Tag Archives: The Host

What Someone Typed into Google to Get to My WordPress

twilight convention-melbourne

Haven’t heard of one, and even if there was, I’m not sure I’d attend.

I think some bookstores had launch parties for Breaking Dawn (the closest one to me may have been in Richmond). Release dates around the world were not totally in sync – in some parts it was released on August 2nd, other places August 4th. Australia fell into the latter.

Even though I’ve never read the Twilight series (though I have books 1 and 4 on my shelf in the To-Be-Read pile), I briefly considered attending one of these functions. Because Breaking Dawn was released earlier in the US, and thus I was reading Cleolinda‘s fabulous recaps/snark. (She’s currently recapping/snarking True Blood – who needs HBO when you can have snarkalicious hilarity?)

So, yeah – was thinking of crashing a party and shouting out a spoiler. (I’d even picked a particular one, though others were contenders.) I didn’t go, of course. But I thought about it. Contrary to popular belief, I actually do occasionally use my brain 😉

I totally wouldn’t have fit in, though, because I’m so not a fangirly. Not just of this particular series. I just have a very sceptical brain: when lots of people really love something, I’m more inclined not to like it. Maybe I wouldn’t dislike things so much if others didn’t love them so much. I don’t know.

My reason? Well, the thing better blow my freaking mind if everyone loves it so much. And if it doesn’t? DISAPPOINTMENT. Harry Potter is so overrated. Just didn’t interest me, though I read some of them to at least give them a chance. THEY FAILED.

I still intend to try the Twilight series at some stage – as I said, I own books 1 and 4. As for the middle two, the library reservation lists are probably miles long, so I’ll have to go without.

But by all means, I’m not against Stephenie Meyer. I loved The Host. Generalisations around the Web seem to go that if you love Twilight, The Host won’t cut the mustard, and vice versa. They’re also different genres: one paranormal, one futuristic.

Is it possible to combine those two genres into one novel? Vampires in space…and Anya Bast has done it with The Chosen Sin, which I believe is released October 7th – that’s today. Haven’t read the book myself yet, but Anya’s a dear, and I do like the other books of hers I’ve read (Witch Fire and Witch Blood).

Smooth segue, Tez. And don’t you readers think I made up that Twilight convention thing just so I could sneak in an ad for vampires in space – I’m not clever enough to think up a lie like that 😉

My Top 10 Books Published in 2008

Weekly Geeks is doing a thing where everyone compiles their own list of the best books they’ve read that were published in 2008. Admittedly, my list kind of skews to the ones I’ve read more recently, because I remember them better. So hard to pick just 10. But here there are:

Michelle Maddox
Countdown
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 29th July 2008)
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THREE. Kira Jordan wakes up in a pitch-black room handcuffed to a metal wall. She has 60 seconds to escape. Thus begins a vicious game where to lose is to die. TWO. The man she’s been partnered with – her only ally in this nightmare – is a convicted mass murderer. But if he’s so violent, why does he protect her? And stranger still, what is it behind those haunted sea-green eyes that makes her want to protect him? ONE. No one to trust. Nowhere to run. And the only hope of survival is working together to beat the COUNTDOWN.

Mary E. Pearson
The Adoration of Jenna Fox
US: Henry Holt & Co. BYR (29th April 2008); AU: Allen & Unwin Children’s (February 2009)
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Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn’t remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?

Stephenie Meyer
The Host
Hachette (US, UK, AU: 6th May 2008)
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Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, 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. Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts 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 yearns for a man she’s never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.

Rachel Cohn
You Know Where to Find Me
Simon & Schuster (US: 4th March 2008)
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First cousins Laura and Miles grew up like sisters. Miles thought of Laura as the golden one – smart, beautiful, rich, and popular – while Miles considered herself the unwanted one – an unattractive, underachieving outcast. Laura’s suicide shatters Miles and leaves her feeling completely alone, and sets Miles on a dangerous downward spiral. But in the strength Miles finds in herself and in those she didn’t believe cared about her, she is able to rebuild her life in unexpected ways.

