'The short second life of Bree Tanner' is an Eclipse novella and follows the story of Bree, a three month old vampire caught up in something that she doesn't understand. The war between Victoria and the Cullen family is drawing closer and an army is being made, even though the vampires are far from away of this fact. All of the new 'newborns' live together in a grotty house and take it in turns to go out hunting but even though she is thirsty a lot, Bree just wants to keep her head down and not draw attention to herself, unlike some of the others.
Out on a night hunting, the vampires Bree is sent out with are determined to do what they like but Bree has other ideas. When Diego, a slightly older vampire turns out, she decides to leave with him to save herself getting in trouble and the pair quickly become friends. After having to spend some time in an underwater cave, thinking that the sun will kill them, they realise that they don't know everything there is about being a vampire. It seems that their leader has been lying to them and if he would lie about the sun, what else has he been keeping from them. Bree and Diego decide to team up and figure out what is going on but time is not on their side as the war is quickly moved forward.
Even though Bree was on the bad side of the vampires, I couldn't help but like her from the very start. It was clear that she wasn't like the others and the best way that I can describe it is by saying that she had more humanity although that is not technically true. It was easy to see that she didn't want to go around killing as many as possible and that she believed in sticking to the rules that she had been taught. Some might say that this could just be obeying orders but some of the other vampires were out of control and this was something that Bree never showed.
What I really loved about her was that she just didn't seem as evil and blood thirsty as the others which was made more visible when Diego befriended Bree. Unless you knew that they were vampires, you would have just thought that they were only really good friends. Their banter and jokes made the story much lighter than it could have been, making it a more enjoyable read for me.
Even though I really enjoyed learning about Bree, Diego and their relationship, I also enjoyed the action and excitement. Knowing which side Bree was on made me wonder how gory this book was going to be so I was glad that it wasn't overdone. It was great to see Stephenie Meyer's take on the 'real' vampires compared with the Cullens. After spending so long writing about 'vegetarians', Meyer did a fantastic job of making the army, their thirst and characteristics come to life.
The lead up to the war and the newborns serving their purpose was so exciting to read, knowing where things were going to go. Once the newborns knew that they had people to take out, it all got quite animalistic with them showing their excitement and thirst. It was actually quite scary to think of 20ish newborns out on a rampage to kill one poor little human (although I hate Bella and would probably have wanted to see her die!). The excitement in this novella was much better than in Eclipse and made up for a lot of what had been missing before.
This book is no where near the length of any of the Twilight Saga but for me, the length was perfect. Meyer gave me everything that I wanted to know about Bree and the army that was missing from Eclipse and added in a little romance and humour at the same time. I managed to read this in only a couple of hours on a train to Nottingham and it made my journey much more enjoyable than normal. I know people are going to be comparing this to the Twilight Saga but they really shouldn't because it is quite different. I would love to read this story from Diego's point of view so here's hoping that we get another novella from Ms Meyer in the not too distant future.