This novella takes place at the same time as the events in Eclipse take place. It gives a very small glimpse into Victoria and her vendetta over the last two novels. But what’s important to note is that it is by far the best written of all Meyer’s works that I’ve read. I’m sure it helped that it was a novella and she had a finite story to tell. It also probably didn’t hurt that Bella didn’t even appear in the novel until the last five pages of the novella 😀
Although we don’t learn much about Bree Tanner, we figure out pretty quickly that she is smart and a survivor. She doesn’t remember much about her human life and has only been a vampire for three months. As she develops within a crazy vampire coven, Bree begins to question her indoctrination through her time spent with Diego, another newborn vampire. I don’t know if we will get this same path to discovery and awed enthusiasm as there was in this novella. The discovery that vampires could spend time outside anytime and wouldn’t die, and the craziness of their blood lust through a non-vegetarian vampire was fascinating.
I think Meyer did a better job with this novella than she did with the novels because she wasn’t so wrapped up in Bella’s life and self-absorption. She was able to exercise her writing muscles and let loose with the blood and gore. In contrast the only blood and gore there’s really been was at the end of Eclipse and even that felt incredibly tame compared to what could have been written.
Recommendation: This is one that you could (and should) read without reading the others. I would love to find out more about what happened to Fred, or even the perspective of some of the other vampires in this coven. It’s almost enough to make me want to go back and read MIdnight Sun, her unfinished Twilight companion told from Edward’s perspective. I didn’t want to get sucked into this universe, but I’m here and I’m ready for the story to wrap-up.
Opening Line: “The newspaper headline glare at me from a little metal vending machine Seattle Under Siege—Death Toll Rises Again.”
Closing Line: “I closed my eyes.” (Whited out.)
Additional Quotes from The Short Second Life of Bree Tanners
“The problem with humans was that they just never had enough blood in them. It seemed like only seconds later the girl ran dry. I rattled her limp body in frustration. Already my throat was beginning to burn again.” (11)
“Having someone to talk to, to interact with, sharpened my ability to concentrate. Without that, fear sucked at the edges of my thoughts…” (87)