The Host with Bonus Chapterby Stephenie Meyer
New Bonus Chapter and Reading Group Guide, including Stephenie Meyer's Annotated Playlist for the book.
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body,
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Now in the trade paperback edition:
New Bonus Chapter and Reading Group Guide, including Stephenie Meyer's Annotated Playlist for the book.
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.
Featuring one of the most unusual love triangles in literature, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the essence of what it means to be human.
"An epic story of love, family, and loyalty. . . . The Host is The X-Files meets Days of Our Lives."Carol Memmott, USA Today
"Meyer is more interested in relationships than in flashy genre conventions. . . . Her affirmative life lesson is disarming."Jeff Giles, Entertainment Weekly
"The Host lives up to the hype, blending science fiction and romance in a way that has never worked so well."Jane Jorgenson, Library Journal
"Stephenie Meyer is an amazing phenomenon--out of the brightness of her mind and spirit comes the illuminated darkness of her stories. For no matter how much pain her characters suffer, Meyer infuses the tales with light and hope."Orson Scott Card
"A fantastic, inventive, thoughtful, and powerful novel. The Host should come with a warning label: it will grab you and keep you reading well into the wee hours of night, and keep you thinking, deeply, hauntingly, well after the final word. Stephenie Meyer captures characters and handles story line like a master--a hybrid combination of Stephen King and Isaac Asimov."
"A brilliant and fascinating premise.... Its mix of adventure and new love on a new Earth is just right to get lost in this summer."Sherri Hallgren, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
In this tantalizing SF thriller, planet-hopping parasites are inserting their silvery centipede selves into human brains, curing cancer, eliminating war and turning Earth into paradise. But some people want Earth back, warts and all, especially Melanie Stryder, who refuses to surrender, even after being captured in Chicago and becoming a host for a "soul" called Wanderer. Melanie uses her surviving brain cells to persuade Wanderer to help search for her loved ones in the Arizona desert. When the pair find Melanie's brother and her boyfriend in a hidden rebel cell led by her uncle, Wanderer is at first hated. Once the rebels accept Wanderer, whom they dub Wanda, Wanda's whole perspective on humanity changes. While the straightforward narrative is short on detail about the invasion and its stunning aftermath, it shines with romantic intrigue, especially when a love triangle (or quadrangle?!) develops for Wanda/Melanie. 10-city author tour. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Meyer's YA vampire novels (Breaking Dawnwill be out in August) have been touted in the Wall Street Journalas successors to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. And with a fan base that has grown exponentially with each new release, they may not be far off. All of which makes the publication of Meyer's first adult novel even more noteworthy. It lives up to the hype, blending science fiction and romance in a way that has never worked so well. In this page-turner, Meyer explores what happens to relationships when two beings inhabit the same physical body. Earth has been overrun by an alien species called Souls, which invade human bodies and erase personalities. As the novel opens, Melanie Stryder, one of the few human holdouts, has been captured by the aliens and is implanted with a Soul named Wanderer, who is something of a legend among her own kind because of the many hosts and planets she has experienced. Inhabiting a human mind and body is unlike anything Wanderer has ever known, and soon she finds that Melanie isn't quite willing to give up to this invader. Overwhelmed by Melanie's memories and feelings, Wanderer finds herself driven to reconnect with Melanie's old life. As with her vampire novels, Meyer will make new fans of readers "who don't read books with aliens." Highly recommended for all public libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ1/08.]
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Read an ExcerptThe Host
By Stephenie Meyer Little, Brown and Company
Copyright © 2008 Stephenie Meyer
All right reserved.
I knew it would begin with the end, and the end would look like death to these eyes. I had been warned.
Not these eyes. My eyes. Mine. This was me now. The language I found myself using was odd, but it made sense. Choppy, boxy, blind, and linear. Impossibly crippled in comparison to many I'd used, yet still it managed to find fluidity and expression. Sometimes beauty. My language now. My native tongue.
With the truest instinct of my kind, I'd bound myself securely into the body's center of thought, twined myself inescapably into its every breath and reflex until it was no longer a separate entity. It was me.
Not the body, my body.
