“My life was an unending, unchanging midnight. It must, by necessity, always be midnight for me. So how was it possible that the sun was rising now, in the middle of my midnight?” // Edward Cullen
Midnight Sun is the fifth book in the sensational Twilight Saga, which was released this month on 14th August. The series had become an instant hit among teenagers worldwide when it was released between 2005 and 2008. Stephenie Meyer used the erotic trope of delayed gratification and provided the world with a simple, yet addicting story. And of course, people were already swooning over Cedric Diggory when Robert Pattinson returned as one of the most sought-after vampires ever. Read on to know why I found Midnight Sun to be hot, yet an unnecessary stretch.
WHAT IS THE BOOK ABOUT?
Midnight Sun retells the first book in the series from Edward’s perspective, rather than Bella’s. The black cover of the book features a pomegranate and the allegory is clarified soon in the book. Stephenie Meyer refers to the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone. The King of the Underworld abducted the Spring Goddess and made her his wife. “Pomegranate seeds and my underworld,” remarks Edward in the book, “Hadn’t I just witnessed a brutal example of how badly my world could go wrong for her?” Parallel to the story of Edward’s first encounter with Bella runs the story of how loving this lamb of a human becomes the defining struggle of his life.
Edward’s power to read others’ thoughts and Alice’s ability to see the future become the driving forces of the book. In fact, their non-verbal exchanges are one of the most interesting elements in the book, which differentiate it from Twilight. For the same reason, Midnight Sun not only becomes Edward’s story but also that of the entire Cullen coven. We see how Carlisle became a vampire and formed a family.
WHAT DID I LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK?
The first part of the book is amazingly hot. I love the way Stephenie Meyer ruthlessly dissects Edward’s thoughts. The book just could not have been any more detailed. Most of his are based on ‘the lion and the lamb’ trope, and Meyer takes out every creative line out of her book to present it. And anyway, the first thought which inclined me into picking up this book was the feeling of living inside a vampire’s head, especially when Robert Pattinson’s pretty face is stuck in my head.
Edward reading others’ thoughts also becomes the medium through which we see a single scene from different perspectives. We continue seeing Carlisle as a father figure and the nurturer of the family. Learning his history and his tormenting transformation, he is someone you just cannot help but love, and eventually respect. Esme too equally evolves into the figure of a mother. As Edward puts it, “If Carlisle was the soul of our family, then Esme was the heart.” Rosalie’s disapproval of Bella also gives a nice twist to the book. As for Jasper and Emmett, they too despite their struggles, become lovable characters.
WHAT DID I DISLIKE ABOUT THE BOOK?
If you ask me, Midnight Sun was quite an unnecessary stretch. Stephenie Meyer dedicates her book ‘to all the readers who have been such a happy part of my life for the last fifteen years,’ and says she first met them as teenagers with dreamy eyes. Regardless of the little pleasure I got while reading Midnight Sun, I knew I had outgrown my ‘Teenager Twilight Phase.’ Therefore, despite all the new information in the book, Midnight Sun isn’t a novel which stimulates your brain and gives you enough of a thrill. Were someone about to read Twilight for the first time, they may enjoy Edward’s version more. But since we already know the plot, the book ends up being a stretch with over 650 pages.
Therefore, I would only recommend this book to someone who ships Edward, Bella and the entire Twilight universe with all their heart and soul.
Meyer has confirmed two more books in the Twilight saga still on the way, but they won’t be based on Edward’s perspective.“I think this gives you enough of a sense of what it’s like to be Edward that you could go and look at the other books and you would know what’s going on in his head.” The books will be set in a new mythological world, with new rules, she further remarks. She has also written non-Twilight books like The Host and The Chemist which are widely-loved by Twihards as well.
ALSO READ: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/aug/07/midnight-sun-stephenie-meyer-review-twilight