Customer Reviews for

The Host with Bonus Chapter

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

177 out of 203 people found this review helpful.

Don't like Twilight? No problem!

The Host / 978-0-316-12865-0

I figure it's pretty much impossible at this point to not know who author Stephenie Meyer is - one way or another, you've surely heard of the massively popular "Twilight Saga" by now, and you probably already know whether or not you love ...
The Host / 978-0-316-12865-0

I figure it's pretty much impossible at this point to not know who author Stephenie Meyer is - one way or another, you've surely heard of the massively popular "Twilight Saga" by now, and you probably already know whether or not you love or hate the series. For myself, I'll be honest (and probably earn ire saying this, but it's just my opinion) and say that I didn't much care for the characterization and writing in "Twilight". I thought the romance was too heavily focused on, to the detriment of all the (in my opinion) more interesting side plots, and I thought a lot of the characterization seemed a little forced and sometimes shallow. I had heard, however, that "The Host" was very, very good - even for non-Twilight fans - so I decided to check it out.

I was astonished at the size of this book - the hardcover is 656 pages and weighs an absolute ton. I almost never enjoy books over 400 pages without feeling like heavier editing should have been applied, so I'm fairly shocked to say that I completely loved every page of this book, and never felt like the pacing was too slow or needed to be sped up in any way. The plot premise is fascinating enough - starting "in medias res" after a "Pod People" style invasion of earth - but it's particularly fascinating that Meyer has chosen to tell the story from the point of view of one of the occupying parasites. The characterization here is superb - very in-depth and surprisingly well-revealed through the vehicle of the plot - and it's fascinating to see how sympathetic the narrator is, despite her alien nature. Best of all, I'm impressed at how the love interest starts out as "flawless" but is quickly and thoroughly revealed to be flawless only in the mind of an infatuated young girl - her dream man, as it turns out, is complex, human, and flawed, and therefore a genuinely interesting character.

"The Host" isn't perfect - the first few chapters are a bit of a muddle and I wasn't really comfortable with the plot and writing rhythm until about the fifth chapter. Not unlike Bella from "Twilight", the protagonist here also gets beaten up a fair bit and carried around enough to qualify as luggage, but the characterization here really *works* for me - it's fascinating to see a protagonist that is an actual, full-blown pacifist, sort of like if Gandhi were a parasitic glowing silver brain-worm. I really can't say if this is the book for everyone, but I *can* say that if the premise grabs you, definitely give this book a try, and I suspect you'll be quickly hooked. It's a rare thing for me to feel like a 650 page novel is so perfectly paced, well-characterized, and realistically driven as "The Host" is. Although I originally checked this out from the library, I will be buying a copy to add to my collection.

A word about the audiobook for this novel: I particularly like the narration provided here. The voice actress adds a lot of realistic inflection to her voice to convey the protagonist's struggle with her new, unfamiliar emotions. The interactions between "soul" and "host" are surprisingly well done without being gimmicky, and it's easy to tell which character is talking, even when they share the same voice (both in our world and in the book setting). If you're a fan of audiobooks, and especially if you're a little daunted by the 600+ page commitment, I de

posted by AnaMardoll on January 6, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

34 out of 139 people found this review helpful.

I want my time back.

After reading her Twilight series (another poorly written series, but at least vaguely enjoyable), I decided to pick up this book as something to read cross-country on the plane. I try to give every book I read a chance, and my love for science fiction put me in a posit...
After reading her Twilight series (another poorly written series, but at least vaguely enjoyable), I decided to pick up this book as something to read cross-country on the plane. I try to give every book I read a chance, and my love for science fiction put me in a positive frame of mind to start reading.

The characters are all flat, the actual plot is weak and full of holes, and I struggled to just finish the book. I couldn't warrant spending that kind of money on a hardback just to throw it down in disgust half way through.

If you're on the fence about reading this book, then run the other way and don't look back. If you like mindless drivel, then this book won't disappoint you. Don't come looking this way for anything with one iota of intelligence. This is a perfect, mindless, rainy-day, time-wasting book.

posted by 2285970 on July 1, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2010

    I want my time back.

    After reading her Twilight series (another poorly written series, but at least vaguely enjoyable), I decided to pick up this book as something to read cross-country on the plane. I try to give every book I read a chance, and my love for science fiction put me in a positive frame of mind to start reading.

    The characters are all flat, the actual plot is weak and full of holes, and I struggled to just finish the book. I couldn't warrant spending that kind of money on a hardback just to throw it down in disgust half way through.

    If you're on the fence about reading this book, then run the other way and don't look back. If you like mindless drivel, then this book won't disappoint you. Don't come looking this way for anything with one iota of intelligence. This is a perfect, mindless, rainy-day, time-wasting book.

    34 out of 139 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Ok

    Not as good as twilight but interesting concept dragged in some places the main charecter is interesting

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    Hard read for me!

    I picked this up after the Twilight series with great expectations. I was disappointed. The book dragged for me and took forever to get to any part that was remotely interesting. This lady is a great author, but The Host is far from her best work.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2011

    Not as good as twilight

    I expected too much. Good and interesting but not as good as twilight. Characters were not as deeply defined. Hmmmm....

    2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2011

    Hard reading

    I've been trying to read this book for several weeks. I'm only on about page 60. This has been a hard book to read and follow. Nothing like I expected from Stephanie Myers. At this point I would not recommend

    2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2011

    Ok.....after p. 200

    The Host is not as great as Twilight. I had a difficult time getting into this book. Too long!

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Extremely Boring

    I'm about 3/4 through this book, and the main thing that bothers me is that it has absolutely no plot. I loved Twilight and I still think Stephanie Meyer is a great writer, but nothing occurs in the Host. I'm still going to finish the book because it's not too painful to read... but still, I don't understand the hype around this book.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    I could not finish the novel.

