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Are Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" books losing a bit of their hold?

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(Read caption) "Twilight" film star Robert Pattison in Paris. Does the world need another "Twilight" book?

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We've all gotten so used to seeing them there that it's a shock to have them disappear. But for the first time in more than two years, none of the books in Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight" series is ranked in the Top 20 of USA Today's bestseller list. "Is that old vampire magic beginning to lose its spell?" the paper asks. "Maybe just a bit."

So far, however, none of the books has slipped too far. "Eclipse" is at No. 23 (down from No. 13 last week), while "Breaking Dawn" is at No. 24 (it was at No. 14 last week), and "New Moon" is at No. 31 (down from No. 20). "Twilight," the first book in the series, slipped from No. 27 to No. 44.

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It could be that readers are restless for something more. Actor Kellan Lutz, who plays the character Emmett in the "Twilight" series movies, called on Meyer this week to write a new book. As "Twilight" fans know only too well, Meyer did begin a fifth book in the series, titled "Midnight Sun." But she ceased writing when the manuscript was illegally leaked and posted online. She reported in her blog that, after the leak, "I feel too sad about what has happened to continue working on Midnight Sun, and so it is on hold indefinitely."

Some fans hope that once the cycle of "Twilight" films is completed, Meyer will return to "Midnight Sun" – although that may be nothing more than wishful thinking on their parts.

One thing seems fairly certain, however. The film version of "Eclipse" is scheduled for release on June 30. As USA Today predicts, when that day comes, "expect another Meyer surge."

Marjorie Kehe is the Monitor's book editor.

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