The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

5 Jul


Bree Tanner is living on borrowed time.


As a fledgling vampire, she knows that her old life is lost to her. Unfortunately, her new life isn’t what she thought it would be. She was promised eternal life, for a price. Now she feels that she’s paid that price many times over.


Keeping to herself is the only way to survive. Newborn vampires are an unstable lot; there are constant battles for supremacy and domination. The only way to keep on living is to stay hidden, stay unnoticed and to stay quiet.


That all changes when Bree meets Diego.


Diego is a newly turned vampire, just like her. And like Bree, he knows that there has to be more to their new life than constant fighting and bickering and bloodshed. He also knows a few things that Bree doesn’t.


For instance: why were they created? And who is their creator, this mysterious woman they only know as her? Diego confirms Bree’s fears: that they have been created for a dark purpose.


Bree and Diego plan to leave their conclave together, but it is too late. They are pushed into battle, a battle that they can’t win, and neither of them will survive…


For those of you familiar with the incredible Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, you might remember Bree Tanner. She made an altogether brief appearance in Eclipse, the third novel in the series. Introduced and killed off in about a page and a half, Bree had a very short life.


But, as Stephenie Meyer explains in her wonderful introduction to this book, the voice of Bree wouldn’t let go. So, while editing Eclipse, she began to write what she thought of as a short story about Bree Tanner and what her life would have been like as a newborn vampire.


The result is The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner and it’s a stellar piece of writing. It’s refreshing to see the Twilight Saga from another point of view. It was a very satisfying experience to live the Twilight Saga through someone else’s eyes and I hope this means that Meyer will work on Midnight Sun and release that sooner rather than later.


There are a few things that make The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner unique from the other novels in The Twilight Saga. First and foremost, the novella gives us a different view from a world we already knew.


As well, it touches on a theme in The Twilight Saga that was never fully explored; that of being a newborn vampire. Though one of the characters does in fact become a newborn vampire (I won’t tell you which one in case there is one person left on the planet who hasn’t read Breaking Dawn) but they are unlike most newborns.


The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is a little darker fare than we’re used to with The Twilight Saga. There is no each shattering love here; only a girl trying to survive until the next day.


The only things that left me wanting were the fact that The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner was so short. Stephenie Meyer could have easily added another hundred pages to this story to turn it from a novella into a novel. I think it would have benefited from a little more room to manoeuvre. Just as the story got pulse pounding exciting, it ended.


As well, it lacked something. I think that The Twilight Saga had something that Bree Tanner didn’t. There wasn’t the same spark, the same intensity to the writing that The Twilight Saga had. That might have a lot to do with Bella and Edward, or with Meyer finding her footing with another character in a smaller space to play. Either way, the novella left me wanting.


That’s not to say that The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is a bad book. Far from it in fact. It’s fast, frantic and fantastic.


And leaves you wanting more.


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