Book 4 of the Twilight Series
by Stephenie Meyer
Read by Ilyana Kadushin & Matt Walters
Produced by Listening Library
Approx 20.5 hours
I finally got around to listening to the final book in the "Twilight" Series by Stephenie Meyer. I kept putting it off because I really didn't want to put up with the whiney Bella. But I was drawn to it mainly because of the werewolves and not the vampires. When Stephenie Meyer writes about the werewolves, led (kinda sorta/ and even more so in this book) by Jacob Black, she seems to do better storytelling. And then again the werewolves aren't the whiney-pay-attention-to-me-I'm-so-smart-and-everything-should-be-handed-to-me Bella. I've also been thinking that maybe the werewolves tell the masculine side of the story and the vampires represent the feminine, but that would be another analysis all together.
This book is the one that brings a close (somewhat) to the "Twilight" series. It even gives everyone a happily-ever-after ending. Maybe not the one you were expecting but it seems to end the series on a positive note. It does however leave the author open to write more should she feel like revisiting the series. This final tome is broken down into 3 parts, the first and last as told by Bella and the second told by Jacob. This is the reason for the 2 vocal actors in the audiobook. I will say this; Ilyana Kadushin and Matt Walters do a great job acting out the reading. Ms. Kadushin captures the voice and character of Bella, and it may be due to her portrayal of a perfect teenage female that gets on my nerves. As for Matt Walters delivery as Jacob, the werewolf, he delivers the angst and anger of the character and even gets a good growl going in some of the scenes.
Okay here's where my problem in this book lies; Bella is always wanting attention but at the same time saying I don't want the attention. She acts as though here getting the "gift" of immortality is due her for no other reason than she says so. Some may say that her being in love with a vampire she should deserve to be one, but the way the character reads she seems very "snotty" about it. And with today's youth thinking everything should be handed them just because the demand it, Bella emphasizes that point.
Now to get off my soapbox and talk about the story. All in all the story is pretty captivating. Once you get to the middle of the book you are locked in for the ride.
The book begins with Bella finally marrying her vampire, Edward Cullen. Edward demande she marry him before she becomes a vampire. They then go off on their honeymoon off the coast of Brazil. As with any honeymooning couple they engage in days of sex. Although with Edward's vampire strength and desires he ends up bruising Bella and tries to steer her away from this human experience. It turns out Bella demands more time together and as can be expected she becomes pregnant. What? Pregnant? Yes and of course being a half human/half vampire baby this baby has some strange things going on. The strength is more than normal, causing damage to Bella's body, the appetite is draining Bella. This becomes too much for Edward and knowing the baby is killing Bella he flies her back home to his Doctor/Father Carlisle Cullen, to abort this birth. But Bella is having none of it.
The baby is born but before it is born it is found to be developing and growing at an alarming rate, eventually able to transfer its thoughts to Edward, to where Edward then knows the baby loves him and Bella. Jacob hates the baby because it is killing Bella and since Jacob who hasn't "imprinted" with a mate yet, he still loves Bella. Imprinting is a werewolf way of finding the perfect mate.
Once the baby is born she continues to grow at a very fast rate. And surprise of all surprises, Jacob imprints with baby Renesmee. Imprinting is not a sexual thing but more of a protective thing, and is not unusual to have a "quasi-immortal" werewolf imprint with a child. After all werewolves don't age.
Another vampire sees the baby and thinks Renesmee is an "immortal child." Immortal children is forbidden under vampire law set forth by the Volturi. The Volturi are a self appointed governing council over all vampires. Hearing of this law being broking the Volturi seek out to destroy the Cullen's.
The Cullen's seek out all the assistance they can in what seems to be a suicidal battle for the Cullen's but they believe strongly that the baby should live. Stephenie Meyer at this point brings in many vampire covens from around the world and gets very creative in the telling of the stories of the different covens. The fun point is hearing of the Romanian coven led by a vampire named Vladimir. I thought this was a nice nod to Bram Stoker.
All in all there is some good excitement especially during the buildup of the face-off between the Volturi and the Cullens. Also the middle section told by Jacob is captivating.