04 March 2009

The Host (Stephenie Meyer)

Wow Stephenie.
You're awesome at that.
But mind-snatchers who invade earth?
You SUCK at that.

Now, I'm not going to talk about Meyer's literary skills here. She can string a sentence together just fine and as for sexual tension, she's got that all tied up. (Tee hee.) But The Host was ABOMINABLE.

Basic premise: Wanderer is a sprite/soul/silvery ghost thing who is part of a species who go to lands that are screwed up in some way, take over their minds and make everyone happy and peaceful. Good in theory but kind of nixes freedom of thought etc. These sprites have come to Earth and before our planet they were on a planet covered in seaweed. (I'm guessing kelp has conflict issues that don't really come to light when we just see it floating past us in the water). However, the body that Wanderer is inserted into belongs to the strong-willed Melanie who refuses to give up her soul. Thus we have two minds in one body.

This is where it gets ridiculous.

Melanie is in love with a guy called Jared and she convinces Wanderer to go find him, hoping he is hiding in the desert and has not been brainwashed. Conveniently, he is and Wanderer plays along, as she is feeling slightly disillusioned with her parasitic race.

Cue unfortunate occurrence:

Wanderer falls in love with Jared.
Melanie is still in love with Jared.
Thus the origin of the marketing tag: "What may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies."


Apart from the ridiculously confusing plot (I over-simplified for you), my other beef is that this was Meyer's first adult book. The Twilight Series is kind of racy for teenagers and I was expecting Meyer to bump up the sex if she was intentionally writing for adults. What kept me going through this doorstop of a novel was the possibility of hot alien sex.
Didn't happen.
We don't even get resolution at the end; I closed the book feeling unsatisfied, unconvinced and depressed. NOT how I normally feel when I read Stephenie Meyer.

Rating: 4/10.
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