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The sun should have set on the Twilight saga long ago

Midnight Sun is yet another re-telling of the original Twilight story by Stephenie Meyer—who stretches it to breaking point, writes Sarah Bates

Issue No. 2719

Midnight Sun is another book in the Twilight saga

Midnight Sun is another book in the Twilight saga


Edward Cullen and Bella Swan are back—well, sort of.

Some 15 years after the first Twilight novel was published, Stephenie Meyer gets a third bite of the cherry.

After releasing a bizarre ­gender‑swapped retelling of Twilight in 2015, now we get Midnight Sun—a blow-by-blow take on the 2005 novel from Edward’s perspective.

The lack of imagination it takes to write and publish three novels based on an identical story aside, Midnight Sun doesn’t quite work.

The thing that makes Edward such a compelling romantic figure is his mystery. To read his first person thoughts exposes him as the moody teenager we also suspected he might be.

Hearing him constantly rail against his parents, his classmates and jealously criticise his love rivals is anodyne at best. At worst it exposes him for the abusive boyfriend he actually is.

Midnight Sun does at least ­actually give us some character development for Bella. Although I remain ­convinced that being clumsy cannot be used as a central character trait.

Edward declares her “kind and self-effacing and unselfish and brave”. He watches in creepy detail as she adjusts to her new life in Forks, and the compassion she shows for her family and classmates.

It’s entirely plausible that Meyers will keep pumping out versions of the same books to satisfy the Twihard fans and keep milking the cash cow

It’s a refreshing break from Bella’s first person worrying that she’s not interesting or pretty enough to ­warrant Edward’s attention.

And it’s definitely weird to keep reading Edward talk about her “blood pumping under her translucent skin”. But it does at least get across some of the personal struggle that Bella has no idea about.

At over 750 pages, the book is bloated and attempts to cover all the events in Twilight alongside other elements of exposition about Edward’s life.

It would have benefited from a tighter focus on Edward and his family, the Cullens.

For anyone who has read the ­original series, we don’t exactly need the reams of words describing how much he fancies Bella. That point is definitely already hammered home.

It’s entirely plausible that Meyers will keep pumping out versions of the same books to satisfy the Twihard fans and keep milking the cash cow.

For anyone looking to escape into teenage nostalgia, Midnight Sun might be one to devour.

But it doesn’t—and doesn’t try to—go much further than that.

Midnight Sun is out now

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Reviews
Fri 21 Aug 2020, 16:21 BST
Issue No. 2719
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