Overall, I'd say my feelings toward the book were mixed.
Things I didn't like:
- That Bella didn't actively choose to become a vampire. I know there was mention of her making plans to become one, but we never saw them (they were just mentioned after-the-fact). I felt the pregnancy angle was a bit of a cop-out. There was no way was she going to choose not to have the baby, and if she had to have the baby, then she had to become a vampire. I would have preferred her to actively choose her future.
- I thought Jacob's imprinting on Renesmee was a bit of a cliche. Poor ever-rejected Jacob, no hopes of him ever getting Bella. So we'll give him a faux-Bella substitute who is half-Bella. Perfect. I would have preferred him to develop a relationship with Leah. Yes, he could never have imprinted on her, but do wolves have to imprint?
- The fact that Bella didn't go through typical newborn behaviour. Over and over we've heard of how newborns are uncontrollable forces (for several years, though a year-period was also mentioned in the book). But Bella was given a "gift" of self-control and never experienced that. It was a way to make the pure and innocent Bella remain pure and innocent in vampire form, never tainted by her vampire actions. Not that I wanted her to go around slaughtering the West Coast, of course, but I would have preferred more struggle. And the idea that she could easily have Charlie in her life almost immediately, and he wouldn't be bothersome by asking pesky questions - that felt too easy.
- I felt the book was overly long and could have used some editing.
Things I liked:
- The wedding and the time on the island
- Jacob's narration of part of the book. It was good to hear things from his perspective.
- Reneesme. I chafed at the idea of the pregancy at first, but Renesmee was a great character. Very interesting as well. Horrible name, however.
- The last 200 pages picked up and were quite good.
- I enjoyed meeting the other vampires and seeing their talents.
- I liked Bella's shield - that was a good talent for her to have and I'm glad she was able to contribute to keeping her family safe.
- The happy ending. I'm a sucker for a happy ending!
Oh, and maybe I'm just missing it, but where did the first preface figure in the book? I kept waiting for it to turn up, wondering who it belonged to (was it Bella thinking about Edward? Jacob thinking about Bella? etc). But I don't recall it appearing in any chapter. Did I miss it?
Overall, I'm still a big fan of the Twilight world (particularly the first two books). I'm looking forward to the movie, and I would love to read Midnight Sun. I just wish I'd liked the final book more.