Saturday, 12 June 2010

Book Review: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella by Stephenie Meyer.

Product details:
Publisher: ATOM (UK)
Hardcover, 178 pages.
Release date: June 5th 2010.
Target Age Group: Young Adult.

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.

 Ah, where to start with Bree Tanner?  I’ve noticed quite a few five star reviews of this one around, and I’m pretty sure that they might have been marked five stars before this book was even released - five stars from the Twihards was a given!  Now, I’m a big fan of the Twilight saga, but I’m not going to give this five stars just because it was written by Stephenie Meyer.  I can understand why a lot of people were very excited about reading something new from her, although honestly, when I first heard of this release, I couldn’t even recall who Bree Tanner was, and I really couldn’t figure out why Meyer had decided to focus on such a minor character.   However, when you read it, you’ll understand.  There’s a lot more to Bree than meets the eye.  Also, Eclipse is my favourite book of the saga along with the original Twilight book,  and it’s the movie instalment I’ve been most looking forward to, so when I saw this was free to read online, I was eager to check it out.

I'll start with the negative.  This is only a minor quip, but even though this is a short read, I still found that certain passages dragged. I have always found Meyer’s style overly descriptive and rambling in parts.  There are a lot of new characters to get to know here too, and while Meyer does a good job with the introductions, I didn’t feel especially connected to many of them. There just isn’t time to get to know them all very well.    There is however an emerging love story, which is quite sweet.  The love stories and deep bonds between characters are what Meyer does best.  We are also introduced to a wonderfully quirky character called Fred in this book,  and I'd love to  find out more about him.  You should also read this if you want to gain some shocking insight into just how shady the Volturi really are.  I guess I knew what they were capable of, but there’s a nice twist here, for sure.

When I first read Eclipse, I looked upon the newborn vampires as nothing more than blood-hungry savages.  I didn’t give them the time of day, which perhaps explains why I didn’t even remember Bree’s name at first. However, after reading this, I definitely feel a lot of sympathy towards  the newborns who were merely pawns in Victoria’s quest for revenge.  This novella will work well as a companion to the movie and to the character of Bree who is set to feature much more prominently in the movie than she does in the book.  After reading this you will care about what happens to her,  even though as a Twilight fan you’ll already know the outcome. Maybe you’ll be left feeling, as Meyer was, that Bree’s outcome should have been different.  She deserved better.

After finishing this, I went back and re-read Bree’s main scene in Eclipse (p. 568-578 in paperback), and I loved reading the story from both perspectives.  Getting inside Bree’s head was really interesting, while it was also great to go back and revisit the scene through Bella’s eyes.  I also enjoyed Bree’s exchanges with Carlisle, Esme and Edward.  Mostly Edward. I’ve missed him since the books ended.   Meyer really needs to release Midnight Sun sometime soon!


  1. Great review - glad you enjoyed it! I agree a couple of passages dragged, but hey, I didn't mind :)

  2. :) I didn't mind all that much either. She needs to give us Midnight Sun like, NOW, though!

  3. Now see what you've done! I do want the Volturi insight! I've downloaded it and will read it as soon as I get ink for my printer =)

  4. I put that in there just for you. Seriously. I knew you wouldn't be able to resist! *evil laugh*

  5. p.s - You can't print this one off. You have to read it online. It's pretty easy though, since it's so short.

  6. Thanks for the honest review! This is actually the first review I've read of this book. I had a feeling bree would turn up in the movie more than the (eclipse) book. Honestly, I hope she writes more of these about other characters, I don't see why she wouldn't.

  7. Thanks for this honest review. While i enjoyed Twilight I am not a TWIhard LOL and agree with you in that ~ knowing the outcome I am not sure why I would want to read this new novel. Thanks for making me possibly reconsider that ? :)

    Have a great weekend

  8. its seems so bitter sweet becuase we do know how it ends for her i wasn't sure about it before but now i think ill read it i really enjoyed your review good job :)

  9. I love Twilight, but I'm not sure I will read this. I just don't really feel the need. Does that make sense? LOL

  10. Eclipse is my second favorite, too, so reading Bree Tanner definitely gave me a new persective on the newborns. I hope people give this novella a chance because it's surprisingly good. Thanks for great review!

  11. I really want to read this. I love similar events being narrated from different perspectives. Thanks for the honest review! :)

  12. Great Review! I just picked this one up so can't wait to read it! Thanx for stopping by my blog via hop!

    Take Care,
    Lisa ( Badass Bookie)xx

  13. I just bought this yesterday - very excited about it! I might read the Eclipse part again!

  14. Nice review! I have to read this one soon!!

  15. Nice review. I liked the Bree book, but it was only "okay" to me. Not on par with her other work. Then again, I'm no fan of short stories.


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