Sunday, June 28, 2009

Review and Giveaway: The Host by Stephenie Meyer

This novel takes place on an Earth that is radically different from our own. Different because it has been invaded by an alien parasite. The alien, a three inch long slim mass with threads or tentacles, is inserted into the human body, then the alien takes control and the human consciousness just fades away.

That's the way it is supposed to work. The aliens, or "Souls" as they call themselves, have inhabited beings on many planets. And usually the relationship works well for both parties. But for some reason, things are not working one hundred percent to plan on the human species. Some humans resist with a power that has never been seen by the Souls before.

Wanderer has lived on eight planets, she is used to inhabiting different bodies. Even among her kind, she is something of an anomaly, most Souls settle to one place after just a few worlds. For her ninth planet, Earth, Wanderer is inserted into a recently caught human. Uninhabited adult humans are so few now, most of the planet has been settled by the alien and rebel humans are fairly rare. The body Wanderer receives is twenty year old Melanie Stryder and she is NOT happy at being invaded. She resists and proves so strong that Wanderer is unable to suppress her.

Through Melanie, Wanderer (or Wanda, as she is eventually called) begins to see exactly what her kind have taken from the humans. The Souls are a peaceful and rational race, they aren't malicious in their takeover, they think they are doing great good:

"We did make whatever we took better, more peaceful and beautiful. And the humans were brutish and ungovernable. They had killed one another so frequently that murder had been an accepted part of life. The various tortures they'd devised over the few millennia they'd lasted had been too much for me; I hadn't been able to bear even the dry official overviews. Wars had raged over the face of nearly every continent. Sanctioned murder, ordered and viciously effective. Those who lived in peaceful nations had looked the other way as members of their own species starved on their doorstep. There was no equality to the distribution of the planet's bounteous resources. Most vile yet, their offspring--the next generation, which my kind nearly worshipped for their promise--had all too often been victims of heinous crimes. And not just at the hands of strangers, but at the hands of the caretakers they were entrusted to. Even the huge sphere of the planet had been put into jeopardy through their careless and greedy mistakes. No one could compare what had been and what was now and not admit that Earth was a better place thanks to us."

But what Wanda discovers, what no Soul has ever understood before, is the complex emotional makeup of a human being. Compelled by Melanie, Wanda heads into the desert to try to find Melanie's family. Though she almost dies in the attempt, she is found by the humans and taken to their underground hideout.

They know that Melanie is gone and that Wanda is using her body, and they are not about to trust her. It is a shock to Wanda to realize that it is not just Melanie's consciousness that loves her family, but her entire body. Wanda can't help but love them, too. She must convince them that she wants what is best for Melanie and all the humans there, before they kill her for being the enemy.

I haven't read any of Ms. Meyer's Twilight series yet. Everyone raves about them, but before I took time out of my schedule to read the whole series, I wanted to try this stand alone novel. I'm so glad that I did! She is a fantastic story teller, this novel almost crackles with energy and excitement. I could hardly put it down. I liked the way the themes of conflict, duty, citizenship and humanity were explored, it was extremely interesting and thought provoking. Twilight, here I come!

The Host is published by Little, Brown. ISBN 978-0-316-06804-8.

So, now for the giveaway! I have five copies that will go to five randomly chosen lucky winners. To enter, just leave me a comment here telling me your favorite classic sci-fi or paranormal book. There is an extra entry for anyone who becomes a follower (all current followers who enter will get this automatically), blogs about the giveaway or tweets it on twitter. Please leave a separate comment with the link for a blog post or tweet if you do either of those. You can enter until midnight on July 15. Winners must have a US or Canada mailing address (no PO Boxes). Good luck everyone and thanks for entering! Many thanks to Miriam at Hachette for sending me The Host for review and providing the books for the giveaway.

72 comments:

tetewa said...

My favorite genre to read is Paranormal, I don't have just one favorite but I love The Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon!

bermudaonion said...

Don't enter me. I love your review and wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed The Host too. It's made me re-think my attitude toward science fiction.

Beth F said...

Don't enter me, I already have the book. Just wanted you to know that I really liked your review.

nfmgirl said...

I can't think of any "obviously" paranormal books that I've read. Some of the Dean Koontz I've read has been paranormal,but my favorite was Stephen King's The Stand,which really does have some paranormal-type aspects to it.

nfmgirl At gmail DOT com

Marjorie said...

