Reviews for Host


Booklist Reviews 2008 March #1
You might assume that Meyer's best-selling Twilight series (published for YAs), about the intense love between a human teen and a vampire, takes the interspecies relationship thing about as far as it can go. There's where you'd be wrong. Meyer's ingenious adult-market debut, heavily but not tediously indebted to Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, imagines the tangled web of attachments between an alien parasite and the colony of humans to which the alien's host body once belonged. Meyer boldly chooses to narrate from the perspective of the invading alien, a 1,000-year-old female "soul" named Wanderer, and it is a tribute to the author's skill that Wanderer is a sympathetic protagonist despite the fact that she tells her tale while clinging to the cerebellum of a human victim, 17-year-old Melanie. As Melanie's unusually resistant consciousness begins to seep into Wanderer's own identity, she finds herself seeking out one of the last outposts of human civilization to reunite with the people her body once loved. Some readers will find the opening scenes too hurried and contrived, and the unusually large number of humans willing to fraternize with the enemies seems idealized. But the view of the apocalypse from the vantage point of one of its horsemen makes for propulsive reading, laden with unforgettable, unsettling scenes that raise fascinating questions about distinctions between essential human identity and its physical vessel. Consider buying duplicate sets of Meyer's ouevre, one for adults and one for YAs, since this entertaining, somewhat soft-focus sf saga will only serve to broaden the penumbra of Meyer's fame. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2008 March #1
The body snatchers are coming, but they just want to talk--to themselves.Meyer, author of the Twilight young-adult series (Eclipse, 2007, etc.) concerning the latter-day adventures of werewolves and vampires, turns inward and cerebral with her debut book for adults. That is to say, her protagonists are no longer throat-rippers; neither is this novel wholly a bodice-ripper, even if it does involve a drippy, kissy-face romance and sometimes strays into the space-gothic genre. The problem for studly young Jared throughout is just who he's kissing, since his beloved, young Melanie Stryder--echoes of The Fellowship of the Ring there--has been swallowed up like poor Smagol by an extraterrestrial being who turns out to be, well, pretty OK once you get to know him/her/it. Melanie has taken a spill down an elevator shaft while trying to avoid becoming one of the pod people. Fortunately, the aliens have a good health plan, and the great and noble soul called Wanderer finds Melanie's shell to be reasonably capacious and well-appointed enough to serve as a vessel. Yet Melanie hasn't been wholly evicted, and Wanderer and she find themselves locked in an uncomfortable dialog: "I hate you, the voice hissed in my head. ‘Then maybe you should leave,' I snapped." Wanderer may have lived on six or seven planets--opinion among the ETs varies--and may have "been almost everything," but he/she/it has never taken on a liberated American woman. In time, just as things start to get weird in the sci-fi world, Wanderer and Melanie reach an accommodation--at least of a sort. Who has to wash the dishes? Who gets to do the kissing? ("His tongue twisted with mine, and there was no part of my mind that was not invaded by the insane desire that possessed me.") Stay tuned, earthlings.A clever premise and competent writing keep this from turning into a pastiche, though after a couple of hundred pages, readers may wish that just one artery would get punctured. Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Reviews 2008 January #1
Melanie isn't ready to give in to Wanderer, who's arrived with a phalanx of souls from outer space and wants to snatch Melanie's body. With a ten-city tour. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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Library Journal Reviews 2008 April #1

Meyer's YA vampire novels (Breaking Dawn will be out in August) have been touted in the Wall Street Journal as successors to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. And with a fan base that has grown exponentially with each new release, they may not be far off. All of which makes the publication of Meyer's first adult novel even more noteworthy. It lives up to the hype, blending science fiction and romance in a way that has never worked so well. In this page-turner, Meyer explores what happens to relationships when two beings inhabit the same physical body. Earth has been overrun by an alien species called Souls, which invade human bodies and erase personalities. As the novel opens, Melanie Stryder, one of the few human holdouts, has been captured by the aliens and is implanted with a Soul named Wanderer, who is something of a legend among her own kind because of the many hosts and planets she has experienced. Inhabiting a human mind and body is unlike anything Wanderer has ever known, and soon she finds that Melanie isn't quite willing to give up to this invader. Overwhelmed by Melanie's memories and feelings, Wanderer finds herself driven to reconnect with Melanie's old life. As with her vampire novels, Meyer will make new fans of readers "who don't read books with aliens." Highly recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/08.]--Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI

[Page 77]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 March #5

In this tantalizing SF thriller, planet-hopping parasites are inserting their silvery centipede selves into human brains, curing cancer, eliminating war and turning Earth into paradise. But some people want Earth back, warts and all, especially Melanie Stryder, who refuses to surrender, even after being captured in Chicago and becoming a host for a "soul" called Wanderer. Melanie uses her surviving brain cells to persuade Wanderer to help search for her loved ones in the Arizona desert. When the pair find Melanie's brother and her boyfriend in a hidden rebel cell led by her uncle, Wanderer is at first hated. Once the rebels accept Wanderer, whom they dub Wanda, Wanda's whole perspective on humanity changes. While the straightforward narrative is short on detail about the invasion and its stunning aftermath, it shines with romantic intrigue, especially when a love triangle (or quadrangle?!) develops for Wanda/Melanie. 10-city author tour. (May)

[Page 42]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 June

Adult/High School-- A race of parasitic aliens has nearly completed its benevolent conquest of the aggressive, violent human race. By implanting themselves into humans, the souls have access to all of the hosts' memories and emotions and are indistinguishable from them. The humans do not realize they're being taken over until it is nearly too late. Some resist the invasion, including Melanie Stryder, her brother, and her lover. When Melanie is killed on a mission, her body is taken over by a soul named "Wanderer." Melanie's memories prove overwhelming for Wanderer, who eventually succumbs to her need to search out her family. What follows is a tale of survival, friendship, and love. By discussing Earth's invasion from the conqueror's viewpoint, the novel takes a unique look at a fairly standard plot device. It overcomes a slow beginning after Wanderer reaches the humans and begins to care about the ones she meets personally. She comes to love Melanie's brother like her own, fights her body's attraction to Melanie's lover, and grows ever closer to another human, Ian. The humans in turn accept Wanderer as a valuable and caring individual, rather than as Melanie's oppressor. They overcome their prejudices and begin to work together in the humans' best interests. Host will likely appeal to readers interested in supernatural romance or character-driven science fiction. Questions of what defines humanity and love add a philosophical angle to an engaging and entertaining title.--Karen E. Brooks-Reese, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA

[Page 171]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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