The Host – Stephenie Meyer

The Host

Right now I’m on page 516 of this behemoth, with about 100 more pages to go. I must say that I’m surprised. The Host is good. Meyer has really matured in her writing style and characterization since the Twilight series. Usually, the more popular something becomes, the more disinclined I am to get into it, so when Twilight got very popular, I moved away from it. And besides, I didn’t care too much for the whole vampire/werewolf thing anyway. That’s why I wanted to read The Host – I wanted to see how well Meyer could pull off something that wasn’t related to Twilight.

Basic synopsis of the book… it’s a young adult science-fiction thriller involving the body of Melanie Stryder and the host who inhabits it, the Wanderer. An alien race of “souls” has arrived on Earth to take possession of human bodies. Needless to say, they don’t hold humans in very high regard. When a soul takes possession of a human body, the human’s mind is erased. That’s not the case with Melanie. She’s much more persistent than most humans and so she lives on, alongside the Wanderer. The two form an unlikely team, mainly due to the Wanderer having access to Melanie’s human emotions and memories, which are stronger than any the Wanderer has ever experienced before. Thus begins their difficult quest for survival – the Wanderer has grown quite attached to Melanie and to life with humans. That’s not allowed in the new soul-inhabited Earth. In short, it’s a survival story.

Stephenie Meyer’s writing is emotionally strong. She really knows how to put her characters through hell and back and make the reader feel for them and care about them. The futuristic world Meyer creates is unique, and even though I’m not a huge fan of science fiction, I found this world interesting and easy to understand. There’s nothing more annoying than science-fiction worlds with unpronounceable character names and outrageous technologies.

I said the book was “good.” The novel’s slow pace doesn’t make me want to keep on reading, and I think that’s because of the book’s enormous length. In some parts, it feels like it drags on and on. I want to know what’s going to happen with Melanie and the Wanderer and my liking for these characters is the only thing keeping me reading. I’m not a huge fan of Meyer’s writing style; it just feels bland to me. I’d definitely consider this book character-driven rather than plot-driven.

What did you think of The Host? Like it? Love it? Hate it?