Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella... A Review

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella

Oh Bree, you could have been so much more! You were a thinker, intelligent, and your "second life" was cut way too short. It's no surprise that Bree Tanner the newborn vampire from Eclipse is dead, the title of her book alone gives most of that away. What is surprising is what a wonderful little story The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner turned out to be.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephanie Meyer is the story of life as a newborn vampire through the eyes of one - the eyes of Bree Tanner. Caught up in the collection of the dregs of society to make up an army of vampires, Bree was almost 16 and eating out of trash bins, when Riley finds her and brings her to Victoria. We meet the vampire Victoria in Twilight, and it's in Eclipse that she is exacting revenge on Edward for killing her mate. That revenge takes on the form of an army of newborn vampires, and that battle takes place in Eclipse. Riley was made into a vampire for the same reason by Victoria, but he is the one she puts in charge of "organizing" her army. Bree is changed into a newborn vampire, but she actually plays a very small part in the actual Battle. What Bree really does for us is show us what being a newborn vampire feels like. All along we've learned about vampires, their strengths and their abilities, but only have read snippets about becoming a vampire and about the crazed bloodlust a newborn feels. Bree adds this wonderful dimension to the story. It's through her eyes that we see how weak and worthless humans appear to vampires, how the smell of blood creates havoc in the mind, and how dangerous the uncontrollable urges can be. We follow her as she lives her brief "second life" among the newborn vampires, her routines, her love of reading, her fear of other newborns, her loneliness. We see her as her instincts take over to curb her appetite, but how a little bit of her humanity survives until the end. It was so interesting how Bree analyzed her situation. It wasn't all about blood and terror for her, it was about the who, what, where and why's around her. It was also interesting to read her thoughts at the end of her life in relation to the Cullens, and what she revealed to Edward in her thoughts so that he was the only one privy to the information.

If you've read the Twilight Saga, you have to read The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner! Not only is it just a little more of Stephanie Meyer's wonderful writing and great character development to enjoy, but it really fills out the Twilight story, adding another layer of understanding to a world we've all grown accustomed to. I really enjoyed reading Bree's side of the story, you will too!


Julie P. said...

Great review -- I'm hanging my head because I've never read any of the Twilight books! I'm not sure I'd appreciate this one as a starter!!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Julie!
Well, I have to say that I held out as long as I could to read the Twilight books and I can not believe how much I really enjoyed them. Yes, you really have to read all of the first 4 to appreciate little Bree Tanner, but if and when you read Twilight, she'll be waiting! :-)

Anonymous said...

Haven' read the books, but saw the first movie of such. Thought it was good. But this book review sounds even better to me. Thanks!

Suzanne Yester said...

Thanks sylviadickeysmithbooks! Glad you enjoyed the review! I thought the first movie was good too, but I really thought the book was better. The movie based on the Eclipse book was amazing though!

carla said...

I think this was a neat idea. There are many books I've read where I wanted to know more about a minor character. It adds to the background of a story and helps you understand a bit better.

Bree Tanner is such a neat name too.

Kathy Martin said...

Great review! I liked this book too. I'm just hopping by to wish you a good day and lots of good books.

Ms. Martin Teaches Media

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Carla,
Even though Stephanie was writing Bree's story for her own enjoyment, kinda of giving herself a glimpse at the newborn life, the film producers wanted to know the background information too, so she typed up what she had of Bree's story and gave a copy to each of the actors in that final battle scene in Eclipse. Stephanie Meyer also wanted people to read Bree's story before seeing Eclipse to see the interactions based on what Bree's story reveals above what was in the book.

So, you were spot on about sometimes wanting to know more about a minor character! And thanks for bringing it up!

Suzanne Yester said...

Hi Kathy!
Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed Bree's story too! I only wish we could have MORE! :-)

Aisle B said...

Hi Suzanne,

Like you I enjoyed Bree Tanner however short lived the experience. I was rooting for her and felt betrayed that she was a victim of Victoria's sordid revenge plan. However... there's still Fred and Diego.. I have hopes that Diego did go the way of eternal extermination.. rather that Meyer has bigger plan for these two remaining characters... If not we can always write up our own little tale for them :)

Great review and hoping the Meyer will pick up a quill to tell the tale of Nessie and Jacob... praying she will break the silence even though she ... keeping fingers crossed.

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