The Host – Stephenie Meyer [Review]

The Host

Stephenie Meyer

Book Review

Don’t be fooled by the author’s name. This book is nothing like twilight; and fits nicely into a sci-fi category rather than a YA paranormal romance.

In this book, aliens (known as ‘souls’ on earth) have quietly conquered earth, inserting themselves into humans (known as ‘hosts’) and thus erasing each hosts conscience and giving them utter control. The souls are non-violent, truthful beings who believe that earth will be a better place in they are on the planet instead of humans.When Wanderer enters earth (her ninth planet), she takes the host body that used to be Melanie. Unfortunately, Melanie is fighting back and still very much present in this body. Melanie forces her extreme emotions, memories and the love for her brother Jamie and Partner Jared onto Wanderer until they end up searching, and travelling to find and potentially save the rebel humans.

It took me a while to get into this book, and really understand the souls, and what earth is beginning to be like while under the control of a pacifist species. Although the souls are effectively “killing” the human minds, I found it hard to dislike them because they felt so strongly that they were doing the right thing. I liked the original idea behind the plot, it was interesting but a little predictable. Unfortunately I didn’t find this book very gripping, bits of the plot seemed to drag on (long desert walks and hiding in small caves), and I wish it had been a little more fast paced.

This book raises lots of questions about what it is to be human, and what makes that so special. Love and acceptance are important themes throughout the book. I liked that it was not just love in a romantic way, but the love of family, friends and a place to belong. The souls were also able to explore the strength of love, and the extremes it can drive people too.

My favourite thing about this book was the internal conflict between Wanderer and Melanie. It was very interesting to explore what it was like having two such different minds in one body, especially when one is physically dominant over the body. It was very well written, and as the reader I could really feel the conflict, compromise and influence each mind had over the other. I particularly liked how Wanderer and Melanie grew through the book, and how they began to work together and use each others advantages to deal with situations.

The problem I really had with this book was the characters. I struggled to really develop any attachment to any characters – I found myself not caring about them very much, even at the climax of the book. I didn’t quite “feel” the romantic love between any of the characters, it didn’t feel believable. This was a huge shame as it really ruined most of the book for me 😦



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