Breaking Dawn

15 08 2008

Darkness in the brethren of vampires living in the sleepy town of Forks is coming to a close. All because a mortal and a beast accidentally started a family.

Slowly she walked to him, radiant and exited; soon she will be a Cullen. Down the aisle, the groom can never be more happier; the love of his life is walking towards him for a promise that will mean eternity. In the blurry of the festivities the two lovers, seventeen year old Edward and eighteen year old Bella, exchange I do’s.

Celebrations like this bring families together and somehow it can moot enemies in one roof without tearing each other apart. What made it festive than it already is, is the fact that Jacob Black had finally come home. Bella lost him in fury over the choices that she’s made but their bond as best friends were too strong to sever. Jacob had to go home and stand as the best man Bella wanted him to be; he’ll sacrifice (again) just to make life perfect for the girl of his dreams.

The blushing bride and the proud groom run off in the night to enjoy their matrimonial bliss. Tonight the promise will be fulfilled; fully human and wanting to enjoy everything experienced as a human, Bella and Edward starts with a nervous first night. However, when Bella opened her eyes in the morning something was wrong. Edward wasn’t happy, not one bit, if anything he was repulsed of what he has done. Apart from the customary aches and pains, Bella is covered in bruises. Edward was not careful and the dancing colour on his wife’s skin tells him so. Why didn’t she stop him? Perhaps what Edward did not understand is that Bella was very much in consent; she understood. Nevertheless, her human weakness will prompt Edward never to touch her again, not until she becomes a vampire.

She will turn him, yes, but the plan is abandoned when Bella’s health took a turn for the worse. Something in her was growing, something imminent, something deadly. How can she be pregnant in less than a month? Edward made a mistake and this mistake will mean that they need to go back to Forks  Washington – fast. The spawn needs to be rid off. However, Bella would rather be dead, and for sure, Edward knew it was really going to be her end. Because no human can bear a monster’s child; in just a month the baby will tear and chew out of her.

Jacob Black knew that he would keep his promise. Once Bella comes back, war is waged. He is sure that the girl he fell in love with by the beach is no less than a monster, whether he likes it or not, the Cullen’s will be killed. But when the fateful day arrived, Edward was on his knees begging for Jacob’s help. Why is everything upside-down?  There will be no killings the day the bride and groom return, because they themselves are already dying. Bella, in as short as a few days lost so much weight, eyes sport deep black circles and her weakness, emanating from the thing that was growing in her severely bruised and hideous belly, is stealing her life away. What has he done to her?

If Edward had tears, he would already be crying at the foot of Jacob. He begged profusely and the hate that drove Jacob away turned to crushing pity. He beseeched him to save Bella, to convince her to abort the abomination that is slowly and surely eating her away. Edward had no idea of Bella’s maternal instinct and her sudden need to have a child, he implores that Jacob take her away and give her the life that she wants; the family, the normal night of wives fulfilling their duties, to bear a child that will not murder her in the process. Jacob knew, standing there watching the vampire who was so happy a few days ago driven mad of despair, that something is gravely wrong. What was he thinking? But he refused; he can never do what is asked of him. Although it will play to his advantage, he loved Bella more than anything in the world and he knows he can never make Bella happy the way this distraught vampire can. Yet, with all the knowledge of his age, Edward can only come up with this solution; take the one I love and give her the desires of her heart. He’d rather have that than have her dead.

Jacob is suddenly lost in thought; finally his sworn rival is backing down and yet he can never win this argument with Bella. They’re more likely to end up fighting if she wasn’t so weak. Nevertheless, he had to try because the vampire needed him, he might just be the only chance to save this dying human.

Bella, although frail will not budge. She is hopeful that the child inside her will be okay and she can fare through it; that she can somehow make it work. She might look like she is dying but her resolve to save her baby is strong. In Jacob’s confusion and loneliness, an idea came to him. If the baby is Edward’s it only means that it too was a vampire, thus needing blood to live. The fetus was living off Bella and in order to keep her from tapping out they had to replenish her resources.

And Bella drank human blood long before she became a vampire. Jacob is hero once again.

This bought her time but it prolonged  Edward and Jacob’s agony; she is still nonetheless walking to her death. And for all it’s worth, the borrowed time secured peace between the warring men. Although Edward’s kind and Jacob’s people will always be against each other, at least even just the two of them – even for just a short moment, can sit, be civil and understand each other. They may be sharing fear of losing the one girl they’ve ever loved, but it is nonetheless still sharing in peace.

But the peace was suddenly torn by Bella’s painful screams, Edward’s baby is about to be born in just around a month. The movement inside Bella’s body turns frantic; the baby is wriggling  its way out breaking her mother’s bones. Bella is giving birth violently and no one is around to help. Yet Edward and Jacob had to try, death is apparent, but they will not hand her just that easily. Fire and Ice stood together fighting one battle in synchronicity. Not one faltering, not one wavering, but try as they can when the spawn tore out from Bella, the battle was lost.

