The Host with Bonus Chapter

The Host   - Stephenie Meyer I have to say, the storyline for this novel was AMAZING. Seriously. In this world, aliens have taken over the human species. But it wasn't done in the tyical hit-'em-up cliche I'm used to seeing on TV. Instead, it was done through transferred souls who take over the individuals themselves and assimilate into society. How cool is that?It reminded me of Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin, the complicated nature of body versus self, and where the two meet and end. In that respect, I was really impressed. And the struggling resistance was realistic. The constant fight to survive, find food, collect medicine, and keep the population going was captured in vivid detail. Coming from Meyer's less-enjoyed Twilight universe, I didn't expect such gritty realism. So what brought this down to an ok two stars? The romance. Again, I'm a Grinch when it comes to relationshippy plotlines in novels, but I thought the sappiness brought the story down. I wanted to know more about the world, and some of the best chapters involved the narrator wrestling with her soul in her host's body. So everytime the Love Interest appeared, she turned into a puddle of emotion. At first, I thought that was interesting, because it pitted Soul against Host, but then (six-hundred pages later) it was just about the kisses and the "wildfire in my stomach" feelings. I just wish I could have enjoyed Wanderer's newbie narration sans romance; she was a great character. Also, it seems that S.Meyer doesn't have sympathy for the nice guys. Poor Ian gets dragged through the emotional arena in this book. (Just saying.) But the background and plot for this novel was truly, truly awesome. It reminded me of James Tiptree Jr.'s short stories, and some of the creepy Twilight Zone episodes I used to watch as a kid. It was really fun to be back in that kind of world again.