803 of 872 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and Thought-Provoking Post-Invasion Story
It's been years since parasitic aliens calling themselves "Souls" have invaded Earth and taken over. Once a "Soul" is placed in a human host, the alien takes over and suppresses the human's mind. But when Wanderer awakes in her new body, she finds that her human host isn't so easily overcome. Melanie, her younger brother, and the man that she loves have been in hiding;...
Published on May 6, 2008 by SciFiChick
190 of 235 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who wants a whimper when you need a bang?
No Stephanie Meyers books seems complete without a few things; A beautiful heroine, a moderately (to very) controlling male lead, and a martyr. On those counts 'The Host' doesn't disappoint. Set in a world invaded by aliens, our heroine 'Wanderer' finds herself in an odd predicament, the original owner of her body just wont leave! So here comes 400 pages of inner...
Published on May 16, 2008 by S. Shackleford
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803 of 872 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and Thought-Provoking Post-Invasion Story,
It's been years since parasitic aliens calling themselves "Souls" have invaded Earth and taken over. Once a "Soul" is placed in a human host, the alien takes over and suppresses the human's mind. But when Wanderer awakes in her new body, she finds that her human host isn't so easily overcome. Melanie, her younger brother, and the man that she loves have been in hiding; and she'll do anything to get back to them, even resist the alien parasite that has taken over her body.
The parasitic "Souls" are easy to dislike at first. But Meyer has given the alien race such a rich and colorful backstory that is truly fascinating. And Wanderer is a unique "Soul" who soon finds herself caring for the same people as her host, and finding herself torn between ties to her own people and the humans.
It's been a long time since I've read such a stirring, science fiction tale that has made me go through so many emotions. The Host is a deep and beautiful story, and very different from Meyer's popular, young adult series. This is a rare story that made me stop and think about the choices that are made and what I would do in their place. Intense, exciting, dramatic, and inspiring, I'd highly recommend this novel to any reader, not only science fiction fans.
355 of 403 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Story!,
In the future Earth has been taken over by a unique alien species. The infiltration was slow and undetected until it was too late. Now these aliens, known as Souls, live inside human bodies, which act as hosts for the invading parasites. Usually when a Soul is placed in a new host it is able to take full control of the body, pushing aside any remnant of the human consciousness that once lived inside.
After a Soul named Wanderer is inserted into her new host she soon realizes something isn't right. It seems the human who once inhabited this body refuses to give in and die. Melanie Stryder wants no part of Wanderer and is doing everything she can to fight back. Even though Wanderer controls the body, nothing she does is able to quench Melanie's spirit. She is always there, in her head, so to speak.
As time goes by Melanie's memories become Wanderer's and soon she finds herself longing for the people that meant so much to her host. Melanie left behind her brother and the man she loves, and now Wanderer has developed those same feelings. Soon Wanderer and Melanie begin working together to track down Melanie's loved ones, all the while being careful that they don't lead the other Souls to the humans who are in hiding. When they finally do find them, they must figure out a way to live peacefully with a group of humans who have grown to hate Souls. Emotions flare and relationships are tested in agonizing ways as two lives must share one body and as enemies must learn to co-exist and survive.
Stephenie Meyer has taken the publishing world by storm with her groundbreaking young adult Twilight series. The Host is her first stand alone adult novel and millions of readers are anxiously waiting to see how it stacks up. Having never read any of the Twilight books, I didn't know what to expect from a Stephenie Meyer novel. What I found was a fascinating story that is really unlike anything I have ever read.
While this story certainly has sci-fi elements, it is not what most would consider hard-core sci-fi. Meyer focuses more on the relationships of the characters and the intriguing dilemma of two lives sharing one body. Much of the book deals with Melanie and Wanda's complicated love triangle with Melanie's old flame and Wanda's new love interest. There is action and suspense laced throughout, and Wanda's relationship with the surviving humans is tension filled to the max. The novel's real strength lies in the character of Wanda as she is constantly pulled between her duty as a Soul and the compassion she develops from her connection with Melanie and the other humans. Indeed, Wanda is the most human character of them all.
Meyer's writing is top-notch throughout and never lags despite the massive page count. Readers who expect a fast paced storyline wrapped up in a mere 100,000 words may be disappointed. However, those who enjoy a steady paced tale that slowly builds into a powerful and emotional ending will love The Host. In the end we are left with just the right amount of closure, but also with a little taste of what is to come. I can only hope Stephenie Meyer will continue this incredible saga she has begun.
