Free eBook The Host –

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 Also see Alternate Cover Editions for this ISBN ACEACE 1 ACE 2 Aimed at the adult science fiction crowd, as opposed to the Young Adult Twilight fanbase, The Host isn t about science or where the human race is headed, but about what it means to be human, here and now.Earth has been quietly, non aggressively conquered by a kind, pacifist species unable to lie or deceive, who go by different names on different planets in different languages Here they call themselves souls , while the rebel humans who have slipped through the net call them parasites They are silvery, ribbon like sentient creatures small enough to hold in two hands, covered in feathery antennae Inserted into the back of a host body s skull, they take over a host s mind and motor functions to the point that the host s mind is completely subsumed in effect, killing them.That is, until Earth, where the hosts fight back.Wanderer has lived full life cycles on nine other planets a record among her kind before taking a human host, a young woman called Melanie Unfortunately, Melanie s not going away without a fight, and on top of the gamut of new and intense human emotions Wanderer must contend with, she also struggles to take complete control of her host and find the memories Melanie s keeping from her memories of her brother Jamie and the man she loves, Jared They d managed to elude the alien takeover, until Melanie was caught As Wanderer gradually gets to know and understand Melanie, she dreams and of Jared and Jamie until she finds herself ruled by Melanie s desire to find them, a desire stronger than the need to keep them safe from the parasites.While the story is very different from Twilight, the writing is much the same, and there are certain qualities in the characters that are becoming almost Meyer trademarks I can already hear the same complaints and criticisms as I ve read regarding the other series, but I m not sure what these people are expecting highbrow literature The earth to move beneath their feet Some people are never happy, and will often read a book determined to hate it With one book they complain that something was mentioned and then seemingly forgotten, in another that something was repeated too many times Personally, I didn t have a problem with the repetition in Twilight and I don t have a problem with it here.I think the first readjustment to my assumptions was with the alien race and Wanderer in particular When I read about the book last year, I assumed the aliens are aggressive and cruel and the humans would be portrayed as humane and vulnerable That s how it usually goes, after all, though I don t care for it The opposite is true here however the humans are portrayed as greedy, deceitful and violent which we are, pretty much, especially when cornered while the souls are kindly, generous, non suspicious, terrified of humans and apart from the Seekers couldn t harm a fly Especially Wanderer It s not easy having a pacifist as your main character and narrator, especially one who s easily scared But Wanderer has her moments of strength too, and resourcefulness, as well as her moral dilemma which is what really carries the story.Regarding the other characters, I really didn t like Jared, and Wanderer s attraction to him is one of the weakest points of the story The point is made that she loves him because her body, Melanie s body, loves him and responds to him, and her mind too in a way But it just didn t gel for me, probably because he doesn t come across well His own dilemma that the woman he loves is trapped inside a body ruled by an alien gives him some excuse, but really, what s this thing Meyer has about women loving men who treat them horribly Edward was pretty mean to Bella in the beginning, remember Anyway, I liked Ian early on and it was pretty frustrating, the way Wanderer treated him etc.The themes of the novel are pretty obvious, and definitely well meaning, but still interesting Questions of whether humans deserve to live on when we are so cruel to each other, and waste resources etc The souls don t even use money, they take only what they need, and treat everyone with the same kindness This raises the age old issue of individuality, which is often the victim and the ace up humans collective sleeve in such stories The same theme was explored in Scott Westerfeld s Uglies Pretties Specials trilogy, for example.Definitely one of the things I liked about this book was the conflict between Melanie and Wanderer, having two minds in one body with one dominant than the other It reminded me of Annon and Riane in Eric van Lustbader s Pearl Saga, a boy in a girl s body whose individual identities are slowly merging yet still conflicting written so well, I think Lustbader created a whole new gender It s simpler here because they re both