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.
The Hostby Stephenie Meyer
As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared
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 HOSTis a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the essence of what it means to be human.
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.]
Stephenie Meyer's first adult novel broke new ground when first published in 2008. Now this gripping fiction about a woman who refuses to relinquish control of her own body arrives in mass market paperback. One critic called it "Survivor crossed with Days of Our Lives"; another, "A vigorous blend of romance and science fiction." Now in mass market paperback and NOOK Book.
- Little, Brown and Company
- Publication date:
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- Movie tie-in
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.90(d)
Read an Excerpt
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.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This was just the greatest book! I actually liked it quite a bit more than the Twilight series - those just felt a little too young for me. (Not to say they aren't very good.) The characters in this book are amazing! I got to love them so much, which is almost strange because I was so angry with most of them at first (for the way they treated Melanie/Wanderer.) The plot had twist after twist and I couldn't get enough. Despite its being over 600 pages, I read it in a few days. I just couldn't wait to know what happened next! Highly HIGHLY recommened! (And I can't believe Kristina Marrick wrote a review on here!!! I loved her book too!)
Stephanie Meyer does it again with a story as deeply compelling as those in her more well-known Twilight series. This time we are on an Earth that has been--almost--completely overrun with an invasion of parasitic aliens called 'Souls'. But these Souls aren't the bad guys. The book is told from the perspective of Wanderer, a Soul who has lead a varied life on numerous planets and yet has never found emotions as strong as those she feels in her new human host body. But there is a problem: this host belonged to a human named Melanie, a young woman who spent years fighting the occupation. And unlike Wanderer's previous hosts, who quietly faded into the background of memories, Melanie is not ready to go away. As the story unfolds, the readers find themselves rooting for both Wanderer and Melanie. We want Melanie to escape the prison she is in yet we want Wanderer to be freed of the burden of another voice in her head. And we desperately want both of them to find Jared, Melanie's human boyfriend, a man they both share a romantic love for and Jamie, Melanie's human brother, a boy they both share a maternal love for. And as they learn not to hate each other while finding themselves in new and potentially dangerous situations, we want a happy ending for both of them, though that seems quite impossible. As in her other books, Meyer draws each of her characters with strengths and flaws, with true humanity, both the good and the bad that exists in each of us. From the central characters to those on the periphery, we understand why they do the things they do and sympathise even with the monsters. The complicated love triangles and the thrilling scenes where fear of discovery is near help to round out this amazing book. I literally found it difficult to put this book down. I kept reading until the wee hours of the morning, then picked it up as soon as I woke up (thank goodness it was the weekend). I finished it yesterday and I have begun re-reading it today. If you liked the Twilight series, you will like this. If you like this, you will like the Twilght series. The things that make a story truly compelling--great characters, facinating plot, danger, joy, sacrifice, love in all its many forms--are Meyer's forte. I find myself anxiously awaiting her next book, whatever it will be.
I didn't really understand what the book was going to be about from reading the cover, once I got reading it I couldn't stop. There are so many unexpected twists and turns, its an over all great, easy read. It will make you laugh, cry, and just be totally entertained! You have to have real creativity to think a story like this up!!
This book was amazing! I chose it witha bit of trepidation because I figured that there was a real chance that this may be exactly like Twilight but it wasn't! Once again Stephenie Meyer's creativity and originality are impressive and I was left hoping there was a sequel even though all conflicts had been resolved and there was no need for one. The characters were remarkable and her writing style is flawless. I loved it each time I read it, finding more to love with each re-read
Wonderful book I loved how the characters developed. It takes romance triangles to a whole new level.
The Host is a great book that takes you into a world unknown to us and allows you to look at things from a different prospective. This is a great story with incredible characters and stroyline. A MUST read!
I have to respectfully disagree with those who say this is hard to get into. I was hooked by the end of page one. I don't have much time to read, but I finished this book in four days. It was innovative and thought provoking from beginning to end. The characters were so real I felt like I knew them. Even if you don't enjoy Meyer's work, read this!
okay i am a serious bookworm and trust me when i say this: don't judge the book so fast in the beginning ! i know , the first 50 pages or so are like : okay what the hell is going on here ? and your so confused . but when yu hit a certain point the rest of the book makes up for the beginning. i have read the twilight series and was hooked. but the host is SOOOOO much BETTER ! my favourite book of ALL TIME ! it made me even cry ! the plot was like no other book ! unlike most books this book was not predicable in the LEAST! i literally could not put it down ... the only consolation when i had HAD to was that it'll still be here when i got back! see THAT'S how great it was. a MUST MUST MUST read. if you don't you have NO idea what your missing out on :)
It's a sci-fi novella with a lot of heart, almost sounds like an oxymoron. It takes place in the near future where these alien parasites have invaded earth and taken possession of our human bodies - an over told tale, I know, except that it's from one of the Alien's, they call themselves "souls", perspectives and the girl whose imprisoned in her own body. So, imagine a narrative with a dual personality. It's taken me on a psychological tailspin because of the way it forces the reader to look at our human selves from an alien's point of view who has never experienced such fluctuating and irrational emotions until now. I love how every action and thought is dissected and sliced into the simplest segments, making the writer's observations beautifully raw.
