by Stephenie Meyer – I was prepared to dislike this book, to find it amateurish and clunky and somehow beneath me, based solely on my abortive attempt to read one of this author’s Twilight books… despite my teenage son’s declaration that this book was truly a good read. (For the record, he couldn’t bear to read that other series either.) So imagine my surprise when I found it immediately engaging and imminently readable and – dare I say it – yes, I believe I do – good.
In fact, this is a really good book!
The scifi element is integral to the story, one that explores the definitions of humanity and existence, love and sacrifice, courage and duty, family and community through some fascinating characters and in extreme circumstances. The plot is multilayered and well-orchestrated, with an ending that is logical and yet not truly predictable.
I’ve never read a book that has both its main characters as distinct personalities inside one body… at least not one that wasn’t a psychological thriller with a protagonist suffering from multiple personality disorder. The Host is nothing like that. The two female leads are Melanie and Wanda. Melanie is the human host, and Wanda (short for Wanderer) is the parasitic alien life form who has been implanted in Melanie’s body. Wanda is the point-of-view character for the novel. We experience the story through her senses, giving a completely (pardon the pun) alien perspective to both the alien and the human ways of life. It was interesting to watch my own perspective on these two disparate ways of life (pardon this pun, too) evolve as the story went along.
If there is ever a sequel to this novel (which is possible, although not announced yet), I would be happy to read it. I recommend this book without reservation and apologize to the author for my ignorantly snooty and unjustified condemnation-without-verification of what is truly a terrific book. (finished 4/13/13)