female, but other problems arise because of it like loving the same man, or of Wanderer wanting to respond to Ian but unable to because her host body lusts after another man Among other things Because I didn t like the characters as much as I did in Meyer s Twilight series, I didn t fall in love with this book It s an oft times exciting story, with moments of tension and uncertainty, but I would have liked to understand the souls I didn t really understand where they came from or how they came to be, it s kind of like the chicken or the egg if souls can t survive without host bodies, how did they come to be How did they get inside their first hosts and it was a tad bit heavy handed on the moralising Not enough to annoy me, but it s there nonetheless In short, if you enjoyed the Twilight series, you ll probably enjoy this because it means Meyer s style won t aggravate you if, on the other hand, you didn t enjoy them, and you have bitched and moaned about her writing style like so many other people, I d rather you didn t read The Host, not cause your criticisms will be wrong, but because you re missing the story I should know, I ve bitched and moaned about books I don t like often enough before But I don t usually go on and read books by the same author, unless I m hoping they ll have improved And I think Meyer s writing is improving, but it is what it is simple, unadorned, reflective, introspective but not too much , and clear Even the repetition is necessary, which I think is true of Twilight as well. Okay, so I was reading along, and thinking all, hey, this is pretty interesting Not bad, Stephenie And then I got to about page 80 or so, and OH MY GOD THERE IT IS AGAIN, THE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE SAPPINESS OH MY EYES MY EYESI just can t do it CAN T DO IT AGAIN Not the older man, and the younger woman, and the 5 page discussion of why they can t have sex yet because NO DEAR YOU RE JUST NOT READY EVEN THOUGH YOU REALLY WANT IT BECAUSE LOOK, YOU RE A GIRL AND YOU CAN T POSSIBLY MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS.BUT JARED I LOOOOVE YOU YOU ARE MY SOULMATE BECAUSE WHY I DON T KNOW, I JUST LOVE YOU MAYBE BECAUSE OF YOUR STRONG JAW AND GOLDEN SKIN AND BLOND HIGHLIGHTS AND LACK OF A PERSONALITY THAT IS PROBABLY IT I LOVE YOU TOO, MELANIE AND I WILL PROTECT YOU AND NEVER LET YOU DO ANYTHING EVEN THOUGH YOU ALREADY SAVED YOURSELF AND YOUR BROTHER FROM HORRIBLE ALIENS i think i need to go lie down now. I originally had not planned on even reading this book because the Twilight series instills much rage within my soul, but I was in a dry spell for reading, so I decided to give it a try I have to say I really enjoyed it much than the Twilight series I have seen a lot of people complain about how slow the beginning was, but I didn t really notice It sucked me in pretty quickly It was very clearly a Stephenie Meyer book, though, which did lead to certain amounts of anger and eyes rolling nearly out of my head My biggest complaint with Stephenie Meyer is her romantic plots I feel like I ve accidentally picked up a Harlequin romance It is super cheesy and super melodramatic It makes my brain hurt Here s an example I stared into Jared s eyes, and the strangest thing happened All the melting, melding, welding that I had just been through was shoved aside, into the smallest part of my body, the little corner that I took up physically The rest of me yearned toward Jared with the same desperate, half crazed hunger I d felt since the first time I d seen him here This body barely belonged to me or to Mel it belonged to him 595, ARC WHAT First, horribly cheesy Second, nobody but you owns your body, and if you find it romantic to think otherwise, that is unhealthy Let s learn some emotional and physical independence What the hell is up with underage characters and older men Why could the females not be slightly older This is supposedly being marketed as an adult book, so maybe it s a bit alienating to make your main character s 16 when she first meets Jared who was 26, then 17 when she was starting in a new body which they thought was younger when Ian is in his mid 20 s I am guessing.I m just glad the romantic interests were not supposed to be seen as perfect They had similar flaws as Edward Jacob, but we were not reminded every 20 seconds how easily they dazzled everyone Jared can barely stand Wanderer for most of the book He would kill her easily if it weren t Mel s body He is cruel and violent towards her Ian is the first to physically assault her And then in the end he does it again, while also being a bit violent toward Sunny Jared Of course, Ian ends up pretty near perfect with his perfect understanding and perfect kindness and perfect love But I will accept this because I think that his perfect personality fits with the gentle, loving, peaceful personality of