When Isabella Swan moves to Forks, Washington and starts school there, she meets the mysterious and captivating Edward Cullen. His unearthly beauty attracts her like no one ever has, but he remains frustratingly aloof until he saves her life. Then Bella begins to suspect that there's more to this boy than meets the eye. After hearing mythical legends from her Native American friend, Jacob Black, she feels almost certain that Edward and his family are vampires, but it's not until he rescues her again from would-be attackers that he starts to open up about his closely held secrets.
Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1 is pretty much what the title implies, the graphic novel adaptation of approximately the first half the Twilight novel. It covers Bella's arrival in Forks, beginning school there, and meeting Edward. When Edward saves her from Tyler's van nearly crushing her, she begins to suspect he's not quite human. Eventually Edward decides to stop fighting his attraction to her, leading to him and Bella growing closer. After Bella visits La Push Beach, meets Jacob, and hears the Quileute legends, she starts to form new theories of exactly what Edward is, and after he rescues her from would-be attackers in Port Angeles, they have much deeper conversations about it and about their budding relationship. The story winds up with Edward taking Bella to the meadow and revealing his true nature to her.
The Twilight novel is a rather chunky book, so I'm sure it must be a challenge to pare it down to fit this short format. For that reason, I'd call this a respectable adaptation although one that is kind of bare bones. It hits all the high points nicely. However, there are so many details left out, it does feel a bit short on substance. True fans of the novels will easily be able to follow along, but I'm not as certain how the story might come off to someone who is exploring it for the first time in this format. As someone who's read Twilight twice and seen the movie several times, it's hard for me to gauge, because my brain automatically fills in any gaps. IMHO, what makes this graphic novel worthwhile, though, are the illustrations. Stephenie Meyer says that they come close to her vision of the characters, so I feel like I'm getting a peek into her mind's eye. And beyond that, they're quite simply beautiful and very well-done. I think that Young Kim did an excellent job of capturing the unearthly beauty of Edward and his family. In a more general sense, I liked the rendering of all the characters and felt that they matched well with my own vision of them. Bottom line, Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1 is a must-have for hardcore fans of the book and collectors of Twilight merchandise. I enjoyed it for the lovely artwork and for a pretty good story adaptation and look forward to checking out the other graphic novels in the series, but newcomers should probably start with the novels to get the full impact of the story.
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