I felt the sedation wearing off and lucidity taking its place. I braced myself for the onslaught of the first memory, which would really be the last memory-the last moments this body had experienced, the memory of the end. I had been warned thoroughly of what would happen now. These human emotions would be stronger, more vital than the feelings of any other species I had been. I had tried to prepare myself.
The memory came. And, as I'd been warned, it was not something that could ever be prepared for.
It seared with sharp color and ringing sound. Cold on her skin, pain gripping her limbs,burning them. The taste was fiercely metallic in her mouth. And there was the new sense, the fifth sense I'd never had, that took the particles from the air and transformed them into strange messages and pleasures and warnings in her brain-scents. They were distracting, confusing to me, but not to her memory. The memory had no time for the novelties of smell. The memory was only fear.
Fear locked her in a vise, goading the blunt, clumsy limbs forward but hampering them at the same time. To flee, to run-it was all she could do.
The memory that was not mine was so frighteningly strong and clear that it sliced through my control-overwhelmed the detachment, the knowledge that this was just a memory and not me. Sucked into the hell that was the last minute of her life, I was she, and we were running.
It's so dark. I can't see. I can't see the floor. I can't see my hands stretched out in front of me. I run blind and try to hear the pursuit I can feel behind me, but the pulse is so loud behind my ears it drowns everything else out.
It's cold. It shouldn't matter now, but it hurts. I'm so cold.
The air in her nose was uncomfortable. Bad. A bad smell. For one second, that discomfort pulled me free of the memory. But it was only a second, and then I was dragged in again, and my eyes filled with horrified tears.
I'm lost, we're lost. It's over. They're right behind me now, loud and close. There are so many footsteps! I am alone. I've failed. The Seekers are calling. The sound of their voices twists my stomach. I'm going to be sick. "It's fine, it's fine," one lies, trying to calm me, to slow me. Her voice is disturbed by the effort of her breathing. "Be careful!" another shouts in warning. "Don't hurt yourself," one of them pleads. A deep voice, full of concern. Concern!
Heat shot through my veins, and a violent hatred nearly choked me.
I had never felt such an emotion as this in all my lives. For another second, my revulsion pulled me away from the memory. A high, shrill keening pierced my ears and pulsed in my head. The sound scraped through my airways. There was a weak pain in my throat.
Screaming, my body explained. You're screaming.
I froze in shock, and the sound broke off abruptly.
This was not a memory.
My body-she was thinking! Speaking to me!
But the memory was stronger, in that moment, than my astonishment.
"Please!" they cry. "There is danger ahead!"
The danger is behind! I scream back in my mind. But I see what they mean. A feeble stream of light, coming from who knows where, shines on the end of the hall. It is not the flat wall or the locked door, the dead end I feared and expected. It is a black hole.
An elevator shaft. Abandoned, empty, and condemned, like this building. Once a hiding place, now a tomb.
A surge of relief floods through me as I race forward. There is a way. No way to survive, but perhaps a way to win.
No, no, no! This thought was all mine, and I fought to pull myself away from her, but we were together. And we sprinted for the edge of death.
"Please!" The shouts are more desperate.
I feel like laughing when I know that I am fast enough. I imagine their hands clutching for me just inches behind my back. But I am as fast as I need to be. I don't even pause at the end of the floor. The hole rises up to meet me midstride.
The emptiness swallows me. My legs flail, useless. My hands grip the air, claw through it, searching for anything solid. Cold blows past me like tornado winds.
I hear the thud before I feel it.... The wind is gone.... And then pain is everywhere.... Pain is everything. Make it stop. Not high enough, I whisper to myself through the pain. When will the pain end? When ...?
The blackness swallowed up the agony, and I was weak with gratitude that the memory had come to this most final of conclusions. The blackness took all, and I was free. I took a breath to steady myself, as was this body's habit. My body.
But then the color rushed back, the memory reared up and engulfed me again.
No! I panicked, fearing the cold and the pain and the very fear itself.
But this was not the same memory. This was a memory within a memory-a final memory, like a last gasp of air-yet, somehow, even stronger than the first.
The blackness took all but this: a face.
