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The Host Hardcover – May 6, 2008

5,856 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Host Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Best of the Month, May 2008: Stephenie Meyer, creator of the phenomenal teen-vamp Twilight series, takes paranormal romance into alien territory in her first adult novel. Those wary of sci-fi or teen angst will be pleasantly surprised by this mature and imaginative thriller, propelled by equal parts action and emotion. A species of altruistic parasites has peacefully assumed control of the minds and bodies of most humans, but feisty Melanie Stryder won't surrender her mind to the alien soul called Wanderer. Overwhelmed by Melanie's memories of fellow resistor Jared, Wanderer yields to her body's longing and sets off into the desert to find him. Likely the first love triangle involving just two bodies, it's unabashedly romantic, and the characters (human and alien) genuinely endearing. Readers intrigued by this familiar-yet-alien world will gleefully note that the story's end leaves the door open for a sequel--or another series. --Mari Malcolm

From Publishers Weekly

In this tantalizing SF thriller, planet-hopping parasites are inserting their silvery centipede selves into human brains, curing cancer, eliminating war and turning Earth into paradise. But some people want Earth back, warts and all, especially Melanie Stryder, who refuses to surrender, even after being captured in Chicago and becoming a host for a soul called Wanderer. Melanie uses her surviving brain cells to persuade Wanderer to help search for her loved ones in the Arizona desert. When the pair find Melanie's brother and her boyfriend in a hidden rebel cell led by her uncle, Wanderer is at first hated. Once the rebels accept Wanderer, whom they dub Wanda, Wanda's whole perspective on humanity changes. While the straightforward narrative is short on detail about the invasion and its stunning aftermath, it shines with romantic intrigue, especially when a love triangle (or quadrangle?!) develops for Wanda/Melanie. 10-city author tour. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 619 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st edition (May 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316068047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316068048
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5,856 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Stephenie Meyer's life changed dramatically on June 2, 2003. The stay-at-home mother of three young sons woke-up from a dream featuring seemingly real characters that she could not get out of her head. "Though I had a million things to do (i.e. making breakfast for hungry children, dressing and changing the diapers of said children, finding the swimsuits that no one ever puts away in the right place), I stayed in bed, thinking about the dream. Unwillingly, I eventually got up and did the immediate necessities, and then put everything that I possibly could on the back burner and sat down at the computer to write--something I hadn't done in so long that I wondered why I was bothering." Meyer invented the plot during the day through swim lessons and potty training, then writing it out late at night when the house was quiet. Three months later she finished her first novel, Twilight.
Twilight was one of 2005's most talked about novels and within weeks of its release the book debuted at #5 on The New York Times bestseller list.Among its many accolades, Twilight was named an "ALA Top Ten Books for Young Adults," an "Best Book of the Decade&So Far", and a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. The movie version of Twilight will be released by Summit Entertainment nationwide on November 21, 2008, starring Kristen Stewart ("Into The Wild") and Robert Pattinson ("Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire").
The highly-anticipated sequel, New Moon, was released in September 2006 and spent 31 weeks at the #1 position on The New York Times bestseller list. Eclipse, the third book in Meyer's Twilight saga, was released on August 7, 2007 and sold 150,000 copies its first day on-sale. The book debuted at #1 bestseller lists across the country, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. The fourth and final book in the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn, was published on August 2, 2008, with a first printing of 3.2 million copies - the largest first printing in the publisher's history. Breaking Dawn sold 1.3 million copies its first day on-sale rocketing the title to #1 on bestseller lists nationwide.
Meyer's highly-anticipated debut for novel adults, The Host, was released by Little, Brown and Company in May 2008 and debuted at #1 on The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.
Stephenie Meyer graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Literature. She lives in Arizona with her husband and sons.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#27 in Books > Teens
#27 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

822 of 892 people found the following review helpful By SciFiChick VINE VOICE on May 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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.
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361 of 409 people found the following review helpful By Jake on May 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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.
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252 of 287 people found the following review helpful By Dahlia on May 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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!
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful By dog_lover on May 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Let me start off by saying that I'm not one of those pathetic, zombie-like Twilight fans. I'm perfectly aware that based on the Twilight series, Stephenie Meyer is HARDLY the next J.K. Rowling. Bella was whiny and uninteresting, Edward was nothing but a pretty face, the plot was nonexistant, and vampires don't glitter. Saying that, that's why you should believe me when I say the The Host was fantastic.

I purchased The Host out of pure curiosity. The story seemed different, and everyone seemed to praise that the writing quality was far better than Twilight. Once I began reading it, I didn't put it down. I could tell by page 15 that Stephenie Meyer has grown immeasurably as a writer. It's almost hard to tell that it's by the author that created Edward Cullen. The descriptions are vivid and beautiful in this story, both the physical ones and emotional ones. These are especially poignant. Let me explain...

When I first heard the plotline of this story, I burst out laughing shamelessly. However, once again, bear with me because the book is worth it. Basically, at some point in the future, body-snatching aliens (known as "Souls") overtook earth. Through surgery, they inhabit human's bodies, killing only their spirit...basically, all of the humans are dead, but the aliens have kept their bodies intact and now inhabit them. Wanderer, a soul that's earned her name from the great number of bodies she's lived in, has been warned that life as a human is difficult. Not only are their senses vivid, but the emotional range of being a human is even more painful. The situation isn't helped by the fact that the former tennant of Wanderer's human body, Melanie Stryder, is somehow holding on.
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