Monday, March 30, 2009

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Just to get this out of the way...

Hello, my name is Holley and I am a TwiHard.  
I bought the complete set of hardcover novels in a set with accompanying collectible postcards.  
I saw the movie 16 times in theaters.  
I saved the 264 page unfinished manuscript for Midnight Sun on a thumb drive so I can read it whenever I want.
I bought the deluxe 3-disc edition as early as I could get out of the house March 21st.  
I like the Twilight tetralogy and am not ashamed to admit it.

So, moving on to The Host.  This is Meyer's first title aimed at adults and I read it long before I fell into the Twilight vortex.  I got an ARC from the publisher, decided to give it a try, and fell in love.  I've since bought my own copy to go with the tetralogy but this particular instance I listened to it in the car and it was just as good.  I like little short books and I like medium long books, but I love a big damn book even more.  Witness my love for the Song of Ice and Fire series (thanks steering me to it KT and KP!) as well as Pillars of the Earth.

  The Host opens as the last vestiges of humanity are being snuffed out by the Souls, a race of parasitic aliens that are implanted into humans to take over their bodies.  The Souls picked Earth because it was a beautiful planet being destroyed by the dominant species (that'd be us).  Now, a peaceful civilization is being built by the Souls as they turn humanity's tide of destructive behaviors.

Wanderer is on her 9th planet and has been especially picked for this assignment because of her experience.  Her job is to access her host's memories to see how she has managed to avoid capture for so long and to see if there were anymore humans helping her.  Her host tried to commit suicide before being captured and Wanderer has to deal with those horrific memories first before getting to the real task of ferretting out the last humans.  Wanderer only has one problem at this point.  The first occupant of the body, Melanie Strider, is not ready to leave and has no intentions of giving up her family's whereabouts.  

As Melanie and Wanderer fight for control of the body, a Seeker is scruitinizing Wanderer's (and by default, Melanie's) every move.  Wanderer discovers that in her case, two different species cannot occupy the same body and remain enemies.  Wanderer will push all the limits she thought she had in order to protect the last pocket of human resistance and keep the Seeker from learning their secrets. 

I love novels that explore issues of humanity.  What is the definition of humanity?  Do you have to be human to be humane?  There are many accounts of humans doing inhuman things but does that make them truly inhuman or is it simply an adjective?  Can nonhumans have humanity?  Can animals?  I love these questions.  Dark night of the soul and all that.  This is why I like science fiction in general.  One of my favorite series in recent memory is John Scalzi's Old Man's War universe.  Old Man's War, The Ghost Brigades, and The Last Colony are a superb trilogy that everyone should read at least once!  

Anyway, if you too love a big damn book, one that doesn't move at the fastest of paces but only unveils its secrets at its own pace, pick up The Host!  You'll make some great friends!


Erica said...

i too . . . am a twihard.

and i ADORED this book. i thought it was brilliant and original, and as it neared the ending i absolutely could not put it down.

Ms. Hubbard said...

Me too me too

Carrie C. said...

no, you did not really see the movie 16 times. No, really?

Holley T said...

16 times in the theater...considerably more now that I can watch it at home :-)