Tag Archives: Twilight Saga

Husband/Wife Book Reviews – Graham Reviews ‘The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner’ by Stephenie Meyer

  

We are very busy preparing for our Big Move on Monday, but Graham did manage to fit in some time to write his review of Stephenie Meyer’s The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. Without further ado, here it is: 

Jammed between the breathless action of Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer decided to put in a near-200-page tangent for me on my quest to complete the Twilight Saga.
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner describes exactly that. Bree is made into a vampire in Seattle and is destroyed by the Volturi. All this we knew from Eclipse, so it did kinda bore those who were hoping for some new developments in the Bella-Edward story arc. The novella focuses on those newborns who wreak havoc in Seattle and the very different life experiences by these non-Cullen vampires. All the while, Bree falls for another newborn named Diego. They figure out the suicidal plans of their mistress, Victoria, only to have Diego be destroyed by Victoria, and Bree and her friends destroyed by the Cullens and the werewolves.
This novella gets criticized for some of the reasons noted above: it’s boring, it feels pointless, it’s just a cash grab by Meyer who knows she has a hooked audience willing to pay. I think those criticisms are a bit unfair, however, as the novella does have its upsides. I found Riley’s tormented character to be an interesting study, as well as seeing the life of these newborns and the very different experiences of vampire life they have compared to the Cullens. Unfortunately, that’s really it for this book. Such a short work unfortunately also lacks character development, the plot is pre-determined, and we know from the start that things are going to be ending badly for Bree. Bree herself lacks much uniqueness and I easily could have placed Bella in place of Bree and seen things through her eyes without much of a difference in character or personality.

I give this novella a 2 out of 5.


‘Resurrection: State of Grace’ by Elizabeth Davies (January 18th, 2015)

Reposted from LiveJournal:

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State of Grace is not at all what I thought it would be like. It’s a paranormal romance/time travel novel set in Brecon, Wales. Grace Llewellyn is dying of an incurable brain tumour and often finds herself transported back to various time periods but still in the same location. During these unexplained trips that simply happen out of the blue (which she attributes to her tumour), she meets and falls in love with an intriguing vampire named Roman, who had been born in Roman times and resurrected 900 years previous to the book’s main time period of around 1060. The tiresome repetition of erotic coupling scenes aside (the first one or two were engaging, the others felt somewhat obligatory to me, but then again, I’m not much for sex scenes unless I’m really specifically seeking erotica, so that could just be my personal preference), I was pleasantly surprised by Davies’ clear and concise, yet descriptive and emotionally engaging writing style. I enjoyed and appreciated the amount of research that must have gone into the historical accuracy of events and people and places and even the linguistic changes that can take place in one place over hundreds of years, as well as the same attention to detail regarding the popular culture of Grace’s (our) modern time. Reminiscent of the best parts of both the Twilight Saga and Shades of Grey, yet not completely either, I really did enjoy this book. I am not much of a romance novel fan, so I was really surprised how much I liked it.

The only thing I will say straight off that I did not like was how abruptly the book ended. A cliffhanger is one thing, but I felt that nothing had truly been resolved and that there had been no clear direction or catharsis after Grace’s sudden return to her own time near the end. It really is necessary to have the next book (and possibly the last in the trilogy as well) to actually feel a sense of completion or satisfaction, and I did not like that. I feel any given book in a trilogy should be able to stand as a book on its own unless it is merely the first volume of one story. This book is marketed as a complete story in and of itself, and that’s simply not true.

That said, I eagerly began the next book in the trilogy, Amazing Grace, and look forward to finding out why Grace is able to time travel, why she keeps running into Roman the vampire, how their relationship progresses, what can be learned about Wales during the times she experiences there, and whether or not she will meet Roman in her own time. Also: will she become a vampire herself? I have a feeling that story (if it does take place) might be something reserved for the third book, Sanctifying Grace. A great light read, which I give 3.75 stars out of 5.