Friday, 9 October 2015

Chapter-by-Chapter: New Moon, Preface

You probably would not believe how long I've been putting off this book. It's not been helped by the fact that, at the end of last week, I started reading The Time Traveler's Wife which is easily my favourite book written by someone who is not J.R.R. Tolkien. It's a wonderfully constructed tale of love, loss and time travel. It's beautiful, well thought-out, deeply researched, and cleverly written.

And then I put it down and realised I had to read this. New Moon. It was a bit of an anti-climax.

Plus I wasn't feeling one hundred percent on Saturday, and upgraded my laptop to Windows 10 on Sunday and somehow there just wasn't time to read it. Not to mention a distinct lack of motivation.

But I'm reading it now.

And we'll start with all the guff stuff at the beginning of the book. Meanwhile, I'll eat a couple of bikkits and try to get my attitude in gear and be a little more enthusiastic about my latest Chapter-by-Chapter reviews. After all, it's been a couple off weeks since we last saw Moodswing Boy and his lover, The-Pale-And-Clumsy-One, I'm sure they're practically different people by now.

So, I open the cover of New Moon. As I mentioned last week, it's white with a red and white flower and no title. Luckily the first page says New Moon so we know we're reading the right book. The pages' red edges have bled onto the rest of the page a little bit here so it looks like Edward has used it as a napkin after supper.

The next page reminds us that these are written by Stephenie Meyer. I've always wondered about the spelling of that, but the third page kind of solves that for me:

For my dad, Stephen Morgan --
No one has ever given more loving and unconditional
support than I have been given by you.
I love you, too.

Stephenie is named after her dad Stephen. It all makes sense now.

But Stephenie isn't done yet. After dedicating the book to her dad, she devotes a whole page, in teeny tiny print no less, to a whole host of Acknowledgements. One of these piques my interest:

Thanks to all my siblings, Emily, Heidi, Paul, Seth, and Jacob,
for letting me borrow your names. I hope I didn't do anything with them
that makes you wish you hadn't.

My first thought on this is that it's a bit late now if they're not happy about it; my second thought is that the siblings really lucked out on the name front!

I seriously can't imagine using a person I know for a character. When I came up with Behind the Scenes I called Jack 'John' for a whole page before deciding that Abby couldn't have an Uncle John because I had a couple of Great Uncle Johns and it just felt weird using their names. I'm doubly glad now that I've gone on to be married to a John, but it's also meant that Jack has been well and truly crossed off my name list.

Anyway, back to the Acknowledgements. Stephenie has to thank each of her brothers again individually. I wonder if her sisters are miffed at the fact that they've not been given an extra mention.

The final mention is:

And, finally, thank you to the talented musicians who inspire me,
particularly the band Muse – there are emotions, scenes, and plot threads in this
novel that were born from Muse songs and would not exist without their genius.
Also Linkin Park, Travis, Elbow, Coldplay, Marjorie Fair, My Chemical Romance,
Brand New, The Strokes, Armor for Sleep, The Arcade Fire, and The Fray
have all been instrumental in staving off the writer's block.

This is beginning to read a little like the Author's Notes at the start of something you'd find on I feel like I'm about to start reading a songfic!

You'll be pleased to know we're almost at the actual beginning of the story. A quick glance at the Contents page shows that we're following the familiar pattern from Twilight, most of the chapters have single word titles. I can kind of guess what's going to happen in some of them already ('Party', 'Cheater', 'Intruder', 'The Funeral', etc.). Looking down the list though, I'm not seeing anything that screams 'Bella gets turned into a vampire!' so perhaps that's not going to happen in this book.

Next we get a quote. This time it's from Romeo and Juliet:

These violet delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder
Which, as they kiss, consume
Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene VI

If I was a mean person I might make a comment about this being some of the most well written prose in the entire person. But I'm not that person, so I'll refrain from saying something like that.

And finally, six pages later, we land on Page 1. The Preface.

I'm guessing that we're following the same formula in this book as in Twilight since Bella, I'm guessing it's Bella since she narrates the story from a first-person point-of-view, is in another life or death situation. She seems to be awake but she's talking about dreaming, well, nightmaring.

This time she's not the one in peril, someone else is and she has to save them. Alice is there as well. Or at least, she's in the area and there's a risk that she might die. I don't want Alice to die. Alice was the best character in the whole of the last book! Bella might die as well though, so at least it's not all bad news.

Things take a turn for the dramatic in the penultimate paragraph:

So it didn't matter to me that we were surrounded by our extraordinarily dangerous enemies. As the clock began to toll out the hour, vibrating under the soles of my sluggish feet, I knew I was too late – and I was glad something bloodthirsty waited in the wings. For in failing at this, I forfeited any desire to live.

Ooh. I'm kind of curious to find out what's going on here. I'm sure we'll find out somewhere in the next 300 pages.

So what do we know so far?
  • Someone is in danger
  • Bella is running to save them (thereby putting herself and anyone else around her in danger as well)
  • Alice is somehow involved
  • Alice has to stay out of the sun
  • It's midday
  • There are multiple bad people involved
  • They are bloodthirsty and are therefore probably vampires
  • Bella's not going to be able to get to wherever she needs to go in time to save whoever she is supposed to save

I feel like I know more about what's going on now than I did for most of Twilight.

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