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The Host: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 5,958 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Host Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Meyer's first adult novel, a science fiction tale with an eye for romance, is a proverbial yet intriguing story of a woman in danger of losing her body and mind to an invading alien force. While the story treads on familiar territory, Meyer offers a fresh perspective by relating the story through the mind of the protagonist, a simple idea that Kate Reading brings to fruition perfectly. Reading's tone is inflamed with passion and desperation, both for lost love and the reality that should she give in to the invader known as Wanderer, she will cease to exist. Reading's voice is that of a troubled young woman, battling to save herself and her most personal of memories. She becomes our hero yet never fails to display how fragile she, and humanity, truly is. A Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 31). (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; Reissue edition (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316043044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316043045
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5,958 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #792,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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