The Host

Title: The Host
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Genre: Sci-fi, dystopia, speculative fiction
Source: E-book, owned

Finally! I finally reached the end of this book. I don't mean that in the negative way that it sounds...but just in that surprisingly this novel took me ALL of February to complete. That being said, I did wholly enjoy this novel and am glad I finally gave it a chance.

Before I go into likes and dislikes I need to tackle the subject of author vs. known writing style. I am guilty of doing something I'm not particularly proud of in my identification as a reader....I judged a book by the author's other books. You see, I read and sort of enjoyed Twilight. It was a light fluffy read that if I ignored everything I knew about vampires (which is a lot) and just enjoyed the jr. high crush feeling it fostered, I could enjoy it. I am not however a Twilight fan. Overall, it was ok. I've read significantly more interesting young adult novels and am not completely sure why these novels have received the popularity they have. But this is not about Twilight. This is about The Host. Honestly, if I'd been given this book without a cover, I would have never guessed that it was by Ms. Meyer. For this novel, her writing style changed and grew. The world was well-fleshed out, the characters were fully developed and capable of great changes (no limp rag Bellas here), and the story had a consistent arc and plot development. There was never a moment where I thought it went too long or should have ended sooner. I pre-judged this novel, and for that I'm sorry.

What I liked:

1. I found it interesting that our main character was actually a combination of two characters. Wanderer/Wanda is a kind being who is enjoying her species ability to join with and explore the lives the are taking over. Melanie is a human rebel. She has the strength, training, and of all things...the nerve to stay alive and unjoined. These two women have to learn to live together, work together, and love together...when they shouldn't have to.  Notice that neither of these women is a push-over or easily manipulated. It's awesome to have a 2-1 strong female lead.

2. The little details of the world building blew my mind. On the human side, there were things like people who were pre-prepared being considered crazy. Now they are the leaders. From the Soul side, there are details such as being trusting to the extreme or the easy to read labels.

3. Parts reminded me of other sci-fi entities that I enjoy. For example: The way the Souls bond to humans is initially explained to be very similar to how the Goa'uld join with their hosts.

What I disliked:

1. Length. This was not the novel to read on an iPhone e-reader. Holy will-it-ever-end-I'm-reading-on-quarter-length-pages Batman! I know this is silly and personal, but it may have been an easier read, for me, if I had this one as an actual paper book.

2. Some of the world building was so complete that some details weren't well explained or were assumed to be known. This primarily happened in descriptions and talk about the various planets that the Souls have come in contact with.  Some had great explanations and others were glossed over. It sometimes made it hard to keep everything straight in my mind.

Overall: I enjoyed this novel and am glad I finally gave it a chance.


**This novel was originally intended to be reviewed for Blogs with Bite, but I missed the due date. 
***This novel qualifies for the speculative fiction challenge ***


Becky said...

Im glad to know that her writing improved. I will finish the twilight series because I have started it, but i would have been too nervous to read any of her other books

Mandy said...

No. Don't worry about this one. The plot holes and simple sentences disappear in this novel. Good writing is ahead. Don't be afraid, Becky!

Drgnflygrl said...

I really enjoyed The Host. I have to admit that I am a Twilight fan and was excited to read Stephenie Meyer's attempt at an adult book. I have friends who weren't able to get into this book but I think a lot of people go into it expecting it to be another Twilight type story. The plot was well thought out and I loved the characters. There have been hints at a sequel in the making- I really hope so!

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