The Host: Book summary and reviews of The Host by Stephenie Meyer

The Host

A Novel

by Stephenie Meyer

The Host
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • Published in USA  May 2008
    624 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"While the straightforward narrative is short on detail about the invasion and its stunning aftermath, it shines with romantic intrigue" - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. It lives up to the hype, blending science fiction and romance in a way that has never worked so well." - Library Journal

"A clever premise and competent writing keep this from turning into a pastiche, though after a couple of hundred pages, readers may wish that just one artery would get punctured." - Kirkus Reviews

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Reader Reviews

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CAROL D

Host is Fantastic
The Body Snatchers but a thousand percent better.

You follow the Wanderer and see life from the perspective of the "Parasite". Our world as we know it is now dominated by the "Body Snatchers" known as Souls. The Souls are pure, kind, and gentle. The Souls have monitored our planet and believe that they could do a better job running things since we are a brutal human race.

The Wanderer's "Host" body is Melanie. Melanie was suppose to disappear when the Wanderer enters her body but Melanie is not going down without a fight.

You will laugh, you will cry,you will fall in love over and over again...and you will not want the story to end.

Cloggie Downunder

Excellent non-Twilight Meyer
Stephenie Meyer’s (so far) stand-alone novel, The Host, departs from her popular Twilight series and explores the theme of bodily possession of humankind by alien souls. As we follow the soul of Wanderer, who is implanted into the body of her host, Melanie Stryder, we gradually learn the history of this alien species and how their possession works. The spanner in the works for Wanderer comes when she realises that Melanie’s soul has not given up the body, and that they inhabit the body together. Having at first dutifully reported this to her supervisor/advisor, a Seeker, she begins, eventually, to have sympathy with her host and manages to escape. The real fun begins when she manages to track down a colony of humans who have so far escaped possession, including Melanie’s younger brother Jamie and her (pre-possession) lover, Jared. This is a thick book to read, but Meyer keeps the reader’s interest easily. The situation where Wanderer’s (Wanda’s) soul and Melanie’s soul, both inhabiting the same body, have fallen in love with two different men, creates an especially delicious dilemma. This was a great read, and, with the Twilight series complete, let us hope Meyer turns her talent to more like this one. There are rumours of sequels in the pipeline called The Soul and The Seeker.

Roselanni

The Host
The Host by Stephenie Meyer is a science fiction thriller, where an alien race of parasites takes over earth, and uses humans for host bodies. Humans tried to fight back against the parasites in the beginning but eventually lost, leaving only a handful of humans left, struggling to maintain their true human nature and keep their spiritual existence as well.
The story picks up after the majority of the world has been infected, and controlled by these parasites, and follows two companion characters. Melanie Stryder, a human, and Wanderer, a soul who has recently been inserted inside Melanie who is now her “host”. Her host, Melanie, was a part of the human resistance, but upon being hunted down by aliens, she jumped down an elevator shaft, committing suicide.
Melanie’s body is taken and healed by the aliens, who then insert Wanderer inside her. Melanie, still struggling to retain her own souls dominance over her body fights against Wanderer to control the body. Wanderer is eventually able to control the body, but still is not fully able to suppress Melanie’s strong will and memories.
Wanderer is supposed to notify her superiors of any resistance from within the host, but Melanie suppresses her enough to hold her from telling the aliens. Wanderer begins to invade Melanie’s memories and discovers the memory of her little brother Jamie and the love of her life, Jared.
Wanderer and Melanie develop a friendship of sorts because they have to coincide in one body together, and Wanderer begins to sympathise with Melanie over what her people have done to their world. Wanderer also begins to develop similar feelings of love for the memories of Melanie’s loved ones, Jamie and Jared. Eventually this leads to the two of them embarking on a journey to find the two of them, if they are still alive and haven’t been turned into host bodies.
Wanderer eventually discovers a group of rebel humans, led by Melanie’s Uncle Jeb. The rebels, who include Jamie and Jared, capture her and she then spends the majority of the story held in their captivity, until she is released and has a change in heart towards the humans. She begins to integrate into the human community the rebels have developed, and becomes a helpful asset to them.
The integration of Melanie’s memories into Wanderers mind have allowed her to develop strong feelings for Jared, which creates a strange love triangle between her, Melanie and Jared.
The main theme of this story causes you to reflect on what it truly means to be human. Wanderer allows us to see both the good and bad natures of humanity from her perspective.

Lynn

Not as good as Twilight Series
First, I have to admit I don't read much Science Fiction and I may just prefer the fiction genre. However, my real problem with this book is that it wasn't edited well. I enjoyed the Twilight series so much that Stephenie Meyers wrote and think she is extremely talented. I found "The Host" to be several hundred pages too long. Some of the character conversations were more for a younger audience yet this book was written for adult readers. This book would have been so much better "with much less". The book took a long time to get a stride, but there were some very interesting parts from the middle to the end. I encourage Stephenie to keep trying adult books. I will give her next book a try.

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Author Information

Stephenie Meyer Author Biography

Stephenie Meyer was born in Connecticut in 1973, but grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and considers herself a native. She went to high school in Scottsdale, Arizona. She was awarded a National Merit Scholarship, and she used it to pay her way to Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah. she majored in English, but concentrated on literature rather than creative writing.

Meyer is the author of the Twilight series, as well as the stand-alone novel The Host. She lives in Cave Creek, Arizona with her husband and two sons.

Link to Stephenie Meyer's Website

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