I blew more air into her mouth, but there was nothing there. Just the lifeless rise of her chest in response. I kept pumping her heart, counting, while he worked manically over her, trying to put her back together. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men …

But there was nothing there, just me, just him.

Working over a corpse …

Because that’s all that was left of the girl we both loved. This broken, bled-out, mangled corpse. We couldn’t put Bella together again.

I closed the book relieved after learning how the story ended. Perhaps following the series prompted my need to read the book just so beginning it won’t be wasted by skipping this one last hurrah. And to my surprise, dawn indeed was breaking outside my room when I closed its pages. I opened the door of my quaint terrace and rested my tired but content self, staring at the gradual colours sneaking in the horizons. It was a journey worth reading. Then I realized a review was in order.

I stared at my screen conjuring for the words, yet the inescapable truth of being exhausted is overwhelming to ignore. It’s quite difficult to overlook that it carried a hefty 768-page narrative, so there were times I wished that Meyer would just go straight to the point. Honestly, she was at the point; I was just too wound up to know the conclusion. There were so many details and most of it was happening just within a month. Haste and information over load never mixed. At times when my impatience is crawling in, I simply caution myself that the payoff will be enjoyed thoroughly if I stay on track, so continue I did.

Breaking Dawn is the fourth and final installment of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series. The book itself is divided into three chapters narrated in Bella (Book One and Three) and Jacob’s (Book Two) point of view.  It picked up with Edward and Bella’s wedding going as smoothly as Alice arranged. Down to the honeymoon; which to my chagrin was a little short in the description arena. It’s virtually impossible not to blush about the furniture wrecking-bruise inducing-pillow tearing sex. Then I had to remind myself that this is YA literature … we wouldn’t want to anger conservatives and befuddle kids.  Nevertheless, it provided us with enough innuendo of what transpired when Meyer cut short with the narrative of the first night. What puts me out is Edward’s melodrama of his self-hate after realizing what he put Bella through the night before. I wast just thinking, maybe he could have responded diffrently. Edward is just too complex and sometimes irritatingly theatrical. Can’t he just get it in his thick head that the lady likes it hard? LOL!

I’ve read several plot of women finding out they’re pregnant and while Bella was realizing this, I found it a little trite … a tad, how shall I say this without sounding asinine? … hokey and square. Until Edward suggested abortion, talk about pulling the rug under you. I was yelling, “Asshole, I thought you loved her?” in my head. Soon I realized why.

It was a fresh approach that Meyer allowed Jacob’s point of view to be presented. It’s quite interesting to be in his head. Although short compared to Bella’s book, it provided more than enough view of where this long-suffering hero is coming from. The prologue of his anguish in Eclipse is visceral. His struggle is now more astute and, silly or not, we can see the depth of his logic. He is both poignant and funny. While his miseries from the past have been described in Bella’s POV, it is nothing compared to how Jacob justified it in his head.

Edward’s vulnerability was never center stage in any of the books. We might have had a little taste of it in New Moon but the anguish and helplessness is far more profound in Breaking Dawn. He will not say a word but you can read it even if Meyer did not pen it. The vulnerable being is there and he accurately screams pain. If monsters ever really love and their heart starts breaking, Edward articulated it skillfully. Somehow, through Jacob’s eyes you can distinguish the level of despair he is going through. I especially like the way he answered Jacob when Jacob have given up giving Bella CPR. It was just too heartbreaking.

It is true that there are points in the story that builds up to nothing. Sort of like, making us feel that we will jump shark but really its just a case of making things a little invigorating. Some moments fail to launch to your expectations just when things get heady. The first half has its thrills but the second half has things spilled in wrong directions that it spells anticlimatic. Perhaps that’s one of my reasons why I’m only reviewing Book One and Two. For a tome that deals with the occult, this one pales to a degree. The payoff lacked the MPH it started with. Although you want good things to happen to all the key characters, somehow the realist in you will identify the lack of pain and heartbreak. Poignant ending always seem to hit the right note.

After the story’s ended, it still has potentials. The star crossed lovers got their much needed ending and yet there is still so much more for those who surround them. So many stories yet to be told; characters yet to be embraced. The pages of the Twilight Series doesn’t seem to close here, there is great possibility for a lengthy epilogue. Until we hear Jacob get his happy ever after, we will wait.

Breaking Dawn believes in happy ending. It will gnaw in you even after seeing (or reading) the worst (I still can’t wrap my head around how Bella’s powers were exhibited). The contrast from Twilight to Dawn is comparable to water and stone; flowing to stern. Yet somehow, like the element that they are, it will mix through time and it will find a way to deliver that to you.

Notes:

Breaking Dawn (fourth and final installment of the Twilight Series)

Written By American Novelist Stephanie Meyer

Published By Little Brown

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