Friday, March 20, 2009

Jenn's Review: The Host

Summary: The author of the Twilightseries 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.

Review: While I enjoy fantasy, I've never been a huge fan of science fiction (save The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). Actually, I had no intention of reading this book until I passed it by on a sale table... and when I went back to get it, it was gone and I had to confess myself disappointed. I was hearing good things about it. My curiosity about it was apparently getting the better of me, so I finally broke down and bought it. Good decision.

This is an absolutely beautiful story from start to finish. Well, okay, it took me fifty-ish pages to get into it, but after that I was so drawn in that I couldn't put it down. It was a surprising refreshing read. The reader empathizes with the Wanderer and with Melanie. Though the Wanderer is thousands of years old, in some ways she is still a child, and though Melanie is 20, she is wise for her years due to living on the run. They have much to learn from each other and in their coexistence, they learn tolerance and empathy. But this makes them a danger to both of their kind, and a misfit everywhere. Their species are still at war. If they find Melanie's family and Jared, how will they convince them that they mean no harm? And more importantly, how will they convince them that both Melanie and Wanderer dwelling in the same body.

Meyer has woven a beautiful love story into a genre I would otherwise ignore. As a writer, she has matured into a master of emotions and hopeless (hopeful?) love stories. She left this book lightly open ended (no cliff hangers) and I truly hope she picks up this thread again. I would certainly read the next installment.

Rating 5.0/5.0 <-- and those don't come readily for me

The Host Review Part Deux


Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved this, too - and am really hoping for a sequel.

Anonymous said...

I loved this book, and I'm really glad you did as well. :) Thanks for your review!

Frankie and Bella said...

Hmmm, I must read this now.

Serena said...

I adored this book much more than the Twilight Series. I think that Meyer has blossomed with this novel and I hope she continues to grow.

Jenn said...

This book was a total suprise to me. I hope there's a sequel.