I would like to read this book,
it is very different from what
I am used to reading, however,
we all need a change from the normal.

elaing8 said...

one of my favorite paranormal books is Riley Jensen series by Keri Arthur.

I'm a follower

elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

chey said...

The Outlander series.

chey127 at hotmail dot com

Pam said...

Classic sci-fi or paranormal...Hmmm. I don't suppose VC Andrews "Flowers in the Attic" counts, does it? To be honest, I've sort of avoided much of this genre as an adult but I've heard such great things about these books that I'd like to expand my repertoire and give it a try...

melacan at hotmail dto com

P.S. I'm a follower

roswello said...

i was a huge michael chrichton fan,
before that stephen king , now anything supernatural i will read love it all

roswello said...

i am now a follower great site

Valorie said...

Blood and Gold by Anne Rice. It features my favorite vampire, Marius.

I am a follower.

Valorie
morbidromantic@gmail.com

Neas Nuttiness said...

I'm not really into this genre...but I have read all of Twilight Series, and would love to win The Host!

I'm a follower - thanks!

libneas[at]aol[dot]com

CherylS22 said...

Right now my favorite paranormal is "Twilight"

I follow

Please count me in - Thanks!
megalon22[at]yahoo[dot]com

Bridget said...

Just posted on Win A Book.

Marg said...

I really loved this book, much more than any of the Twilight books. I am really hoping that we will have news of a sequel soon! Please don't enter me into the draw.

Michele P. said...

my fave classic Sci Fi book? 1984 by George Orwell!

micaela6955 at msn dot com

Michele P. said...

new blog follower too!

micaela6955 at msn dot com

Angiegirl said...

Ooh, my favorite classic scifi is definitely A WRINKLE IN TIME. IT still gives me chills.

I'm now a follower. Thanks for the giveaway!

angiegirl(at)gmail(dot)com

LuAnn said...

My favorite book of all time is Stephen King's The Stand.

Dawn M. said...

One of my favorite classic sci-fi books is Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey.

Thanks! :0)
librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Jake Lsewhere said...

Looks like a good book, please enter me into this drawing.

I'm also a follower of your blog.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.
jake.lsewhere[at]gmail.com

Jake Lsewhere said...

I've also blogged about this giveaway here.

Thanks,
jake.lsewhere[at]gmail.com

Linda said...

I'm not a fan of sci fi, but enjoy an occasional time slip novel such as Time Traveler's Wife. I'd like to give The Host a try.

I follow your blog through Google Reader.

avisannschild said...

I don't know about classic SF, but my favourite SF novel is A Door into Ocean by Joan Slonczewski. Please enter me in this giveaway!

avisannschild said...

Oh and I'm now officially a follower! (I've had you in my Google Reader for a while now.)

Bianca said...

I am now a follower!!!

I liked Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

I posted this link at my blog http://reader-writer-lover.blogspot.com/

infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

Chris said...

I love the Kitty Norville series! It's such a relaxing read!

danunepthys(at)hotmail(dot)com

throuthehaze said...

I really like The Witching Hour by Anne Rice

Im already a follower

throuthehaze said...

blogged
http://throuthehaze.blogspot.com/2009/06/giveaways-pt-2.html

Gwendolyn B. said...

I read a lot of classic science fiction in my early twenties (the dark ages), but I don't think anything stuck in my head more than THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES by Ray Bradbury. Oddly, I seem to be getting caught up in the genre again. Thanks for the chance to win THE HOST and feed my new appetite!

geebee.reads AT gmail COM

Gwendolyn B. said...

. . . and here's my Tweet: http://twitter.com/ASeaOfBooks

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Kitten22 said...

This looks great! Please enter me!

I'm not sure if it qualifies, but I loved Lightning by Dean Koontz. And Thinner by Stephen King was freaky!

BookcrossingKitten22 AT gmail DOT com

Kitten22 said...

I'm a subscriber (through Google Reader).

BookcrossingKitten22 AT gmail DOT com

Kitten22 said...

I tweeted about this!

http://twitter.com/BookingKitten22

BookcrossingKitten22 AT gmail DOT com

gaby317 said...

I liked the Dune series very much!

Please count me in for this - I also enjoyed the Twilight series and would love to read The Host.

gaby317nyc AT gmail DOT com

+1 I'm a follower

AmyLynn said...

My husband and I love Stephen King's The Stand.

Sue said...

