Monday, May 18, 2009

Midnight Sun Critique

Just for fun I thought I'd jump on the Twilight bandwagon and do a mini-review of Midnight Sun, the online partial rough draft of a book that I pray SMeyers does not ever finish. First off, I need to give credit for the inspiration to write this blog post to Rachel of Rachel does a wonderful job of picking apart Twilight, chapter by chapter. Funny, inspirational, and well, fairly right on the mark.

I confessed in an earlier post that I have read Twilight. I've actually made it through New Moon and Eclipse but haven't quite gotten up the courage to shell out another $11.99 for the final book, Breaking Dawn. To be honest, they weren't as horrible as I had imagined, and made for a light read while doing laundry at the laundromat.

So...Midnight Sun. This is Twilight from Edward's perspective. I'm not going to attempt to do a chapter by chapter review, but just give my general impressions and point out some bloopers that really stood out to me.

First of all, what is up with the word "chagrin"? For some reason this word kept appearing over and over again. Miriam Webster defines this word as "disquietude or distress of mind caused by humiliation, disappointment, or failure". Bella seems to suffer from this a lot. I didn't count every instance of this word, but trust me, it made its way into every chapter, sometimes more than once. My favorite use of the word: pg. 144 Rosalie turned to glare at me, her eyes sparkling with chagrined fury.

And then there is the whole breathing issue. First of all we are told that as a vampire, Edward does not need to breathe. Okay, makes sense since technically a vampire is dead. Yet he does need to breathe in order to smell his prey, or Bella - even if he does do a lot of breath holding to avoid smelling her "delectable" scent. I just found it unnecessary to read about every breath he took. I found myself yelling at the computer screen (remember this is an online book) "He can't breathe!!!" every time I came across a reference to Edward breathing. eg. pg 72. Tyler was paying us no attention at all, but Carlisle was monitoring my every breath.
Uh why? Were you breathing too much Edward?

But it's not just the breathing issue that got to me. It seems that even though vampires are "cold ones" and therefore do not themselves have blood flowing through their veins, they still seem to be able to exhibit similar blood loss to their faces as humans do when confronted with a shocking situation. eg. p64. (ref. Carlisle) He jumped to his feet, his face paling to bone white. And how exactly is this supposed to happen? Humans' faces turn pale because the blood rushes away from their faces in times of stress or shock. Can you honestly say this would happen with a vampire??

In defense of Edward, Midnight Sun does a good job at addressing many of the creepy issues that are brought up on Rachel's blog. Like his stalking. He admits to being a stalking vampire. p.75 Like a stalker. An obsessessed stalker. An obsessessed, vampire stalker. Uh, good thing this is a rough draft 'cause obsessessed is not in the dictionary! I sure hope her editor would have picked up on this if it made it to print. Though I've read there is some question as to whether her books were edited at all.

I also found it funny to read from Edward's perspective how his attempts to be chivalrous just end up looking creepy. Friends who defend Edward remind me that he was originally from the early 1900's where chivalry was not dead. So his desire to drive, to carry Bella (since she is obviously too delicate to walk), and to open doors for her makes sense. I'm not convinced that Edward is as controlling as some make him out to be. He does get very frustrated that Bella will open the door for herself before he can do his lightening fast vampire walk around the car to open it for her. eg. p.178 She already had her door half open before I'd walked around the car - it wasn't usually so frustrating to have to move at an inconspicious speed - instead of waiting for me to get it for her.

For someone who has read Twilight, there are vast parts of Midnight Sun that make me want to pull out my copy and compare to see if the scenes match. I'm thinking it is a bit of a cheat for an author to pull a scene from another book, word for word. Putting in names for characters that are not mentioned in the first one just seemed unnecessary and lame to me, as well. Do we really care that Lonnie is the name of the guy who leered at Bella? And what's with the Ben scene? Are we really to believe that this Ben guy is so stupid that he would believe that Edward wanted to ask Angela to the prom? After the whole school has witnessed him eating lunch with Bella? These vain attemps at "plot" just don't work for me.

And that is the bottom line for this entire series. Plot is severly lacking. Sure there is a premise and interesting characters, but we are subjected to page after page of intense, mind numbing....drivel (for lack of a better word) that makes me want to scream "get on with the story will you!"

No comments: