Eclipse, the third novel in the Twilight Saga, was published fourteen years ago today. Since the novel falls in the middle of the now five-book series, Eclipse can sometimes blend in with the Edward-versus-Jacob plot of New Moon and the high-stakes Volturi battle in Breaking Dawn. But the third novel in the Twilight series answers so many questions that readers have had over the previous two books. It is the perfect setup for the climax to Bella and Edward’s story, yet it is also a fantastic stand-alone novel that warrants multiple reread sessions. In honor of Eclipse‘s publishing birthday, here are five reasons why the book is a supreme Twilight novel.
***Major spoilers ahead if you have not read the Twilight Saga***
For much of Twilight and New Moon, Victoria fell to the background of more important events happening in the series (James was tracking Bella, wolves were popping up throughout Forks). Frankly, I had completely forgotten about her by the time I first read Eclipse. Not only that but she is described as sort of a meek, scared character when she is first introduced in Twilight.
Perhaps that was the point, to take readers away from suspecting her of anything. However, Eclipse completely changes how readers see Victoria. If you ask me, I think she is the evilest, most vile character of James’s coven. She lives under the radar without a coven before creating her own army of vampires. That’s insanely badass of her to do! So despite her vengefulness, you can’t deny that Victoria’s character arc and story in Eclipse absolutely make the novel.
The Newborn Army of Vampires
Speaking of Victoria’s army, the newborn army of vampires that stalk Seattle and Forks are something of my nightmares. However, they also fill the void of what most people expect when they think of vampires. Up until now, the Cullens were the only vampires in Forks, and they’re super tame. The Volturi feel so far away in Italy (and as readers, we wouldn’t know how important they would be until Breaking Dawn). James and Laurent were easily taken out by the Cullens and the wolves.
So to have brand new vampires for the Cullens to face was exciting and daunting. We were introduced to two important side characters, Riley and Bree, who would become important pieces in Victoria’s puzzle. Not only this, but readers receive an explanation from Jasper about just how dangerous newborn vampires can be. Would this be where we lose a beloved character? The suspense was maddening and kept me reading until the very last page.
One of my personal favorite parts about the Twilight books is learning about each vampire’s background. How did they come to be, and what were their stories before Bella walked into their lives? Well, Eclipse introduces us to Jasper Hale’s background story. This was surprising considering Jasper, himself, was such a mysterious character whose only true plot point was that he had attacked Bella in New Moon.
However, Jasper’s knowledge becomes imperative to the battle against the newborns. Readers enjoyed learning about Jasper’s battle between good and evil as he struggled with a) being a Confederate soldier during the American Civil War and b) becoming a vampire who murdered relentlessly. It’s a fascinating story that explains how the quiet Cullen came to be, and in the end, it further develops Jasper and Bella’s friendship.
The Joining of Vampires and Wolves
Most readers never would have guessed that the Cullens would join forces with the Quileute wolves to defeat a common enemy, especially after Jacob tried to steal Bella away from Edward in New Moon. But what’s great about their coming together in Eclipse is that it proved both sides can move on from the past.
The initial animosity between the Cullens and the Quileute tribe stems from when the Cullens first arrived in Forks. If they hadn’t caused any trouble since, why did the treaty to keep them away from one another last for so long? The wolves were undeniably a huge part in defeating the newborn army, so the Cullens honestly couldn’t have done it without their help. It was exciting to see two enemies unite, and succeed, as one. And readers wouldn’t know it yet, but this would set them up for the battle against the Volturi army in Breaking Dawn.
Bella is a Badass
Fans and haters alike make fun of Bella as a character because she’s not exactly the headstrong heroine you would expect from a vampire novel. She’s the typical “not like other girls” girl and falls at Edward’s feet, even chasing him to Italy overnight. She’s not exactly a feminist icon. However, it is undeniable that Bella saves the day at the end of Eclipse.
After remembering a Quileute legend about a woman who sacrifices herself to save her village, Bella hurts herself to distract Victoria, allowing Edward to rip her, unsuspecting, apart. Had she not created a distraction (or stayed in the tent, as Edward had initially asked of her), who’s to know what would have happened during Victoria and Edward’s fight. For once, Bella stepped up to the plate and used her humanity to her advantage. She didn’t wait around for the mythical creatures to save her or close her eyes and wait for death (which she was wont to do). She fought back in the only way she knew she could, and it worked. By the end of Eclipse, Victoria and her newborn army are destroyed and Forks is (relatively) back to normal…for now, that is.
Which Twilight book is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!