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258 of 276 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2010
Warning - spoilers ahoy.

My favourite aspect of the Twilight novels was the supporting cast of characters, who were so fascinating they always left me wanting to know more. This short novel from Bree's perspective works as a supplement to Eclipse, and as a tragic story in its own right. If the main aspect of the Twilight novels you enjoyed was the romance between Edward and Bella, then I don't think you'll enjoy this one, however if you liked the wider politics of the Twilight vampire universe, then this is one for you.

I enjoyed the way the details of Bree's conversion to the vampire life were revealed gradually throughout the first half of the story. There was a great sense of tragic irony in the fact that Bree ended up trading her humanity for a cheeseburger, of all things. The contemporary culture references in Twilight always act as a nice reality contrast to the more fantastical elements.

Riley came off as a sympathetic character in Eclipse, another sad victim of Victoria's evil. From Bree's perspective, there is nothing to pity, as Riley is as much a perpetrator of evil and manipulation as Victoria. His referral to the newborns as his 'kids' felt like a sad, twisted mirror of Carlisle and Esme's loving parental relationship with their own coven.

Fred was a fascinating new character. Most of the vampire powers we've seen so far have seemed as much of a curse as they are a gift, but Fred's ability to repel people would be every wannabe hermit's greatest dream. I wondered if he was a social phobic when he was a human. The progression of his relationship with Bree was nicely done - very subtle. I especially liked the card playing: from solitaire, to assisted solitaire, and finally two-player.

The best scenes came towards the end, when the story meets up with what we know from Eclipse. One of my favourite was between Carlisle, Esme and Jasper when they discuss Bree's fate. I don't think we ever saw those characters interact in the Twilight saga, and the dynamics between the various personalities of the Cullen family make for good drama.

I can see a lot of potential for these supplemental stories for expanding the Twilight universe. I'd love to read one about Maria, or Peter and Charlotte, or the rest of the Cullen family. And, of course, Fred ... I hope he did meet the Cullens some day.
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178 of 197 people found the following review helpful
"Please. I don't want to fight"
Bree Tanner was a fifteen year old runaway before she became a vampire. Now, a three-month-old vampire, Bree has to find ways to stay alive, to feed without getting caught, and to find the truth about her new life. But Riley, the leader of this gang, is spurring them to war.

I Liked:
Right off, I need to say that I have recently finished Eclipse and did actually find myself interested in the character of Bree Tanner. She seemed interesting and was the first time we had seen a newborn vampire that wasn't so hostile. This book expands on her small part in Eclipse and there are many fascinating aspects.
Bree Tanner, for one, is not a Bella clone. She is far more independent and curious, a lot more proactive and a lot more involved in her own life. I thought she had way more spunk than Bella has ever shown. Sure, Bree has no hobbies either, besides reading, but Bree is a newborn vampire. I don't expect to find her in a knitting circle.
Fred needs to seriously have his own novella. He has a power that is absolutely creative and interesting and this novella (focusing on Bree) barely gives him a chance to show it off. Maybe if this book does well enough, Meyer will write his story (starting, hopefully, before he goes vampire).
Learning more about newborn vampires in general was eye-opening. Finally, Meyer gets to explore her creation. We get to see newborn vampires have absolutely no loyalty to each other, no self-control, and no qualms about sinking their teeth into their poor human food banks. I liked reading Bree and Diego roam Seattle.
I also loved how Meyer acknowledged the other vampire mythos by having our newbie vampires believe that sun is bad, they can get staked through the heart, and to fear garlic.

I Didn't Like:
You know it's a Stephenie Meyer book when after meeting a boy for two seconds, the girl cannot live without him. Yes, my fellow readers, Bree becomes very friendly (never exactly romantic, though) with Diego and when he is gone, she is devastated to the point of giving up on living. Oh, please. Spare me.
Another part that really irked me is how, when the whole "army" of newbies appears in daylight, they spend most of their time commenting on how "pretty and sparkly" they are. Uh, the girls, maybe, but the guys? Particularly fifteen year-old guys? Have you been around fifteen-year-old guys? I can almost bet you they would comment on it, but I bet it would have a far more negative tone than "My you are so pretty and sparkly" (I won't recount it because I have no desire to reproduce such offensiveness here). Geesh.
I guess one of my biggest complaints is that Meyer takes a character, who was in the big battle with vampires and werewolves, and TOTALLY AVOIDS WRITING THE BATTLE SCENE! Bree ends up avoiding it by hanging in the back for two seconds, and POOF! When she appears, the battle is all gone, the werewolves are elsewhere, and I am so confused about how long this battle took, who was where, who did what, and what was the point of writing from Bree if you can't even write the battle that she would have taken part it? Lord!
Lastly, I have to mention that Meyer's writing is a little sloppy. I mean, she's not the best writer in the world (most elaborate, most spellbidning, most whatever), but this is her first book I had to reread certain parts over again to figure out what she was trying to say.

