Author: Stephenie Meyer
Length: 617 pages
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Ah! So GOOOD! I saw a meme hating on twilight and being all like "take the love triangle out of twilight and all you are left with is a girl who moves to a town where it rains lot". But if you take the love triangle out of The Host, you still have an alien invasion going on, and a small group of the human resistance hidden in caves, and did I mention that there are aliens invading human bodies. So, well done, Stephenie Meyer, mucho improvo.
So, more specifically, Melanie was found, her body salvaged after her failed escape and attempted suicide by the aliens for memory interrogation, to see if there are other human resistors out there. Wanderer has been placed in Melanie's body, given the task of searching Melanie's memories for information about the humans that might still be out there. The problem is, Melanie won't go away. Every other host that Wanderer has been in has been silent, but Melanie is still there, being a pain in the ass, and filling Wanderers thoughts with images of Jared, the man Melanie loves. All this first bit of the book is a bit of a snore-fest really; it drags for the first 100 pages until they get out into the desert and the other human characters start to feature. Oh, and Meyer can't help herself and puts in a very twilight-esque older male love interest who lets Melanie's age and his own honour get in the way of a them having a bed shaking good time. But once it gets into the caverns where the humans are hiding, the story gets a lot more interesting. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but the main ones stand out fairly quickly. Wanderer and Melanie find the remaining members of Melanie's family, and Wanderer has a new challenge on her hands: instead of fighting Melanie, she now has to survive for both of them.
The story itself is really interesting. I like that there are parts of the whole invasion thing that are not all doom and gloom, boo hoo, end of the human race. I also really like that the book is from the perspective of Wanderer, rather than a human. I think that if the primary POV was human it would be a lot harder to empathise with Wanderer.
I really like how Melanie and Wanderer interact, and how their closeness (sharing a mind) means that their relationship and dynamic changes so much throughout the book. However, I really didn't like Wanderer's self sacrificing spiel in the last third of the book, and her whole "difficult decision has to be made, but I can't tell anyone, and I am going to stare at people sadly instead of saying goodbye" bit gets on my nerves.
Overall I really liked this book, and am really looking forward to the film version coming out next year (although the two love interests, Ian and Jared, look far too similar in the preview pics I have seen on IMDB). Definite re-read potential. Thanks to the Fairy Book-Mother for lending it to me. 8 stars.