The Hunger Games was a great one. It's one of my more recent reads and just came to mind.
Thanks for sharing~

s.mickelson at gmail dot com

Belinda M said...

I would have to go with Twilight...great book and movie

Canadian Contests, Freebies, Coupons, Deals, Games and Chat - join us at CoolCanucks.ca


bluebelle0367(at)hotmail(dot)com

budletsmom said...

I would have to say the Anita Blake series are my favorite sci fi - followed by the Dark Hunter series.

I'm a follower.

budletsmom at yahoo dot com

MoziEsmé said...

Anything by Ray Bradbury

nfmgirl said...

I blogged it:

http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/2009/07/book-giveaways-in-blogworld-07-02-09.html

holdenj said...

You know, the first Jasper Fforde book, The Eyre Affair, was classified as Sci-fi at my library! Loved them all. And would love to win The Host!

JHolden955 (at) gmail (dot) com

Thanks.

Kohinoor said...

Time and Again by Jack Finney was great!

sardonic28@aol.com

Holly said...

I don't know that I have a favorite Sci-Fi paranormal book...anything Doctor Who works for me!!

Great giveaway. Thanks!

Misusedinnocence said...

The Thrawn trilogy in the extended Star Wars Universe. Mara Jade is hardcore. ;)

misusedinnocence@aol.com

tashiana said...

does twilight count? cuz that's my favorite lol
tashiluvsu(at)live(dot)com

Alison said...

No need to enter me. Just wanted to say that I too loved the Host. It's like sci-fi "light". Definitely more romance than aliens! Great read, especially for those who already love Meyer's voice.

Erica said...

It's not a classic but my favorite paranormal book would be The Darkest Powers series

I'm a follower

:) Erica
thebookcellar@wi.rr.com

dag888888 said...

I will never forget Brave New World by Aldous Huxley!
dag888888[at]yahoo[dot]com

dag888888 said...

Follower!

etirv said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
etirv said...

Kresley Coles' Immortals series is my favorite!
Thanks for this review!

delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

etirv said...

I follow!

Bianca said...

My favorite class sci-fi book is 'Enders Game'. :)

infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

Bianca said...

I am a follower!

infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

Bianca said...

I posted a sidebar link at my blog http://wickedgoodbooks.blogspot.com/

infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

Nelsby said...

Such a tough decision...there are so many choices! Although I'm not sure if this would technically be considered a classic sci-fi/paranormal, my favorite book is The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.
Thanks!
Aimee
sierranelsby (at) gmail (dot) com

Nelsby said...

I became a follower of your blog.
Thanks!
Aimee
sierranelsby (at) gmail (dot) com

Nelsby said...

Tweet: http://twitter.com/Nelsby/status/2599391571
Thanks!
Aimee
sierranelsby (at) gmail (dot) com

Kristi said...

Favorite paranormal = Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr or Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione or Marked by Passion by Kate Perry. (I am already a follower)

Thanks!
kherbrand at comcast dot net

Shanyn said...

My favorite Sci-Fi book is definitely Ender's Game. My fiance has read some of the rest of that series and liked them, too... My friend Morgan just finished The Host and loved it, so now after reading your review, too, I really want to read it!

shanynlee AT gmail.com

SerieslyReady said...

I love the Twilight Saga and Wicked Lovely series. Anything with faeries really. Might have my genre a little mixed up, though.

kalea_kane said...

Okay...don't laugh but my favorite Sci Fi books area totally the Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The books rock.

I am also a follower.

kalea_kane(at)yahoo(dot)com

kalea_kane said...

I tweeted your giveaway

http://twitter.com/kellyblackwell/status/2641327350

kalea_kane(at)yahoo(dot)com

kalea_kane said...

Here is my blog link to your giveaway:

http://enroutetolife.blogspot.com/2009/07/wanna-share-couple-of-giveaways.html

Thanks again.

kalea_kane(at)yahoo(dot)com

*Heather* said...

The Time Traveler's Wife was a great read!

*Heather* said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
*Heather* said...

Blogged about it here!

esther said...

One of my favorites is The Awakening by Donna Boyd.

esther said...

I'm a follower.

*Heather* said...

I tweeted!
http://twitter.com/_HeatherAnne_/status/2656237511

roswello said...

dont know where to put this but the book THE HOST arrived today THANK YOU AGAIN it barley made it in the door and my teenage daughter had it so i guess i am not first in line to read it lol soo GREAT !!! THANKS

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About Me

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New Hampshire, United States
Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.