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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Meyer, Stephenie: New Moon

  Amazon  

3.5 stars

This sequel to Stephenie Meyer's bestselling teen vampire romance Twilight is less gripping than its predecessor. For most of the book's 600-odd pages Bella's relationship with Edward--the focus of the first book--takes a back seat to other plot developments. Bella's friendship with Jacob deepens--he becomes, arguably, the guy she should have fallen for--and we learn that vampires aren't the only creatures that stalk the woods around Forks, Washington.

In Meyer's first book Bella, despite her all-consuming passion for Edward, is a likable, strong character. This time out, for reasons I won't divulge, she spends most of the book moping and feeling sorry for herself. While she does have some cause to be upset, the extent of her misery is a bit much. There comes a time when we'd like to slap her and tell her to get over it. Too much of Bella's mental health is dependent on her connection with Edward. The relationship, we begin (or perhaps continue) to think--as Edward himself has been thinking--is not a healthy one. Still, one can't doubt the intensity of Edward's affection for Bella:

"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars--points of light and reason.... And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn't see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason for anything."

Enough already, Ed! This treacly monologue might quicken the hearts of Meyer's tween readers, but I'm afraid it verges on the sick-making for me.

There is very little action in New Moon, and the book is consequently not as quick and compelling a read as Twilight. That said, even when Meyer is describing ordinary events, there's something about her prose style that makes it easy to keep reading--a simplicity of sentence structure, maybe. Her writing is the literary equivalent of drinking iced tea: it goes down so easy you hardly notice you're drinking it.

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