Dialogue/Sexual Situations/Violence:
I didn't catch anything.
Victoria and Riley head off to a "gingerbread house" in the middle of the forest to "smoochie smoochie".
There is a lot of violence near the beginning, with multiple feedings, vampires' losing limbs, and burnings.

Overall:
I did like this book. But I wasn't happy when I learned that Meyer is hosting this novella on her site for free while I spent nearly $14 (okay, not quite) on it. Yes, the free version is only up until July 5th, and I probably would have bought it anyway because it is a rather nice looking book (and I have a terrible time reading books on the computer and don't want to fight with my printer to print out nearly 200 pages), but I still want to warn those who are on the fence. It may be better to read it online, see if you like it, and then shell out the 14 bucks or whatever sale you can snag (and there are tons of sales to be found).
So, nice book, neat insights, new characters. Is it brilliant? No. Is it interesting? Yes. Is it absolutely vital to understanding Eclipse? No. Do I recommend? For a nice, quick "time waster", sure.

Brought to you by:
*C.S. Light*
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 8, 2010
I have to say it: I was bored silly by this book. I know there are fans out there who will say that they are happy to have anything Twilight related to read now that the series has ended, and I thought I might be one of them, but sadly, that's not the case. I'm going to make a gross assumption and say that the majority (not all) of the people who love this series do so because they are sucked into the teen romance and either love Edward or love Jacob. And unfortunately, there is hardly mention of either character in this novella. So, the main pull of the series is almost totally absent from the storyline. And unfortunately, the story is not nearly engrossing enough to pull you in otherwise. I was so bored and uninterested by page 64 that I almost stopped reading.

I think it's great that SM wrote this for her fans; she is obviously an author who takes the process very seriously and I think this idea came honestly to her during the writing process. But I will repeat what ALL your fans have been asking for: give us what we want, "Midnight Sun." Your point has been made regarding copyright infringement. Please, please stop punishing the masses because of one person.

So, even to you die hard fans, truly, this book may disappoint.
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310 of 368 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2010
Even though I'm of the XY persuasion, I really loved Twilight. I loved New Moon and Eclipse less. I disliked Eclipse most of all, because Bella's confusion made no sense at all, and poor Edward had no way out. Any normal man would have given Bella the boot, and let Jacob have her, but Edward didn't have that option. Breaking Dawn restored some of my faith in their romance, which Eclipse had largely killed. Over all, I love the series as much as any fan. So does my wife. But this novella is an insult to our intelligence as fans. This story marks an epic fail.

Let's leave out the critical scenes on the post-battle field for a minute and focus on something really simple. Given what this story claims, Victoria and Riley had been at their "build an army" thing for nearly a year, where as Eclipse leaves you with the impression that they were at it for two months at the most. Diego was 11 months old as a newborn. That's an entire year of a growing number of newborns "grazing" in Seattle. The opening of the book has Diego and Bree murdering 5 people. And the impression you get is that, that was business as usual for members of Riley's coven, which had been growing in fits and starts for a year or more. So, take a calculator and start playing with some numbers and you have to wonder just how big the city's "dregs" population was, because you start getting into a body count in the thousands. For instance assume that you have only four newborns the first three months, hunting every other night, and taking say 3 people each, instead of the 4 that Bree took. That's 540 corpses in 90 days. Now extrapolate that through the next 9 months with an increasing population of thirsty monsters. By the time we get to the start of the story, they'll be killing 150 to 200 people a week just to sustain themselves. Seattle ain't Mexico City. They'd finish off the city's population of "dregs" in a month, six weeks at the outside, and be hitting the malls and houses in the suburbs. Even if they hid ALL of the bodies, the number of missing wouldn't have the city in a panic. It would be in a state of war. The military would be called in and martial law would be declared.

