Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Review: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
Here's another book I didn't have listed as one I wanted to get read by June 20th for the Spring Reading Thing. Fortunately it was a quick read (would have been quicker if I had a print copy, seeing as my computer was going way to slow and would stop responding). Okay, now on to the book.
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is a novella by Stephenie Meyer. In this story the author shares the story of the newborn vampire army that is being created by Victoria in the third book of the Twilight Saga: Eclipse. The author shares, in her introduction, that she chose to highlight Bree's perspective because she is the one newborn that Bella had a name for and whom we, as readers, have any focus on besides Victoria and Riley. She is also the newborn who lives the longest so we can get the story of the attack through to the end. The story begins with Bree having already been a vampire for several months. It takes place within the week that they will be attacking the Cullens. The reader is introduced to a horde of vampires, some of which we begin to know better than others. We see the precarious lives they lead, the constant uncertainty of survival when you are a being surrounded by others who are out of control, violent and blood-thirsty. Bree becomes close to two other newborns, Diego and Fred, and we see how she tries hard to avoid detection by everyone else in order to preserve her life. This book just expands upon the background story of what is happening in Seattle while the events of Eclipse are taking place. But we do get some of Bree's story in her memories, not a lot though. And we get some insights that bring to light some details that occur in both Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.
I really enjoyed this story, but it was depressing to realize Bree was discovering truths about a world she would shortly have no part in. By learning about this newborn vampire world through the eyes of a newborn the reader can see how different and unusual Bella really was after she became a vampire. As I read this book I realized I had compassion for vampires, not just Bree but the others as well. They were being used by Victoria, and instead of just being killed outright for the vampire's nourishment, they were changed with no hope for a future, because one way or another they would end up dead. I found it interesting that Ms. Meyer had the newborns believing things about vampires that everyone who knows anything about vampires probably believed to be true, until reading her version of what vampires can and can't do. One other thing, I don't remember the vampire's skin when exposed to sun being described in quite the same way in the series. Though, as I was thinking about it I realized in the series we get Bella's point of view and she is seeing with human eyes. In the novella we always see through vampire eyes.
I really anticipated being able to see the Cullen family again, even if it was only through Bree's eyes for a short time and the story didn't disappoint. And through Bree's eyes we at last had a glimpse of what was happening at the main battle while Edward and Bella were being attacked by Victoria and Riley.
Very well done. I wish Stephenie Meyer would consider sharing more of the Twilight world through other stories seen through the eyes of other minor characters. Of course I really wish she could finish Midnight Sun because by seeing the story through Edward's eyes we will get glimpses into many others as well.
I give this book 5 stars.