Wanderer While still cheesy, there were bits that were not romance based that were emotionally compelling I felt Wanderer s fear about what she had to do in the end In the tunnel on the way to Doc for the last time, when she asked Jared where everyone slept when it rained, my heart ached for her I thought that was a lovely way of noting how much she still really wanted to find out about this world and how much she was going to miss and that life was going to go on without her I know, I know, we are being emotionally manipulated, because if you don t know how it s going to end before you even pick it up, you haven t read enough in life But if you put yourself in the character s place when she has a very clear idea of what is going to happen, it s pretty sad The thing that made me love this is that it is not a romance It is a story about humanity with romance thrown in I like looking at humanity through alien eyes I like learning what it means to be human with Wanderer I like the interactions between Mel and Wanderer I like that Wanderer picked up sarcasm from Mel I love how absolutely confused she initially is by humans She views humans as violent, hateful creatures She is confused when they feed and protect her This completely goes against her view of humanity.I like how we perceive the humans through her eyes, how we get an idea of their motives from her which she is normally wrong about, and then we slowly see the change This is seen especially with Doc I enjoyed seeing how Wanderer reacted to humans and how her perception of them changed She goes from being terrified of humans to constantly surprised and confused by how good they end up being to loving them and embracing her own humanity But throughout it she is ashamed of betraying her kind and feels like a traitor She constantly second guesses herself, whether it s in favor of the humans or the souls It s not until the end when she really accepts that maybe what she does is wrong, but if it brings about good then it s the best thing for her to do I like the question of how much of yourself comes from some ethereal personality soul and how much comes from your physical body What makes us human What parts of us do people fall in love with Are we physical, spiritual, emotional It s a bit cheesy have I said that enough , but I like the idea portrayed when Ian says, 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 p 397, ARC And then we get to see Wanderer in two different bodies which change her a bit We have weak v strong, etc When in Mel s body, Wanderer feels a physical longing for Jared but an emotional one for Ian After she is put in a new body, she still loves Jared Melanie occasionally seems overly familiar with Ian before remembering who she is Jared stares searchingly and confusedly at Wanderer What makes someone who they are What part of a person do others connect with There are a lot of small touches that really pleased me I love how people act and react in this book.I thought it was hilarious when Wes said, You may have taken the planet, but you re losing this game, when they were playing soccer That s just funny to me If you can t use humor to cope with the apocalypse, you ll never make it.A reaction that rings completely true is when, after Wanderer walks in on the dissections and is absolutely horrified, the guys are confused about why she is so upset when they were sure to cover the bodies so she couldn t have seen anything However, they only covered the human bodies They still see the souls as alien and other which negates understanding and compassion.I love what happens in the following bit Ah, the seeker s familiar voice moaned from the human body Ah The room went utterly silent Everyone looked at me, as if I were the expert on humans p 553, ARC Of course that is how they would react when she is the one who knows how to bring the humans back One theme of the book is belonging What makes one belong Wanderer does not think she belongs in the cave because she is not human Many of the humans agree But she becomes part of the community, and her friends, who have gotten to know her and thus care about her, believe she belongs Jeb never calls her it , and as the others get to know her they stop doing this Lacey is instantly accepted by many of the humans because she is human or becomes human again But she has a hateful personality, and most of the main characters do not like her Jeb refers to her as that creature So what makes us belong somewhere I think the characterization is actually not terrible.Ian, for instance, initially comes off as cruel and violent he tries to kill her , but he s just reacting to his world being taken over by beings who want to basically kill all humans We see that he has the capacity to be kind, to gain perspective, to learn to understand Granted, it seemed a bit incongruous to go from Killer to Most