Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Host

Author: Stephanie Meyer
Pages: 619
Rating: PG - There wasn't anything inappropriate or overly violent in it.

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away.

Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy that takes over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. But Wanderer, the invading "soul" who occupies Melanie's body, finds its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Soon Wanderer and Melanie-reluctant allies-set off to search for the man they both love.

My Thoughts: I know I'm super behind since this book was a big deal when it came out forever ago, but now I've joined the crowd. Loved it! It was a very clever story and I like how Wanda (Wanderer) is initially seen as an enemy but by the end of the book you feel a lot of compassion for her and you even care about her. You get to see Wanda's side of things and you understand her alien race. I love that Wanda herself even begins to care about the humans and feels that her race has not done the right thing in occupying Earth. It's a great book, I just wish it wasn't quite so long. I got very absorbed in reading it and it was hard to stop.

Here's a bit better of a synopsis. The souls have come to occupy the planet of Earth. Souls cannot exist outside of some sort of host body, and Earth is not the only planet they have colonized. However, it is the first planet that has the issue of resisting hosts. Melanie is such a host. She does not go away when Wanda takes over her body, and soon she convinces Wanda to go in search of the people she loves. Wanda is not received well at first, but eventually she convinces the colony of hiding humans that she is not a danger to them and has no desire to give them up as hosts to other souls. However, she eventually gets caught between Melanie's boyfriend, Jared, who still loves the girl he knows is inside the body somewhere, and Ian, a boy who falls in love with Wanda herself.

My brother said the movie is terrible. I don't know, I haven't seen it, but I did watch the trailer and it looks like it's considerably more violent than the book, which is not really that violent at all. Since the humans are trying to avoid soul-possessed bodies at all cost, there are no real fight scenes in the book, and if there are, it's mostly between humans who are upset with each other over something. The souls do not like to resort to violence, as they are a peaceful race, so it seems that the fighting that happens in the movie is not very reflective of how it actually happens in the book. Anyway, if the length of this book doesn't scare you, and you like science fiction with a little love mixed in, I would say give it a read.

Oh, and don't be thrown off by the fact that the book is written by Stephanie Meyer. I'd say The Host is WAY better than Twilight, and isn't nearly so ridiculously lovey-dovey. There is love in The Host, but the love "square" between Melanie, Jared, Wanda, and Ian makes things difficult, and honestly there is too much else going on to dwell on the relationship aspect much.