The face was as alien to me as the faceless serpentine tentacles of my last host body would be to this new body. I'd seen this kind of face in the images I had been given to prepare for this world. It was hard to tell them apart, to see the tiny variations in color and shape that were the only markers of the individual. So much the same, all of them. Noses centered in the middle of the sphere, eyes above and mouths below, ears around the sides. A collection of senses, all but touch, concentrated in one place. Skin over bones, hair growing on the crown and in strange furry lines above the eyes. Some had more fur lower down on the jaw; those were always males. The colors ranged through the brown scale from pale cream to a deep almost-black. Aside from that, how to know one from the other?
This face I would have known among millions.
This face was a hard rectangle, the shape of the bones strong under the skin. In color it was a light golden brown. The hair was just a few shades darker than the skin, except where flaxen streaks lightened it, and it covered only the head and the odd fur stripes above the eyes. The circular irises in the white eyeballs were darker than the hair but, like the hair, flecked with light. There were small lines around the eyes, and her memories told me the lines were from smiling and squinting into sunlight.
I knew nothing of what passed for beauty among these strangers, and yet I knew that this face was beautiful. I wanted to keep looking at it. As soon as I realized this, it disappeared.
Mine, spoke the alien thought that should not have existed.
Again, I was frozen, stunned. There should have been no one here but me. And yet this thought was so strong and so aware!
Impossible. How was she still here? This was me now.
Mine, I rebuked her, the power and authority that belonged to me alone flowing through the word. Everything is mine.
So why am I talking back to her? I wondered as the voices interrupted my thoughts.
Excerpted from The Host by Stephenie Meyer Copyright © 2008 by Stephenie Meyer. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Meet the Author
Stephenie Meyer is the author of the #1 bestselling Twilight Saga and The Host. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English literature, and she lives with her husband and three young sons in Arizona.
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Date of Birth:
- December 24, 1973
- Place of Birth:
- Hartford, Connecticut
- Brigham Young University, Bachelor's in English.
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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
I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.
From the moment I finished this book I knew it had become my favorite. The story holds every kind of emotion. Everything from Humor to Misery can be found through the eyes of the first person narrative of the main character and lost soul Wanda. Some of the experiences that Wanda has made me laugh out loud, cry till the pages had splotches, and wish and question how the story can work out with every character getting to be happy. I have sugested this book to so many of my friends and family. This story has a way of pulling the reader in preventing them from putting the book down. I sincerly hope that Stephenie Meyer will continue on with this story with a sequel or make the book into a series. I would recommend The Host to anyone who wants a great book with adventure, humor, and a great love story.
After reading the reviews for this book, I decided to give it a shot. The first few chapters were a little slow, but after that I breezed right through it. This is not your typical alien abduction book. This book has heart and soul, it really makes you think about our human race.
Wow. The Host is much better than Twilight. The main female characters Mel and Wanderer are more realistic and likable than Bella ever was. The only similarity being an annoying martyr complex which was actually relevant to the plot this time. The relationship dynamics among the characters both romantic and platonic are so weirdly wonderful. Oddly enough once again I found myself not finding Jared, the main love interest, appealing at all; much like I did not like Edward. Hmmm. Ian, the secondary love interest and another character who, like Jacob, was not supposed to be very important overall, I liked. Mrs. Meyers might have some kind of formula going but it has worked for me so far. The way the free humans live in some paranoid old guys hideaway while scrounging through the new Stepford civilization could be a story on its own. Also interesting are the stories of Wanderer's other lives. Like Uncle Jeb, I would love to hear how the souls get their off the wall names. The Host is great as a stand alone but if she does continue it there is plenty that can be expanded on.
This book was something else. Since ive read the twilight series and The Host, id say The Host won by a long shot. Love, action,fear this book will keep you reading all day. I recommend it strongly.
I don't know how Stephanie does it but her characters really come alive. The idea of the Host seems a bit Sci-Fi, out there, but really the story comes together and draws you in. I love her writing style and descriptions. I really connected with the characters and you see how they grow yet stay true to who they are. I balled my eyes out during parts of the book. Very good book; great story.
