Narrator: Kate Reading
Series: Host Trilogy #1
Published by Hachette Audio on June 9, 2008
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction
Length: 23 hours 5 minutes
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away.
Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.
When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves—Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.
My Review (1/27/13):
After reading the Twilight Series multiple times, I came to this book with certain preconceptions. I was surprisingly, and enjoyably, mostly wrong. First of all, I think Meyer has come a long way in her writing style; the dialogue is better, the character development is better, the story is much more complex. Secondly, I expected a science fiction novel. This was not one, in the same way that Twilight really wasn’t a vampire novel. Meyer has given a new, interesting twist to the basic (and often overdone) plot of alien takeovers in this book.
I wasn’t entirely wrong though, either. I expected Meyer’s trademark love triangle, and I got it. This time though, it was much more complex and the outcome isn’t as obvious. Love is the defining characteristic, but I think that’s also something you can expect from any Meyer novel. Again, this felt much more satisfying than in the Twilight Series (which I did enjoy BTW). This isn’t a teenager falling madly in love. This is love when you’re facing the end of one species and the needs of another. The emotions are very complex. Weirdly enough, there’s also a repeated fixation on the eyes.
Kate Reading is a pretty good narrator – she is able to bring to life the variety of voices convincingly and she doesn’t do any annoying accents. I really enjoyed her differences for Wanda and Melanie, you could feel both their personalities coming through in her voices. I do wish her pace were faster, since the book was a long one.
As a final thought, I should mention that this book was a slow-starter; it took me longer than I would like to get invested in characters. That being said, once you get invested, you stay invested. Some features end up feeling a bit childish, uninventive, and fall flat. But overall it’s a fun read that pulls at your heart strings and makes you think about human nature. If Meyer actually ever continues the series I’ll pick it up the next book, but thankfully the ending is satisfying enough as is.