Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sci-Fi Review: The Host: A Novel by Stephanie Meyer

The Host: A Novel
by Stephanie Meyer 

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

My Review:
I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from The Host, but I didn’t expect to love it so much. It takes the body-snatcher invasion idea to another level. Benevolent, non-violent invaders who, nevertheless, destroy entire civilizations by taking over the bodies and suppressing the minds of their victims.

The two main characters, Wanderer and Melanie, are fantastic together. Wanderer didn’t ask to be given Melanie’s body, but she was. Unfortunately for Wanderer, Melanie’s will to survive is strong and she refuses to fade into nothingness. Wanderer can’t help but feel what Melanie feels, and it leads them both into danger and an unexpected life path.

I pretty much loved everything about this story, but one thing I couldn’t help but realize was that this would likely make a rather boring movie. Most of it would be set in the caverns, and a lot of it would have to focus on the inner dialog between Melanie and Wanderer. Not the stuff of movie magic. Perhaps that’s why I’ve heard the movie was no good. Anyhow, I am glad I picked up the book because it’s perfect. Makes you think, makes you feel, and makes you care.

I recommend this story to folks who love sci-fi with a bit of romance. It would mostly appeal, in my opinion, to those who love YA, but it’s smarter than many YA stories I’ve read and really makes you think.

I borrowed this book from the library.

About the Author (from Stephanie Meyer's Goodreads profile):

I was born in Connecticut in 1973, during a brief blip in my family's otherwise western U.S. existence. We were settled in Phoenix by the time I was four, and I think of myself as a native. The unusual spelling of my name was a gift from my father, Stephen (+ ie = me). Though I have had my name spelled wrong on pretty much everything my entire life long, I must admit that it makes it easier to google myself now.

I filled the "Jan Brady" spot in my family-the second of three girls. Unlike the Brady's, none of my three brothers are steps, and all of them are younger than all the girls. I went to high school in Scottsdale, Arizona, the kind of place where every fall a few girls would come back to school with new noses and there were Porsches in the student lot (for the record, I have my original nose, and never had a car until after I was in my twenties). I was awarded a National Merit Scholarship, and I used it to pay my way to Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah. I majored in English, but concentrated on literature rather than creative writing, mostly because I didn't consider reading books "work" (as long as I was going to be doing something anyway, I might as well get course credit for it, right?).

I met my husband, Pancho (his real name is Christiaan), when I was four, but we were never anywhere close to being childhood sweethearts. In fact, though we saw each other at least weekly through church activities, I can't recall a single instance when we so much as greeted each other with a friendly wave, let alone exchanged actual words. This may have been for the best, because when we did eventually get around to exchanging words, sixteen years after our first meeting, it only took nine months from the first "hello" to the wedding. Of course, we were able to skip over a lot of the getting to know you parts (many of our conversations would go something like this: "This one time, when I was ten, I broke my hand at a party when-" "Yeah, I know what happened. I was there, remember?")

We've been married for ten and a half years now, and have three beautiful, brilliant, wonderful boys who often remind me chimpanzees on crack. I can't write without music, and my biggest muse is, ironically enough, the band Muse. My other favorite sources of inspiration are Linkin Park, My Chemical Romance, Coldplay, The All American Rejects, Travis, The Strokes, Brand New, U2, Kasabian, Jimmy Eat World, and Weezer, to mention a few.   
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