When I began reading THE HOST, I was like, "no way can the same author have 2 hits in a row," but I was proven wrong immediately. it took me forever to quit thinking that Melanie and Jared were Bella and Edward. I kept having to tell myself, same author, DIFFERENT BOOK!!! The romance/connection between the two, Melanie and Jared, was phenomenal. I loved every minute of it. From page 1 you are immediately sucked in to it. Great, great, GREAT read!!! Stephanie Meyer has done it again!
First of all, I want to say that I am only 13 years old, just a few months shy of 14, and I absolutely loved and understood this book. The way Stephanie Meyer write this book is absolutely great and I was so hooked on this book that I finished this book in two days, and if you subtracted the hours I was asleep and not reading the Host it would probably be less than 24 hours ( as I am a fast reader ). The way Wanderer/Melanie had expressed her emotions just helped me understand what she ( they ? ) were going through, how Wanderer accepted that the person she loved, loved the body she was in, but not her. Yes, she was anle to find someone that did love her for being Wanderer. Amazing book, I would read it again anytime, I strongly advise everyone to read the Host.
This is a very well written book. I have read the Twilight series from Stephanie which was very good. (Obviously as we all can see the sale records) I don't want to give anything away about the story line thin but it is similar to Twilight in that it deals with the relationships of humans and non-humans (alien souls) with a love story thrown in. The story is so riveting that you don't want to stop reading. The story has a great ending yet when I finished I was sad because it was such a great story I wanted to keep reading more. The ending definitely leaves an opening for a follow up book if Stephanie wanted to which I hope she does. This is a great read!
I LOVE this book, I read it within 3 days. I Highly Recommend this book. I CAN'T WAIT FOR THE MOVIE!!! :D
I really liked this book. it was very original and creative
Far better than Twilight
I loved this book. It was amazing. I also liked the bonus.
Great idea for the book, just drawn out
This book will make you cry but thats the best part.
LOVED IT!!!! I recommend it even if you didn't like the twilight series. I had first started listening it to on audio tape but I got super curious and wanted to read the words myself. The movie was good but this book is definitely better.
This book warped me into it i loveeed it it was amaisisng you had action si fi fantasity romance all crammed in one book i loved it five stars to stephanie myers
Luved it, i really wish there was a sequal to the book
I am (young) mother of 3 in my mid-forties and I read all of the Twilight books (to preview for my tween at the time) and I really loved that series. I resisted reading the Host because the idea was so "sci-fi" sounding and that is really not my genre. I was SO WRONG!! This book is amazing - loved it!! The deep characters, the struggle to see both sides of the story - a fabulous read and an excellent love story (stories, actually:) Highly recommended!
I rather see the movie first than read the book because then I won't be dissapointed if they didn't follow the book.
An AWESOME book.!!!! I loved it A M A Z I N G !
"The Host" is an intriguing story of a human and an alien living in the same body. The aliens insidiously took over the Earth believing they could handle the humans who fought back. These thin, silvery beings called "Souls" want to think they are harmless, non-violent; but taking over a planet by inhabiting the bodies of its inhabitants without consent seems pretty harmful. The human survivors struggle to regain some footing and continue to live. They never thought humans could fight once the alien had taken over, but then they found Wanderer/Melanie. What would happen if the alien and the host became friends? fell in love? were accepted? The book answers those questions and more. This reading was my second attempt at the book. The first time I tried, I couldn't get into the story. This time, however, I was captured by the characters and the story. It is a good read for those who like to stretch their imagination. =)
I actually really liked this book. You have to make it through the first 4 chapters to kind of understand what is going on, so you either hate this book or love it. I was captivated, and I couldn't put the book down. This is a book I will probably read again.
Stephanie Meyer did it again, The Host is a unique story about the lives of two women (well one woman and one alien) living in the same body. Aliens have taken over earth and implanted themselves in human bodys, Wanderer or Wanda for short has been implanted into Melanie's body. However Melanie is not giving up like most other humans and Wanda is forced to live with Melanie still in her head. Overtime the two become friends as they search for Melanies love and her little brother. The majority of the story is about Melanie and Wanda's growing friendship and Wanda trying to find acceptance and trust in the human world. The romantic story line is touching and the story ends witht the potential for more books. A great and fun ready that I would recomend to anyone who wants a fun love story.