Monday, August 30, 2010

Review of The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella
Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits.

In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion.

Bree Tanner can barely remember life before she had uncannily powerful senses, superhuman reflexes and unstoppable physical strength. Life before she had a relentless thirst for blood... life before she became a vampire.

All Bree knows is that living with her fellow newborns has few certainties and even fewer rules: watch your back, don't draw attention to yourself and, above all, make it home by sunrise or die. What she doesn't know: her time as an immortal is quickly running out.

Then Bree finds an unexpected friend in Diego, a newborn just as curious as Bree about their mysterious creator, whom they know only as "her". As they come to realize that the newborns are pawns in a game larger than anything they could have imagined, Bree and Diego must choose sides and decide whom to trust. But when everything you know about vampires is based on a lie, how do you find the truth?

After reading Meyer’s saga and meeting fellow bloggers, Twilight has become a bit of a sore spot for me. Sometimes I think I’m in a minority for feeling primarily dislike towards it. As I’ve said in my reviews of the Twilight saga I think I might have felt differently about Meyer’s writing if Bella isn’t the narrator. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner proved my theory to be correct. This book was an enjoyable and swift read, but nothing amazing.

I have to get my biggest pet peeve about this book off of my chest, which is that Meyer didn’t divide this into chapters or even provide spaces between any of the paragraphs. The whole story was just a giant block of text. While this sort of worked for the plot of the story, it drove me crazy because I don’t like to set a book down until I’ve finished the chapter I’m currently reading, so it made taking pauses and interludes awkward.

I thought the actual plot was intriguing, and nicely filled in some of the leftover gaps in Eclipse. I feel like by portraying vampires who drank the blood of humans and were rather careless, Stephenie did a nice job of portraying the Cullens as compassionate, as opposed to pansy vampires, which is how I sometimes think of them (and if you’re wondering where this is coming from, read Dracula by Bram Stoker). I wanted to know more about what happens to Fred, so I’ll be curious to see if Meyer decides to explore his story further.

Honestly, I don’t have much else to say about this story. It was entertaining, but I don’t think it’ll stay with me. I’m not really sure how it will go over with people who enjoyed Twilight more than I did. This was a great opportunity to see Meyer outside of the confines of Bella’s voice, and it made me eager to see more of her writing outside of Twilight.

Disclosure: I checked out a copy of this book from my awesome local library.

2 comments:

  1. I wonder if the love of Twilight with bloggers has something to do with a skew on the ages of bloggers?

    Though, I disliked the series for a number of reasons, your review makes reading this short novella actually tempting. I did like the part of Breaking Dawn that wasn't narated by Bella, come to think of it, so I may give this a chance!

    Excellent review!
    Tedious & Brief Book Reviews

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