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The Host Paperback – April 13, 2010
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Pre-order today
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"Meyer has, like one of her vampires, turned into something rare and more than merely human: a literary phenomenon....The way she manages the reader's curiosity, maintaining tension and controlling the flow of information, is simply virtuosic....People do not want to just read Meyer's books; they want to climb inside them and live there."―Lev Grossman, Time
"An epic story of love, family, and loyalty. . . . The Host is The X-Files meets Days of Our Lives."―Carol Memmott, USA Today
"Meyer is more interested in relationships than in flashy genre conventions. . . . Her affirmative life lesson is disarming."―Jeff Giles, Entertainment Weekly
"The Host lives up to the hype, blending science fiction and romance in a way that has never worked so well."―Jane Jorgenson, Library Journal
"Stephenie Meyer is an amazing phenomenon--out of the brightness of her mind and spirit comes the illuminated darkness of her stories. For no matter how much pain her characters suffer, Meyer infuses the tales with light and hope."―Orson Scott Card
"A fantastic, inventive, thoughtful, and powerful novel. The Host should come with a warning label: it will grab you and keep you reading well into the wee hours of night, and keep you thinking, deeply, hauntingly, well after the final word. Stephenie Meyer captures characters and handles story line like a master--a hybrid combination of Stephen King and Isaac Asimov."
"A brilliant and fascinating premise.... Its mix of adventure and new love on a new Earth is just right to get lost in this summer."―Sherri Hallgren, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
About the Author
Stephenie Meyer is the author of the The Chemist, the #1 bestselling Twilight Saga and The Host. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English literature, and she lives with her husband and three young sons in Arizona.
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Wanderer is a member of a race of parasitic aliens who call themselves "souls." They attach themselves to other sentient creatures' brainstems, steal their memories, block out their consciousness, and take control of their bodies. They've already taken nearly all of humanity when Wanderer arrives and is placed in the body of a recently captured resistor, Melanie Stryder. Melanie's consciousness refuses to fade out after the insertion procedure, and her memories of her boyfriend and little brother are so moving to Wanderer that after a while grappling for control of the shared body, Wanderer and Melanie end up working together to find and continue protecting Melanie's resistance cell.
It's hard to suck all the fun out of bodysnatching aliens. There are some good chapters of survivor compound paranoia when Wanderer and Melanie arrive at the caves where the others are hiding, and the few moments of humans running and hiding from aliens, mainly in Melanie's memories and in one of the present timeline raiding scenes later on, offer a couple decent thrills. What I will refer to only as "the dissection scene" is brief but surprisingly horrific. There's also a fairly heartstring-tugging moment toward the end when it has to be decided who gets to live in what body on what planet, after Wanderer has absorbed Melanie's feelings for her boyfriend but also developed her own relationship with another man in the cave hideout.
It's long. Much, much longer than the story it tries to drag out, and that's coming from a fan of both J.K. Rowling and Stephen King. It's long and treacle-paced and overcrowded and almost entirely without tension and without guts, figurative as well as literal. The cave hideout is packed full of bland, mostly interchangeable characters, leaving no room for the main characters to be anything but slightly less bland and interchangeable. After fifty-odd chapters, there's still no one who really feels alive enough to care about other than Wanderer, whose clearer personality is primarily defined by its double dose of blandness. The main point of the story is that the aliens are nice, so much nicer than humans, and they just haven't accepted the possibility that what they're doing might be wrong. The concept has some promise in theory, but it isn't a slow realization the reader is brought to, that the situation might be more complicated than it seems; Wanderer reminds us of the souls' gentle nature loudly and repeatedly from the very beginning.
The result is a story about nice alien invaders, nice humans (once they get used to Wanderer), and a heroine whose strongest character trait is niceness. Not exactly a surefire recipe for drama and intrigue. The first half holds some hope, between Wanderer's competent narration and the tension between her and Melanie and between the more and less open-minded humans, but then people make up, nonentities start dying and are treated as gigantic emotional plot points, and it becomes painfully obvious that no real characters have anything to fear, that all villains, human and soul, will be thoroughly explained and absolved by the end, and everyone will somehow live perfectly, guiltlessly, happily ever after. The only thing that dragged me through the remaining twenty chapters to make sure was the possibility that the upcoming movie might harness some of the wasted potential in the whole two-souls-in-one-body-alien-apocalypse premise, and I prefer to go in informed when I find out.
All I knew about this book ahead of time was what I saw in the movie trailer, which was honestly misleading. I was under the impression that Melanie was the main character, and that there was only one guy. Hah. This book is actually from the alien's point of view, which I thought was pretty cool. It also has one of the most complicated and fascinating love triangles (or maybe it's a square?) ever written. There is Melanie, a human with an alien called Wanderer living in her body, controlling her actions. Melanie loves Jared, and so Wanderer, or Wanda, comes to care for him as well. And then there is Ian, who has never met Melanie and befriends Wanderer. To make it more interesting, Melanie and Wanderer also become friends; two minds in the same body who love each other. It is terribly difficult and painful for the characters, but so delightfully complicated for the reader. Such tangled hearts and souls.
Jared was wonderfully conflicted about everything, making it interesting to wonder what he will do next. I would have liked to see a little more development for Ian, the nice guy to Jared's bad boy, but most of the character development in the story came from Wanderer. Most of this 400-something page novel describes what's going on in her head, with just a few scenes of action, yet I was never bored. Wanda is almost painfully self-effacing (something Ms. Meyer can't seem to help when it comes to her female main characters), but she is always willing to stand up for those she loves and what she thinks is right. Melanie, on the other hand, is a survivor. She's tough and at times a little ruthless, a perfect foil to Wanda's personality. They have a unique relationship.
All in all, I really loved this book. I wasn't expecting to even like it very much, but I couldn't put it down. Even if you don't care for the author or alien invasion stories, you should give this book a shot.
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This book is beautifully...Read more
Yay.I loved this book so much.