Fans of the Twilight saga of novels and movies just can't get enough of Stephenie Meyer's stories. In her follow-up novella, readers get to know Bree Tanner better. Bree was the young vampire slain by the Volturi, the ruling vampires, during a battle in the Eclipse novel. The novel and the movie leave just enough curiosity about Bree to sustain a separate small book just for her. Many readers and viewers felt an injustice had been done when Bree, who had been granted forgiveness from the Cullens, was suddenly struck down by Jane, the eartless Volturi leader.
This novella was very well done. This time, rather than seeing the world through the lens of Bella's perspective, everything is told from Bree's point of view. Victoria, a vampire, wants revenge – in the first novel of the Twilight series, the Cullens killed James, Victoria's mate, to save Bella's life. Victoria will stop at nothing to kill Bella and to try to take the Cullens with her. With the help of a new man in her life (who doesn't realize Victoria is using him), the vengeful woman creates an army of newborn vampires who terrorize Seattle. When the right time comes, Victoria and her unruly army will attack the Cullens and their allies!
In the book and the movie, the army of vampires is painted in a rough and uncomplimentary way. They are the enemy. However, in this short book Meyers shares a sort of behind-the-scenes look at what was going on as that army grew. There is Bree, and her friend Fred, and one or two others who wonder what Riley is up to. Something just doesn't add up in what they are being told as the time for the battle nears. By the end of the book, readers will have developed a deeper sympathy for Bree. In fact, the author notes that she might have gone back and changed Bree's fate in the original novel, if she could.
The book was published in 2010, through Little, Brown & Company. Suggested retail price for the hardcover is a reasonable $13.99, or $16.99 in Canada. A dollar from each book purchase was slated to go to the Red Cross. Still, I chose to borrow mine from the local library, as it isn't likely that I'll read this one again anytime soon. I enjoyed it, although it lacks the lustre and magic of the original series. It does add a different dimension to the first four books, however, and it would be interesting to see what other ideas the author may have in the future to further develop lesser characters for her fans. ISBN 978-0-316-12558-1.