I’m assuming if you’re reading this you like Twilight and have already read the other books, yes? And you want one of two things from me here–a recommendation about whether this new novella is worth picking up and paying the $9-$14 for (discount dependent), or a discussion of OMG What It Revealed. In the interests of pleasing everyone (myself included!) I’ll do both. Clearly delineated, so if you’re in the first camp you can get your recommendation spoiler-free, and then come back later to talk about it.
Because the short answer is, if you are into the series, you need to pick up this little book. It follows the last week in the life of Bree, the young vampire in Victoria’s army who surrenders at the end of Eclipse only to be executed by the Volturi, anyway. We pick up with her on a hunting spree in Seattle and see the army of newborns from the inside as they finalize their attack on the Cullens. So you know going in that it can’t end happily, and, thus, kind of like a Shakespearean tragedy, you girder your heart from the beginning. And it still doesn’t quite work. I didn’t cry, but I was definitely sorry to see Bree go.
Don’t be disappointed by this book’s slender stature (134 pages) or sad premise; the story told feels complete, unrushed, and is oddly satisfying despite its tragic end. The writing style is a little different but no less readable than the full novels; Bree is more straightforward than Bella, less guilt-ridden and emo, and she tells her story unflinchingly.
It was an easy read–took me perhaps two hours–and it was fabulous fun to see all the characters we already knew through new, and perhaps less sympathetic eyes. I loved how much Jasper was involved (Team Oh Hale Yes FTW!), and I especially enjoyed seeing Bella as a vampire other than Edward does. Don’t be afraid this story will ruin anything; it won’t. But it will change your perspective on a few things in the Twilight universe, in a way that you’ll be glad you read, and if that’s not enough, it also serves as a prologue to the next main character, because there is no way this Fred guy is not getting his own story. He was just. That. Awesome.
Now, if you haven’t read it and just wanted a review, stop reading. Because I want to talk about those things we learned, and you are totally wrecking my groove.
(Are they gone? Excellent.)
Right. So, big thing, the Volturi are even bigger jerk-faces than we realized! They totally want the Cullens wiped out. I mean, I know in Breaking Dawn that comes up, so this made a good set-up for it, but I did not see it coming.
Because Jane? World’s best liar. Except maybe for Edward. The part with Bree pointing out Jane’s mad skills at lying was HILARIOUS. Also hilarious? Bree thinking everything she could to Edward, so that he’d know about their treachery even if Jane and her Three Stooges had the werewithal not to let such thoughts cross their minds.
Also, how awesome was Freaky Fred? Holy crap! I seriously hope Meyer writes his book, stat, because I want to know what happens to him! I’ll admit, I was kind of skeptical when she said she might write about other characters than the Cullens, thinking, oh, she’s just milking it, now, but you know what? MILK AWAY, STEPHENIE, HONEY.
The woman writes entertaining stories, and this one proved that she’s not just hacking on herself at this point, that makes her continuing to use this universe fine, in my book. I was drawn into Bree’s story, and Fred got his hooks in me, and as much as anything I’m curious to see how someone with his observation skills and logic skills and making himself invisible skills views the world.
And what kind of girl (human or vampire) would fall for him. I feel like Napoleon Dynamite–girls only want boyfriends who have great skills! Fred has great skills. So let’s see what he does with them.
And am I the only one who was kind of…at peace with Bree’s ending? I mean, it was kind of sad, but kind of not, because Diego had already died and I was just thinking about what happened to Bella and Edward apart from each other and it seemed almost better for her not to have to live without him.
Which of course is a Terrible attitude and In Real Life I would never take that point of view, but that’s what fiction is for, being able to take that Romeo and Juliet attitude and mean it. So that actually made Bree’s death less tragic. Like, if she hadn’t already found and lost Diego, I think it would have been more sad.
In all, super-glad I read it and super-glad they released it before the Eclipse movie so we can know what’s coming!
But what did you all think? Dish, girls!
Elena Nola is the imperial movie critic and the colder half of the Ladies of Ice and Fire.