Monday, June 30, 2008

The Host

I just finished reading Stephenie Meyer's new adult book, The Host. I'd read her Twilight series earlier this year after I bought it for the library. The Twilight series is about vampires, well, it's about a girl, Bella, who falls in love with Edward, who happens to be a vampire. Anyway, it's a very popular series with teens and young adults (and some "older" adults too), so I read it to see what all the fuss was about. It was enjoyable, and the books are always out, so I knew I had to buy her first adult book, The Host.

I have to say, I liked Host much better than I did the Twilight books. It was one of those books, that made me dream about the characters in it every night. In my dreams, I'd fret, I'd worry, I'd see the characters and watch them interact. And, of course I was a part of the story in my dreams too. It was the kind of book that made me wish I could just stop everything and read until I finished it...but on the other hand, it would be over all too soon. And, it's not my typical favorite kind of book either.

Earth has been invaded by alien "souls" who inhabit our bodies. They take over all function and mental control of human bodies, forcing our human souls out from bodies. We humans exist physically, but that special something, that makes us us is gone. There are some resident rebel groups of humans who are in hiding, trying to survive. Melanie is one such human. Except, she's captured, and becomes the host body for Wanderer, a soul. Unfortunately for the Wanderer, Melanie's personality, her "essence" doesn't leave, she refuses to give up on life and is a prisoner in her own mind and body. Fortunately for Melanie, she and Wanderer develop a relationship, and friendship. Unfortunately for both, neither the humans nor the souls want to allow their continued...existence. They stumble into a group of rebel humans where Wanderer has to learn how to live with people who fear her and want her dead. Wanderer also has to fight feelings she has for the love of Melanie's life--Melanie doesn't want to share.

In the end, well, it's a good ending.

I'd read in an early review that Stephanie Meyer's strength as a writer lies in her ability to write about relationships. That review was right on the money. This book is about relationships. The relationship between Melanie and Wanderer, the relationship between Melanie, her brother, and her boyfriend; the relationship between Wanda (the human nickname for Wanderer) and Melanie's human family; the relationship between Wanderer and her own kind... It's all well written and blended together into an unforgettable story of life and love and humanity.

If you are thinking that you don't like Science Fiction and alien stories, give this one a try. It's less about being different and more about being alike. It's a very good book. Now do what I say and go pick it up and read it.

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