Monday, October 13, 2008

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

The Host: A NovelThe Host was one of the most fast-paced, gripping books I’ve read in a long time. From the moment I started reading the book, the story drew me right in.
The story takes place on Earth after the human race has been largely taken over by a race of alien invaders who are souls living as parasites inside other beings’ bodies. The souls’ main desire is to enjoy life as it happens on the invaded planet, and they completely take over the human life they have invaded. The main character, the Wanderer, is the soul who has taken over the body of a woman named Melanie. She has lived on nine different planets herself, and she has been called as a professor who teaches others about the Souls’ history. She is, therefore, well-aware of the difficulty of living in the human body on Earth: the overwhelming emotions, the excessive violence, sensory overload. The Wanderer’s biggest difficulty is adjusting to the presence of Melanie’s still-vivid mind in the body with her. Melanie shows Wanderer vivid memories of her brother Jamie and Jared, a man she loved, and other members of the family who may still be left as humans, and with that, the Wanderer is drawn in to the search to find them.
The story is largely a love story – some reviews call it a love triangle with only 2 bodies, or even a love quadrangle. Nevertheless, it is romantic and powerful, and the story asks the reader to question what it is that attracts two beings to each other.
I found her description of two of the characters most interesting for they give a glimpse into what it means to love and live as a human. Ian and his twin brother Kyle have opposing personalities in the story. Kyle has lost his love when her body is snatched by the souls, and his anger is violent as he looks to deal out punishment. His twin brother, Ian, is the gentler of the two, and it is his character that I fell in love with myself. The two brothers’ stories tell of the triumph of love over all else, and this is clearly Meyer’s message and her justification for all the sour parts of life as a human.
The Wanderer tells vivid stories about other parallel planets where the alien invaders have settled: the Spiders, the Flowers, the Dolphins, the Bats, the See Weeds: all nicknames derived on Earth for the beings they resemble. I do wish Meyer had told even more story about the invasion, the Origin of the species, and life on the other planets. A review on Amazon says “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.” I wholeheartedly agree and hope Stephanie Meyer will write more.
The Host: A Novel
By: Stephenie Meyer
Amazon Price: $25.99

8 comments:

Trixie said...

Hate to be the first to comment - but how do I make it word wrap around the image? Help, Amanda!

Amanda said...

Um...I use the little 'add photo' button for mine, then choose 'left' which will make the text wrap. I don't know what the html for it is. Maybe Jason can tell you? He's the computer geek.

Amanda said...

Okay, so for my non-technical comment, what does the Melanie plot have to do with the Ian/Kyle plot? Are they related, or two parallel stories? I didn't know this book was about aliens. I'd heard it was about parallel souls, or split souls, twin souls, living in different bodies.

Trixie said...

A good point for clarification - The story is about parallel souls living in a single body, one pair of which is Melanie and the Wanderer (who is called Wanda). Ian loves Wanda, and Jared loves Melanie. Thus is the love quadrangle.
Kyle's tale is parallel and somewhat unrelated and told much later in the story.

Amanda said...

So is Ian another non-human soul? Living in the body of Jared? Or wait, I think I understand - Ian and Jared are two different human people, both in love with a different soul inside one body. Is that right? Interesting...

Trixie said...

You got it on the second try - Ian and Jared are two people who are still human, and one is in love with the soul, the other the body of the same "person" who is really a body (with a still-vivid mind inside) and the alien soul (with her own independent mind) that has invaded it.
I hadn't thought of it in quite that way before (one in love with the soul, the other the body), but truly that helps me to understand their characterizations as well.

Serena said...

I reviewed this here: http://savvyverseandwit.blogspot.com/2008/08/host.html

I really enjoyed this novel and I hope Meyer writes more adult fiction.

Wanderer and Melanie were great, and kyle was Ian's schmuck of a brother.

Trixie said...

Thanks for stopping by and reading my review Serena - I saw your review and loved it.