Review of The Host (2008) by Stephenie Meyer

Bottom line: A fun science fiction story with great characters, action, and romance.

Rating: Recommended

Blurb:

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

Featuring one of the most unusual love triangles in literature, THE HOST
is a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the essence of what it means to be human.

Review:

Ok, I have to get this off my chest. Stephenie Meyer is not a terrible author. Please don’t flame me. I know it’s cool to hate on her, and a lot of very smart people have put a lot of creative energy and time into mocking her and her works. Much of which I have enjoyed. (I wanted to link to some, but I couldn’t find any that were solidly within this blog’s…ah…high ideals).

And no, I don’t think she is one of our age’s great literary talents. However, she is a great storyteller. She is actually pretty good at world-building, and her dialogue can be funny and clever. I don’t want to do an in-depth analysis of the Twilight series, but I will say that I’ve read the books, more than once, and I enjoyed them. It started with my sister-in-law, who is several years younger than me and in high school at the time. She had rented the movie, so I, my husband, his brother and his wife all watched it, basically so we could tear it apart. It was horrifically bad. The acting was atrocious, the dialogue was terrible, and I couldn’t think of any reason why ANYONE could possibly have enjoyed that experience. So after that, I had to read the books to see why so many people were passionately devoted to it. As a side note, I think the movies failed (I only saw the first two, then lost interest) because they took out much of the dialogue, which was one of the better features of the books, and the humor. And I will address one of the main points critics bring up: that these books don’t portray a healthy teenage relationship between Edward and Bella. Well, no. But it’s not like Meyer is the first person who has done that. Can you say “Romeo and Juliet”?

Anyways, like I said, I didn’t want to do a full in-depth analysis of the Twilight series here, but I did want to give some background as to how I got into the Host, and you can’t talk about Stephenie Meyer without mentioning Twilight. So, on to the main attraction:

The Host is a sci-fi romance. It’s a very clean romance, and the love story parts of it were handled well. But the world-building in The Host is VERY good. Meyer created interesting and believable species of aliens, and you get some very great details and stories of life on other planets without it feeling like she’s showing off this universe she’s made up (which I occasionally feel with some sci-fi or fantasy authors). There’s action and suspense and tension, and I think her skill as a storyteller really shines through with The Host. I even have, and this is my coup d’état here, a real life MAN who enjoyed it. My husband listened to it on audiobook and thought it was, and I’m quoting verbatim here, “pretty good.” High praise from an actual male.

Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

Side note: We just watched the movie a few nights ago (it’s now available to rent), and I thought it was a fairly good adaptation. They changed quite a few things, as they do, but they captured the main essence. They did leave out quite a bit of the world building that I had enjoyed so much in the book, but I can see why they did. The casting was pretty good, and I liked how they changed the opening. The last couple of scenes were handled much better in the book, but that’s life. It was a fun way to pass an evening. The only thing that annoyed me was that there was a LOT of kissing. If you took out all the kissing scenes, it would have been like a 45 minute movie. I felt like that kid from the Princess Bride movie, and wished we could just skip over most of them.

Movie available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

Ok, confess. Any Meyer fans out there?

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One thought on “Review of The Host (2008) by Stephenie Meyer

  1. Stori says:

    This blog is one of the new joys of my life. You have redeemed Stephanie Meyer a wee bit. I also do want to beat a dead horse, but I read the first Twilight book and while I could see the appeal of the story, I thought the writing was some of the worst I have ever read so I never read the rest of the series. I couldn’t get past it. I think I spit out my water when Bella mentioned she was writing her paper on misogyny in Shakespeare. Maybe I will be read this. When I am not reading A Song of Ice and Fire for the third time that is :).

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