Title: The Host Author: Stephanie Meyer My Rating: 4/5 Stars Description: Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.
When Melanie, one of the few remaining “wild” humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, 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.
Wanderer probes Melanie’s thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer’s mind 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 begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.
My thoughts: Before I get into details, let me just say this: Stephenie Meyer is an excellent author and i would gladly recommend ANY of her novels. She posses the ability to pull the reader into the story and allow them to feel like they are actually there with the characters, experiencing what they experience and feeling what they feel. She paints a vivid picture of the characters and their lives in the mind of every reader who is fortunate enough to be touched by the worlds that she creates. Reading one of her works is like being in 3-d theater but better, its actually more like being in a 6-D theater, touching all of the human senses and emotion at once. It is hard to find a flaw in the novel by itself, when not being compared to her other works. Now having said that, there are a few criticisms that i have for this novel in comparison to her other works.
The quality of the novel does stand up to the standards set by her preceding works. But, despite the creative story line and captivating emotions shown in The Host, there are some flaws to be found in the depth of the characters. I am a fan of the Twilight series, also by Stephenie Meyer, and could not stop myself from finding many links between this novel and the Twilight series in regards to the characters, their emotions and their interconnected relationships. For example, the character Jared (from The Host) is very similar to Jacob (From Twilight). Both have a tendency to let their emotions get the best of them, both are somewhat selfish creatures in regards to the one that they love, and both are extremely stubborn. The characters Ian (The host) and Edward (Twilight) are the same way, comparatively. Both are overly protective and somewhat irrational when it comes to the people that they love, both have the ability to love unconditionally despite the fact that both men love someone of a different species, and both men’s brothers try to kill their partners. The greatest character similarity, however, exists between Wanderer/Melanie (The Host) and Bella (Twilight).
The complexity of the characters is amazing in both novels. In both there are two different personalities existing in one body, each personality belonging to a different man that the characters love. There are two parts to Bella (Twilight) one in love Jacob (Twilight) and one in love with Edward (Twilight), but one love is stronger than the other. She describes the strain between the two as “tearing her apart.” The same its to be said for Wanderer/Melanie (The Host), but to a more extreme extent. In this case there are actually two separate entities existing in one body “tearing them apart”. One personality , Wanda [Wanderer] (The Host), belonging to Ian (The Host); and the other personality, Melanie (The Host), belonging to Jared (The Host). Wanda (The Host) and Bella (Twilight) are both very self-sacrificing people who would go to the ends of the earth to prevent the ones that they love from hurting and would do anything in their power to make them happy. Both are very non-violent and even show compassion for enemies. Melanie (The Host) and Bella (Twilight) are both tough individuals possessing the ability to reason through stressful situations.
All of the characters do possess unique qualities as well, and display different depths of emotions. I may be just more attuned to the personalities presented in Twilight (due to my love of the series), and couldn’t help but find similarities between it and The Host. But then again, If I am this attuned to the character’s personalities after simply reading the series, imagine how predisposed to the personality traits Stephenie Meyer is. So I suppose that after spending so much time creating and writing about the characters, letting them become apart of you, that it would be impossible to completely separate them from your other works. For is each work not expression of the soul as well, and it is impossible, as an author, to exclude part of yourself from your writings. Read The Host, I think that you will enjoy it. I know that I did