Eclipse (Meyer novel)
First edition cover of Eclipse
|Genre||Young adult, Fantasy, Romance|
|August 7, 2007|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover, Paperback)
Audio Book (CD)
|LC Class||PZ7.M5717515 Ec 2007|
|Preceded by||New Moon|
|Followed by||Breaking Dawn|
Eclipse is the third novel in the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. It continues the story of Bella Swan and her vampire love, Edward Cullen. The novel explores Bella's compromise between her love for Edward and her friendship with shape-shifter Jacob Black, along with her dilemma of leaving her mortality behind in a terrorized atmosphere, a result of mysterious vampire attacks in Seattle.
Eclipse is preceded by New Moon and followed by Breaking Dawn. The book was released on August 7, 2007, with an initial print run of one million copies, and sold more than 150,000 copies in the first 24 hours alone. Eclipse was the fourth bestselling book of 2008, only behind Twilight, New Moon, and Breaking Dawn. A film adaptation of the novel was released on June 30, 2010.
Eclipse received generally positive reviews. Critics noted its exploration of more mature themes than those of its predecessors, while praising the novel's love triangle and plotting.
The story begins with the revelation that Seattle, Washington is being plagued by a string of murders, which Edward suspects is caused by a new vampire that is unable to control its thirst for human blood. As Edward and Bella apply to colleges, Bella explains to Edward her desire to see her friend, Jacob Black, a werewolf. Although Edward fears for her safety, Bella insists that neither Jacob nor his werewolf pack would ever harm her, and she begins visiting him occasionally. On one of these visits, Jacob tells Bella that he is in love with her, and wants her to choose him instead of Edward, but Bella says she just sees him as a friend. Meanwhile, Alice Cullen has a vision that Victoria, a vampire who is hunting Bella for revenge for the death of James, has returned to Forks. A few days later, Edward proposes to Bella and, despite harboring an aversion to marriage, she accepts. Bella learns more of Rosalie's past and her real reasons for treasuring humanity. While being a vampire is still her wish, Bella eventually decides to rethink her decision.
Bella and the Cullens soon realize that the Seattle murders are being committed by an "army" of newborn vampires, controlled by Victoria. The Cullens join forces with the werewolf pack to combat this threat. As everyone else prepares for battle, Edward, Bella and Jacob camp in the mountains, hidden during the battle, where they are later joined by Seth Clearwater, a young wolf pack member, to wait out the fight.
In the morning, Jacob becomes upset when he overhears Edward and Bella discussing their engagement and threatens to join the fight and get himself killed. Bella stops Jacob by kissing him, and she comes to realize that she is in love with him as well. During the battle, Victoria tracks Edward's scent to Bella's forest hiding place, and Edward is forced to fight. Edward manages to kill Victoria and her vampire army is destroyed by the Cullens. Afterwards, Bella explains to Jacob that while she loves him, her love for Edward is far greater.
The epilogue reveals that Jacob is heartbroken and has run away in his wolf form. Leah feels sympathy for him for she had gone through a similar heartbreak with Sam, reveals her own disgust and hatred for Bella.
Development, inspirations and influences
Meyer finished the rough draft of Eclipse before the release of Twilight in October 2005; however, she said that the final manuscript did not differ much from the rough draft. Originally, the book had a different ending when Eclipse was intended to be the final book in the series, as Meyer was signed to a three-book deal with Little, Brown and Company. Meyer stated that the events of Eclipse are centered on Bella's choice to become a vampire and fully comprehending the price she has to pay to undergo the transformation, which she didn't understand in Twilight and New Moon. She said that "every aspect of the novel revolves around this point, every back story, every relationship, every moment of action."
According to Meyer, the book was inspired and influenced by Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, although she does not like the book. She said that characters of the book fascinate her and she enjoys reading certain parts, but does not enjoy the book as a whole because she finds it very depressing—an opinion expressed by Edward in Eclipse. When comparing Edward and Jacob to Heathcliff and Edgar Linton of Wuthering Heights, she said, "You could look at Edward and Jacob from one perspective and say: Okay, this one is Heathcliff and this one is Edgar. And someone else might say: No, wait a second. Because of this reason and that reason, that one is Heathcliff and the other one is Edgar...I like that confusion, because that's how life is." In August 2009, The Telegraph reported that HarperCollins' Wuthering Heights edition—which has a "gothic" cover similar to the Twilight covers—has sold more than 10,000 copies since May of that year, more than twice as many as the traditional Penguin Classics edition, and topped the newspaper's classic books chart for the first time due to Meyer referencing the novel.
