The Host

This one by Stephenie Meyer, creator of the Twilight series, came up with the idea of this book while driving in her car so it shouldn’t be that well developed of a story but it is. In fact, in three words or less – it’s totally absorbing!

Imagine an alien race insidiously invading the earth and taking over our bodies and we don’t realize it until the human race as we know it is an endangered species. The “souls”, as the aliens call themselves, are implanted into a “a host” body and will retain all of that person’s memories but the conscience will be gone or rather, should be gone. In this case, the host, Melanie, is so strong willed that she refuses to “go away” and the story becomes a first person perspective from both the alien and the human fighting for survival.

Meyers tells a compelling story about a peace-loving but parasitic alien race and how it functions within the human culture and then gives us the gripping tale of the human survivalists. In the end, the reader becomes sympathetic to the “Soul” as well as the human.

I liked many things about this story but I especially enjoyed the idealized version of society. Instead of doctors, they “healers”. Their medicines were called “Heal”, “cool”, “clean”. Everything was free: food, tools, clothing, even gas! everyone did their jobs politely, peacefully and without payment. They even played professional sports and kept the newspapers and tv the same but you can imagine the content if everyone is at peace with their neighbor. Meyers kept the story moving between the 2 main characters and only glancingly did she mention societal functions but it was enough to put the readers’ imagination to work.

I listened to this book a few years ago and it has stuck with me ever since. The actor who portrayed the main “soul” and Melanie, the human, did a really wonderful job of creating individuals just by varying her speech pattern. I didn’t have any trouble figuring out who was speaking when. So, a few weeks ago, I decided to read the written version and see if there was any difficulties with understanding who was speaking and I did not have a problem there either. I mention this because 2 other people who had tried to read this book did have a problem with that. I think if you can get through the implantation which comes at the very beginning, then you can easily understand the rest of the book. In whatever way you decide to read this book, I think you will highly enjoy it! For my 2 friends that could not, the movie will be out next year! Happy reading!

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