Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Short Second Life..., by Stephenie Meyer

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.

All Bree knows is that living with her fellow newborns has few certainties and even fewer rules: watch your back, don't draw attention to yourself and, above all, make it home by sunrise or die. What she doesn't know: her time as an immortal is quickly running out.

Then Bree finds an unexpected friend in Diego, a newborn just as curious as Bree about their mysterious creator, whom they know only as "her". As they come to realize that the newborns are pawns in a game larger than anything they could have imagined, Bree and Diego must choose sides and decide whom to trust. But when everything you know about vampires is based on a lie, how do you find the truth?

If you've read Eclipse, which is Meyer's third installment in the Twilight Saga, then you already know who Bree Tanner is - and you also know what happens to her by the end of the story. What you don't know is how she was created, what happened when she first became a newborn vampire, and the events that led up to the big battle at the end of the book between the newborn vampires (led by Victoria) and the Cullens (aided by the Wolf Pack). Well, for anyone wondering ... this is the book for you.

The Short Second Life is written from Bree's perspective, much like Twilight is narrated by Bella Swan. These stories are similar in that the first-person narrative limits what you see outside of what they see - which can sometimes be a huge handicap. For the most part, Meyer typically wraps up any loose ends and unanswered questions you may have. Unfortunately for me, she missed the part that I truly wanted an inside look into - which was the actual battle itself. We don't see it in Eclipse because Bella is secluded away from the fight, and in this we miss it because Bree kind of lags behind. You see a glimpse, but not as much as I would have liked. You also see the typical humanity that sometimes shows through with most of the paranormal creatures in the story. Even though the newborns don't recall their former lives, they are somehow able to show some humanity, empathy, and huge amounts of curiosity.

On the other hand, Bree's story is quite darker than Bella's perspective. Bree is dealing with becoming a vampire and battling bloodlust, which is something hugely missing from the original novels where it's vampires with many decades (and sometimes centuries) of practice with control, as well as the refusal to give in to their primal instincts - substituting animal blood for human blood. You see more of the inhuman side, with some of the other newborns using their new-found powers to wreak havoc on the human race. And you're introduced to new characters that are never mentioned in Eclipse, as well as seeing behind-the-scenes to Victoria and Riley's plot to destroy the Cullens... and there's a nice little curve ball thrown in there with someone else that is helping her out by turning a blind eye to what she's doing.

Rating: ★★★★✩
Source: Purchase

Title: The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner
Stephenie Meyer
Twilight Saga, Book 3.5
Little, Brown & Company
Hardcover, 178 pages
Release Date:
June 5, 2010

Purchase Book
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound


brandileigh2003 said...

Great review-- I was cheering for her too even though I knew her fate.

Lori said...

Great review! This book just made me want more! More Fred, he was awesome, and for some reason it made me want to get into Edward's head so bad! I want Midnight Sun!

Jennifer said...

I liked this book (i know some people didn't). I found it interesting. Especially for Twilight fans!

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