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The Host Paperback – Sega, January 8, 2013
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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 the Hardcover edition.
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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
But then a symbiotic relationship between Melanie (the host) and Wanderer (the soul)develops that becomes (in such a beautiful, descriptive, and detailed manner!)an uneasy partnership, then on to SO much more; I want to keep this progression going but I don't want to spoil anything for anyone! I learned so much about the nature of relationships, the nature of human beings, the good, bad, and ugly that I am sure we're all capable of....these life lessons are endless! The feelings that this story inspired in me truly run the gamut. I was all over the place with my emotions, but I was never bored!
I am actually depressed that it's over, lol. I am also even more convinced that Stephenie Meyer's imagination and talent for telling a wonderful story are really endless, she has such diversity when I think about Twilight and now The Host. What's happening in that crazy-wonderful head of hers? I would love to be inside it for just a bit!
Coincidentally, the movie opened today. I have no choice but to see it; I'll see how it holds up!!