Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn is the fourth and final book in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. The narrative to Breaking Dawn is separated into three separate parts; the first and last sections are both narrated by Bella Swan, and the middle section by Jacob Black. By far the most detailed book, it starts off with Bella and Edwards wedding at the Cullen house, before moving onto their honeymoon which is on an island off the coast of Brazil called Isle Esme, named after Edwards adoptive vampire mother as a gift to her from Carlisle, his vampire father.

A couple of weeks into the honeymoon, Bella realises she is pregnant and her child is developing at an unnaturally accelerated speed. The couple immediately return home where Edward intends for Bella to have the baby aborted but she refuses, feeling an immediate connection to her unborn child. Worried that the baby will kill Bella during childbirth Edward does everything he can to deter Bella from keeping it, even enlisting Jacob to help, who is repulsed by the idea of what Bella has conceived.

As soon as he finds out what Bella is carrying, he informs the rest of the wolf pack who are equally disgusted and vow to destroy both her and the unborn creature. Jacob breaks off from the main tribe to form his own which is devoted solely to protecting Bella until the child is born. When the day of birth finally arrives, Carlisle is absent collecting blood reserves for the birth and so Edward and Jacob take on the responsibility of delivering the child. It is a grotesque birth, which results in Bella’s demise, but Edward had needles full of his venom to inject into Bella’s heart and bloodstream to turn her into a vampire at the last minute, but will this work? Will Bella and the baby survive child birth?  Will she ever actually become a vampire, or will she die before the transformation can be completed? And how will the Volturi react to the whole situation?

It is hard to discuss the final instalment to the Twilight series without revealing plenty of spoilers. As previously mentioned, the book is split into three sections, each of which could have been published as a book in its own right. As the final part of the puzzle, this book tackles the many criticisms both readers and critics alike have had with the previous three books, namely Bella’s passivity and devotion to Edward. While being devoted to a partner is not a bad thing, the Twilight series has taken it to a whole new level by including underlying themes of Mormon ideology. Thankfully, Breaking Dawn has Bella break out of her passive shackles and come into her own. She does exactly what she wants in this book, without having to bow down to anyone else’s wishes, which is a refreshing change from the norm.

As the longest of all the Twilight novels, Breaking Dawn should feel like a lengthy read, but the use of the three sections makes it well paced and feel much shorter than it is. The only problem is that the narrative builds up to a climax that never really happens, which is why the film adaptation has famously altered the ending slightly. The book ties up Bella and Edward’s romance nicely, and offers a satisfying ending to the tumultuous narrative that fans will be thrilled with.

Click here to read reviews on Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse and don’t forget to check back tomorrow for a review of the Eclipse novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.


By Sophie Atherton @SophAthers