Saturday, August 27, 2011
The Host by Stephenie Meyer published in 2008
The Earth has been taken over by parasitic creatures whose species goes from planet to planet, inhabiting different life forms. When one of the more experienced aliens is inserted into a human, she finds that this one isn’t about to be taken over without a fight. The host body, Melanie, is desperate to get back to her hunky boyfriend and her younger brother, and she soon convinces the alien, named the Wanderer, to leave life with her own species and take off on a life threatening journey to find the few surviving humans.
After getting lost in the desert for days, and then finally being found by Melanie’s uncle and reuniting with Melanie’s lost love, the alien must find a way to convince the humans that she has truly left her wayward, invading species behind and wants learn to function as part of the human community.
I found this first part of this book very hard to stick with - the alien is too easily convinced to throw away her entire life and alienate (no pun intended) herself from her species. And, since most of the human males she meets have a tendency to beat her up, threaten to kill her, and starve her, it’s hard to understand why she doesn’t take off again. If I had been able to access another book, I don’t think I would have stuck with this - but I was camping and had nothing else to read so I kept reading and I’m glad I did.
The first person narrative is engaging and works well for this plot. Myers is a skilled writer who kept me reading once I decided to just “ride along” with the shaky early set up. The Wanderer talks about the other life forms she has invaded/inhabited and for all of us who enjoy alien lit, these are fascinating and fun. The love story is a bit complicated but also fun and the end finishes this story and also leaves enough for a sequel.
The last two thirds of the book are worth reading and it’s worth spending your time with this book.