Will twihards bite into vampire fare?

This is probably the book that twihards have been waiting for. Twihards, of course, are diehard fans of the Twilight vampire series, which charts the story of teenager Bella Swan who falls in love with a vampire. Amazon began accepting orders for the official illustrated guide as early as 2008. But, the release date kept getting postponed . It finally hit the bookshelves last month. Opinion may be divided on whether the wait was worth it.

This is a handy reckoner for people who want to get acquainted with the five-book series or even those who’ve read the books and liked them. This “Guide” contains detailed character bios, famous quotes, key points in the plot and the timeline. There’s lots of information about the vampire world Meyer has created. There’s detail on the lifestyle, physical characteristics , supernatural abilities and psychology of vampires.

All of this makes for interesting reading. But for twihards – and the book is admittedly meant primarily for them – the guide may be a let-down . Fans might have wanted Meyer to provide more information about the characters than is already available in her books. There are, of course, a few back stories of characters such as Alice, Billy Black and the little-known Volturis . There’s also an in-depth conversation between Meyers and her author friend, Shannon Hale. This offers some insight into the inspiration for the series. But for the most part, much of the information and even the FAQs is available on countless Twilight fan sites scattered across the internet.

That said, the guide scores on layout and has some good illustrations and interesting family trees. But, Meyer’s decision to include a whole section on fan art might seem puzzling to many as the web is full of it anyway. Many fans would have been happier if the main characters’ stories were fleshed out and scenes deleted from the original books included here.

Considering that the Twilight series has been a huge marketing success and has led to a successful film franchise, the official illustrated guide may be yet another attempt to cash in without offering anything new. The litmus test will be the twihard vote – will they sink their teeth into it. Will they bite?

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