Saturday, August 31, 2013

Audio: The Host

I listened to an audio version of The Host written by Stephenie Meyer and read by Kate Reading. The book is set on Earth, where aliens have taken over by entwining themselves with the spinal cords and brains of human host bodies. These aliens (who call themselves souls) are gentle, peaceful creatures (with the exception of seekers) who decided to take over because humans are prone to violence and destruction. The main character and narrator, Wanderer, is one such soul, who has been placed in the body of one of the few human resistance fighters (or really just survivors) left, Melanie. She finds that her host is not going to fade away easily, and so begins the story.

(picture taken from Photobucket; uploaded by allwaysatoffee;
probably a promotional picture from the movie, which I haven't seen)

First Impression: Meyer uses simple language in this book, which was also the case in her Twilight series. Perhaps because she's writing about an alien, or "soul," most of the time, her style seems more appropriate for this type of book. Reading does a very good job varying her voice between characters, especially with the small difference in tone she uses between Wanderer and Melanie. It makes a big difference when they are having conversations internally. There isn't the same "teen drama" as I found in Twilight, so I'm enjoying The Host so far.

Conclusion: I found myself genuinely curious throughout the book as to what might happen to Wanda and Melanie. Will they be separated? Will one of them disappear? Will Wanda fall in love or steal more bodies for her kind? Okay, that last one was a little complicated. But generally, I just found myself curious as I read on. I saw a lot of things coming in this book, mostly because I had so many ideas; one of them was bound to be right. The encouragement of these ideas is what I like in a book such as The Host, so I would consider Meyer successful in that respect. The extraction about 65% of the way through the book is very well done--possibly one of the best parts. I can't be more specific or I'll ruin it, but Meyer shows a great eye for detail in that section of the story. While I'm not sure that I like where that portion ends, I think it is more true to Wanda's character because of my non-agreement. I find the emphasis on the body in connection with love very interesting. I don't necessarily agree that the body has such a strong physical reaction against the mind, but the connection fit in well with the story. I don't think this novel needed to be so long in order to tell Meyer's tale, but it is more well-rounded than the Twilight series, which I hope is a sign that Meyer is maturing as an author. I also think she does better with sci-fi than with dark fantasy. Maybe it's the higher ratio of science to drama. Anyway, this book saved Meyer as an author that I might read in the future. I'll probably read the next one she writes.

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