Stephenie Meyer (author of the Twilight Series) released a new book today (June 5th) entitled The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. After reading it, of course I had to write about it. There are some spoilers ahead but I won't give away anything that happens in the novel, only what doesn't happen. Hopefully my review may help you decide if you're going to by this novella or wait until noon June 7th to read online for FREE at breetanner.com
I was hoping Meyer might explore Riley and Victoria’s characters more. Riley's character and motivations are touched upon but only briefly – very little new information is shared other than a slightly darker, more manipulative side to him than one may have expected. Nothing new about Victoria is revealed – a definite disappointment as her character, though significant to the plot in the first three novels of the Twilight Series, has very little depth.
Also, there is a brief period near the end of Eclipse, when Bella faints and is unconscious for several minutes. It would have been nice to see from Bree’s perspective what went on during this time but unfortunately, her eyes were closed and her ears were covered. I think Meyer missed out on a good opportunity here to exploit her narrator of choice.
Only by the end. You know what happens to Bree, you recognize the scene and the dialogue from Eclipse – you know it’s coming. The last two lines of the novel, even though they are lines of dialogue repeated from Eclipse, still gave me chills. Excellent ending - definitely my favorite part (and I'm not trying to be funny).
What will the Twi-hards think?
There was some excitement generated over the prospect of seeing the characters of Bella and Edward (and the rest of the Cullens) through Bree’s eyes. What interested me (and may disappoint fans of the series) was that Bree did not swoon over Edward’s supernatural good-looks, found absolutely nothing notable about Bella (other than the fact that she was human) and though she was confused over Edward and Bella’s relationship, she certainly didn’t see anything obviously intense or magical about their love for one another. I think this may piss off some fans but really just amused me.
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner has nothing to do with Edward, Bella or their relationship which (in my opinion) is not necessarily a weakness. Bree’s perspective does compliment the original story (Eclipse) well and fill in some of the blanks. The continuity between the two stories is also well thought-out and intriguing, and I think that this further examination and understanding of the Twilight world will please (if not thrill) fans.
To Sum it Up:
Stephenie Meyer is a good story-teller. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is interesting and well-paced, it will keep the reader turning pages. Would I read it again though? Probably not. Though it was intriguing and complimented Eclipse well, Meyer’s forte is obviously in the romance genre and though there were brief glimpses of her skill in her new novella, (to borrow an over-used Meyerism) it “pales in comparison” to the rest of the Twilight Series.
Overall Rating: 7 (out of 10)
It was good - I'd even go so far as to say pretty good, but it was still far from amazing.
Have you read The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner? What did you think?