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 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 the vampire Edward Cullen and her friendship with the werewolf Jacob Black. Meyer also stated that the ribbon represents the idea that Bella is unable to completely break away from her human life. Movie tie-in covers featuring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner who portray Bella, Edward, and Jacob, in the feature film, were released in May 2010.
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. The tickets sold out in seven hours, resulting in Meyer holding a second prom on the same day for which tickets sold out within 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. In addition, Meyer embarked on a 15-city tour to promote the book. She 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.
On July 25, an incident similar to the early release of the seventh Harry Potter book occurred with shipments of Eclipse. Barnes & Noble Booksellers accidentally shipped advance copies of Eclipse to some of the customers who had pre-ordered. Barnes & 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. Stephenie Meyer also locked her MySpace comments in an attempt to avoid spoilers. In an open letter to the fansite the Twilight Lexicon, Meyer pleaded with these "lucky readers" to 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 the release of the Eclipse special edition, which included the first chapter and cover art of the subsequent novel, Breaking Dawn. The special edition was to hit store shelves on May 31, 2008, but multiple copies were released up to a whole week early. Meyer knew that some copies had been leaked, and released the following statement:
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.
Publication and reception
Eclipse was published with an initial run of one million copies and sold 150,000 copies in its first day of release. The book was replaced by J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the top of bestseller lists around the globe, including The New York Times Best Seller list, even though Deathly Hallows had been released only two and a half weeks earlier. Eclipse peaked at #1 on USA Today 's top 150 best sellers list and went on to spend over 100 weeks on the list, and was later ranked #45 on their list of the best-selling books of the last 15 years in October 2008. Eclipse was the fourth bestselling book of 2008, only behind Twilight, New Moon, and Breaking Dawn, and the second bestselling of 2009 behind New Moon. It also ranked #1 on Publishers Weekly's list of "Bestselling Hardcover Backlist Children's Books" in 2008 with over 4.5 million copies sold.
Eclipse received mostly positive reviews. Anne Rouyer of School Library Journal gave the novel a positive review and said that, "Meyer knows what her fans want: thrills, chills, and a lot of romance, and she delivers on all counts." Rouyer also thought that as in the two previous installments, "it is Meyer's effective and intense portrayal of first love in all its urgency, passion, and confusion that drives the story along with the supernatural elements coming in a close second", and said that the "injection of heightened sexual tension and sensuality that hasn't been present in the series before" contributed well to the emotional atmosphere of the novel. However, she found that the werewolves' and vampires' histories slowed the book's pace and called the newborn army's story a "convoluted add-in", while noting that they "contribute in some way to Bella's epiphanies about her future." Katie Trattner of Blogcritics praised the characters and their development throughout the novel, particularly the histories of Rosalie and Jasper—contradicting Rouyer—stating, "The history that formed them and their reactions towards Bella become clear and the characters much more solid because of this knowledge. I think that is part of the appeal of these books—the fact that you do become so wrapped up in the characters, that they touch places deep inside yourself." She commended Meyer for painting a good emotional image, as well as Bella's emotional growth, and went on to say that she "writes so fluidly and propels the reader forward so effortlessly." Selby Gibson-Boyce of Tulsa World wrote, "I read without stopping until I finished. Meyer's book would not detach itself from my hand. Exactly the same thing happened with Twilight and New Moon." Publishers Weekly wrote, "The legions of readers who are hooked on the romantic struggles of Bella and the vampire Edward will ecstatically devour this third installment of the story", while noting that, "it's unlikely to win over any newcomers." Kirkus Reviews concluded its review stating that the book's "unsettling racially charged characterizations are offset by messages of overcoming difference and working together. Fans of Bella's angst-drenched love triangle will gobble this entry up, and the open-ended conclusion paves the way for Jake's story to come."