240 of 272 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sci-fi for people who don't like sci-fi,
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Just like Twilight is a vampire story for people who don't like vampire stories, The Host is a sci-fi novel for people who don't like sci-fi. Ultimately, this is a very human story about love, friendship, loyalty and family. It's moving and unique.
Truthfully, I wasn't expecting to like it much. I read the excerpt available on Stephenie's website a few months ago and wasn't overly impressed, but because it's SM and I'm a big fan of the Twilight series I decided to give it a shot. I'm so glad I did! I found the storyline compelling and fascinating from the outset - unlike other readers, I did not find the beginning slow at all (or any part). I thought the entire novel flowed very smoothly. I enjoy quieter moments in stories because those are often when you really get to know the characters and it makes the action sequences more meaningful. Once again, SM has created characters we can relate to and care about.
I've read some of the negative reviews and all I can say is that everyone has different taste. I didn't find this story lacking in any way - it's very different from Twilight but in my opinion just as good. In fact, thematically, I think it's better. We have a much stronger herione this time and get to explore a friendship between two women (Melanie/Wanderer). And while Wanderer is peaceful and self-sacrificing, no one could argue that she isn't a very strong herione who chooses to do things because they are right and ethical. For those who thought Bella was such a rotten roll model, Wanderer should make them happy. Even though this is considered an adult book, it's perfectly suitable for teens.
I'd say this is Stephenie in her best form. The entire novel from start to finish is well written, though provoking and weaves complex emotions into a fascinating storyline. She has proven herself to be an excellent storyteller (much like Wanderer). Bravo, SM!
190 of 235 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who wants a whimper when you need a bang?,
No Stephanie Meyers books seems complete without a few things; A beautiful heroine, a moderately (to very) controlling male lead, and a martyr. On those counts 'The Host' doesn't disappoint. Set in a world invaded by aliens, our heroine 'Wanderer' finds herself in an odd predicament, the original owner of her body just wont leave! So here comes 400 pages of inner monologue. Seriously the book was MUCH longer than it needed to be. Kind of like the roaming in the woods part of HP 7. I don't know about you but 600+ pages of a book with very little action got to me. Also, much like the 'twilight' series the climax happened not with a bang, but a whimper.
It's not a bad book. It does have it's touching moments. Obviously it was good enough for me to get through the whole thing. The last book I read that was that long was Deathly Hollows. It just seemed to take a very long time to get to the exciting parts. I found myself skimming whole sections where 'Wanda' (I found it very hard to take her seriously with that name) fought with the inner trappings of being human. The sad part was that even the exciting parts weren't all that exciting. There never seemed to be any big threat. No real antagonist. Everything just seemed far to easy. Maybe she's setting it up for sequels, maybe not, I don't know. It left me feeling very unsatisfied in the end. Like eating a salad when you really want a big mac.
In the end, Stephanie Meyers has become literary crack to me. I know it's bad, and I KNOW I should just walk away,but I keep coming back.
153 of 190 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just Didn't Like It,
I am glad there were so many who enjoyed this book, as it's always great to find a book one loves.
As for me, however, I have to agree with the other one-star reviewers who found "The Host" to be incredibly slow and boring. I did think the very end got a tad more interesting, but it didn't make up for the previous 3/4 of mind-numbing boredom through which one has to wade to get to that point. I found it impossible to be interested in the story and didn't feel much or any empathy for the characters. In fact, Wanda/Wanderer's incessant stories about her previous lives with Bears, Claw Beasts, and all the rest got very tedious and annoying after a while.
Finally, as another reviewer alluded to, I thought it totally ridiculous when Wanderer took such personal offense at the humans' attempts to remove her parasitic family members from other humans. It seemed rather hypocritical to call the humans "monsters" for trying to save themselves when Wanderer and her kind had effectively taken over and killed entire species for their personal benefit.
So, sorry to those who loved "The Host", but I really did not enjoy this book at all. I found Meyer's "Twilight" series very entertaining, but wish I had passed on this one.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sympathy for the Body Snatchers,
So here we have Host. Why did I buy it? I was outside my home state of Arizona wandering the country. As I was visiting Lovecraft's grave in Providnce I passed by the book store and Host literally caught my eye. The cover looks at you. Very strangely I might add. I gleefully commited that sin of picking a book out by its cover. A wise choice! (Also the bookstores made sure to decorate their establishments up and down with it. Someone has a good marketer!)
The story isn't 'original', but then again, nothing is these days. The trick to writing great fiction is taking the stories we all know, and doing something very different with it. Why read Beowulf when you can read Grendel instead? Why read about the last human on Earth hiding from the aliens. How about read about the alien?
