The first thing that goes through any bookworm’s mind when they think “Stephenie Meyer” is “Oh, she’s that vampire wali author, no?” Yes, she is. And yes, the Twilight movies were adapted from Meyer’s books. But I will say this over and over again, like any booklover: The books were better. And the books weren’t as bad as the movies. [The movies had some bad acting. I say bad acting because there were some actors in there with tremendous acting capabilities. All of it gone to dust.]
Stephenie Meyer isn’t anything of a force to reckon with in literary circles. Her books mostly cater to teenage girls. Twilight, for example. It is about vampires, but those who are in their teens, one of whom falls in love with a teenage human girl. Of course, the larger picture brings older characters into the limelight, but attention is on the few school-going kids.
And just like the Twilight series, there comes The Host. I went into this book with few expectations, because I knew it was going to be an easy, breezy read sans the literary quality. But somehow, Meyer managed to surprise me just a little bit.
The Host is the story of human host, Melanie Stryder into which an experienced soul, Wanderer is inserted. The souls or parasites as the humans call them, have taken over Earth by inserting those of their kind into human bodies, which they call hosts. Wanderer’s host, she finds, is not yet empty. Its previous owner Melanie still resides. What happens when Melanie’s thoughts take over Wanderer’s mind? Can these two live in harmony?
Stephenie Meyer seems obsessed with those not human. She tends to bring in paranormal elements and then, in their presence, elevate humanity. While there are some lighter elements in the narrative, it also tends to become a little repetitive in places. This repetitiveness is exactly what it is – a series of events that occur over and over again.
As The Host progresses, however, it becomes gripping and pulls you in. There is no way, despite the repetitiveness, that you don’t root for the good characters. And just when you begin to become complacent, something happens that you didn’t at all envision. Of course, this is no Agatha Christie, but you get what I’m trying to say.
The Host is basically a love story – two love stories – those of Melanie and Wanderer. Like her earlier books (Meyer is getting referenced a lot in this article!), this too is a novel just to pass your time. You can read it anywhere, anytime, unlike some of the heavyweights that require so much of your attention. If you are a bookworm, you’ll find this a good option to merely pass your time. And if you are looking to start reading, Harry Potter would be a better option to start with, but this one would also be quite alright.
The Host was intended to be part of a series. It’s been almost 10 years since the first one came out. But it looks like the second one in this series, The Seeker isn’t coming out any time soon. Not that I’m overly excited about it. I could or could not read it, and it depends wholly on my mood. But you get the drift.
On the whole, The Host is an okay read. The explanations given for why humanity is better than anything else seem plausible while reading the book. But once you’ve finished it, it seems like your mind is asking you questions like “Why did we read it?”
That’s the summary of it. And if explanations can still make you ask why you read it…
I’ll leave that for you to fill! 😉
Rating: 3/5 stars
Picture Courtesy: Goodreads.
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