Compassionate Loving Person Alive Ever in such a short time, but I ll take what I can get from Meyer.Even Kyle is developed, though it mostly comes up in the end Initially, he is just the villain of the story, but once Sunny is brought in we see that, yeah, he is rash and selfish and arrogant and angry, but he can be gentle and kind And we don t see this 180 done on his character where all of a sudden, out of the blue, he is capable of love We know he had a girlfriend before this all started Someone, at some point, must have seen some good stuff in him And his grief at losing his world is manifest through anger and violence towards those who destroyed it Sunny looks at him as her protector, but he doesn t jump into a relationship with Sunny He wants Jodi back But through his interactions with Sunny, he gains understanding He is confused by her reaction to initially meeting him and is surprised he can be so kind to her He is compassionate when she realizes what is going to happen and is terrified, he didn t realize it would be that hard Once Jodi doesn t come back, he has Sunny put back in her body, and he takes care of her But he s confused by it all he doesn t know what he s doing or how to have a relationship with her As shocked as I am by this, Meyer is able to create a character that grows but still remains himself I did have a problem with the ending It s just too neat and happy While I was amused and pleased that Jared held a knife to Doc to get him to save Wanderer, it s way too pat of an ending Of course, you knew it would happen from the beginning, but I have to wonder whether it would be a better ending to just let her die She s lived, she s learned, it s her time to go Life and love go on even in the face of death, as Meyer reminds us numerous times Show us how the humans cope, how they do on their own once she s gone Of course, she is the main character of the book, so maybe allowing her to continue learning how to be human is not such a bad thing And we know how Meyer hates making her characters suffer any type of consequence I must be a masochist Why else would I pick this book up in the first place, let alone finish it And it was so NOT worth it To sum up my impressions of this story WAAAAAHHHHHHH WHYYYYYYY This refers to the pointless waste of an entire tropical forest on the printing of this 600 pager in which NOTHING happens I kid you not Well, what else did I expect from a woman who created sparkly virgin vampires Hanging my head in shame In my defense, here is the quote from this trainwreck book Perhaps without the lows, the highs could not be reached Maybe I expected the highs just teeny tiny highs after Twilight the sparkly book I don t speak of This definitely had the aforementioned lows, but also a conspicuous absence of highs And it didn t even have the unintentional hilarity of Twilight sparkly series WAAAHHHHHH EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT There will be a movie It IS happening unlike the book, in which nothing is Ok, it s old news, but I am behind on my pop culture The important thing is the movie stills are out And they highlight the very important way in which it differs from Twilight the male love interest is wearing a gasp SHIRT In both pictures Proof Alright, enough of the silliness Let s get to business This book COULD HAVE HAD potential The premise can be interesting our planet overtaken by mind controlling centipedes souls, it takes people a while to realize that the invasion had happened, and the resistance emerges Add to it that the invaders are apparently looking for little than world peace and this has the beginnings of a fun sci fi ish story Alas, that didn t happen Our lovely protagonist, ladies and gentlemen My vision Let s immediately clarify this sci fi romance as I have seen it described is neither sci fi nor romance Instead we have a watered down story of sometimes angry overprotective men pushing around and ordering around the helpless, meek, anxious, and selfless heroine and occasionally carrying their women around as all men are prone to doing in Ms Meyer s books There is a lot of brooding, glaring, staring, whispering, and murmuring was Ms Meyer paid extra for every instance of murmur in the book It would seem so The narration is weak, lazy, and overly dramatic The characters are caricatures Pages and pages go by without ANYTHING happening Boring YAWN.This book deserves ZERO stars It is to literature what Gigli was to movies Anyone remember that awfulness Probably not, as I was likely the only sane human so saw it Again masochism Your time is precious please don t waste it on The Host Do anything else instead like watching paint dry, which still would be enjoyable Edited to add in bewilderment This book has a 3.86 rating on GR Am I reading the same thing as everyone else Was my copy of this book defective in any way