First I'll addess the elephant in the room: no, this book is nothing like Twilight (although Stephenie Meyer's voice is clearly heard), it is not a kids book, and although a romantic relationship is a core element of the story, in my opinion it isn't a romance. It's certainly not gratuitously romantic. This is another feat of imagination by Stephenie Meyer, who is a very gifted story teller. I have recommended it to a few friends who had the same experience I did with it -- it draws you in and you want to keep reading until you "know what happens" (i.e. you finish it). I recommend this book for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in a great story...for as long as it takes you to get through 624 pages. Without sleeping or eating.
This book had more going for it then I thought it would. It took awhile for me to actually get into the book but after that it was amazing. Stephenie Meyer definitely has a creative mind and I can't wait to see what comes from her next. Worth a read!
I enjoyed the plot and characters very much. It was easy to read and interesting. Although this was different than the Twilight books which I also enjoyed, it stands well on its own. Will there be a second book? I hope so!
Stephenie did a great job writing The Host. Would recommend it to people who love the Twilight saga or Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire books (even if it doesn't have vampires or werewolves in it).
I can't believe Stephenie Meyer. She is one of the most original, creative, and amazing writer of all time! SHE is SOOO my favorite author. I didn't think that this book would be good so I decided to not read it at first. But i figured if she can write books like twilight then maybe this would be alright. OK, alright is an understatement. This book was AMAZING LIKE HELL! I can't believe she can write a book about aliens soooo good. And it's not even like alien abduction or anything like that. Honestly, just give this a try. You'll be glad that you picked it up. Ugh it's so good. The characters are amazing. Like Edward Cullen, you'll fall for Ian. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO EVERYONE, TEENS AND ADULTS.
This book is amazing. The first of the book is a little hard to understand. I'll admit I was pretty lost at first, but once you get farther into the book everything starts to make sense. It is a genious of a story, unlike any other and I definately recommend it! It is a tear jerker!
As a fan of The Twilight saga, I figured that I would give The Host, Stephenie Meyers first delve into "adult" fiction, a try. However, I was wary when I read the synopsis...I was unsure if I could be sympathetic and relate to the narrater, who is in fact a silver centipede like parasite imprisoning the mind of a human named Melanie and taking over her body. When the cryotanks appeared in the first few pages I almost put the book down. I have never considered myself a sci fi buff. But I missed Meyers voice after devouring Twilight and forged forward...and only a few chapters in, I was glad I did. The Host demonstrates how Meyers is growing as an author. A great story teller from the start with an ability to make the reader fall in love with her characters, the emotion and tension she creates leaps off her pages and sucks me in...her stories are addicting- like literary crack. The difference between The Host and Twilight is that The Host is so complex! It is an adventure in humanity that explores the range of the human character across its volital spectrum. In fact, I did become simpathetic to the "worm" Wanderer, I came to love her! Yet, I felt a deep sorrow for Melanie, still existing and feeling while trapped in her own body with Wanderer in control- trying to break free. These aliens known as "souls" do not view themselves as evil body snatchers but as good kind beings saving this beautiful planet from a violent evil species. What Wanderer learns from Melanie and the small clan of surviving humans in the southwestern desert is that there is more to humans then the headline of the evening news. With Melanie and through Melanie, she experiences for the first time longing, loneliness, and love and sets out to find Melanie's little brother Jamie and her partner Jared. At their first encounter, the silver sheen in Wanderer/Melanie's eyes that comes with harboring a "soul" sparks hate, distrust, and violence in the humans, and Wanderer believes her notions were correct- humans are evil. But as the days pass living in the humans hideaway cave relationships evolve. Wanderer experiences the death of a friend, the love of a child, lust, trust, sacrifice, and ultimately romantic love. It wouldn't be a Stephenie Meyers work without a good love story and the love "quad"angle between Melanie and Jared -Wanderer and Ian is sure to frustrate the reader and tug at the heart strings. When Wanderer finally finds a happy life where she is wanted and loved for the first time in 9 planets and thousands of years she is faced with the ultimate dillema- to continue living in Melanie's body ( is there really enough room for both of them?) or take on the ultimate self sacrifice and set Melanie free- it becomes apparant how altruistic Wanderer truely is. I laughed and cried a long with these rich characters, and was sad to leave them once the book was over. I heard rumors of an upcoming sequel and will be sure to read it as soon as it hits the shelves.
i spent a lot of money on this disapointing book. I used to have little faith in stephnie meyer's books but now i have none. It's not only because she is rude but because she dosn't write anything eles except some girls petty love needs. URGH.. go J.K. Rowling
I read the Twillight series with my daughter and enjoyed them. When this book came out, I was quick to get it. I was hooked for page one and hated it everytime I had to put the book down. The author's writing in The Host greatly surpased that of the Twillight books and those were really good. The interweaving of plots, emotions, and views was wonderfuly executed. Not only did the author provide vivid story telling, she managed everything that was going on without making it confusing for the reader. I really appreciated how the author brought you through a big event, allowed you to breath for awhile and then brought you to another big situation. This is a book I would love to see on film AND to have a sequel with.
