Monday, November 8, 2010

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Book Details
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Hardcover, 619 Pages
2008, Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 0316068047

The author of the Twilight series of # 1 bestsellers delivers her brilliant first novel for adults: a gripping story of love and betrayal in a future with the fate of humanity at stake.

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves-Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.

I found the first 150 pages of The Host to be a little hard to get into. For a novel of this type, a certain amount of back story has to be shared and world building has to be accomplished before being able to get the plot really moving. Normally, I would deduct from a books rating for an extremely slow start, but I truly feel struggling through the beginning of The Host actually made the rest of the novel seem to fly buy at a rapid pace.

Once over the initial hump, I shed a few tears and was glued to the story. The Host is one of those books that is easy to lose yourself in if you're capable of accepting the possibility of alien life forms. While the world and situation presented in The Host is extremely fascinating, the heart of the story lies in the love story. Stephenie Meyer seems to love herself a love triangle (look at the entire basis of the Twilight series) and takes things one step further in The Host. She's created a type of love quadrangle (love square?) involving three bodies and four personalities. It manages to play out in a much less confusing fashion than it sounds.

Melanie and Wanderer have a rather unique relationship, sharing the same memories and body, yet being two different souls. The interactions between Wanderer and the people Melanie loves are surprisingly realistic in a very unrealistic premise. Equally impressive is the amazing amount of information Wanderer shares about her previous lives on other planets. The amount of detail in this book is quite a feat.

I especially enjoyed that the interactions between Melanie and Wanderer were easily distinguishable. I never found myself wondering whose thought belonged to whom. I'll admit I wasn't expecting much from The Host. I found Meyer's Twilight series undeserving of the hype and didn't expect anything better here. To say I was astounded by how wonderful The Host would be a gross understatement.


Stephenie Meyer's website

No comments :

Post a Comment