I figured I would check this out after making my way through the Twilight Saga (here, here, here and here) to see if Meyer’s writing was any better when she wasn’t dealing with a manic-depressive teenager girl, oh wait she’s still doing that—sort of. Joking aside, unfortunately, this is another prime example of when a better writer could’ve created a book 100 times better than the one Meyer created, but I won’t knock her she has creative ideas and is a storyteller at heart. Check out a synopsis of the book here (Amazon affiliate link) if you haven’t read it.
Perhaps her writing isn’t as terrible as I think it is, but it’s just so simple that it makes it hard to read sometimes. And to be completely honest I almost didn’t make it past the first 10-15 pages of this book because it was so bewildering and horribly written. I’m pretty sure this was a style choice for the situation, but it did not make me want to read the book that’s for sure.
One thing Meyer did do well in both the Twilight Saga and this novel was write memorable minor characters. These characters can make or break a novel and in this novel they really made it from Walter and Fords Water Deep to Sunny and Nathan in the last few pages, I wanted to know more about each of them! I wasn’t sure about the main character Melanie/Wanda split, but Meyer some how wrote a believable hybrid character and I’m actually glad I read the included bonus chapter from Melanie’s perspective for the film adaptation (not sure if I’ll watch it, not the best reviews).
Other than the writing there wasn’t too much of a downside of the novel. I’d say there’s a bit too much moralizing, but to be fair it could’ve been so much worse than it was and when you’re facing the end of the world/species, some moralizing is forgivable.
Recommendation: If you like creative science fiction and fantasy definitely check this out and maybe even skip the first chapter. Meyer definitely had me tearing up in the last few chapters over the moral dilemma and that’s always a good sign if an author can draw emotions from you. This was originally billed as the first book in a trilogy, but it’s been five years since it’s release and there’s been no movement that I can find online. I’m not sure I would read the next one, but I would definitely have to think about it before I gave it a definite no.
Opening Line: “The Healer’s name was Fords Deep Waters.”
Closing Line: “‘The strangest,’ he agreed.” (Whited out.)
Additional Quotes from The Host
“Soul. I suppose it was an apt description. The unseen force that guides the body.” (15)
“Not that he wouldn’t kill me if things turned out that way, but he wouldn’t like doing it. With humans, what more could you ask of a friend?” (211)
“‘There was no hatred in your heart,’ I whispered. ‘That you existed is proof that we were wrong. We had no right to take your world from you, Walter. I hope your fairytales are true, I hope you find your Gladdie.'” (356)
“How sad. How frightening. To be filled with so much hate that you could not even rejoice in the healing of a child… How did anyone ever come to that point?” (469)
“Laughter was like a fresh breeze–it cleaned its way through the body, making everything feel good.” (511)
“‘You are the noblest, purest creature I’ve ever met. The universe will be a darker place without you,’ he whispered.” (594)
“Happy and sad, elated and miserable, secure and afraid, loved and denied, patient and angry, peaceful and wild, complete and empty…all of it . I would feel everything. It would all be mine.” (608)
“”Perhaps there could be no joy on this planet without an equal weight of pain to balance it out on some unknown scale.” (609)