Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 76- The Host

The Host
Stephenie Meyer

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone Novel

Synopsis: [from book jacket]

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away.

Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, 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.

Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind 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 begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.

One of the most compelling writers of our time, Stephenie Meyer brings us a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the very essence of what it means to be human.

Review:

This is definitely one of the times were I wish my creativity and writing skills were still with me. I fear this review will not give the book the type of praising I really want to give it. So bear with my simple reviewing skills *sigh*

I must admit I am a geeky Twilight fan. However, The Host is far from the teen-vampire love that was Twilight. It reminded me a lot of The Invasion with Nicole Kidman, but only certain parts. The whole concept of alien beings taking over the human race was similar. But there was a lot of differences as well.

The souls are a race of beings that need a host body to survive. They have successfully claimed many planets and are now setting their sights on Earth. After a human is captured by a Seeker they are prepared for implantation. The Seekers are the "hunters" for the souls. They are the ones who track humans down so the souls can then be inserted. After a small cut is made on the back of the neck, a soul (a small, silver-ish, centipede like creature) is placed inside where it attaches itself and assumes control of the body. Upon waking the soul goes through a stage where it receives all of the host's memories. The host then leaves while the soul lives on in it's new body.

For Wanderer, that didn't happen. Melanie refuses to go away. Before starting the book and even at the beginning of the book I sided with Melanie. She was unfairly taken over by the Seekers, just like all other humans. And I felt terrible for her even though she did put up a fight before Wanderer was inserted. I put myself in her shoes and knew that I would probably never be as strong as she.

However, as the story goes on I learned a lot about the Wanderer and her struggles with living with Melanie. I found myself still sympathizing with Melanie but wanting to defend and protect Wanderer. Melanie convinces Wanderer that they have to go to the desert and find Jared (Melanie's lover) and Jamie (her brother). And since Wanderer has access to Melanie's memories, she ends up falling in love with Jared and loving Jamie just as fiercely as Mel does.

The story is very complex. Especially after Wanderer finds Mel's family. A multitude of characters are introduced as she finds around thirty other rebel humans living with them. Most of them are wary and hateful of Wanderer. As a soul she is the enemy. But Mel's uncle Jeb, is a true character. I didn't know his intentions at first but he is someone that really surprised me. After some violent encounters with the humans, Wanderer is soon sent on a roller coaster of a journey as she questions who she is and who she wants to be.

I really enjoyed this book. There is a lot of things I am leaving out that I hope you get the chance to read. Yes, I thought it was longer than it should have been but I think Stephenie Meyer did a superb job of detailing the story so I could actually "see" what was going on. I felt for a lot of the characters as they developed through the story. I highly recommend anyone who hasn't read this book yet to get to it. Even if you aren't a Twilight fan, even if you aren't a sci-fi fan...the questions of love and human emotions will pull you in.

7 comments:

Lenore said...

I'm torn on this one. I like the concept (reminds me of a story in Ghostwritten by David Mitchell, one of my favorite authors), but all the excerpts I've read of Meyer's writing really did not get me excited.

Mishel said...

I think you either love Meyer's writing or you hate it. I feel like there is no in between with her. The subject wasn't the same as Twilight but I feel the writing style was. If Twilight's style didn't grab you I would say skip The Host. Even though it was good, I just think the book is too long for you to skim it and try to enjoy it. If you're still curious you could always check it out at a library and see if you like the first few chapters.

And I've never heard of Mitchell, definitely going to have to go do some research and check him out (=

Yan said...

I love the Host! It puts Twilight to shame. I completely agree with you that it was a tad bit too long, like the cave scene. After that though, it was just amazing.

Lenore said...

Yeah, I'll probably just borrow it from somewhere and read a bit to see if I get into it. And you should definitely check out Mitchell!

Mishel said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it Yan!

And I hope you let me know what you think Lenore.

J. Kaye said...

I couldn't get into THE HOST. Loved her Twilight series, but couldn't warm up to this. That said, I LOVED "The Invasion" with Nicole Kidman. Did you like it?

Melissa said...

I loved this book. Absolutely loved it. Am writing my review now. Actually at the point of just linking other peeps' reviews and hope to have it up soon. :-)

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