    I couldn't get through the entire novel... I am glad I only paid 99 cents for it. I will probably just end up watching the movie.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is the most boring 600 page book about an alien invasion I'

    This is the most boring 600 page book about an alien invasion I've ever read. The writing was amateurish and lazy, the characters were flat, esp. the one I'm supposed to care about the most, and the world building was un-creative and ridiculous; a Water World inhabited by plants called See-Weeds, a Fire World, a Plant World, an Ice World? Give me a break. Either Meyer has no imagination whatsoever or she spent too much time playing Super Mario Bros. The plot drags majorly due to the fact that there is no real antagonist. It would seem like there's a pretty decent good vs. evil set- up. After all, you can't have an invading alien race that takes over human bodies and present them as anything other than the bad guys but Meyer goes out of her way to show how peaceful and loving the aliens are. I get it, they have feelings too but clearly some of them are ok with hostile takeover or we wouldn't be in this mess to begin with. In the beginning it looks as though the Seeker is going to cause some problems and tension but she pretty much goes away once the action (and I use that term loosely) moves to the rebel hideout where the main problem then becomes how Wanderer fits in and how she deals with loving someone who doesn't even like her and someone loving her who she can't love fully. Yeah, it's real Lifetime movie crap and is about as pointless and un-interesting as it sounds. Melanie's, and by extension Wanderer's, love for Jared and Jamie and later Ian is supposed to be the driving force (again, loosely) behind the plot yet we're only given two flashbacks of Melanie and Jared, their first meeting and then a conversation about their age difference (which wasn't a big deal) and not sleeping together yet. Where's the sexual tension, the falling in love part, the being in love part? If I'm supposed to believe this love is so great that Melanie refuses to give up and go away and the memories alone are enough to make Wanderer love him too I feel like we're missing some key scenes here. Same goes for Ian. I must have missed the falling in love with him parts too. Maybe I nodded off. And let's talk about Wanderer, or should I say Wanda, the most cringe-worthy name since Renesmee. Seriously, can someone please get Stephenie Meyer a baby name book. This name is awful! And despite the other characters saying over and over how much it suits her, Wanda doesn't suit anyone younger than 80 years old. Anyway, I digress, her main personality traits of peace and goodness and self-sacrifice just come across as boring and one-dimensional. For a main character this is a big problem and I never connected with her on any level. I know what I'm supposed to feel but I just don't and if I don't care about the main character it pretty much ruins the whole book for me. As a reader you can see the end coming 595 pages away even though Wanda *cringe* agonizes over it for at least 100 pages before we get there. I can't imagine there being anything else to write about these characters and I know it's nothing I care enough to read about. Instead of stopping while she's ahead, Meyer needs to stop while she's too far behind to catch up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    Terrible

    I TRIED reading this book, but it was terribly boring and childish. Almost every Alien Planet's name ended in World. Then, Jared is worrying about birthcontrol even though it's the end of the world. I get that they don't want a child born into a world like this, but that is what must be done if you want humans to still exit!! The characters were poorly developed and the Melanie and Wanderer's constant disagreements just got annoying. I read the Twilight series. It was awesome. I just don't understand how Meyer can go from a fantastic book series to this.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Had potential, but didn't deliver.....

    Started off great. Reeled me in and kept me pretty interested but the ending let me down. Seemed like too much was left unsaid. Actually made me upset I read the book at all. Despite the ending, I still must admit I enjoyed most of it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2010

    VERY slow!

    This book was very slow, but I continued to read because i received good reviews from a couple of friends. I did enjoy the end, but if it were not for my friends, I would have put the book down a long time ago and not finished it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2010

    Really a Short Story

    After reading the Twilight series, I bought the host and thought I would get the same quality of writing. I was wrong. The back story/intro took over 10 chapters to get to. I asked a friend who had read the book if the entire book was the same as the first 10 chapters and he said to keep reading as it gets a little better around chapter 17. If you take away the 17 chapters of back story and sum it up in four, this book becomes a short story with a very similar plot as other alien/human movie stories. I was not overly thrilled in reading this book nor have I suggested it to friends. The plot was ok, the characters were ok but overall not worth spending the money nor time reading.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    Anonymous

    The mivie wasnt good. There was too much kissing that it sort of felt like the movie was about the love triangle rather than the stopping the alien species.

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  • Posted February 28, 2014

    Do not judge this book from Twilight, it is so much better!!!

    Like many, I was not a Stefanie Meyer fan when I first read Twilight, and so I did not have high hopes for this book. However, it completely blew me away how amazing The Host was. The main characters of the story, Melanie and Wanderer, are nothing like the desperate, unrelatable Bella. These two each prove themselves to be strong, and able enough to take care of themselves without relying on their respective love interests to save them. The writing is interesting, it pulls you in and makes you part of the story, and I spent the last quarter of the book with butterflies in my stomach every time I opened it, and the feeling did not fade when I read it a second time. This book can be enjoyed by any young adult or adult looking a book with not just romance and adventure, but a touching story about understanding oneself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Mediocre

    Almost every incident was anti-climatic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    To below

    Okay, now YOU don't have to rant. It is sort of arrogant to say that you read it in a day. Good for you, but others aren't like you. I was probably as smart as you in fourth grade since I was one of the top students, but don't take it in as pride. People are never going to be like you, so respect it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    Below Average

    Its an ok story line but its not great. It not better than Twilight. If that helps anyone then good. Its not worth to buy but it may entertain you a little. If your an adult... not for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    SUPER MODELS ARE AWESOME AND MAJESTIC CREATURES!!I

    I'm a super model

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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