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ZeldaQueen: And here is where I shall post my thoughts on this novella. Oh, shall I...
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Bree


How in the fuck does Meyer manage this? How? She can take the most pathetic, cuddly, woobie of a character and make them horrifically sociopathic and completely unlikable. That's what she did to Jacob and she did it yet again, this time to Bree. She did it to the character who is the protagonist, who we are supposed to like and support.

And that's clearly the case. We're supposed to be sad that she dies. We're supposed to be upset that she wasn't able to run off with Diego and Fred and have a sweet, sparkly happily ever after. But we don't. And why? Because she's perfectly happy to continue to drink human blood! She doesn't show any desire to find an alternative. She doesn't make an effort to drink safe amounts from a large number of humans, like some vampires do in media. She shows absolutely no guilt or horror at her desire to drink blood, and there's no evidence that she ever did. So why, may I ask, am I supposed to like her? Because she's a vampire and can't help it? Bull, I say! As I pointed out, she makes no effort at all to avoid any of this, or even spare a thought about the ethics of it. Victoria Todd murdered Toby in cold blood just so she could marry Sweeny, but even she tried to pretend she felt bad about it. It was false and shallow, but it was there. So yeah, that's right, our Hero and Protagonist shows fewer traces of human empathy than Victoria Fucking Todd.

And her idea of a happily-ever-after is to run off into the sunset and devour at her leisure. Again, there's no evidence that she has the slightest desire to try to tame or control her bloodlust. Any plans she makes are only centered around her own self-interest. The only reason she isn't killing indiscriminately like the rest is because she knows it means the Volturi will come after her. Before that, it seems that the thought of any sort of retribution for her actions never occurred to her at all. She literally seemed to consider herself above all laws and rules, purely by virtue of the fact that she didn't think there was a power that could hold her to them. So why would I want to cheer for her? Why would I feel bad at the thought that she isn't allowed to go free when, if I met her alone in an alley, she would kill me and drink all of my blood in a heartbeat, without batting an eye or feeling a bit of remorse? Really, it almost leaves me seeing the Volturi in a more positive light. They're the ones taking initiative to kill this wild, crazy girl. The Cullens? They were fine with Edward going off on a flounce and eating people. If they were given custody of Bree, they probably would have been fine with her running off and supping on humans.

The hell of it is, there were plenty of ways Meyer could have Bree be a crazed newborn but keep some shreds of sympathy. Her backstory is that she somehow grew up with nary a friend or caring relative. Okay. So Meyer could have written like Bree was so desperate for affection that she tried to throw herself into the vampire live style in an attempt to be a part of a community. It could have been explained that she was so desperate to be loved that she mistook Diego and Fred's platonic friendships as romantic advances. Heck, that could even potentially explain why she would go crazy at the end and want to die when the only people to show her affection are gone. But no, Meyer plays it straight. Bree's supposed to be the paragon of vampire virtue and her relationship with Diego is True Love and just like Romeo and Juliet. All she succeeded in doing was create a hateful little bitch of a protagonist who was dumb as a rock and who I didn't feel the least bit sorry for.

Which is another detail - Bree's idiocy. Okay Meyer, I get it. If Bree figures out Victoria and Riley's plot early, it will ruin everything canon-wise. Fine. Then don't let her find out so much, why don't you? Bree is almost handed every possibly detail and plot point on a silver plate, she spends paragraphs up on paragraphs musing over things, and yet she doesn't make any significant connections until it's too late! I don't think Bree's smart because of that, I think she's an idiot on par with Bella Swan! Actually, she's more of an idiot because at least Bella wasn't presented with literally every hint and clue and didn't spend five pages obsessing over what she did know, in convenient chains of logic. Really, I know Meyer wanted Rosencratz and Guildernstern Are Dead here, but the titular characters in the play weren't given that much to work with, so it made sense they couldn't figure out what was going to happen! Lord!

All in all, I'm happy to pretend that the only version of Bree there is is the one in the movie.

Diego and Fred

I'm including these two together, since neither has enough for their own parts.

Diego is pretty much the epitome of a shallow love interest. We know literally nothing about him, besides the brief dump he gives about his past. And like Bree, he's just as impossible to like, given that he too is quite happy to murder people without the slightest bit of remorse. I'm fairly certain that his idiocy over confronting Riley speaks for itself. I'll just comment instead on the blatant slash undertones between him and Riley, and wonder how the holy hell Meyer didn't notice it. Seriously, the entire thing makes a ton more sense if it does, especially as to why Diego is trusting to the point of idiocy. All in all, what can you say about Diego? He's just a stereotypical black/Mexican ganstah who is completely forgettable.

Fred, on the other hand, is one of those very rare, memorable characters that Meyer manages to spew out by accident. Think along the lines of Leah or pre-wolf Jacob. Really, I'm almost glad he was kind of underdeveloped. I'm certain that if Meyer put more focus on him, he wouldn't be nearly as cool. He's literally the only vampire who gives me the feeling that he doesn't buy into the arrogance and doesn't love the killing. He's also the only one who shows any semblance of decency, even if it does mean keeping Bree alive.

The Other Newborns


I'm at a loss with these guys. What was Meyer planning to do with them? According to her, these were the people she was writing the novella about - typical newborn vampires. Instead, we get them all painted as crazy idiots, so far over the top that it isn't even funny. So are all newborns like that? If so, why isn't there more noticeable destruction going on in the world? 