Jes Battis
Night Child (OSI, Book 1)
Penguin Ace (US: 27th May 2008)
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Tess Corday soon realises that there is not going to be anything ordinary about this case. Not the lab results on the cause of death. Not Mia Polanski, the teenage girl living at the address found in the vamp’s pocket, who may well be in thrall to a demon. And certainly not Lucian Agrado, the necromancer who is liaison to the vampire community. Agrado is supposed to be part of the solution, but Tess suspects he might be part of the problem. Under pressure from her boss, Tess is trying to go by the book on this one. But when Mia reaches out to her, she risks her career to help the girl. And finds herself in the middle of a paranormal conspiracy that will change her life forever. Or possibly end it…

Kristopher Reisz
Unleashed
Simon & Schuster Pulse (US: 19th February 2008; AU: 17th April 2008)
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Daniel Morning seems perfect – handsome, charismatic, intelligent. But living up to everyone’s expectations has cost him the right to make his own decisions. The urge to shatter those expectations is beginning to gnaw at his insides. Then Daniel meets Misty. She’s smoky, rebellious, tender…and much more. She decides to let him into her pack of outcasts – and in on their little secret: She and her friends have learned to shape-shift, and have been prowling the night as wolves. Daniel soon falls in love with the primal sensation of shifting, just as he’s falling in love with Misty. The freedom to follow his most basic instincts is like nothing he’s ever felt. But Daniel will slowly come to realise that such freedom comes at a price…

Jeri Smith-Ready
Wicked Game (WVMP Radio, Book 1)
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US: 13th May 2008)
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Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin is trying to live the straight life, even if it means finding a (shudder!) real job. She takes an internship at a local radio station, whose late-night time-warp format features 1940s blues, ’60s psychedelia, ’80s Goth, and more, all with an uncannily authentic flair. Ciara soon discovers just how the DJs maintain their cred: they’re vampires, stuck forever in the eras in which they were turned. Ciara’s first instinct, as always, is to cut and run. But communications giant Skywave wants to buy WVMP and turn it into just another hit-playing clone. Without the station – and the link it provides to their original Life Times – the vampires would “fade,” becoming little more than mindless ghosts of the past. Suddenly a routine corporate takeover is a matter of life and un-death. To boost ratings and save the lives of her strange new friends, Ciara re-brands the station as “WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” In the ultimate con, she hides the DJs’ vampire nature in plain sight, disguising the bloody truth as a marketing gimmick. WVMP becomes the hottest thing around – next to Ciara’s complicated affair with grunge vamp Shane McAllister. But the “gimmick” enrages a posse of ancient and powerful vampires who aren’t so eager to be brought into the light. Soon the stakes are higher – and the perils graver – than any con game Ciara’s ever played…

Eve Kenin
Hidden (Northern Waste, Book 2)
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 1st July 2008)
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Tatiana has honed her genetic gifts to perfection. She can withstand the subzero temperatures of the Northern Waste, read somebody’s mind with the briefest touch, and slice through bone with her bare hands. Which makes her one bad-ass chick, all right. Nothing gets to her. Until she meets Tristan. Villain or ally, she can’t be sure. But one thing she does know: he has gifts too – including the ability to ramp up her heart rate to dangerous levels. But before they can start some chemistry of their own, they have to survive being trapped in an underground lab, hunted by a madman, and exposed to a plague that could destroy mankind.

Michele Lang
Netherwood
Dorchester SHOMI (US: 26th February 2008)
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THERE’S A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN…And her name is Talia Fortune. Her mission: capture the cyber outlaw, Kovner, a man who knows she is more than just a sheriff – Talia is also a woman, with a woman’s desires. Scion of the Fortune family and primary shareholder of the mega-conglomerate FortuneCorp, she is the Hand of Fate…or at least of the Home Office. With the power to punish, she’s been sent to Fresh Havens – a corporate off-world colony run by her uncle. But the colony is full of hidden danger. Sabotage, deception, destruction…it will take every ounce of Talia’s strength and courage, fighting skills honed in the Amphitheatre and knowledge learned at the Academy, just to survive. Her ability to love and trust will be sorely tested, especially in the clutches of her quarry, the Outlaw of Fresh Havens, her cyber-lover and now her enemy. He and the answers lie in the Gray Forest, in a reality beyond the bubbledome, the Grid, and everything she’s ever known. Her future lies in…NETHERWOOD.

Marta Acosta
The Bride of Casa Dracula
Simon & Schuster Pocket (US: 16th September 2008; AU: 1st October 2008)
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Milagro De Los Santos is having serious problems planning her wedding to fabulous Oswald Grant, M.D. Her future in-laws loathe her, her dog just died, and Oswald’s family has a genetic anomaly that makes them crave blood. Then her extravagant best friend hijacks the role of wedding coordinator, and the secretive Vampire Council assigns conniving Cornelia Ducharme to guide the couple through the ancient vampire marriage rituals. To top it all off, Milagro’s career is on the skids. She’s reduced to ghost-writing the memoirs of a loony little man who claims to be a shape-shifter. And why does Cornelia’s decadent, way too attractive brother, Ian, always show up whenever Milagro is away from Oswald? When a series of accidents interferes with wedding plans, Oswald worries that Milagro is cracking under the pressure. Is she just paranoid, or is a hidden enemy trying to make sure Milagro doesn’t wed the un-dead?

