Book Review–The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Warning: This review will have spoilers in it.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while now, and I’m glad I did. Stephenie’s writing was far better in The Host than in her Twilight books. I think she did a fine job and the story was great. Now, for the review . . .

Aliens take over our world because humans are brutish and destructive. In their truest form, the aliens look like a silver centipede. What they do is, they have a Seeker kidnap a human and have a Healer implant one of their own, which is called a “soul” into the human. The alien . . . er, soul, attaches itself inside the human brain. The soul than takes full control of the human, and most of the time the human’s spirit fades away–gets erased.

There are humans who manage to evade the Seekers, living in the shadows as bandits, going on raids to obtain a supply of food and all the necessities required to sustain their life. Melanie and her beloved younger brother Jamie are one of those people. For a while they’re on their own, until she runs into Jared. Jared is another human in hiding. When he realizes Melanie is the same as he–human, he’s beside himself with joy.

At first, Jared annoyed me. His bright, cheery, bubbly personality didn’t sit well with me. He reminded me of those overly happy, chatty, chicks, who is constantly bouncing in her seat where you just want to slap her.

Yeah, an-noying!

Jared, Melanie, and Jamie form their own little group. Of course, Melanie and Jared fall in love. Melanie’s character, though, is strong-willed, street smart, and a fighter.

I like her character.

One night when Melanie goes on a solo raid, a Seeker catches her. Melanie has the misfortune of being implanted with a soul called, “Wanderer.”

Wanderer is a great character.

Once she gets adjusted to this new life form, or tries to (she quickly discovers humans are one of the most complex species she’s ever encountered because of our emotions, our senses, and vivid memories), she realizes Melanie is still alive inside her and refuses to relinquish full possession of her mind. In fact, Melanie talks to her and bombards Wanderer with memories of Jared and Jamie. So much so, Wanderer finds herself in love with Jared and having maternal feelings for Jamie.

There’s a Seeker who keeps a constant eye on Wanderer. This Seeker wants Wanderer to extract information from Melanie’s memories on where the groups of bandits are hiding, including Jared and Jamie.

This Seeker is a pain-in-the-ass.

She’s rotten.

Both Wanderer and Melanie can’t stand her.

Wanderer manages to evade this Seeker when Melanie talks her into searching for uncle Jeb who once was considered an end-of-the-world alarmist before the extraterrestrial invasion. Melanie figures Jared and Jamie is with him, hiding out somewhere in the desert where Jeb has a secret bunker.

Wanderer manages to find Jeb in the scorching hot desert.

Jeb is the leader of his group and a great character.

I really like him.

Against everybody’s objection, Jeb takes Wanderer to their hidden compound. Nobody trusts her and wants Jeb to kill her. When Jared enters the cubby hole Wanderer is being confined in, Wanderer and Melanie are filled with joy–until they notice how cold and stone-faced he is. He becomes a total ass towards Wanderer because in his mind, she took Melanie away from him. Nobody knows at this point that Melanie is still alive and communicating with Wanderer.

Jared strikes her a few times, which makes me dislike him even more. But when Jamie discovers what’s going on, he becomes friends with Wanderer, and he’s the first person she opens up to.

When Wanderer first arrives, Ian and his brother Kyle wants her dead. However, eventually Ian sees Wanderer for whom she really is and winds up protecting her from Kyle and the others.

Ian is another favorite character of mine, and I kept secretly hoping he and Wanderer would fall in love.

In time, the group finds out about Melanie, and they start to refer Wanderer as Wanda. They fold Wanda into their family (well, most of them do), and Wanda finds herself loving them. She begins to realize and understand why humans are the way they are. But she’s keeping a secret from them and is willing to die in order to protect it. At least, for a while she is, until she’s in a sticky situation and realizes her secret can change lives and bring hope back to the human race.

This book is really good. If you haven’t read it you should. Just one thing, though, there are parts that drag on, but that’s my only gripe about this book. This story is well written, imaginative, and has great characterization.

1 comment:

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