Sunday, 8 May 2011

The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide

The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephanie Meyer with contributions by Lori Joffs and Laura Byrne-Cristiano, illustrations by Rebecca Bradley, James Carey, Young Kim, Sarah McMenemy and Leah Palmer Preiss (Atom/Little, Brown/Hachette)
HB RRP $32.99
ISBN 978-1-905654-43-7
Reviewed by Hilary Smillie

Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, a publishing phenomenon, receives a further boost with the release of this companion guide. Contained within its covers is a plethora of new material: author interview/conversation, in-depth character profiles, cross-references, family trees, exciting illustrations, and so much more.  An impressive Table of Contents has the reader spoilt for choice.

The cover incorporates silver text and red and white images on a midnight background, the colour theme of Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn and the Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, the books in the series. However it is intriguing to see other cover interpretations and illustrations of the series featured by the many international publishers outside of the UK and USA. The artwork throughout the guide is stunning and Stephanie has also included samples provided by devoted Twilight fans. It is great to revisit those of Young Kim, the illustrator behind the bestselling Twilight: The Graphic Novel Volume 1.

In a conversation/interview with fellow author and friend, Shannon Hale, Stephanie Meyer reveals various aspects of her writing journey which will help satisfy the curiosity of those who simply need to know as much as possible about the author and the inspiration for her works. Key Plot Points of each of the novels is an excellent tool, especially for those whose memories need to be refreshed on certain points of the saga. Of particular note are the sections on Outtakes – scenes edited out of the finished works – and Frequently Asked Questions.

This encyclopaedic reference is the final jewel in the crown of the amazing Twilight Series which has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. It is a tribute to the enormous creativity and depth of its author and her passion for her story, and an understanding of what her readers want to know, relish and cherish.  Each of its 543 pages and almost 100 illustrations will allow readers to once again revel in the lives of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen, protagonists in the vampire romance story of the decade.

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