The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Rating 7.5/10
An alternative look at the question: Can love conquer all?

The Host is Stephenie Meyer’s first non-Twilight Saga publication. Touted as science-fiction for those who don’t do science fiction, The Host is another love story against the odds. Earth has been invaded by aliens, who call themselves Souls. The Souls are inserted into human brains, becoming the human, keeping their memories and using their bodies. Melanie Stryder was one of a group of renegade humans until she was caught by the Seekers (Souls in human bodies whose Calling, or job, is to seek out and capture all remaining humans).

The soul chosen to be implanted into Melanie’s body is Wanderer, a soul whom, as her name suggests, has been on many planets and is 1’000 human years old. The Seekers believe that by inserting such an experience Soul into Melanie’s mind and body, Wander will be able to extract important information from Mel’s memories that the Seekers can use to seek out and capture more of the remaining native humans.

“I hate you,the voice snarled in my head.

“Then maybe you should leave,” I snapped. The sound of my voice, answering her aloud, made me shudder again.

She hadn’t spoken to me since the first moments I’d been here. There was no doubt that she was getting stronger. Just like the dreams.”

Quote from The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Wanderer doesn’t find the insertion and acclimatisation to the new host difficult as Mel will not just lie down and let Wanderer let her mind be used as an open book. The reason for this is that Mel doesn’t want to give information to the Souls that will lead to the capture of her lover and brother, Jared and Jamie. Melanie’s strength within their shared mind keeps growing, and she begins to influence the Soul with memories that come through to Wanderer in dreams, inadvertently causing the Soul to gain strong feelings towards the two humans that Mel loves.

The Soul and Body begin to empathise with each other and they realise that they must work together if they are to prevent the capture of Jared and Jamie. Love and longing drive both the Soul and Human to go in search of their shared loves, but can they work together in the shared mind and body to act effectively.

Anyone who has read any of the Twilight saga will recognise Stephenie Meyers signature style. The love story, the impossibilities for the love to continue, as well as her distinct changes in pace. With Meyers books, it seems that you can be doing 100 miles per hour, flying through the pages and then she hits the brakes. In my experience, her books are hard to put down because even in the slower pages which seem a bit boring, you know that the writer will put her foot down on pedal at any point. This book is over 600 pages long, which I think is probably a hundred and fifty pages too many as some of the detail is a little unwarranted.

If Melanie and Wanderers troubles do not grab you from the start it would be a hard book to finish, but I think the author has done a brilliant job of tearing us between both of the protagonists in this story, forcing us to read and read until we have a conclusion. Some of the descriptions of the humans and how we do things is fascinating and thought provoking and the story makes it easy to see things from the point of view of the invaders.

It is easy to see why Stephenie Meyer has become such a big success. Her books may not be literary greats, but as seems to be the case with most authors of bestselling books, the story grabs the reader so much that the lack of writing quality is more than made up for in the story. For you fans of fantasy it may seem a little bit too sci-fi for you, but if you enjoyed any of the Twilight saga I’m certain you will enjoy this.

Overall I would rate The Host 7.5/10. An alternative look at the question “Can love conquer all?”

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The Host reader reviews

from Sri Lanka


I thought the book was so amazing. I was nvr a book reader and this is my second book to read. It was truly fascinating. I liked the way stephenie ended the story. Pretty great

from Germany


I would recommend the book to people who are not overly into sci-fi, since it is quite mild and not too science-ish. It is well written, which was obvious since it is by Stephenie Meyer. Definitely one of my favorite books. The characters are so lovable (and hateable) and they really makes you think about our human traits, such as aggression, selfishness and arrogance. Th only relatively (but not overly) contra point is that it gets quite sappy at times.

8.5/10 from 3 reviews

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