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.
ALIEN LOVE TRIANGLE
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.