The Host by Stephanie Meyer is set in a world where humans are hosting parasitic aliens. The aliens are not mean or vicious quite to the contrary they view humans as an inferior race due to our violent tendencies. The human is usually erased once it has been inhabited by the alien, but in rare instances a strong personality who is aware of the possibility of being inhabited can survive the insertion (process of putting an alien in the brain of a human body) and co-exist with the alien. It is this scenario that allows the plot of The Host to unfold.
Melanie Stryder a rebellious human resisting the alien takeover of Earth is inserted with an alien life form known as Wanderer, who becomes Wanda through interaction with humans. Because Melanie and Wanda share Melanie's memories they both have strong ties to Melanie's loved ones and go off in search of Melanie's boyfriend and younger brother. They find a whole clan of human resisters with Melanie's brother, boyfriend, and uncle.
The story centers around Wanda trying to gain the acceptance of the humans as she deals with internal conflicts about her own morality. She and Melanie build a strong relationship as they cohabitate the same body, though in the beginning they hated each other. It's a beautiful story that ends beautifully. It's not another Twilight, which is what I was hoping for from Meyer. It got boring in places and I wondered why I was reading it; there is way too much description in places. About 100 pages from the end I didn't think that I was going to like this book, but when I got closer to the end I decided I really liked it and that the ending made up for some of the dull places in the middle. I would also have to say that her writing style really seems to improved between Twilight and The Host. The first "chagrin" was 142 pages in and it didn't appear on every page this time. It's a nice story with strong messages about tolerance and love. I guess I would give it a three star rating.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Iron King, Julie Kagawa's brilliant debut novel has a slow start but once it gets going it really gets going. And honestly, it took about 200 pages for it to become the kind of novel I like to read, but I think if my tastes were a bit different I probably wouldn't have even found the start slow. Her descriptions of the different characters main character, Megan Chase encounters on her quest to rescue her younger brother from his supernatural abductor are brillinatly creative. More than that it uses fey lore with an innovative twist. YA paranormalcy is genre of choice but after a while all the plots begin to look the same--not true of the Iron King. I'm looking forward to the sequel.