The story is told from the perspective of a parasitic alien fused to a host whose consciousness has not 'gone away' like it is supposed to. Wanderer, the alien and her human host, Melanie, are quite literally stuck with each other and it causes complications both ways. And there in lies the gem of this story.
I hate xenos. I generally wish to purge the galaxy of all alien life-forms in the name of glorious humanity. Don't you? No? Traitor.
Anyways, I learned to 'hate' these aliens. Silent. Stealthy. And the idea of aliens taking your body, and absorbing some of your memories but crushing you in the process! Terrible. The idea you could be still aware and trapped within! Horrible. The echoes of your life joined with theirs! Sickening. And yet the aliens were so darn nice it was hard to wish them ill. The moment any of the alien characters were developed I found it quite difficult to picture them up against the wall in my mind's eye. So I had found myself utterly conflicted during the entire book. Just like the main character. Clever on so many levels! It is hard to 'pick' sides during this story and that will keep you voraciously reading in search of some closure or some definative answer as to 'who is right'.
The setting amused me. I live in Arizona and the idea that people are hiding out at the old Civil War 'battlefield' site Picacho Peak, amused me to no end. The conspicuous lack of guns in the hands of humanity (what is left of it), confused me. It's Arizona! If you don't have a gun, don't worry your neighbor has three.
The book is written by a female author and you can tell. I mean no offense. Quite the contrary. The story is about emotion, internal dialogue, internal dialogue (not a typo!) and less about action and description. I don't think a male author would have pulled it off the same.
Worth a read? Absolutely. By the time you are done, you'll be suspicious of anyone who is nice, always carry a flashlight (hopefully a gun as well) and have an escape plan. Strikingly similar to your Zombie Doomsday plan. Avoid urban areas. Avoid noise. Carry poison or a at least one bullet for yourself. You get the idea? Don't have a Zombie Doomsday plan? Oh my, well, you'll be a nice neighbor I'm sure!
Anyways, go enjoy Host! It should be looking at you right now. Literally. Accolades for an author I've never read before, thanks for the read Mrs. Meyer!
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is Love What Makes Us Human?,
As invasions go, the Souls takeover of Earth was a peaceful one. Very few humans were harmed. In fact the Souls very survival depends on this: their race needs the bodies of other species to survive. That is why they travel through space, colonizing planets as they go by taking over the bodies of the native species. After that, they become their new hosts, living as they would in an idyllic world without wars, hunger or disease. Because, ironically, despite their initial act of invasion, the souls are gentle beings that recoil from aggressive behaviors.
But on Earth, not every one is happy with the new state of things as Wanderer, the soul that has taken over a young girl's body is about to discover. Her host, Melanie, refuses to fade away and as their minds fight, the Wanderer comes to realize what the Souls' invasion meant to Humans.
Wanderer is an old Soul having lived seven lives already, but nothing has prepared her for the overwhelming emotions that means to be a young girl and in love. Unable to control her body's yearning from Jared, the man Melanie loves, she goes in search of him. But Jared refuses to believe Melanie still lives inside her mind and sees Wanderer only as her killer. To convince him otherwise will require their joint effort, and so, out of need, Melanie and Wanderer reach an uneasy truce they both know cannot last.
Wanderer is a wonderful character, gentle and loving, easy to relate to. Through her struggles to understand humans, we see ourselves in a new, not always flattering light.
Although the book's pace drags a little at certain points in the narrative, the strength of its characters and their passion for love and each other, will keep you reading to the end.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great story idea...,
I enjoyed the Twilight series, and so got The Host as soon as it was available through the library.
I was looking forward to seeing what Meyers would do in her first "novel for adults"--and as I read then wondered what adults she was talking about?
I suspect this is a smart move on her publicist's part to widen her audience, b/c the writing style is the same and the story line is not more mature.
Stephenie Meyers has great ideas--that's what kept me hanging in during her other YA series and this novel...because her writing is...okay.
Like the other three, The Host dialogues between Mel and the two men (yes, there are again two males fighting over one woman--it's time for another conflict) who love her/Wanda are drawn out and read like a scene in the middle school cafeteria. How many times can a character recycle the same emotions?
And as I read I wonder if Meyers is keeping it strictly PG b/c of her religious beliefs?
I don't necessarily need a sex scene in a novel, but there are times when the romance between the characters plays out like they are thirteen.
I liked the story, but it is not Meyers' first adult novel. It is another YA novel touted as a book for grown ups.
59 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Might've read this somewhere before...,
If I could give this a three and a half stars, I would. But seeing as though I cannot, three (in this case) is better than four.
Like most people who read this book, I liked the Twilight series and decided to give this a read just for curiosity's sake. And I was so glad I decided to get this from the library rather than buying it.
