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REVIEW: The Host by Stephenie Meyer

REVIEW SUMMARY: More a romance fantasy than science fiction, the bestselling author of the young adult Twilight vampire/werewolf series puts a slightly original romantic angle on the highly unoriginal sci-fi vehicle of a parasite taking over human hosts.


BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A kinder, gentler version of a Stargate Goa’uld, (millions of them) take over Earth forcing human survivors into hiding. One of the more experienced parasites can hear the memory of the body she is inhabiting, empathizes with it and in listening to it creates a love triangle (or maybe quadrangle?) in a hidden human settlement.

PROS: Well written; believable characters; quick read.
CONS: Unoriginal parasitic invasion of Earth; no science in the “other species” they have conquered.
BOTTOM LINE: For Stargate fans who want to read about a world where the parasites actually won (and are “nice”), or for Romance fans who like a like a little bit of fantasy and don’t mind the lack of science fact in their aliens. Definitely for Meyer’s army of Twilight fans. For the rest: it is a “beach read”.

Stephenie Meyer is the bestselling author of the four books that make up the young adult Twilight series. These books feature a love triangle between a human, a vampire and a werewolf…in other words, Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series without all of the gratuitous sex and violence, written with lots of teen angst with young female readers in mind.

The Host takes the love triangle idea and sets in on an Earth already invaded and defeated by an alien race of parasites, that for the most part do not even consider the concept that they might be hurting or suppressing their violent hosts.

Melanie is the human taken over by the parasite called Wanderer, who has traveled to almost all worlds that the parasites have invaded (water worlds, spider worlds) and has had a host in each of these places. But Wanderer does not see herself as a parasite; she sees herself as a kind, benevolent creature, just as she does not see humans as worthy of their planet, as they are a violent and self destructive race.

But Melanie is a strong host, with a great desire to see her young brother and her lover again. And Wanderer, in spite on somewhat interesting psychotherapy is affected by these feelings, and follows Melanie’s clues to a renegade band of remaining humans, including her brother and love. Some are fascinated by her, some want to kill her and some want Melanie back. She is pursued by another parasite/human, who is more zealous than most about bring humans in (to become hosts).

To tell more of the plot would be to spoil the ending, but, if you know Stargate, you could probably write the plot.

Let’s compare and contrast, shall we?


Stargate – little intelligent worms that attached to your brains and control your consciousness, but you are still there.

The Host – little intelligent worms that attached to your brains and control your consciousness, but they don’t think you are still there.


Stargate – nasty goldish.

The Host – pretty silver.


Stargate – only a few.

The Host – billions and billions, coming from one evolved “mother”.


Stargate – damn straight!

The Host – not even close.


Stargate – fought off many times, in different timelines.

The Host – easy as pie, infiltrate, first time knockout.


Stargate – COLONEL CARTER!!!

The Host – call it a quadrangle.

In other words, this is a story of a kinder, gentler parasite, they don’t grasp the concept that they might be hurting us humans until a very strong mind lets one of them know of it.

Well written, a quick read, just not much realism or originality.

About Larry Ketchersid (54 Articles)
Author of two novels (Dusk Before the Dawn, Software by the Kilo) and one volume of non-fiction stories. CEO of a security software and services company; co-owner of JoSara MeDia, publisher of iPad apps, print and eBooks. Runner, traveler, Sharks fan, Rockets fan, Packers shareholder.

5 Comments on REVIEW: The Host by Stephenie Meyer

  1. Lady in Red // December 24, 2008 at 9:54 am //

    ….I’ve read better fanfiction for Japanese cartoon shows. Meyer’s writing is atrocious and leaves much to be desired.  Her characters are flat, her plot leaves much to be desired. Overall, very dispaointing, and I’m not even a sci-fi fan. However, I am a fan of well-written novels, and, as with her other works, Meyer never fails to disapoint. 0 stars.

  2. Anonymous // March 14, 2009 at 11:57 pm //

    the characters were believeable… yet, the altruism, a bit extreme….

    the plot was limp, and as stated in the previous comment, left too much for the imagination to lust after… Meyers teases, only to disappoint…

    she has written better…

  3. About the Compare and Contrasting part, there are actually thousands of Goa’uld Symbiotes, but only a few dozen in the ranks of System Lord.

  4. yeah total rip off…i actually found that this was soooo much like stargate that i put the book down and just started watching the show again. I read somewhere that Meyer just made it up on a road trip…there is no way that she hasnt seen stargate…or heard of it.

  5. I have never seen stargate yet when I read the summary of The Host I was really shocked because it’s sort of similar to the movie Dreamcatcher (Stephen King) and another novel I read gazillion years ago which I couldn’t remember the title, I think it was Animorphs, but I’m not sure.

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