Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Host by Stephenie Meyer - Review

Yesterday Chalystha Lee lent me this book. I started reading it at 5pm thereabouts, and finished it by eleven pm. It's a pretty thick book to finish so fast, plus, it's a psychological thriller, but I just wanted to see how it ended. Like, really, really badly.

This book is something like the Nicole Kidman/Daniel Craig movie The Invasion. In this book, Earth is not the only habitable planet in the universe and humans are not the only - neither are they the most - intelligent species surviving. There are beings called souls, which are parasites in the truest sense, for they can only survive if they live in a host body. They take on that body as if it were their own, and the poor humans just fade away into nothingness once they get their bodies possessed by these souls. Except the very strongest ones. Even though these strong humans lose control of their bodies to the souls, they are still able to retain some sort of consciousness. And that's where the story begins. It's told in the viewpoint of a soul called Wanderer, who is control of Melanie Stryder's body, but can still hear Melanie's voice speaking to her in her head.

*spoiler alerts*

What I like the most in this book is the Wanderer-Melanie relationship. I like how Wanderer (Wanda) begins to respect that Melanie's body is Melanie's, that Melanie's life is Melanie's, that Jared is Melanie's. I like how Melanie understands that Wanda can't help feeling what she feels - I like how Melanie doesn't grudge Wanda for what she is, how she starts seeing things from Wanda's view, the way Wanda sees things through Melanie's. I like how the two of them, in the book, sometimes use the word 'us'. The loyalty between the two of them is something deep.

What else do I like? I like Melanie, a lot. She's my favourite character, actually. I like how Jared is fiercely faithful to Melanie (favourite line: "Melanie will always be mine. And I will always be hers."). And I like the ending, I suppose. No great big humanity-restoring change - because that isn't realistic. It's scary sometimes when you see the route humanity is heading down to.

Now, I liked all of that, but really, you can't get away from the fact that this book was written by Stephenie Meyer.

It was draggy. In too many places. Just like I got the feeling Meyer dragged out Twilight into four very long books for money, I get the feeling she spread The Host out for as long as she possibly could. Sometimes, the image of Jamie in my head, Melanie's younger brother, would get replaced by one of Renesmee. Wanda had too many of Bella's tendencies - being a bad liar, an overwilling martyr, an anti-social loner. Not to mention Meyer likes scenes where the girl tries to seduce the guy and fails. Oh, and who can forget - two guys kissing the same girl, all in the same day?


What a long review this was. It's what happens when you're having an unofficial holiday all to yourself. :) Didn't go to school today. Had a golden morning with daddy - we went to Dr. Cafe's. I'm sooo addicted to the coffee there la. Going to watch Salt tonight with the fam. Yay!

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