Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Genre: science fiction
Series and Book #: none
Pages: 619

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” who has been given Melanie’s body, was 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.

This has to be one of the best books I've ever read. Whether you like Twilight or not, I don't think you should immediately disregard Stephanie's only stand-alone novel. Because it is nothing like Twilight. It is deep and rich with the beautiful things we humans should be thankful for.
Stephenie found a way to tap into the human mind and construct a story that focused on the gifts we humans tend to take advantage of. The souls are aliens who have the ability to overcome a mind. They are unable to feel and can't live long without a host. When Wanderer enters Melanie's body, she is overcome with the sudden flood of emotions and intense senses Melanie possessed. Wanderer describes the vivid colors and fragrant scents and the powerful emotion she now could feel. As the story goes on, Wanderer never ceases in her awe of all the humans were capable of. I felt a little guilty, because everyday it's like I took advantage of the thoughts and feelings I have. It rocked me back into myself and gave me a great sense of gratitude.
I like both Wanderer and Melanie. Stephenie's character development was a decent slope. It was not all at once. They both developed slowly though the change in circumstances, their opposing view of things, and the experiences they had. Wanderer was my favorite of the two because she defied the norm and forced others to see the souls as something other than parasites. I kind of hated Melanie for giving Wanderer a hard time, because it was hard for her to give up her species in favor of Melanie's. But I liked their interaction. Stephenie favored neither side. She wrote the pros and cons of both species and let me decide that neither was good nor bad. They were equal.
Overall, put your prejudices aside, and read this novel. It's powerful. It's impacting. Stephenie Meyer is a brilliant author. I hope this book receives more publicity because it's wonderful.
What's your opinion? Which book do you like better, Twilight or The Host? Comment below.
The Cover: It's simple, but I really like the eye. It's not obvious online, but the ring around the iris reflects light like a souls would. It's very pretty.

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