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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.
Wanderer, or Wanda, as she's known in the novel, is my favorite of the characters. It's not just because I like her name, or how it symbolizes the totality of who she is (and the kind of person I'd like to be when it comes to travel). It's because I adored her spirit. In spite of being a soul, part of an alien race that takes over various planets through their insertion into the planet's inhabitants, Wanda is kind, considerate, generous and intelligent. The sincerity of her choices was appealing, and easy to like, so it's not surprising that I grew really attached to her.
Ian and Jamie would tie for my second favorite character in this novel, as they're both important parts of Wanda's story. Jamie is the little brother of Melanie, Wanderer's "host". Through Melanie's memories and her own interactions with him, Wanda grows to love him and it's really sweet to see how he responds so honestly and sincerely to her. He was always able to distinguish between the two - Melanie and Wanda - which was certainly great. Ian also ended up having the same ability, even though initially he was against Wanda's presence in their little band of humans. Witnessing his transformation and watching his regard for Wanda really grow as the story progressed made it easy to like him as much as Wanderer did.
Honestly, the book's beginning was pretty rough. It took a few chapters before I felt invested enough to keep on turning the pages, but once it clicked, the feeling of needing to know what happened next stayed with me up until the end. Meyer did a great job with the story-telling, combining romance, friendship and a bigger conflict. Instead of filling this book with physical action scenes, Meyer chose a slightly quieter route where she convinced readers to care about these characters and then presented us with a moral conflict that fits the context of their story. Doing so could have potentially backfired, but it definitely ended up working well.
If what I've said in my review isn't enough to convince you to read the book, maybe the knowledge that I actually teared up while reading it will. I was that emotionally invested in Wanderer's story, and Melanie's too! Meyer caught me off guard with how good I found The Host. If you're unsure whether or not to give this book a try, let me be the first to suggest you give it a chance because you might just be surprised like I was.