The Host Book Review
Melanie Stryder is one of few "wild" human rebels who have evaded the alien souls currently taking over the Earth. With her younger brother, Jamie, and the man she loves, Jared Howe, Mel is on the run from souls who hunt down host bodies for use. Souls are creatures that rely on host bodies to survive. After insertion, they erase any mental presence of the being originally there and establish a claim over the body and mind. Earth is Wanderer's ninth planet, and Mel is her ninth host body. Upon waking inside her new body, she is shocked not only by the vividness of human emotions, memories, and senses, but quickly learns that Melanie Stryder is not willing to give up the entirety of her mind. Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga has often been described as vampire fiction for people who don’t like vampires. It is fair to say that with The Host, her latest novel, she has once again managed to break the usual genre stereotypes. This time, writing a science fiction novel for people who don’t like science fiction. Unlike the most popular alien invasion movies and science fiction television shows, The Host doesn’t have Will Smith or Richard Dean Anderson to save the planet against a background of gun fire, secret weapons, and loud explosions. In The Host humanity is lost, vastly outnumbered and overwhelmed by superior technology. There are tiny pockets of resistance left; just a handful of humans who have yet been captured, but they don’t spend their days plotting to retake the planet from the aliens. Just trying to survive consumes all their time. The Host isn’t really about saving the planet from alien invaders; it’s a story about what it is to be human, about identity and about individuality. Most of all The Host is a story about the nature of love. Romantic love, love of family, love of friends - all of these emotions are explored by Wanderer as she first surrenders to Melanie’s emotional memories then surrenders to...
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