This is a book you are not going to find one single vampire in. For some people, that is a good thing; for others, maybe not. The Host is a science fiction post-apocalyptic romantic thriller written by the author of the Twilight series, Stephanie Meyer, during a short break from her vampire novels. Not being a huge reader of either vampires or science fiction, I was a bit hesitant to pick up this title. What I found, however, was a surprise.
Aliens known as “Souls” have invaded the Earth and taken over the bodies of the majority of the human race. Our main character is one particular Soul, named Wanderer, who has just arrived on the newly conquered Earth, and inhabited the body of a young woman, Melanie. Though taking over the body of a human is intended to completely erase the mind, heart and soul of that person, Wanderer finds this isn’t so.
Soon Wanderer is fighting a war against the spirit of Melanie who is still inside her. She must come to grips with the vivid pictures in her mind of the human world that is now gone, and memories of the man Melanie once loved. Wanderer finally betrays her own kind and finds herself, led by Melanie, to the edges of the desert, where they both hope to find the last remnants of the human race still hanging on, fighting for their survival.
Perhaps it was my affinity for post-apocalyptic stories that finally won out, but this book grew on me, till I found myself possessed, and pulled down into the imagery, the unique array of characters and imaginative story-telling. This book is a must-read for any science fiction fan, and if you are not, then perhaps this book forms a good bridge into the genre.
For Stephanie Meyer’s huge (and sometimes frightening) fan base, I will warn that this is not at all similar to Twilight, and strays far from the sort of young adult fiction that might be expected. However, Stephanie Meyers magical skills of story weaving cannot be denied. The Host is fresh, compelling, and at some points so disturbing you will have to put it down and watch a cartoon for a while.
Four stars out of five!