also transform, but they are not the long drawn out transformations of "Teen Wolf", but rather short "tremblings" in which the body simply morphs into its alternative form. They have greater sight, smell, hearing; they heal faster than normal humans and are capable of destroying vampires.
The only thing I was a little iffy on was the size of Jacob Black, the human, throughout the course of the story. All she kept saying was that he "grew." To me, this just became laughable. After awhile I began to picture a giant walking around town like it was no big deal. To top it all off, the other members of the pack (5 altogether) seem to grow together. How in a community as small as Forks with legends and myths flying around like confetti, would they not start to associate the 5 "large" boys and the spotting of 5 "large bear-like" wolves together?! This is like the Clark Kent/Superman belief that simply putting on a pair of glasses and covering the cape is a good enough disguise. Simply laughable.
On the other hand, the story was more coherent. She did a great job of foreshadowing events. This time, when there was an emergency trip to get out of Forks it wasn't so off the cuff. The ideas flowed seamlessly together and created a great ride I actually started to enjoy.
We were also introduced to some True Vampires along the way. While Mrs. Meyer still refuses to discuss blood and gore (weak stomach perhaps?) she did finally show that vampires were blood suckers and that they preferred it that way. The danger and suspense were there, and there was a slight hint at erotica as well. (Why would you go to a large castle during a festival, when a beautiful woman in the shortest mini-skirt asked you too?)
At this point, I can kind of get behind the sparkly skin Meyer's vampires have. It is becoming a unique twist on an old myth. I'm still not a fan of the fact that the Cullens do not partake of their natural prey and survive, but I'm assuming at this point Mrs. Meyer will not change this fact.
Last thought that I'm sure will be answered in the upcoming book or books: How does Edward and the Cullen clan plan to subvert the Treaty formed with Ephraim Black nearly 70 years ago. Namely that no one can be "bitten" by a vampire, not just killed. Obviously the underlying plot is Bella's transformation to a vampire and the only way one can become a vampire is to be bitten. I have one theory, but I'm sure Mrs. Meyer has a unique twist on this that will require a quick trip to Australia or some other remote and exotic locale.
All in all, this book was good. I really enjoyed it and finished it in record time-or at least record time for someone who works full-time and is the father of a four month old boy. At this point I'm beginning to see what the fuss was all about.
I've already picked up the next book, "Eclipse", and I will follow up with its review shortly.