The Host, a novel by the beloved American novelist, Stephenie Meyer (author of the Twilight series), is a highly entertaining work that needs not be overlooked. Remember the chemistry Meyer created between our fictional vampire and human characters in Twilight? And the effect they left as they lingered in your thoughts all day? Stephenie Meyer does not disappoint, and once again she has brought to life a scenario and characters that you just cant get out of your head.
Published in April of 2008, The Host is classified as a science fiction novel, however it is also classified as a romance. The basis of the novel consists of an alien human race referred to as "souls" who forcefully inhabit earth and embody the humans who live there. Our main character "Wanderer," or "Wanda" as she is later called for short, is a soul that has inhabited a human's body - a beautiful, smart and strong young woman named Melanie. Before Melanie was captured and embodied by this soul, she survived in hiding with her young brother Jamie and boyfriend, the love of her life, Jared.
When the "souls" embody humans, the human mind within is supposed to become erased, non-existent, so that the "soul" can take over complete mental control of this new body and life as their own. Wanderer finds out all too soon that the human inside this new body of hers, Melanie, is a fighter and is very resistant to the takeover. That said, Wanderer and Melanie live simultaneously inside their head, tormenting each other on some levels. However what was once torment eventually evolves into a deep sisterhood love. Because of Melanie's undying presence in her head, Wanderer experiences all the same memories that Melanie has, human emotions, memories and the powerful determination to get back to Jared and Jamie.
The book is a journey of Wanderer and Melanie's search for the two people most important to Melanie, and the events and adventures thereof, eventually finding them along with the secret human colony living with them in underground caverns. Wanderer, although alien to the human race she embodies, becomes a part of them, interwoven by choice into their daily fabric, and their means of survival. Wanderer and one of the humans, a heart-throbbing young man named Ian, find an attraction but cant get past how to deal with love between two different races - human and alien. Love and companionship are tested, and in the end Wanderer finds herself left with a choice she needs to make - whether or not to bring Melanie back to existence and sacrifice herself, for the sake of both of her brother and Jared, who is still so much in love with Melanie. What she decides in the end is shocking, and completely throws a twist into the story.
The end leaves you grasping for more, to be honest I was so disappointed. But only selfishly. I wanted so badly for the story to continue, to find out how life goes after her decision had been made. Meyer definitely severed the novel at a perfect place for a sequel. Let's hope!
I don't have too many spoilers, but I will say that the familiar love triangle that Meyer created in Twilight is present in The Host too. The dynamics of the love and attraction battle between Wanderer, Jared and Ian is addicting, to say the least. It is the kind of story that keeps you up at night reading for hours. Although the book is amazing, the beginning is very confusing and can be hard to get though. Everything makes sense eventually though; it all comes full circle.
My bottom line is that I would recommend The Host, just as much as I would recommend Twilight. Happy reading!