Friday, March 27, 2009

Jenn's Review Part Deux: The Host

In skimming other reviews of The Host over the past week, I've come across criticism suggesting that the female characters are weak. This bothered me enough to want to refute it in a post of my own. I will try to do this while being as "unspoilery" as possible.

While I think it is a somewhat valid assessment of Bella in the Twilight series, weakly written females are hardly the case here. Melanie is so strong, she can't let go of a body she no longer fully possesses. Wanda cannot tolerate violence of any kind, but that doesn't make her weak. She makes the decision to live in a way that is completely inconceivable to others of her kind. And what about The Seeker? These are not weak women.

Jeb created his own society (in a space he practically carved out himself), and he gets to make the rules. That's not chauvinistic to me, that's a benevolent dictatorship. (And as for a body belonging to it's family members, I completely understand that too.) True mostly guys go on the raids, and the women stay home and care take, but this is a time of war, and in our society, it's mostly the men who go off to fight.

As for Petal, she was chosen by Jamie, someone who knew the host best, and saw her for who she was... not to mention the choice also made sense from a tactical stand point. No matter the body, the spirit is still strong.

I can see, to an extent, that the non-central female characters come off as pale in comparison to Melanie and Wanda, but that's a literary device. Where I can concede that there was weakness in Bella (though I think she overcame it by the fourth book), I feel that those who find it here are seeing what they want to see.

Am I off base? I'd love to know what you think, so please leave a comment!

My Full Review of The Host


Frankie and Bella March 27, 2009 at 1:11 AM  

I completely agree with you and now that I've read all of Meyer's novels I find I liked the female characters in The Host by far the best!

I started reading The Host probably a bit sceptical because I loved the Twilight series so much and thought this would be far too different to capture my imagination the same way. Now that I've read it though I LOVE the book. The characters are so strong and individual and I almost came to admire each one for their own unique qualities. In fact I find Bella kind of annoying now in comparison :) Bella.

Jenn March 27, 2009 at 10:58 AM  

You see? I totally expected to hate this book.

Glad you think so too... it bothered me a little when I was reading the Twilight series, but I do think she resolved it by the end of Breaking Dawn. I just couldn't believe the negative reiews out there that were sighting it here too.

Staci March 27, 2009 at 9:54 PM  

I agree with you. I think her 2 main female characters are very strong while I see Bella as weak and unable to make a decision all on her own. I loved the Host. It is a complete 360 from Twilight and I enjoyed it immensely.

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