Random Stats
Books published by Dorchester SHOMI:
3
Books published by Simon & Schuster: 4
YA fiction: 3
Futuristic: 5

Cat with Books

(Images from here.) Manny with various books, including:

Gena Showalter’s Awaken Me Darkly, Enslave Me Sweetly & Savor Me Slowly
Liz Maverick’s The Shadow Runners & Wired
Eve Kenin’s Driven & Hidden
Kay Austin’s Time Transit
Michelle Maddox’s Countdown
Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight & The Host
Richelle Mead’s Succubus Blues, Vampire Academy & Succubus on Top

The Future is Bright

I suddenly realised today that futuristics are becoming my new favourite genre. We’re talking 5-star books. I still like urban fantasy, of course, but it’s just not wowing me enough to be 5-star. 4-star, yes. Maybe it’s because futuristics are new and exciting to me, and I’ve simply read too much UF. I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because futuristics are more believable, so I connect with them more.

I was going to do this at the end June, but what the hell, I’ll do it now.

5-Star Books Tezzy’s Read in 2008
Elizabeth Flock’s But Inside I’m Screaming (women’s fiction)
Erica Spindler’s Dead Run (thriller)
Mary E. Pearson’s The Adoration of Jenna Fox (young adult, futuristic)
Stephenie Meyer’s The Host (futuristic)
Rachel Cohn’s You Know Where to Find Me (young adult)
Michelle Maddox’s Countdown (futuristic)

I highly recommend all of these books. And as you can tell by their genres, three out of those six books are futuristics.

So now’s the time for you to bring out the A+ books you’ve read so far this year. What are their genres? Are you surprised? Have you learned anything new about your favourite kind of books?

OnePlusYou Quizzes and WidgetsThis rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
* hell (13x)
* dead (9x)
* death (6x)
* sexy (4x)
* dangerous (2x)
* zombie (1x)
Mind you, they don’t count “feck” as a swear, but I do. Also, they didn’t count “secksy”.

[COVER ART] Breaking Dawn – Stephenie Meyer

(Image taken from here.) I’ve never read any of the Twilight books, but I know some of you have. So here’s the cover art for Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn (2nd August 2008), the fourth in the series. I really like this cover. I still don’t know if the Twilight series will suit me, but I loved The Host (the author’s adult standalone). You can pre-order Breaking Dawn here.

Record Breaking

(Images taken from here and here respectively.)

Cover art for Suzanne McLeod‘s The Sweet Scent of Blood (11th September 2008). Buy

More pre-order links for A. J. Menden‘s Phenomenal Girl 5 (October 2008) are appearing: Amazon, Amazon CA, Amazon UK, Target and Chapters CA.

From J. A. Konrath: “Reviewers are people. Meet them. Be nice to them. Chances are they’ll remember you, and you’ll have a better shot at being reviewed than the thousands of authors they don’t know.” He’s right – the more you pay attention to me, the more likely I’ll pay attention to you. Fickle, I know, but that’s how I operate 😉

If you shorten Madison Square Garden’s name, it becomes MSG. This made me chuckle.

And thanks to everyone who visited my WordPress on Thursday 22nd May 2008 (aka yesterday). My highest amount of page views in a day set a new record: 169. For that I thank my review of Laurell K. Hamilton‘s Blood Noir, Jenna Maclaine‘s guest blog, and my review of Stephenie Meyer‘s The Host which consistently gets a lot of page visits every day.

I Learned Something Today

Sound like Kyle from South Park, eh? 😉

So you may have noticed that my review of Stephenie Meyer’s The Host is absent from my website, replaced with…well, a placeholder note. Today’s word of the day is “embargo”. Let’s learn:

Basically an embargo is put in place on books from authors who have legions of fans who will be bitterly disappointed if they read a spoiler anywhere. Also it can be put in place to ensure exclusivity when selling first extract and first author interview to the media, but those are usually only in the case on non-fiction books like biographies. And sometimes it’s put in place to add just a little bit of mystique 😉

I didn’t know this before this morning, basically because I’d never received such a prolific book to review before. Ordinarily publishers are quite happy for you to post reviews before the official release date, to generate early buzz. But in this case, no buzz is needed.

The review will be back online May 1…which I think is next Thursday. Sorry for the inconvenience, everyone, but at least we’ve learned something today.

Thanks for your support, and have a lovely day! 🙂

[REVIEW] The Host – Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer
The Host
Hachette (1 May 2008)
Buy

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.