The Host by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I think I've read "The Host" about 3 or 4 times now, and each time I think it's still just as amazing as the first time I read it.
In "The Host", Earth is invaded by an alien species originally from the "Origin" -- we know them as 'Souls' because they take over the bodies of the original species on a planet, these bodies are referred to as "Hosts". "The Host" follows one 'Soul' and one 'Host' in particular as they both try to find peace with the situation their in.
Unlike most hosts, Melanie isn't willing to give up, and Wanderer, the Soul, sees this as a challenge. At first they struggle both, but soon both the Host and the Soul learn that the other isn't as evil and horrible as they believed at first.
In short, the story could be described as the struggle of two minds in one body, both fighting to survive.
This time, as I started reading the story, I was convinced that I would be able to read "The Host" at a reasonable pace since I already read it a couple of times before. I knew how the story would end, but to no avail... after the 2nd or 3rd chapter I got sucked into the story, once again, and I ended up reading the remaining 500pages in no more than 1 day.
And no matter how much I like this story, I still find the start of the story rather boring. If it hadn't been for my curiosity about Stephenie Meyer's writing other than the Twilight books, I wouldn't have continued to read on the first time I read The Host. But, I did continue and that's something I'm really glad for, because once past the beginning of the story, it gets really, really good - in my opinion.
Like in every other book, there are some minor things that I don't like in "The Host". First of all, the beginning. Secondly, at some points there's just too much description for me. Personally, I didn't mind the length of the book, but I can imagine that a 600+ pages book can scare some people off. Something else is the ending of the story, I wasn't quite satisfied with that. To me, it was a little rushed. I wouldn't have minded if there was like an extra chapter before the final one. And then there are the names of the different planets, or at least the species on the different planets. To me, they seemed unbelievable, not realistic enough. Then again, "The Host" was, and always will be a science fiction novel - fiction being the keyword here.
Things I loved: the inner battle. I don't mind mental rambling in a story and this is something inevitable for the storyline in "The Host". It was actually my first sci-fi novel that I read and therefore it was 'refreshing' and 'unique' to me, but I can't tell if that's the same for other people. The main reason why I think I love this novel is probably because it isn't entirely focused on the alien invasion. There's more to the story than just that.
I read the edition with the bonus chapter, and as I pointed out earlier, I found the ending a little rushed, but, now that I've read the story with the bonus chapter, I think it's a little better.
While reading the story the first two times, I wasn't really a big fan of Ian, but the more I read the story, the more I seem to like the guy. My favorite character must be Jamie, though - or maybe Jeb. What's not to like about that crazy old man?
I've read "The Host" multiple times already, and I'm sure this wasn't the last time.
Some quotes that I liked:
- "It's not the face, but the expressions on it. It's not the voice, but what you say. It's not how you look in that body, but the thing you do with it. You are beautiful."
- "I knew it would begin with the end, and the end would look like death to these eyes. I had been warned."
- "Even if we all want you here, you don't belong until you decide you do."
- "We should have been wiser; we should have died yesterday."
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