The Host

September 29, 2008
By OSunnyO SILVER, Vienna, Virginia
OSunnyO SILVER, Vienna, Virginia
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

I used to be very prejudice against Sci-Fi books involving an alien invasion. Most of those stories were about random aliens coming to earth and taking it over. Stephenie Meyer proved me wrong with her book “The Host.” I have never thought about humans in general, but a soul called Wanderer made me realize that being a human wasn't as simple as many thought it was. The story began when Wanderer came to the earth, which was the ninth planet she has been to. She was put inside one of the “wild” humans; the “wild” humans were the ones who managed to survive the alien invasion. Her name was Melanie and she stayed alive even though her body was taken over by Wanderer. When Melanie was sure that Wanderer won't betray her, she led her to her family: her brother, Jamie Stryder, and her boyfriend, Jared Howe.

One of the many reasons that kept the pages turning was that when Wanderer and Melanie found other humans, they didn't treat her very well. The majority of the humans thought Wanderer was leading the Seekers to them. Even when Wanderer told the truth, everyone except for Jeb, Melanie's uncle, didn't believe her. Stephenie Meyer described Wanderer's feelings so vividly that when I was reading the scene of Wanderer being mistreated, I wanted nothing more than to have everyone realize that she isn't so bad after all.

As time passed, people began to believe Wanderer wasn't harmful. Jeb even gave her a human nickname: Wanda. Just when Wanda thought her problems were over, she got involved in a complex love triangle that only involved two bodies. She had grown to love Jared after all the memories of Jared Melanie showed her. The complex love triangle between Wanda, Melanie, and Jared wasn't Wanda's only problem. Ian O'Shea, even though he tried to kill her in the beginning, grew to love Wanda. He didn't love her because her body, Melanie, was beautiful. He loved her because of what she did. Ian even said this to Wanda: “It's not the face, but the expressions on it. It's not the voice, but what you say. It's not how you look in that body, but the things you do with it. You are beautiful.” Kyle O'Shea, on the other hand, wanted nothing other than to kill Wanda, thinking that she is a great danger to everyone. He was extra sensitive because his girlfriend, Jodi, has been taken away to be used as a host. His character dramatically changed as time passed; he realized that he was wrong about Wanda being a danger and apologized to her for trying to kill her.
One time, when Jared and the others had come back from raiding for food supplies, Wanda noticed that everyone was hiding something from her. She was determined to find out what it was. When she walked into the hospital wing, she saw the something she has never seen in her life. There were silver everywhere – on the walls, on the floor, on the strange sharp tools, on the table, and most of all, on Doc's hands. I didn't know what she was talking about until later; Wanda was talking about a corpse of a soul. Just when she thought humans weren't violent monsters she was taught to see them as, she saw how they had killed one of her own kind. She kept on shouting to everyone: “Let me go! Get away from me! Get away; you're monsters! Torturers!” After that, though, Jeb explained the humans' need to fight back to her and she understood.
Wanda showed the humans how to take out the soul when they had captured her Seeker. She felt the need to save the Seeker and give Melanie's body back to Jared and Jamie. She asked Doc to take her out secretly, but not to send her off planet. She wanted to stay on the earth, which she grew to love more than anything. The secret eventually leaked out, though. Jared wanted Melanie back, even though he knew Wanda was a good person, but Ian just thought Jared wanted to keep Melanie in Wanda's expense and wanted Wanda to stay. Jeb wanted to find a new body for Wanda, but Wanda didn't want to be a parasite anymore. The same night, Wanda sneaks away at night to see Doc – to have Doc kill her, but Jared finds out what she is planning.

If you want to find out what happens to Jared, Melanie, Wanda, and Ian in Wanda's adventure to learn what it means to be a human, you will have to read “The Host.” As Ridley Pearson, author of “Killer Weekend” said, “'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.”

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