Monday, January 5, 2009

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer is widely known for her young adult Twilight series. I enjoyed her 4-book saga about vampires, werewolves, and teenage love. I appreciated that it was set on the rainy Olympic peninsula in Washington State. All that rain has to be good for something, even if it just allows vampires to be out during the day. I look forward to eventually seeing the movie Twilight, if our library gets it in.

The Host is technically classified as an adult novel. After reading it I really wonder what makes it an adult as opposed to a young adult book. The Host definitely has less sex and violence than the Twilight series. I wonder if it is a marketing decision, but then plenty of adults read the Twilight books. Is it because the book is science fiction rather than fantasy? Are vampires and werewolves more acceptable reading for teens than aliens?

Regardless of how it is classified, The Host is an interesting read, and I’m not usually too interested in stories about aliens. In the book a species from another planet has taken over most of the humans on earth. This species cannot live outside of a host body and is termed a soul. The soul is inserted into the human and controls the human body. Not all humans can be completely assimilated, which leads, in some cases, to the soul and the human cohabitating the same body. However, the soul is in complete control of all physical actions. Of course, this is a love story as is the Twilight series. Here the problem is that the soul may be in love with one person and the human with another. And, obviously the remaining humans are less than thrilled with the souls’ takeover.

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