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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

Midnight Sun (Twilight #1.5) - Stephenie Meyer This manuscript is a draft that was leaked; Meyer decided to make it available formally. Because it hasn't had the benefit of editing, my only style comment is that it continues the series's trend toward formulaic and predictable writing. In fact, it is considerably worse than some of the talented and imaginative fan fiction that the series has generated.The conceit here is that we are now seeing the events of Twilight from Edward's perspective. This technique was used by Orson Scott Card when he retold Ender's Game as Bean's story in Ender's Shadow. Bean's tale was convincing and his account added depth and complexity to the events as Ender understood them. Card gave the reader new insight into Ender and his circumstances while giving Bean a warm and humanizing voice. Through Bean, the reader learned about even more complex and interlocking facets of Ender's story.Sadly, none of the above is true of Midnight Sun, at least as far as this manuscript demonstrates. Yes, some additional events are added, none especially significant. Yes, the reader learns more back story on Edward, particularly about the Cullens' family relationships. However, it is more of a character sketch of Edward than it is a new story intertwined with Twilight. Thus, events are boringly retold and the plot plods along predictably, going over the same conversations from a nominally different perspective. Sadly, this extended look into Edward's point of view reveals several problems. Meyer has a hard time giving her characters distinct voices, so Edward's voice and personality are muddily depicted. In this regard the section in Breaking Dawn from Jacob's point of view stands out even more as a refreshing shift of tone and focus. Edward's narrative is like a stuffy version of Bella's, with the same repetitive refrain of "But s/he smells so good!" This good-smellingness is clearly the basis of his attraction, though he later finds or rationalizes other things to like about her. It cannot be argued, however, that he would have been at all interested were it not for her vampire-attracting pheromones.Troublingly, the more we learn about Edward, the clearer it is that early reviewers were correct: He is a judgmental, over-controlling, petulant, abusive hothead who does what he wants (grabbing, constraining, confining, breaking and entering, and putting Bella and his family in danger) while castigating himself as a monster. Yes, he is, and it's a shame that Bella convinces him otherwise.