Tag Archives: aliens

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

The Host by Stephenie Meyer (unabridged audiobook read by Kate Reading): A couple friends told me this was actually a pretty decent science fiction story, so as an unwilling Twilight fan, I decided to try it out. The Souls are a parasitic alien race that took over the population of Earth years before. This story is told from the perspective of Wanderer, a Soul occupying the body of one of the last members of the human resistance, Melanie. Though souls usually take over their hosts completely, Melanie is still very much aware and even speaks to Wanderer in her mind. I’d heard that since this book was written for adults (as opposed to young adults, like Twilight), that the writing would be higher quality. It isn’t. I could have done without such repetitious uses of “sob,” “chagrin,” and “in a low voice” in particular. I swear someone cries in every single chapter, and for the amount of plot this book could have easily been half as long. The love triangle between humans, human hosts, and Souls, is unbelievable and the oft-repeated ethical questions are not very well resolved. I also noticed a strange parallel with Twilight: again we have a teenage girl who wants to sleep with an older man, but the man rebuffs her because she is too young (and possibly because they’re not married, though it’s not said outright). Another teenage girl learns from this and claims to be a year older than she is to avoid this very obstacle. I guess we women are nothing but shameless harlots who need our menfolk to keep us on the righteous path.

Okay, okay, I guess I should say something nice about this book, since I did actually listen to all twenty (20!) discs of it. The descriptions of Wanderer’s past hosts were somewhat original. I was reasonably curious to see how Wanderer’s moral dilemmas at being a parasite would be addressed. But all in all, though the characters range from preteen to thousands of years old, everybody talks and thinks like teenagers. Which is appropriate in a series like Twilight, where most of the characters are teenagers, but adults aren’t generally this emo. If you finished the Twilight series and simply cannot get enough of Meyer’s awkward prose, then this could work as a stopgap measure. However, if you’re looking for a decent science fiction novel, skip this one. It’s not worth your time.

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