Then, there's the ferry massacre. No mention of it in Eclipse. Nada. On 9/11 people got cell phone messages out about what was happening, both in the buildings and the planes. No one on the ferry did? No bodies were found with mysterious wounds? Nothing? (snorts) Sloppy and careless writing.

Then you get to Bree after the battle, passing her info to a telepathic Edward and you just completely blow large chunks of Breaking Dawn out of the water. Now, if they were the parts that were centered on Jacob and Bella rather that Edward and Bella, I wouldn't mind so much. But with this story Meyer completely destroys canon on what the Cullens knew or didn't know in planning to deal with the Volturi. Carlisle wouldn't have even attempted a peaceful solution and neither Edward, nor Carlisle, nor anyone else indicated that they had any hint of the information that Bree supposedly gave Edward there on the battlefield. Taking Bree's alleged actions at the end of the novella as canon for the books makes most of the discussion that took place in Breaking Dawn while preparing for the Volturi into utter useless nonsense.

Meyer just retconned her own canon, while the books are still in the stores, after making tens of millions of dollars off of it. What will be next? Eclipse 2.0 and Breaking Dawn 2.0, the rewritten novels that take the amazing and sweet former plot device Bree Tanner, and the information that she never gave to Edward in the original canon, into account? If she's retconning the Saga, why stop there? Why not go for the gold and have Bella choose Jacob in the new canon? (shakes head) In my book there's no more unforgivable sin in an author than not being able to keep their writing internally consistent with itself. She rarely had that problem in the Saga itself, and The Host really rocked (says the science fiction fan of 40 years). Why did she drop the ball now? And the violations here are so obvious and blatant that we can't even say that she made a mistake. To do something like this you have to not care at all. As my wife would say..."Most authors protect their canon. I don't think she even *likes* Twilight anymore."

Diego and Bree would have been a good story to tell, had Meyer kept within the bounds of canon. As it is, I give this thing a complete and total thumbs down. I can think of ten fan fiction stories off hand that are better, and I could probably think of more given time.

What? She couldn't just finish Midnight Sun and be done with it? (snorts) She should have left it alone.

Rick

Added in Edit 06/22/10: I just realized something sort of ridiculous while talking to my wife yesterday. Think about the canon time line in the books. Edward leaves Bella in New Moon. Not quite nine months later the Cullens and the Pack destroy the newborn army on the field of battle. According to Edward, while he was separated from Bella he was tracking Victoria all over hell and back, including to Texas where she presumably got the idea to build an army. My problem is, if the novella is to be believed, Vicky started assembling her army prior to the events of New Moon. How did she begin building an army before she had the inspiration to build an army? Diego was 11 months old. That makes Reilly over a year old. Months before the Cullens ever left, there would have been newborns rampaging around Seattle. No one noticed? Not the cops? Or the newspapers? Not the Cullens? Apparently not, because it isn't mentioned in New Moon, and there isn't even a hint of it in Eclipse until less than 60 days before the battle. Remember that body count? Nobody? Noticed? (shakes head) I do still truly adore the original four books (with reservations about way too much Jacob), but I just can't stomach this novella.

Added in Edit 07/03/10: I just got back from my second viewing of the movie...which was pretty good by the way. Meyer implied in interviews that people should read the novella prior to seeing the movie, as if it were a movie companion, or necessary to understanding the movie. I have to tell you, aside from vague generalities, there was almost nothing of the novella in the movie. Certainly nothing that, lacking the novella, couldn't be written off to Melissa Rosenberg getting creative. In short, the novella is a red herring. It doesn't fit in the book canon, and is utterly unnecessary to make sense of, or enjoy, the movie. Steph must be laughing all the way to the bank.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Yet another marketing ploy masquerading as "literature," this alleged novella tells the poignant story of Bree Tanner, a nearly forgettable character from Eclipse (the film version of which is premiering on June 30, a mere three weeks after the book's publication--coincidence? Not in the carefully orchestrated world of Twilight marketing). The special twist here is that Meyer tells the story from Bree's perspective, abandoning (for the first time in the Twilight series, anyway) the first-person narrative voice of Bella. The reader, however, will be forgiven for overlooking this difference, since the voice of Bree is almost indistinguishable from the voice of Bella. Bree is an overly sensitive adolescent girl (and newborn vampire) prone to flights of melancholy who manages to fall passionately in love with Diego--another newborn vampire--within the space of one day; Bella, on the other hand, is an overly sensitive adolescent girl (who wants to become a newborn vampire) prone to flights of melancholy who manages to fall passionately in love with Edward--an old vampire who looks youthful--within the space of a few days. See the difference? I didn't think so. This tale does fill in a narrative gap or two from Eclipse, and we get to witness the unintentionally absurd way in which Bree and Diego discover their ability to glitter in the sunlight. But the book's most redeeming quality is its merciful brevity--only 178 pages.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2010
I just want to start off by saying that i'm a fan of all 4 of the Twilight Saga. After reading the Saga multiple times, I was excited to see another addition to the series. So after paying $10 for the book I took it home and immediately started reading it. Immediately I couldn't follow it. I thought that I was missing part of the book, but then figured out it's just how it's written. With the Twilight Saga, I literally couldn't put the book down while reading them. With this book, I couldn't pick it up!

