[REVIEW] The Host – Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer
The Host
Hachette (1 May 2008)

Having never read the Twilight books, I approached this with a neutral stance. But it quickly won me over with its medical procedures, memorable characters, claustrophobic setting, and big ideas, as well as what it means to be human.

Welcome to the future, where souls have the options of many planets and species to inhabit. The souls have invaded Earth, creating a utopian society where violence doesn’t happen and money is not an issue. Wanderer is inserted into host Melanie Stryder, after a mighty struggle to avoid the souls. Usually the host fades, though their body is well and truly active controlled by the soul. Mel remains fighting furious, but to reach common goals she has to work together and get along with Wanderer, nicknamed Wanda.

Wanda at times seems even more human than the humans themselves. It’s difficult enough dealing with your own conflictions, and even worse when there’s a voice in your head that demands to be heard and obeyed.

Wanda is a fascinating character, often putting aside her own wishes to do what Melanie wants – but sometimes she takes it too far. Gradually Wanda comes through as her own person, doing everything she can to help the plight of the human survivors she’s found, even when they try to kill her. But her journey is a long way from over.

As lives are lost, readers will feel the pain. The novel is very much an epic, a heart-wrenching story that will force us humans to have a long hard look at our species. My only complaint is that there are so many pages that the book became awkward to physically hold. And I’m still not sure what to think of the ending. But overall this is an astounding story that will stay in the minds of readers long after reading. One of the most brilliant books I’ve read all year.

17 responses to “[REVIEW] The Host – Stephenie Meyer

  1. Thanks for the review Tez! I can’t wait to read this book.

  2. I’d like to see what you think of Twilight. She has a tendancy to write huge books, but they are a really easy- and worthwhile- read.

    I was interested to see that the spine of The Host looks an awful lot like the spines of the Twilight series, with the black and the symbol and white lettering. Cashing in, maybe? Though I doubt they’d need to…

  3. Hey Star. I haven’t got my hands on the Twilight books. Haven’t been on shelf at the library, and I’m not interested enough to reserve them. Have heard they’re melodramatic, which makes me think that they’re probably not for me.

    Of course, Hachette publishes all of the author’s novels, which makes sense that they have similar spines. You’ll usually find it with writers who write standalones for the one publisher – the cover font and design have similarities.

    Thanks for dropping by, and have a lovely day! 🙂

  4. Well… yeah, Twilight is a bit melodramatic. But if that was all that was going on, I wouldn’t have liked it nearly as much as I do. The first couple of chapters had my hanging on because I was dying to know why she’d chosen to move to a town that she really, really hated. I think if it was only a romance, and that was all it had going, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it so much.

    I do want to read The Host at some stage, but I don’t know when. 🙂 Apparently its release date is meant to be the 6th, its the one listed on Meyer’s website. I though it was published by a different publisher to the one that published Twilight, but maybe its just a different imprint or something…

  5. Twilight series is published by Little, Brown – which is an Hachette imprint. The Host’s release date is May 1 in Australia and the UK, but I think it’s May 6 in the US (and perhaps Canada). 640 pages was difficult for the webbing between my left thumb and forefinger with about 100 pages to read and onwards. May your fingers survive in relatively decent shape 😉

    Have a lovely day! 🙂

  6. Oh my god. This book was amazing. I absolutely love anything by Stefenie Meyer. Though I have to say, it didn’t top Twilight. You really should read Twilight. I’ve reread it so many times I had to get another book, because my first one was overused. She is a really great author when it comes to characters, you feel almost like you know the characters. This book was no dissappointment. I loved it. I liked your review too. =)

  7. Hey Emmarie – haven’t seen you here before, but you’re welcome back any time 🙂

    Haven’t managed to get my hands on the Twilight books yet, and I’m a bit uncertain as I’ve heard they’re melodramatic… I’ll just wait until they magically appear on my library’s shelves one day (which is unlikely, as they’re bound to be borrowed out) 😉

    Have a lovely day! 🙂

  8. Well, thanks. lol. I don’t think they’re melodramatic. I think the main character is a girl, which are pretty much naturally melodramatic. =)
    The Twilight books are a distinguished series at my school. Every one of my friends has read them, and its probably the only book that any of them have EVER re-read. And I beleive what you said about them not being on the shelves. lol. They never are. Ever.