Also, are all newborns supposed to be utterly soulless? Because otherwise, I find it difficult to believe that out of twenty or so, only three show the slightest amounts of empathy (and I'm really stretching to include two of those three). Aren't any of them indignant over what happened to them? Or any that feel bad about their new natures? At least in Marvel Zombies, the zombies felt horrible about their actions when they weren't hungry! And if it's only a select few who are crazy and violent, why don't the others band together and tear them apart? For that matter, if they all are crazy and violent, why don't they just tear Riley apart? Hmm?

As for the few that are mentioned by name, I couldn't care less about them. I really couldn't. We're told that Raoul and Kristie are odious and horrible, but we see very little evidence of this. Everything they do seems to be par for newborns (which raises the question of why Meyer opted to make her protagonist one with weird control of herself, especially since we're supposed to find out about normal newborns). Meyer really had a lot she could have done with this, but in the end they were all just a faceless mass that I didn't feel sorry for in the least. I guess she couldn't be bothered to attempt to whip up sympathy for more than two characters.

Victoria and Riley


What is it with Meyer making her characters all overly smug and/or completely whiny babies? Victoria spends all of her time in the previous books sneaking around, being a cool femme fatale, but this thing shows her as being childish and tantrumy. Heck, even within the context of this novella that doesn't make sense, since everyone has an almost taboo fear of her.

As for Riley, he's just stupid! He lets the newborns run around however they want, then screams at them for being unorganized and giving himself about two or three days to make them into an army. Mulan, this is not.

The Plot


...Was a mess with more holes than a golf course. Why didn't Riley train the newborns from the start? With all of the damage in Seattle, why wasn't the FBI called in? Or at least why didn't the Cullens go charging in sooner? Why is none of the damage mentioned in Breaking Dawn? Why is Edward surprised by the Volturi being evil if he finds out in this story about their assassination attempt? Just...why?

And of course, as I mentioned before, Meyer falls back to her horrible habit of, whenever canon plot comes in, simply recapping everything word for word, with the narrator throwing in some irritating and usually stupid questions or observations. I'm sure this is her trying to be clever, like when a fanfiction writer does "the untold story" or something and shows how it links to canon. But like I said, Rosencratz and Guildenstern Are Dead this is not. Meyer made the mistake of setting the plot way too close to Eclipse canon, so there're no surprises. We know Bree will die. Heck, we know all of the newborns will die or disappear in some way or another. We know the Cullens will win. We know Victoria and Riley are goners. So all the while, as Bree wanders and wonders what's going on, I'm not in any sort of suspense. I'm in agony. It's damned boring. Meyer could have set the plot earlier, when Riley was in the midst of creating the army, and have it set over a day or two. That would have given us the snapshot of A Day In The Life Of A Newborn, but no. And of course, given all of the plot holes above, the parts that stick to canon are just jarring. Meyer somehow has the gift of being unable to remain consistent, even when she's almost directly copying and pasting details form previous works.

Finally, one big thing I noticed was that I swear Meyer just got bored with this thing halfway through. She spends the beginning slavishly typing out "hip" lingo and having Bree go on and on about her bloodlust, but quickly falls back to her usual, bland prose. I understand a piece of work losing its appeal or inspiration drying up, but if that happens, you don't then go and freaking well publish it!

I'll admit, when I heard about this story, my first thought was that it would be like Battle Royale, but with vampires. A group of teenagers would be kidnapped and forced to work for Riley and Victoria with some form of restraint keeping them in line (in this case, their thirst). All the while, we'd hear about the different reactions the newborns had as perhaps some embraced this new lifestyle, some rebelled, and some curled up in balls and wept. And all the while, Bree would be desperately seeking some way to return home to her family and her friends and her boyfriend, but has to come to terms with the fact that she's a danger to them all. Ah well, there's always fanfiction.
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ZeldaQueen: And that, ladies and gentlemen, is that for Bree Tanner. Which leaves me freed up to go after Miss Holly Potter. *eyes spork sneakily* Hope you enjoyed this all, and thanks for reading!

Back To: Acknowledgments

Back to: Table of Contents


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ZeldaQueen: And now it's time to see who the peons little people who helped Meyer along the way are!

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ZeldaQueen: Okay folks, I'm going to try to chug through the rest of this abomination as quickly as I can. It's just dry, dull, and fucking boring.

Read more... )
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ZeldaQueen: Howdy! I'm trying to get through this so I can focus all of my energies on Miss Holly Potter. Plus, Link's still locked in that particular Sporking Chamber, so I feel kind of bad about leaving him there. So yeah!

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ZeldaQueen: Howdy folks, sorry for the delay but I'm back! On a non-sporking note, I'd just like to pass this little warning around. Dunno anything about the fellow in it, but if it's true, be careful.

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ZeldaQueen: Howdy-do everyone! Sorry about how long it's been, I've had some stuff going on. Zyn and Leah are off recovering, so it's just me today. Woot!

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ZeldaQueen: Idiotic tie-ins to canon? Check. Idiotic relationship development? Check. Just plain idiocy? Oh check!
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ZeldaQueen: Right, sorry about the lack of updates, but some stuff's been going on and keeping me occupied. Onward and outward though! Onward and outward!

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