I feel that if Stephenie Meyer would get off her high horse and finish Midnight Sun, would be a much better use of her time & our time! I would've preferred she write a book about the characters in the saga that we've "met & made a connection with". I would rather read about Carlisle's life before and after becoming a vampire, before he changed Edward etc.

This book did NOTHING for me! I feel the only good part is that I bought the hard cover so $1 was donated to the American REd Cross. That is the ONLY redeeming factor of the book.
Don't waste your time or money on this waste of shelf space! Just re-read the Twilight books you like the best it's much better!
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52 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2010
You've got to be kidding me. This story adds nothing to the Twilight experience. There is no feeling in this, no... pardon the pun... soul. Dare I say it: It's boring. What's with the lame "cool! let's create a ninja club!" theme?! And "vampire kissy noises"?! Really? Holy moly, how deep did she have to dig to come up with these gems? Ugh! Look, I was just as obsessed as anyone w/ the Twilight Saga, but really... I don't understand all the stars people have given this "book." Yes, the focus is on Bree. But Victoria is an important part of this backstory and Meyer diminished Victoria's cunning nature so much that I felt the poor vamp was robbed. Laurent said in the first book: "Don't underestimate Victoria." That's JUST what Meyer did in this novella. That aside, we weren't really given anything that would help us to better understand--or even care about--Bree. We get that the newborns were cast-aside teens. But that's all we get. Where is the emotion? Why should I feel for Bree? Because she somehow manages to retain some reasonable thought processes and not become obsessed with video games? None of the relationships were explored in meaningful ways. Diego & Bree were hardly believable and completely dull. The only character that had a modicum of promise was Fred, and she did nothing of significance with him. She dropped interesting hints and then took the easy route out. Fred just went away. Huh?
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2010
I can't say I'm a fan of the Twilight saga, but I admit I enjoyed reading them - despite the awful writing and irritating main character, they still provided some entertainment.

This novella, however, put me to sleep. From the very beginning I found myself skipping paragraphs and waiting impatiently for it all to end. Stephenie Meyer continues to skim over the details of what could have been a very interesting story.

I was hoping this novel would be a bit darker than her usual writing; after all, this novella IS about a group of teenage train wrecks, kidnapped and turned into savage, soul-less killing machines. However, if this is SM's definition of an "edgy" novel, I think it is pathetic. I understand she is writing for the young adult spectrum, but that is no reason to water down your work. Plenty of YA novels deal with harsh language, violence, sexuality, etc. I'm not saying SM should have included all of these aspects, but really, to assume teenagers use phrases such as "top secret ninja club" and "vampire kissy noises" is pathetic.

I did not feel for Bree or Diego. I found their sudden romance/strong friendship incredibly contrived. Even Edward and Bella had more of a pull to each other than these two, and the only reason Edward even noticed Bella at all was because she smelled good. I did not appreciate the lack of details. I understand this is a novella, but that does not mean skimming over the gritty details. This would have made this book much more interesting and would have made me care more about Bree and the other characters. I definitely had a very hard time finishing this very short "book".
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
I pretty much agree with those that said the characters were underdeveloped and the book itself was unpolished. As I said on my goodreads review, this is like a slap in the face. Kind of like Meyer slapping us in the face and saying, "I know you're all obsessed, but I just didn't really care to take the time to write this well". It was boring, and pretty much didn't matter at all.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2010
Unnecessary. If you're curious, just read it for free on the Bree Tanner web site. Don't spend your money on this. Also, practically none of this makes it to the movie. I say this because the novella was marketed almost like a movie companion, but it's completely irrelevant to the film or the saga. Not to mention it doesn't exactly fit with the timelines established in the saga either.
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