The Host

There is a special place reserved in hell for Stephenie Meyer.  Her Twilight series has destroyed vampires.  Only, her vampires aren’t vampires at all.  They drink blood, I think, because I honestly can’t remember any of them drinking blood in the movie.  Maybe they drink blood in the books.  I don’t know.  I’ll never read them.  The wife, who now denies ever saying this, told me that her other book, The Host, was more Sci-Fi and post-apocalyptic and she thought I would enjoy it.

I can’t say I hated the book, but I can say it definitely was not a “can’t put down” read.  I mean, I might instead say it was an “always put down” read.  During the two months it took me to plow through her 600+ page novel, if I was ever presented a choice between reading the book or doing something else I always chose to do something else.

The story of the book is this… aliens come to Earth.  These aliens are a form of parasitic being that can only live in another host body and when they do so they “take over” in that the person who was there is imprisoned deep down inside and never comes back.  These aliens aren’t hostile, in fact they are so peaceful they insist that they decided to annihilate mankind (without actually killing anyone) because humans were flawed and killing each other anyway.  They did it “for our own good”.  We get to follow one soul (what the aliens are called) who is implanted into a woman who was previously resisting the aliens.  Essentially, if a person is aware of the aliens before implantation they are more able to resist being mentally squashed.  So Melanie (the human) remains conscious inside as Wanderer takes over.  There is a lot of touchy feely stuff and eventually Wanderer decides to go out into the desert to see if she can find Jered (Melanie’s boyfriend) and Jamie (Melanie’s brother).  She does find them, and thirty five other people, hiding out there and the two of them (Melanie and Wanderer) try to find a place to fit in among the rebels.

This is definitely a “chick” book.  Most of the action happens between chapters or off screen.  Because Wanderer is our point of view for the entire book, we stay with her while she stays inside and other people run off to steal supplies and fight the bad guys.  There are a lot of emotions and feelings and crying and love and …. and a bunch of stuff that really I found I could not care less about.  Not because I’m some heartless person, but because I had no desire to care about the main character.  You see, the point of view is Wanderer, the alien, and from page one of the book I felt that the aliens were arrogant smug assholes.  At best, our heroine is an ignorant useless waste of space who has never bothered even considering that by taking over other bodies they are, in effect, killing people.  It takes nearly 600 pages for Wanderer to come to the same conclusion that I had drawn in the first chapter, and it was the most tedious and boring journey I’ve ever partaken of.

I’d always flippantly said I wouldn’t read the Twilight books, even though, given time, I probably would have eventually.  Well, thankfully now I don’t have to.  After reading this pile of pages I have absolutely no desire at all to ever read anything written by Mrs. Meyer again.  Ever.  I am sure there are people out there who would enjoy this book, in fact I’ve talked to a few of them, but I could not in good conscience recommend this to anyone.

4 comments

  1. Thank you for this post. I was considering trying that book and now I know I won’t like it.
    Cheers.

  2. Michael says:

    You should submit this review to Pajiba. This would be right up there ally. They don’t like Stephenie Meyer very much either. You could also make it as harsh as you want too.

    • Jason says:

      Except, I don’t like Pajiba. 🙂 Really, the only harsh criticism I left out was a Nazi comparison. It went something like “Asking me to care about Wanderer is like asking me to care about a German soldier working at a WWII death camp, sure they may not be responsible for the decision to run the camps and even may help free prisoners later but in the meantime he’s still escorting Jews into the showers.” As good as the movie Schindler’s List is, I never feel close to Schindler because no matter how many Jews he saved, he still helped the Nazis. In this book I just never cared about the aliens. They were a race based on genocide, no matter how nice they were about it.

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