Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.
Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, The Host is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.
©2008 Stephenie Meyer; (P)2008 Hachette Audio
It should be said first that this book is more of a character study set within the confines of a romance novel (without the fluff) than a hard SciFi book. However there are distinct SciFi themes to satisfy most cerebral thinkers. The core of this book goes way beyond genres into the realm of literature and hits at the root of the human condition, emotional fear, social mores, prejudice, and stereotypical misconceptions based on looks rather than character.
The author sets up a hopeless scenario and then very adeptly leeds us through a transformation to a brilliant ending that was immensely satisfying. This book makes you think. I like action adventure books as much as the next guy but I am not afraid at self examination and the sometime ugly refections that a well written, intelligent first person account reveals.
Kate Reading does an excellent job with a difficult but well crafted story that takes place entirely inside the head of two woman trapped inside a single body. (Written in 1st person ... thats a real trick!)
This book is character driven, with real people who embrace real emotions. It was by far one of my most favorite Audible books of the year (and I only have one credit left!)I highly recommend it.
This was a wonderful book. I have to say that I bought it simply on a lark because I wanted to try one of Myer's books without having to buy into a sappy teen aged angst Vampire book. (sorry fans, no offense intended). This was incredible. Offered from the point of view of a controlling alien in a human body, it was unlike any other book I've read. Very enjoyably written without any real 'dead zones' where the reader has to force themselves to plod onward to stay with the story. The narrator (a female) didn't seem at first to be one I'd find enjoyable, but by the end, I was sold that she had done a very admirable job. Sci-Fi fans, don't pass this one by. General readers will enjoy it just as a work of well done fiction as well since the sci-fi isn't the overwhelming focus of the book, its more character driven. (A note of warning, since one doesn't in general know what to expect, the beginning pages are kind of jarring and can be mistaken for 'dull' until one understands the perspective being presented and the book finds its footing. Give it a bit of slack, you won't regret it.)
Much better than her Twilight Series, probably because it is intended for adults, rather than teens, and I am in that latter target audience.
Very interesting insights into a genre that has been only had the surface touched before. Take Robert Heinlein's "The Puppet Masters" or ABC TV's recently failed series "Invasion" and leap three years after the symbiotic aliens have successfully conquered Earth and most of its human population then tell the story from the point of view of an alien introduced into a hostile host then you have the start of The Host.
The insights into the human condition, how precious life can be, how brutal and bestial we can treat each other, etc, really makes this book shine for me.
I do not think the shiny, happy ending was completely necessary but I like how in the hardback edition there are a few blank pages inserted between the natural conclusion of the novel and the happy ending so you have the choice to end there or carry on.
In my opinion, well written and well worth the money. I am actually listening to the audiobook version of it on my iPod now to pick up on any subtle nuances I may have missed or the narrator may convey in her reading of it.
This is the first current science fiction book I would highly recommend since The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, which has become my all time favorite book. If this is a sampling of what Stephanie Meyer has to offer us readers once she breaks free of the money train teen-angst vampire saga, I will be one of the first in line for that book.
I am so glad that I read the other reviews that raved about this book, otherwise I would have never gotten through what I thought to be the torturous first third. Once the main character makes the transition from a "vanilla" alien type personality to a more human emotional form, the book gets really good. After the first third there is lots of action and all worth the wait. I highly recommend this read. The four stars are only because the first third could have been greatly improved.
Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger
I’d like to start off this review by stating that this novel is nothing like Twilight so whatever hang-ups you may have about Stephenie Meyer’s original series should be set aside. As an avid reader, I’m a firm believer in that “the book is always better” saying so when I found out that there was a The Host movie in the works I couldn’t resist bumping this novel to the top of my to-be-read pile. Saying that I’m glad I did would be a gross understatement; I was glued to my ear buds from the moment I first pressed play!
The Host is unlike anything that I have ever read thanks to its emotionally complex story, unique POV and unlikely love triangle. This is one of those books that when you’re done reading it, you’ll need to take a moment to let it all sink in. I really enjoyed the two-characters-for-the-price-of-one aspect of this novel; it gave a whole new meaning to the “we” and “our” possessive pronouns. In this instance, instead of talking about a group of people the author is referring to the two minds in one body which made for one heck of an interesting first person POV. Kate Reading does an excellent job of sounding “other” while narrating from Wanderer’s perspective and human while reading from Melanie’s. Her voice is mesmerizing and definitely helped to make this 23 hour audiobook just fly by.
Normally, love triangles are one of my biggest pet peeves in fiction but Meyer’s is so outside of the box that it’s impossible not to get caught up in the characters’ emotions. Imagine having two people inside of your head who are in love with different guys! Not only that, but Wanderer and Mel’s psyches become so closely intertwined over time that it’s a challenge (even for them) to determine which feelings belong to whom. Throw some good old fashioned jealousy into the mix and you’re left with one incredibly complicated predicament!
A lot of really interesting questions surface in this book but the one that I personally found the most fascinating was what it means to be human. In the beginning the answer is pretty clear cut: humans = good and souls = bad. However, as the story progresses that line becomes progressively blurrier. Does the answer simply come down to a matter of genetics or is it a person’s actions that determine their humanity? By the end of this book I was surprised by how much my opinion of Wanderer had shifted. Although, it’s important to note that she’s not a typical soul so even though she won me over, the rest of her race did not.
The Host is an emotionally charged story that redefines the classic love triangle and take the first person POV to a whole new level. After finishing this novel the first thing that came to my mind was how in the heck are they ever going to make a movie out of this? I have a sneaky suspicion that as usual, the book will be better than the film.
Perfect listen. Audiobooks are always a different experience from reading the actual text, but a great text with a great narrator= awesome! Love the book, love the audiobook. Have listened to it many times now, and will listen to it lots more. I only get the ones worth listening to more than once. Highly recomend it! (sorry for any typos, jumping toddlers are helping my focus :))
I am picky about what I read and this was very well done and very well read. I love a good book and tire of spending money on books and writers that feel that we must have profanity every couple of pages. I only remember a couple in the whole reading. In my opinion, profanity has never made a story more interesting. I highly recommend this one. Unless you like all the profanity
I started reading this book, but then I transitioned to audio so that I could listen to it on the 45 minute commute to work. I found myself sitting in the car just to see what would happen next. I also did not mind playing the book when my children were in the car with me. As stated, this is very clean, yet very interesting. The reader does a wonderful job helping you fall in love with every character. I can't wait until the next novel!
I chose this novel because I couldn't find anything else I wanted. Lucky me!! I loved this book, it was captivating. The choice of narrator was excellent. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who likes alternative sci-fi.
The plot is entirely believable and the characters all have their own charm and imperfections. I could go on about this book for hours, but I wouldn't want to spoil things for you.
This was truly the first audio book that I simply couldn't take out of my ears/head. Although it goes along a relatively simple story line the emotions are so well depicted and so well interpreted by the reader that you simply can not put your audio device down. I will sure be listening to it once again. It was simple and beautiful, sci-fi and love story, epic journey and family affair all in one. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to feel.
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