‘Breaking Dawn’ exposes Vampires | VailDaily.com

‘Breaking Dawn’ exposes Vampires

Stephen Bedford
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily"Breaking Dawn" by Stephenie Meyer runs 756 pages and costs $22.99.

EDWARDS, Colorado ” Baltimore native Nicole Anderson, 21, came to the Vail Valley expecting some rest, relaxation, and quality time with Mom. Little did she know she’d be seduced by the spell of author Stephenie Meyer.

Meyer is poised to become the toast of the pop culture world during the waning summer weeks, transfixing unsuspecting readers like Anderson with the much-ballyhooed coda of her high school vampire romance saga.

“Breaking Dawn,” the fourth, and supposedly final, volume in Meyer’s massively successful series is released, fittingly, at the stroke of midnight on Saturday.

Meyer, an Arizona Mormon housewife and mother of three, released “Twilight” in 2005 with successive titles “New Moon” and “Eclipse,” all the while spinning the tale of Pacific Northwest transplant Bella and her tangled romance with Edward, an undead dreamboat. The tantalizing twist being that Bella’s ultimate love for Edward could lead to her ultimate demise.

The will-she-or-won’t-she puzzle has led many to proclaim Meyer a stateside version of Harry Potter scribe J.K. Rowling. With millions of copies in circulation, a 3.2 million copy first printing by Hachette Book Group, and a film franchise set to launch in mid December, the comparisons to the plucky boy wizard are apt, particularly in the obsessive fan bases.

“They’re so addictive,” Anderson said emphatically, adding that she purchased “Twilight” on July 21, the first day of her Vail visit, and will board her return flight entrenched in “Eclipse,” the third book, a little more than a week later.

“I kept hearing about it through friends and media buzz,” Anderson said. “I picked up the first one when I got here, and didn’t put it down. Then I came in and got the second one, and I can’t stop reading it. When I leave, I’ll probably be well into the third.”

Anderson said she was initially skeptical of the novel’s mystical elements of the vampires and werewolves, but was surprised how seamlessly Meyer blended fantasy with a traditional love story.

“I thought it’d be hard to mix the fantasy world with the real world,” Anderson said. “It was hard to think they could exist together, but she makes it work with her writing style, and the whole story feels like it’s grounded in reality.”

Edwards teenager Anna Sloan corroborated Anderson’s critique, adding that prospective readers shouldn’t get mired in the traditionally macabre machinations.

“For those that are skeptical, I’d tell them to give the books a try because it doesn’t technically focus on the undead, but rather the relationship between two people who don’t have anything in common,” Sloan said.

A Harry Potter acolyte, Sloan said she sees potential for the “Twilight” saga to rival Rowling, and perhaps overtake it, citing the film adaptations as well as rumblings on Meyer’s Web site that she may reinterpret the series from Edward’s vantage.

Meyer broadened her fan base this summer by releasing “The Host,” an adult novel independent of the “Twilight” series, which debuted at No. 1 on “The New York Times” bestseller list and proved her cross-over appeal, dispelling myths that she was a one-trick pony.

Hachette Book Group representative Randy Hickernell said that the sustained success could just be the tip of the iceberg for “Twilight” fandom. Although the series is concluding, plenty of readers are just embarking on the journey, he said.

” ‘Twilight’ is selling faster now than any other book in the series,” Hickernell said. “That indicates that new readers are coming to the series, and when the fourth book (‘Breaking Dawn’) is released, all the titles will increase in sales. Many people wait for a series to be completed before starting it so they don’t get stuck waiting years for the last book to come out.”

Although the wait for “Breaking Dawn” may be interminable for some, actually reading it should be just the opposite, Sloan said. Like the vampire protagonists, Sloan and legions of fellow fans will become nocturnal, likely ending the book, and series, just as dawn breaks.

“I’m going to get ‘Breaking Dawn’ as soon as I can, and not put it down unless I have to,” Sloan said. “I plan on finishing it in a day, and then reading it again.”

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