Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Host

Stephenie Meyer, bestselling author of the Twilight series for young adults, proves she can write for all audiences with her first adult novel, The Host. This book opens up a whole new world and set of characters and we learn from them what it really means to be human.

The human race has been invaded by alien beings called "souls", spectral essences that take over and reside in the human body, basically erasing the human's existence. With access to all their emotions and memories, souls don't die so much as move from planet to planet and gain new healthy bodies. When the soul Wanderer arrives on Earth, she takes hold of the body of Melanie Stryder. The only problem is Melanie won't back down easily and eventually, Melanie is trapped within Wanderer's mind, the literal "voice in her head". With Melanie's memories of her lover Jared and brother Jamie, Wanderer seeks out Melanie's desires and in turn starts to desire them as well.

While the heart of The Host is essentially a love triangle story, there's a lot more underneath the surface that let's it stay in your mind a lot longer than just being simply about a great cast of characters. The idea of alien takeover will obviously bring about resistance and people wanting to fight back and yet we find the Souls are actually way more peaceful and even more courteous than most humans are. The love triangle is also better handled and doesn't seem so forced or childish. The characters are also quite endearing and even though some of them don't get as much prominence as some of the others, they add a bit more depth and character to everything.

Undoubtedly the best character in the whole thing is Wanderer herself who has more conflicting emotions and feelings and in some cases, way more humanity. Melanie - one of the few characters I can recall that's just simply a disembodied voice - is also well handled. As far as the book itself, the pacing of it doesn't really have a climax to it in an action sense where there's lots of activity and moving around and some parts of the book don't so much drag the book down but keep it level. We spend a lot of time within a certain place for practically the whole book and there's only so far you can go before it starts to feel claustrophobic, but it still maintains your interest.

Although this book was slow going for the first 100 pages - getting to know the environment and the characters - when it picks up its pace, the book reads very quickly. In recent interviews, Ms. Meyer has stated that a sequel to The Host is planned for the future. I am very interested in the world of this book and I look forward to reading more about this new "Earth". I would recommend this book to anyone who has a love of science fiction or supernatural fiction. If I had to label this book, I would describe it as a combination of Love Story and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

P. S. One thing to mention to others reading this book; make sure you read the end of the book. This book has a "fake" ending. When you think the book is finished, there are several blank pages before the actual ending of the book.

Page count: 624


Being Honest said...

I just bought the first three "Twilight" books. You can bet I'll be buying "Host" after that review!

Tiffany said...

So I am a total Twilight Fanatic. Met Stephanie a few weeks ago at a book signing. LOVED The Host and have termed her work "crackliture" cause I can't stop reading it!!!!

Found you through SITS.

Nadia Pimenta said...

thanks for your comment.... are you a writter?? you have nice stuff too... :)

flowerpot said...

the host.. another for the to-read list..

alisonwonderland said...

nice review! is it okay to link it to my recent review? (i also liked the book.)