A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this Twilight Saga spinoff is more horror than romance. There is darker, bloodier violence here than in the rest of the saga, rightfully so, as readers are experiencing life as a vampire. The completely sociopathic bloodlust of even the newest vampires sets up a dramatic counterpoint to the Cullen's coven, even though the family doesn't appear until the very end. Bree is a simple character, and in typical Twilight fashion, as soon as she meets a very handsome boy, he becomes her reason for living. Unfortunately we never learn what makes him so special.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The title says it all: 16-year-old Bree Tanner was introduced briefly in Eclipse, and this explores her experiences as she learns how to be a vampire, under the direction of Riley, also introduced in Eclipse. Riley's Seattle coven is made up of turned teen street kids, still learning to control their blood lust; they hunt without remorse. When Bree meets Diego, a supernaturally beautiful vampire (surprise!), they spend a day together and find an intense romantic connection. Diego shares his own discoveries about being a vampire. But then Riley's plans for this army of newborn vampires to attack the "yellow-toothed" vampire coven (the Cullens) sends Bree and Diego in different directions and soon it's all over. The book was made available for free online at www.breetanner.com through July 5, 2010.
Is it any good?
It's tragic, it's short, it seems like a good idea for a story, but Bree's life before she is turned is never explored. Her intense but innocent romantic interlude (gotten over with right at the beginning) mimics all the other romance in the saga, and the vampire violence is heavier and darker with none of the redeeming sympathy we came to feel for the Cullens. An interesting new vampire, Fred the freak, is introduced, but like Diego, we never learn where his supernatural power came from or who he is.
Fans looking for more Cullens will get a glimpse of them near the book's end. The rare fan who's in it for the horror and battle scenes will get a big build-up to the final battle.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this novella compares to the rest of the saga. Is it an important chapter in the story or just a fun add-on? Were you expecting more romance?
What about the timing of this release -- weeks before the release of the Eclipse movie? Do you think it effectively builds up the hype for fans? What other big books-to-movies franchises can you think of? Are they as successful at making you want to both read the books and see the films?
This book was made available for free online for a limited time. Does it make you want to read it more? Do you think more publishers should do this? What's in it for them? Would you rather read the book online or read a real copy?
Who was the mysterious Diego? Was he a newbie? How did he know so much? Did he remind you of Edward at all?
What did you learn about Bree? Would the ending have been harder to read if you had known more about her? Bree and the other newbies don't seem to miss their old lives. Is that different from other vampire stories you have read?
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