I'll begin with the positives.
The idea of this book--alien "souls" who travels from planet to planet, parasitically taking over the inhabitant species and learning about their ways of life that way is pretty interesting. Meyer did a good job concocting alien species that didn't sound too run-of-the-mill sci-fi; likewise, for the people who dislike sci-fi, they weren't too overwhelmingly "Spock".
I also loved the personalities of some of the characters. Melanie, the human who's body is being controlled by Wanderer was very fun to read just because she was the most noticeable of the cast, and didn't really have a counterpart character from the Twilight series.
The ending of this novel was very touching as well. Probably the best part of the whole book, and thus the only reason I managed not to hate the story after reading it.
That being said, now the negatives, which are unfortunately greater in number.
First off (as many people have stated), the book takes much too long to get interesting. I struggled through the first half, persevering only because I knew that Twilight had started the same way. But Twilight got interesting thirty-something pages in, while The Host took much longer than that.
Second, Wanderer! Oh my goodness. She wouldn't have been too much of a problem if I had never read the Twilight series, but all while I was reading, I hardly noticed any differences between her and Twilight's Bella. The two are almost identical in personalities, it's frightening. They're both martyrs, soft-spoken, stubborn, obsessively in love with a man they have hardly any experience with, slightly masochistic and emotional. It might be because Meyer had written this book while she still had Bella on the brain, but that's hardly an excuse to create a near carbon copy of her character. Bella's sarcastic humor in Twilight/New Moon/Eclipse was one thing that saved her from being overwhelmingly annoying, and since Wanderer lacked that characteristic, that's exactly what she becomes after awhile.
And she isn't the only one. Aside from Melanie (and Jared in some aspects), a lot of the characters can be found lurking somewhere in the pages of the Twilight series, tweaked just a tiny bit. Even minor characters like Sharon and her mother reminded me greatly of Lauren from Twilight in the sense of their role only as the jealous/angry character who despise the protagonist, even though she's a good person who obviously does not deserve her rage.
Likewise relating back to Meyer's first book was the romance between the main couple (Wanderer/Melanie/Jared). This novel was pegged as one intended for adults, but partly due to Meyer's religious beliefs, it honestly reads about as "adult" as Twilight. The only difference I noticed was in the description of the more romantic scenes between the characters; a lot more adjectives revolving around "fire" and "burning" than you'd find in Twilight or Eclipse.
Overall, this book is a good read if you have nothing else pressing to do. But the lack of original characterization, a plotline that isn't nearly as engaging as it could have been, and the (very) frustrating beginning and obvious plot twists make it into a story that's good for one read and nothing more.
Here's to hoping that Meyer's future books can give us something a little more.
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Starts with great promise and proceeds to wreck itself before it checks itself,
The Host, Meyer's "first book for adults" Starts with an excellent premise: Planet earth has been 'conquered' by souls. Semi-etherial beings that effectively become the creature they inhabit, erasing the orignial occupant. The souls have an enigmatic orignal, dubious morality, and unfortunately for them- stupid names.
The story is told by the host that got away, the woman whose personality was too strong to allow herself to be erased by the incoming soul. Its all going pretty well, as we listen to the host and the soul duke it out in their shared head.
Then things get a bit too lazy. After a few melodramtic memories are shared, suddenly the host and the soul are totally like BFF, and worst of all share the same goals. Seriously why would Meyer ruin this opportunity to have an awesome situation where people within the one body ACTUALLY CAME INTO CONFLICT.
Oh sure they fall for different men (what is that a love sqaure minus one body?) but when the f***ing earth is being taken over by aliens do we really want to be reading about this issue?
The book flounders under our dual-personality protaganist who is a weakling, for most of the first pages they sit back and wait for the peole around them to save them and drive the plot? forward.
The other characters are shallow to a fault, they act more like children on a camp out than the last surviving humans on earth. Especially 'Jeb' the conspiracy theory uncle, who comically bows at one point, and after putting one of their own on trial for attempted murder, abruptly suggests a game of soccer. (Look Stephanie Meyer, Vampire baseball wasn't cool, alien soccer isn't any better!)
The message of the novel is a little sloppy and clumsily presented (is the theme that love is merely a biological process attached to the body, or that love transends all that, or simply that as long as you' re in love who cares?) Also for a Scifi epic, The Host is too long for its lack of depth, there simply isn't the material to warrant 600 pages.
After all the 'soul' searching (that leve of pun is about on par with the humour in The Host) The ending seems hypocritical, but whatever, rant over.
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The Host: A Novel by Stephenie Meyer (Paperback - April 13, 2010)