Reviewed by Elizabeth T.

Creatures called “souls” have infiltrated and taken over the Earth. People go through their daily routines as normal, but they are completely different from who they were before the invasion. The world is now a utopia. No one is hungry or sick. People only die of old age and war has been eliminated.

However, this new world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Souls are very small silver beings that attach to a host’s brain and take over the body, leaving the human imprisoned in his or her own mind. Wanderer is a special “soul.” She’s been on almost every planet her people have colonized and hasn’t found a world she really cares about. She’s implanted into Melanie, a girl who tried to kill herself to escape.

Melanie isn’t silent like she’s supposed to be and fights with Wanderer, who still has control over her body. After a few months of an unsatisfying life, Wanderer decides to go to a Healer to fix her problem with Melanie. She ends up following directions to find Melanie’s boyfriend and brother because she has developed a love for them through Melanie’s memories. Will she find them or will she just die in the wilderness? Will she lead other “souls” right to them and end up ruining their lives?

The Host is Stephenie Meyer’s first foray into the science fiction and adult fiction genres, published in between the third and fourth books in the Twilight series. I both enjoyed The Host and was impressed by it. I liked the Twilight books, but I look back on them and see that all needed more editing to make the plot seem more integrated as opposed to an afterthought. The writing in The Host is much better and shows that Meyer has grown and evolved as a writer.

[amazonify]0316068055[/amazonify]The narrative is very character driven and the writing really sucks the reader in. The plot doesn’t move very quickly, but I was so taken with the characters that it didn’t seem to faze me at all. From the point of view of the souls, humans seem incredibly destructive and violent, making their reasoning for taking over seem logical. This aspect of the novel was one of the most chilling. The whole idea of being inside of your body and seeing someone else walk around and communicate through it is  quite disturbing. It’s a cruel form of torture.

Meyer describes her novel as one for people who don’t like science fiction, but I completely disagree. I think fans of science fiction would enjoy The Host as well. I think everyone could find something they like in this novel, whether it’s action, adventure, romance, or science fiction.

Check out the reading group guide and visit Stephenie Meyer’s official website!

Elizabeth is a student at Cal State Long Beach. She laughs a lot, loves cats, and lives for music and books. You can read her blog at http://titania86-fishmuffins.blogspot.com/.

I have 3 copies of The Host to give away!

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Giveaway and review copies were provided free of any obligation by Back Bay Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.