Twilight: Eclipsed Sunset

 In Ned's Column
[frame align=”left”]Eclipsed Sunset cover[/frame][note color=”#ffebeb”]Rating: 4 out of 5 moons
Genre: Romantic teen anxiety horror
Format: Hardcover, e-Book, audio book, comic book, cook book and Japanese Kabuki dancing.
Release Date: Pending
Recommended Reading: Age 10 + (16+ in Arkansas with picture book)
Spoilers: Yes, but only if you read the book after this review.[/note]

The Gist: Eclipsed Sunset is the eagerly anticipated next chapter in the highly successful Twilight series, which spawned 116 million copies in 38 languages, five major motion pictures, two companion books, a children’s educational book (When Werewolves Give Each Other Piggyback Rides), and a world-wide shortage of black eyeliner.

Originally titled Midnight Sun and renamed Eclipsed Sunset, the initial draft — which was a re-telling of the original Twilight book from “Edward’s” point of view — was abandoned following the unauthorized release of several chapters which, according to the book’s publishers, “revealed critical plot points” to the eight people who didn’t read it the first time. Eclipsed Sunset takes a completely new direction from the previous books, leaping ahead one year to when Renesmee, Bella and Edward’s half-human, half-vampire daughter, begins terrorizing the coven, threatening the Volturi, obsessing over boy bands and backtalking her parents as a result of her highly accelerated pubescent hormones. Eclipsed Sunset is a cautionary tale, set against the mythical backdrop of Twilight, that explores how the qualities that make Renesmee human are “eclipsed” by her supernatural and often irrational need to get snippy with her parents.

[note color=”#b3b3b3″]Synopsis: A year after the climactic confrontation with the Volturi, during which the 150-year-old vampire-human “Nahuel” demonstrates that crossbreeds pose no threat to any vampire covens, Renesmee’s fast-paced growth rate slows at age 15. However, because Renesmee is the first female human-vampire, and knowing the Volturi have taken a special interest in their daughter, Edward and Bella undertake special precautions by tracking her whereabouts through her smartphone; setting a daytime curfew; monitoring her Facebook activity; and implementing parental controls on her Netflix account. This enrages the highly volatile Renesmee, who finds herself driven into the arms of a new character, a sexually frustrated teenage zombie named Richard Deadwood.

Naturally, Jacob Black, whose werewolf “imprint” on Renesmee as a baby makes him fiercely protective, takes an instant dislike to the undead Richard, who routinely fuels the hatred by removing body parts and tossing them for Jacob to fetch. This sets up a fiery triangle that draws the attention of the Volturi, who threaten to return to the small town of Forks and unleash another deadly premonition battle that never really happens.

Fearful for her family and herself, Renesmee runs away from Forks, prompting Jacob and Richard to put aside their differences and find her before it’s too late, and there’s the need for a sequel.


The Lowdown: What makes this book work so well is the believability of its characters. Throughout the first four books I have to admit, while entertaining, I found Bella’s father, “Ned,” “Charlie,” the only accurately depicted character.

However, as a father with daughters ages 12 and 18, I was drawn into Eclipsed Sunset because of the well-crafted believability of Renesmee.

In one scene, for example, Edward asks Renesmee to “tidy her room before going out to feed,” and, because of her super strength, “the splintering of old-growth mahogany thundered through the house as Renesmee, in her anger, destroyed each step as she stomped up the staircase to her room.”


And while I initially scoffed at the introduction of the new character Richard Deadwood because I felt the book was pandering to the current zombie craze, I quickly realized his anxiety over his [spoiler alert!] dropping off was really an attempt to explore the loss of manhood many men feel when they are subjected to the relentless sight of Jacob’s torso.

That’s what I’ve been told, anyway.

Bottom line?

I found Eclipsed Sunset an enjoyable, well-written read that not only entertains, but begs the question:

If my daughter were a vampire…

Wait, IS she?!?

(in no way is this fictitious book review or it claims, real, or those of the publisher, or author of the Twilight Saga…duh)

Ned Hickson
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