Review by Pasquale
Stephenie Meyer is an American young-adult fiction writer and film producer, best known for her vampire romance series, Twilight. These novels gained worldwide recognition and sold millions of copies. Her new novel, The Host, was published in May 2008. Stephenie Meyer has confirmed that there will be two sequels, The Seeker and The Soul. The Host was adapted into a movie, which was released in 2013. Of course, the six hundred paged novel couldn’t be translated perfectly into the two hour movie, however, I found that the scenes they left out didn’t ruin the movie at all, and the story flowed nicely.
Saoirse Ronan (pronounced sear-sha) plays the protagonist, Wanderer. She is best known for her part in Atonement as Briony Tallis, and The Lovely Bones as Susie Salmon. She also played Daisy in How I Live Now. She is starring as Agatha in The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Rat in How to Catch a Monster, with both films currently in post-production.
Max Irons plays our very own Jared Howe. Best known for playing Lucius in Dorian Gray, and Henry in Red Riding Hood, he’s also featuring in Posh and The Devil’s Harvest, both in post-production. He is the son of Jeremy Irons, who is famous for more than 80 roles, including Scar from The Lion King, Rodrigo Borgias from The Borgias, and Macon Ravenwood from Beautiful Creatures.
Jake Abel plays Ian O’Shea. He’s best known for starring as Spencer Shay in Go Figure, and as Brian Nelson in The Lovely Bones. He played Luke Castellan in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief and Sea of Monsters. He’s also still in Hell as Adam Milligan, the youngest Winchester brother on Supernatural. Love and Mercy, where he acts as Mike Love, and Ghosts of the Pacific, where he acts as Gene Aldrich, are currently in post-production.
“Souls”, a species of parasitic aliens, have invaded Earth, deeming the humans too violent to deserve the planet. When a soul is implanted into a host body, the consciousness of the previous owner is erased, leaving only their memories. Wanderer, a soul who was given her name for not living more than one host’s life on any of her previous eight planets, is placed in the body of Melanie Stryder, one of the last few humans who have managed to avoid capture. However, Melanie wasn’t as gone as anyone would have hoped.
I know that many people were put off by The Host in fear that it would turn out to be like the Twilight series. Contrary to popular belief, it is very different, and for the better too. I adore how Stephenie Meyer created and built a world completely different from our own. Yes, there was romance in the story, however, the plot wasn’t driven by it. There were many sections in the book where not one of the love interests’ names were even mentioned for pages. Of course, that led the book to be suitable to a wider reading audience.
I loved how my feelings towards and for various characters changed throughout the book. In the very beginning, I absolutely despised Wanderer, for taking over Melanie’s body. During the course of the novel, I’ve warmed up to her, and as I did, I began to hate Jared for treating her so cruelly. Soon, I began to warm up to Jared as his attitude changed, and I began to dislike Ian for confusing Wanderer’s emotions. Gradually, I warmed up to Ian. I even found Kyle redeemed himself somewhat at the end! The only character that I detested for the entire book was the Seeker, who was the vilest character I have ever read about.
Honestly, I don’t think I have any issue with the book that’s worth mentioning, which is strange. It’s that good! Yes, it does have a few similarities with Twilight (love triangle, under-aged girl with over-aged guy etc), however, it does not hinder the story one bit. I eagerly await the sequels.
My favourite quote is: “There was no bond greater than the one that required your life for another’s” — Wanderer. Perhaps in the context in the book, it was very fitting with the life-or-death decisions. However, it is apparent in our every day life too, with our friendships, relationships and family.
The Host is a science-fiction/romance novel that follows one soul’s predicament when the consciousness of her human host refuses to cooperate with the takeover of her body. It is a fantastic book to read when you want to lose yourself in a terrifying and enchanting new world. The depth of it’s characters and their developments, I find, are really entrancing. Trust me, once you pick up this book, you won’t be able to put it down until you’ve blazed through all it’s pages, breathlessly.
I would rate it 9/10.
Note from Jace Vishus: I called her Seahorse Ronan for a solid year before I found out the real pronunciation.