Literary Criticism and Significance
Eclipse was Stephenie Meyer’s third book in the Twilight saga. The novel was published in 2007, with a first run of one million copies. The publishers anticipated a huge rush of book buyers who were waiting patiently for this novel to appear. The novel was so popular that is ranked fourth on the best-seller list the following year. The novels in first, second, and third place were the other three books of the saga. Many reviewers have noted that the popularity of Eclipse, as well as the other three books, is similar to that of the Harry Potter books.
Charles De Lint, writing for Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, stated that Eclipse and the other books in the Twilight series might not please every reader. He pointed out that the targeted audience is teenage girls. However, he also wrote that he enjoyed much of the writing. In particular, he stated that he liked the way Meyer allowed Bella, the protagonist, to mature in the third book of the series, having her become a stronger character.
Janis Flint-Ferguson, for Kilatt, found Eclipse to be a hard-to-put-down novel. She referred to the book as a Gothic romance, stating that it had all the necessary elements of horror and love.
Another reviewer, James Blasingame, writing for the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, found that Meyer’s writing was better than some of the typical vampire fantasies. Blasingame liked the way Meyer veered away from some of the classical vampire lore, even having Edward specifically contradict details about vampires that Bella had read about. Blasingame also found the novel to be a page-turner and predicted the novel would become a best seller, which it did.
Reviewer Cindy Dobrez, for Booklist, was not dazzled by Meyer’s writing. She found Eclipse to be a little less exciting than the first two books in the series, and the plot moved too slowly. But Dobrez did enjoy the author’s humor. Dobrez thought Eclipse would prove to be as popular as Meyer’s novels that preceded it and that the book would build anticipation for the fourth and final story of the series. Dobrez was one of the reviewers who saw the novels in the Twilight saga reaching the level of a Harry Potter frenzy.