Monday, January 10, 2011

REVIEW: The Host by Stephanie Meyer

I just finished The Host last night. Took me longer than usual to get through this relatively short book as I am spending most of my free time planning Primal Dust (a dance work) and playing Kingdoms of Camelot, which is very addictive. I did manage to read about the last quarter of it yesterday though - I find that there is a point in every book, usually in the last third, where you can't put it down anymore.

Anyway ... I did enjoy The Host. It was very similar to Twilight in that the story focused mostly on the relationships between characters without any real action happening. The premise of the story is that benevolent, altruistic alien souls have taken over the human race, with the protagonist being a host that finds herself in a body with a mind that she cannot subdue. She therefore succumbs to this body's wishes to find her family and ends up becoming a rogue soul living with a cell of rebel humans. See, this says to me ACTION - it's very similar to Tomorrow, When the War Began, but most of the story is spent in the caves where the humans lived. Much like Twilight also, you could see exactly where it was going to go, exactly what the dilemmas were ... and then it didn't. Not in a bad way, but nor entirely good either. It's like Meyer builds up the potential for action and conflict but then doesn't choose to take that path.

The idea behind the story and especially the finer details about the souls and their previous worlds was quite intriguing. I don't usually like fantasy that is set on Earth, it usually turns a little too sci-fi and sometimes too mundane.

I wasn't entirely satisfied with the ending ... Even though I don't usually complain about neat endings, I felt this one was a little too neat. I almost cried in the second last chapter, but then in the last chapter it was over explained and resolved. And I didn't like that resolution. I think it would have been much more touching and profound to end on the sad note. Or maybe just the obscure story at the end of the last chapter.

I'm not sure what to read next as I bought/received a lot of books over Christmas. I'm thinking of Narnia, but because I leave in 10 days to Tasmania, I don't want to be in the middle of a book that I will have to cart over just to finish. I also bought the entire Valisar trilogy by Fiona McIntosh, Silverthorn by Feist (which I could probably read in 10 days), and The Black Prism by Brent Weeks.

I'll let you know.