Title: The Host
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Genre: Science Fiction
Page Count: 400 too many (619)
Why I read it: Recommended by Felicia
The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of their human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed. But Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves--Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.--From publisher description.
WARNING: Rant ahead. I really disliked this story, but I understand that there are plenty of Stephenie Meyer fans, and I won't hold that against you if you won't hold this negative review against me. :)
How is Stephenie Meyer a published author? I ask you, how? She cannot write. She blathers on and on for 600+ pages, and still doesn't manage to tell a compelling story.
I hated the main character. Hated! I have never read a more hypocritical, self-righteous character than Wanda/Wanderer. Of course, I blame the author for inconsistency. How does it make any sense for a supposedly peace-loving, good, kind alien species to conquer world after world, murdering entire species? And this is the kind of character I'm supposed to root for and fall in love with? One that over and over calls humans monsters, and talks about how horrible they are, all the while living in a body that is not her own, that she stole. While her species is systematically murdering the human race? And the humans are monsters? Is this supposed to be entertainment?
Let's suppose that someone who is stronger than you moves themselves into your house. Not only do you not want them there, but you're expected to just leave. In fact, the person who moved into your house is annoyed that you're still there. Why are you still there? It's their house now. But, because you refuse to leave, you're stuck living in a tiny closet, with no way to communicate with the outside world. But see, the person who moved into your house is really nice. Really, really nice (except for the fact that she stole your house). So all your neighbors and family start to love her. And they start to think that she has as much right to live in your house as you do. Even though as long as she's there, you'll only ever be able to live in the tiny closet with no outside contact. But heck, you might as well love her too. Cause she's so nice and she's such a good person (except for the fact that she stole your house, and also she thinks that murdering entire species over and over on various worlds is perfectly acceptable, but besides that she totally hates violence--killing is okay, as long as you do it nicely).
I could even take all that if the story wasn't so mind-numblingly boring. There is just not much going on, but we get to read every detail of it. Every single detail. The characters are flat--there's no one to root for or even care about, because all we get to hear about is what Wanda thinks, and whether or not everybody likes Wanda. That's how we could determine who the good guys and bad guys were, of course. Whether or not you love Wanda. If you distrust or dislike the alien parasite who has taken over and suppressed a human body and mind, well, you're obviously a bad guy in this story.
I don't think I'll be reading anything else that Meyer writes. Sorry, fans, but she's just not for me.