I enjoy a good SI-FY novel and this one supprised me. The story was told from the Alien's point of view and I just couldn't put it down. Left me wanting to know more about what happens next....If your Listening Stephanie......I WANT A SEQUEL, OR TWO OR THREE!!!!! I've recommended this to many of my friends and gave a copy as a gift. Really enjoyed and will definately be one I re-read over the years.
This book is great. I had a hard time putting it down. You really connected with the two main characters so that you became just as conflicted with what you hoped the ending would be. I was very impressed with this book and loved the environment created. If you loved the author's other books (Twilight series), you will love this one too. Actually, I would say that this one is a more "adult" book. I highly recommend it.
I'm a huge fan of Stephenie Meyer's work. I love the Twilight series and also love The Host now that I've read it. At first, I was hesitant to read the book for one reason or another, but had conflicted emotions about reading it when I heard and read a ton of great reviews about the book. So when I bought a copy of the book for a friend's Christmas gift, I ended up borrowing it to read it. My initial reaction to the book, was that it was so different from Twilight, in terms of the characters. Then, once I got into the book it wasn't just the characters that were different but the entire concept of the book was differet too. I enjoyed the thrilling and suspense parts of the book, leaving me wanting more every night even if my eyes wouldn't stay open anymore. The book was facinating to me and love the idea and concept of the entire story. I now own my own book of course after reading it and I would strongly recommend this book! I hope everyone loves it as much as I do... I can't wait for the movie to come out.
This unique story about Wanderer, an alien soul, using the human body of Melanie as a host in order to live on earth was absolutely captivating! From Melanie's memories the soul was able to not only learn of the people in Melanie's life, but also have feelings for them, and in turn I found myself feeling for the characters as well. When the two of them began to show signs of friendship I found myself on edge wondering how in the world Stephenie Meyer was going to bring the story to a happy ending, or even if she could. I was surprised and delighted with the way things turn out. Intrigued from the first chapter, I found it difficult to put the book down.
The book is just so long and you go threw seven chapters before it sparks your instrest.That being said,you do enter into their world,it has lots of action and love.You begin to care for the characters,and you would think you couldn't lrean so many charaters in one story,but you do.its a great read,(I recommend audio book on this one).The humans are the host.The other beings take over their bodies,the ending is great and leaves you wanting the next book.I even cried in some parts,you'll have to read it for yourself.By the way ,No vampire's here.
It has been a while since reading this book but I thought I would comment on it. I remember when I first began reading it I was lost, confused, and a bit bored. This book does start slow, but I promise you will appreciate the beginning much more when you get to the end. The last two thirds of the book are really intriguing, especially once you get to the underground world and the characters really become developed. You will be turned from hating some to loving them. Give it a chance and stick with it!
In Stephenie Meyer's fast-paced novel about peaceful parasites invading our planet, the soul named Wanderer learns about the depth of human emotion through her experiences sharing a body and mind with Melanie Stryder. Soon, the two beings become inseparable and Wanderer feels the love that Melanie feels for her family. Since they both cannot live without Jamie, Melanie's little brother, or Jared, the man they both love, the two embark on a quest to find their family in the Arizonan deserts and discover an underground community of humans who despise the souls that overtook their beloved home. Tension is magnified in this isolated underground cave network as Wanderer and Melanie interact with the humans who hate them so passionately and struggle to define themselves as separate people. A theme present throughout the novel is that the mind defines the individual, not the body. While Jamie and Jared struggle to come to terms with the fact that the girl they love, Melanie, is suppressed within her body by an alien, they come to know and love Wanderer separately from Melanie. Melanie and Wanderer's identities become so intertwined, but they attempt to preserve some of their personality traits and not lose their individuality. This complicated relationship between Wanderer and Melanie is fascinating for any reader to witness. One message to the reader is that it's what is on the inside that counts. As I read the novel, I grew to love both Melanie and Wanderer equally, and the relationship between them is beautiful. I enjoyed the psychological relationships between the humans as well as the relationships Wanderer forms with humans in their completely isolated community. I think that Meyer's portrayal of human and alien characters at their best and worst in a time of crisis feels realistic. The details of the world Meyer created are so fantastic, but at the same time we can see pieces of Wanderer's world that we recognize from our own. The reality of the novel is both completely believable and astoundingly creative. However, I was not comforted by the chilling commentary on human brutality when the fugitives abuse and imprison Wanderer. This futuristic book is perfect for fans of Stephenie Meyer's outrageously popular series, the Twilight Saga. This book is based on a concept found in the well known film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This novel is also slightly similar to Scott Westerfeld's Uglies trilogy. Any reader who enjoys anything from science fiction to romance will find something to love about The Host. Between the nonstop action, the emotional drama, and the complicated romances, this bestseller will delight readers of all ages and interests.