Friday, November 7, 2008

The Host

Blurb from Amazon:

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.

My thoughts:

Well. I'm not sure what I expected from Meyer's first non-Twilight novel, but I certainly liked it. The Host just seems like a more adult novel - much darker, with more complex relationships and interactions. The basic premise - alien is inserted into the brain of a host body, but the host won't leave - is quite interesting, and Meyer does a good job of exploring what can happen when a host-parasite relationship goes wrong. As usual, her characters are smart and sensitive, and just a teeny, tiny bit too good to be true. She includes lots of romance, which will appeal to her core audience, and is careful not to write any graphic sex or violence, so parents of teen readers don't have to worry about inappropriate content.

Meyer tackles a lot of complex issues, which makes the novel linger in the readers' mind after the last page has turned. I love stories that turn ideas about good guys and bad guys around (Battlestar Galactica - the best show on television! - does an amazing job of this), and Meyer presents readers with a heroine who is probably the bad guy - after all, she is living inside the body of a human who doesn't want her there. Wanderer, however, is not your typical bad guy, and the changing responses to her by the varied characters she comes in contact with makes for fascinating reading.

Then, of course, there is the "love triangle involving only two bodies" - well, technically, it becomes a love quadrangle, and the tension between loving someone's physical body, and loving their soul is explored with interesting results. As far as the genre goes, it is Sci Fi, but pretty fluffy Sci Fi, and fans of the more hardcore stuff will probably be unsatisfied.

Honestly, I liked The Host better than the Twilight series. It feels like a more grown-up work, and is a more satisfying read. I did, again, have a bit of a problem with the ending - for some reason, I don't like the way Meyer ends things. But I did enjoy the book, and recommend it highly. But be warned - it's another one that is impossible to put down!

Finished: 11/4/08
Source: Bookins
Rating: 9/10


Anna said...

I really enjoyed The Host. I definitely liked it better than Breaking Dawn. I thought the book gave me a lot to think about, and I liked that I was able to like the "bad guy" by the end! Great review!

Diary of an Eccentric

Cathy said...

Sheesh. Just when I thought I was done and dusted with Stephenie Meyer, along comes your review of The Host! LOL

Andi said...

I'm really glad to read your take on this one. I've had The Host for a while, and I even started it a while back, but at the time I couldn't get into it. I'll give it another try since you enjoyed it so much.

farmlanebooks said...

Sounds great! I'll add it to my TBR pile!