Friday, June 11, 2010

Book Review: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, by Stephenie Meyer

Firstly, thanks to Stephenie for making this freely available online here.

First line: The newspaper headline glared at me from a little metal vending machine: SEATTLE UNDER SEIGE -- DEATH TOLL RISES AGAIN.

Bree Tanner is the young vampire from the newborn army in Eclipse who almost, ALMOST got a second chance - before the Volturi came along and took things into their own hands - rather horribly. This story is all about the events that lead up to that moment, seen from the point of view of a newly created vampire.

Bree and the other "kids" have been groomed for one purpose only: to hunt down and kill the Cullens and, in particular, Bella - their promised dessert. But Bree isn't as mindless as many of the other newborns and she and her newfound companion, Diego, begin to uncover the truth Riley has been hiding from them, and start to realise just what a dangerous game they've become part of. It is torturous to know the ending of this story and that the characters we come to care for in these pages will meet their demise at the end of it. It almost makes one wish that Stephenie got it wrong in Eclipse!

It was interesting to see things from the other side, to understand how "normal" vampires (vampires who are not the well-behaved Cullens!) live, and to witness first-hand the story leading up to the attack on the Cullens. Being a novella, we don't get to know many of the characters that well (like Diego, whom I kept hoping - just like Bree - would come through that door), but the plus side of the short length is that no time is wasted in getting into the action.