Stephenie Meyer

The Twilight Saga: the Official Illustrated Guide


Reviewed by OBS Staff member Angie

I admit that my obsession for Twilight is an “on again, off again” love affair. Right now it’s off.  Well, it was until April 12, 2011 at approximately 4:00 pm Central Daylight Time when I saw The Official Illustrated Guide on a shelf in my local Target store and I casually picked it up and thumbed through the pages thinking I’d flip through it as I had done with the movie guide and be satisfied that I had seen it and could move on with out actually purchasing it. What happened next can only be described as transcendental. The perfume of the newly printed, never before touched pages of this book wafted to my nose at the same time as my eyes lighted on the picture of the Cullen home . The REAL Cullen home that was described in the book and lived in my head. Not the modern angular nightmare that appeared in the movie. (Esme would be rolling over in her grave if she knew what they did to her home!) For a few moments I was no longer in the aisle of a Target in Panama City Beach, Florida, but instead was 1000 miles away in Forks, Washington. I was unaware of everything around me and lost myself completely in this book.  Anyway.. I digress.

The book starts with a 65 page interview with Stephenie Meyer conducted by author Shannon Hale. Shannon asks the questions that we’ve always wanted to know and Stephenie gives some amazing answers. The interview is printed with headings so that you can quickly thumb through to what you want to read about time and time again. One of the things I enjoyed reading was her in depth explanation about how various books influenced her writing and mindset. She tells that The Merchant of Venice was a huge inspiration for Breaking Dawn which made it so difficult for her to understand how people were shocked that there was no battle scene at the end of the story. She basically says that if the readers were paying attention they would see that the entire story was played out as a mental battle and there wouldn’t have to be a physical battle.  I guess maybe Stephenie assumed we all paid attention during high school Lit class!

I think my favorite part of the book is the character profile section. There are character profiles on every character in the book. The profiles on the main characters offer back-stories that are full of rich detail that bring the characters to life in a unique way. I especially enjoyed reading Alice’s story. It very nearly brought tears to my eyes. There are profiles on all the wolves, the nomads, the Volturi, the high school friends,  one hundred twenty-nine total; some more in-depth than others.

Other features of this guide are:

  • sketches of many of the characters, the sites, a map showing the Cullen property (including the cottage), a sketch of Bella’s wedding gown as described and envisioned by Stephenie Meyer.
  • quotes by all of the main characters at the end of their profile. Awesome reference for a trivia buff or someone just looking for sigline in a Forum.
  • a Frequently Asked Questions section that gives answers that most Twi-Hards already know, but it’s nice to have them in one tidy little package.
  • a time line from the first known vampire through the end of Breaking Dawn.
  • an explanation of the vehicles in the books
  • a playlist of the music that inspired Meyer during her writing and exactly which passages in the book go with the playlist. (Do I see a huge iTunes purchase in my near future? YES!)
  • a chapter by chapter breakdown of key plot points for every book.
  • Fan Art
  • book covers from around the world (wonder if they got that idea from OBS?)

There is so much more!!!!  This book is a MUST HAVE companion to any Twilight fans collection. It will be a well-worn, much highlighted, often referred-to resource in my personal library.