My mind is whirling after I just finished The Host by Stephanie Meyer. Stephanie Meyer is best known for her young adult series called Twilight. The Host is her first venture into adult fiction. And, she did a great job.
I was a bit wary when I read the synopsis of the story. It was kind of a sci-fi story, and I’m not normally a sci-fi kind of person, but I liked her vampire series (yeah, give me paranormal-fantasy, and I’m there).
The story is about a soul named Wanderer. She is placed in a human, her 9th “host” on her “9th planet”. She has lived everywhere, thus her name – and they gave her a host that may prove to be difficult. Souls found Earth many years before and decided to save humans from themselves. They found Earth with poverty, war, death, violence, hunger, and other “preventable” issues. Souls are kind, non-violent, a generally peaceful. They implanted themselves, got into key positions, and started mass implanting of others to save human-kind. As is always the case, there are those who have resisted. They are hidden and sought. At one point, they refer to the way someone is hiding very much like Anne Frank. So, Wanderer is placed in a human named Melanie – a human who has successfully resisted until she tried to kill herself in order to avoid capture. They saved her, healed her, and implanted the soul.
The problem was the soul wasn’t alone in the body. Melanie was still there – and was not to be destroyed. Through the course of the story, Melanie leads Wanderer back to her family (Melanie’s family, that is). The conflict becomes between the others and Wanderer (or Wanda, as they call her). They see Melanie, they know she’s still there, but they also have Wanda. As the conflict with the soul resolves, a new one starts – one between Wanda and Melanie. The ending is surprising. Stephanie Meyer could have ended the story in several different places, and I was thankful she chose to continue as it would have ended in a much sadder way.
Overall, a very good read. Be warned though – it does take some getting used to reading the thoughts of the soul and the thoughts of the host. They sometimes talk together. That aside, a very good story and well worth the time it takes to read it.