Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Book Review: The Host

In which Deb tries to review The Host by Stephenie Meyer without referencing Twilight more than once per sentence...

The Host bills itself as "science fiction for those who don't like sci-fi," and I would guess that is pretty close to the truth.  I would also imagine the converse to be true- real fans of sci-fi probably won't like this book.  And, adding a third permutation, if you are, like me, somewhat "meh" towards sci-fi, you will probably experience some degree of "meh" about this book as well.

The Host also bills itself as Stephenie Meyer's first book targeted at adult readers.  Rest easy, Twilight fans who liked the lack of cursing, explicit sex, and offensive content in the Twilight series: Stephenie hasn't let you down.  If you were not offended by the Twilight series, you won't be offended by The Host.

Plot summary (nutshell edition): Earth has been taken over by "souls," which are small parasites that attach to the brain of the "host" organism.  The soul takes over the host's body and mind.  Humans, though, have formed some pockets of resistance.  Melanie Stryder, one of these human rebels, has been caught and is given a very special soul: Wanderer, who has lived eight lifetimes on eight different worlds.  Melanie clings to her life tenaciously, however, and Wanderer must decide whether to fight Melanie or join her in the struggle to free humanity from the souls.  There is also a very unique love triangle/square going on.

My take?  While nowhere near as entertaining as  Twilight, The Host did eventually make an interesting, easy read.  There is very little "science" in this book, so I was spared the pages-long explanations about how something works...Meyer states the conditions and limits of her settings and characters and the reader must accept them, and fortunately, her stuff seems to work well.

Frankly, the unbelievable parts for me were in the relationships.  I won't spoil the book, but I will say that elements of the romantic conflict seemed, to me, contrived.  Some of what bothered me were things Meyer has used in Twilight, but for whatever reason, what worked for me in that book bothered me in this one.  Sorry to be so cryptic, but, again- I don't want to spoil anything, and I do think this book is worth a read.

I would give 3.5 stars out of 5.


4 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Yeah, I probably won't read this book because, well, you know. And if you didn't like it, imagine my review! :)

Merry Christmas, Deb.

rychelle said...

If only there were sparkly vampires.....

;)

Merry Christmas.

Machen family said...

I have to agree. It was an enjoyable read, but I wouldn't read it again.

Jill said...

Thanks for the review! I've been wondering about her other books...