Laura Buhl of About.com gave the novel a more mixed review, giving it 3.5 stars out of 5. She found "the first several chapters stifled by issues of jealousy which are slow to develop", and said "Meyer's new sources of conflict feel heavy-handed at some points and over-the-top at others." Despite praising Meyer for uncannily understanding and writing the workings of the teenage mind, she noted that Bella is slow on the uptake of some obvious aspects of the plot. However, she went on to praise the final climatic battle for bringing plenty of thrills and excitement. Novelist Elizabeth Hand wrote a negative review of the book for The Washington Post, calling it a "disappointment" and criticizing it for "never delivering an epic werewolf-bloodsucker smackdown", as well as for Bella remaining "an insufferable bore".
A film adaptation of Eclipse was released on June 30, 2010. It is the third installment of the Twilight film series, following 2008's Twilight and 2009's New Moon. Summit Entertainment greenlit the film in February 2009. Since New Moon director Chris Weitz was in post-production for New Moon when Eclipse began shooting, he did not direct the third film. Instead, Eclipse was helmed by director David Slade, with Melissa Rosenberg returning as screenwriter. Filming ran between August 17 and October 29, 2009 at Vancouver Film Studios. It was the first Twilight film to be shot in IMAX.
- Bob Minzesheimer (2007-08-15). "Vampire tale takes bite out of 'Potter'". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg (2007-08-10). "Booksellers Find Life After Harry In a Vampire Novel". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- Joshua Rich (2009-02-20). "'Twilight': Third film in series, 'Eclipse,' set for June 2010". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-02-20.
- Meyer, Stephenie (April 2011). "A Conversation with Shannon Hale, On Eclipse". The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide. Little, Brown.
- "Eclipse FAQ". StephenieMeyer.com. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
- Stephen Adams (August 28, 2009). "Stephenie Meyer's vampire pushes Wuthering Heights to top of Waterstone's classics chart". The Telegraph. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
- StephenieMeyer.com | Twilight Series | Eclipse
- Stephenie Says - Q+A at Fairless Hills
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- StephenieMeyer.com | Eclipse | Quotes of the Day
- Cecelia Goodnow (2007-08-06). "Stephenie Meyer's Forks-based saga of teen vampire love is now a global hit". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved 2009-08-16.
- Stephenie Meyer (2008-07-07). "Breaking Dawn". StephenieMeyer.com. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- "Eclipse Quiz". ReelzChannel. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- "Important News!! Everyone Please Read!!". Twilight Lexicon. 2007-07-25. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
- Stephenie Meyer's quote on the early release of Eclipse Special Edition[verification needed]
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- Anne Rouyer (2007-09-05). "Eclipse". School Library Journal. Retrieved 2008-11-16.
- Katie Trattner (August 27, 2007). "Book Review: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer". Blogcritics. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
- Shelby Gibson-Boyce (2007-08-10). "Free radical: J.K. who? Hottest new series is vamp fantasy". Tulsa World. Retrieved 2008-11-16.[dead link]
- "Children's Books: Week of 8/20/2007". Publishers Weekly. 2007-08-20. Retrieved 2009-08-16.[dead link]
- "ECLIPSE By Stephenie Meyer". Kirkus Reviews. September 15, 2007. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
- Laura Buhl. "'Eclipse' by Stephenie Meyer - Book Review". About.com. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
- Elizabeth Hand (August 10, 2008). "Love Bites". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
- "Browsing Books: Editor's Choice". New York Times. 2007-08-19. Retrieved 2011-01-31.
- Brandon Gray (2009-02-20). "Third 'Twilight' Dawns Summer 2010". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-02-20.
- "David Slade To Direct 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse'". Access Hollywood. 2009-04-23. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
- "David Slade to Direct Summit Entertainment's The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" (Press release). Summit Entertainment. 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2009-04-22.
- Adam Rosenberg (2009-06-30). "'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse' Shoot Dates Revealed!". MTV. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
- Debi Moore (2009-10-29). "Eclipse Wrapped, a Trio of New Moon Stills & Wallpaper, Twilight Returning to Theatres". Dread Central. Dread Central Media, LLC. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
- Amy Eisinger (2009-12-09). "'Eclipse,' third film in 'Twilight' series, is first to be converted to IMAX". NY Daily News. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
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