    You have a nice day as well.

  9. Tez, if you’re not a big fan of melodrama, then you definitely will not like the Twilight series. Both my daughter (a teenager) and I read the first book. We were both looking for a vampire story. What we found was basically a teen romance. I think I’m jaded as an adult and grew weary of hearing the protagonist describe her love interest for the umpteenth time… while adding nothing of substance to the plot. That said… The Twilight series fits well in the teen romance niche. Girls love them and will keep reading as many as Meyers can turn out. There’s nothing wrong with with that. I would be interested in reading this novel to see how she does in the adult market.

  10. Thanks for writing, Dianne – you’re welcome back any time.

    Yay, you must be the first Twilight non-fangirly I’ve come across 😉 I’ve only read The Host, and I really did like it because it was so different from everything I’ve read before. Yes, there was a romantic storyline, but the novel had a lot more going for it, and I do strongly recommend it.

    I still haven’t decided on whether to try the Twilight books or not. I think if they happen to be on shelf at the library while I’m there, I’ll borrow them, but I’m not going to place a reservation or buy my own copy.

    It’s okay – I’m jaded too, and I’m only 21 😉 Nothing to do with age and everything to do with personality.

    Thanks for visiting, and have a lovely day! 🙂

  11. Hi. I love the Twilight series and like Emmarie I’ve read all three books heaps of times. So has my husband so they can’t be all bad and just for girls! I’m in the middle of The Host – I found it hard going at first – the style of writing is quite different and I kept on harking back to the Twilight series. However, now that I’m into it I’m finding it very difficult to anything OTHER than read it (including working, which is what I’m supposed to be doing right now).

  12. You have time to re-read? Applause to you – I’ve got so much unread stuff that I can’t even think about re-reads 😉

    I probably enjoyed The Host so much because I hadn’t read the Twilight books. It may not be as good for those who’ve read that series. How are your fingers holding up? The webbing between mine particularly suffered in the last 100 pages. Mega-ouchies! Here’s hoping you’re faring better 😉

    Thanks for visiting, and have a lovely day! 🙂

  13. Tez, I really think you should go after the Twilight series. I’ve read all of my Meyers books at least twice, including The Host, and I have had more trouble putting them down than figuring out a comfortable way to hold them (It does get kind of hard about half way through, but I just end up using my knees 🙂 ). The books do tend to be a little melodramatic, but I think some people are playing that up a little more than it should be. And Meyers writing doesn’t change much. If it wasn’t for the aliens and erasing of people’s minds, I sort of feel like Wanda and Bella could have met in California somewhere some day. (Twilight takes place in Washington state)

    I definitely think it is something you should look into. I’m 21 myself, and I try to stay away from too much youth fiction – especially the romances because they are always cheesy – but the Twilight series doesn’t come out that way. And the second and third books are better than the first, anyway.

    I really hope you try them out!

  14. Welcome, Cassie 🙂 This particular blog post seems to be popular with people I’ve never met before. Guess I’m lucky that Stephenie Meyer appeals to the masses 😉

    Using knees, that’s a good idea! But difficult if the cat wants to sit on my lap – he likes to stretch out down my legs. But that’s his problem 😉

    I’ve got the series on my wishlist at BookMooch, but they’ll probably never be available. One of these days I’ll place reservations on them through the library.

    Thanks for stopping by, and have a lovely day! 🙂

  15. Is The Host appropriate for a 12 year old girl? My daughter loved the Twilight series and wants to read Meyer’s new series. I just wanted to make sure it was OK first. Thanks

  16. No sex, no swears (that I remember), so should be perfectly fine for a 12-year-old. But when I was 12, I was reading adult books anyway, whether my parents knew or not 😉

    Have a lovely day! 🙂

  17. Hello. I am an adult Twilight-lover. After reading the synopsis for The Host, I was immediately put off. I’m not a sci-fi fan. Admittedly, it took a while to get going (100 pages or so…). But now, I cannot put the thing down. It is just plain good. Very good. Check it out!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.