Monday, 26 January 2009

The Host by Stephanie Meyer

Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, 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.

Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind 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 begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.

Meyer likes writing love stories. It didn't matter that in Twilight the lovers were humans, vampires, and werewolves. We still enjoyed it and the supernatural forces just added a new twist to it all.

The same goes for The Host. What, you don't like stories about aliens? Don't worry about it. Although this book will be found on the Science Fiction shelf in the bookstore, it is still a love story. In fact, it is a very compelling one. If, like me, you make it past the first 150 pages, you will really enjoy it.

Imagine if the world were taken over by aliens. Beautiful little worms insert themselves into the backs of people's necks and then take over the human bodies. In spite of the fact that they've taken over the entire planet, the aliens are nice. Unlike their former human selves, the aliens are very passive and sweet. They don't even use money to buy things. They take care of each other.

Something strange happens, though. Wanderer, that's our narrator and the hero of our story, takes over the body of a very strong-willed woman and even after taking over her body, she can still hear the human in the back of her mind. Melanie, that's the human consciousness locked inside Wanderer's mind, is driven by her love for a man and an adopted son. Her love for them pushes her to fight back against Wanderer. Interestingly, Wanderer becomes haunted by Melanie's love. She sets out with the help of Melanie to find the man and boy.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 stars. There were times that I couldn't put it down and at one time my eyes even got a little misty (so I guess I did grow to really like and care about the characters).

If you thought you'd hate books about vampires but learned to like them, you may also find yourself discovering that science fiction love stories are pretty cool too.

4/5 Stars