Summer book extravaganza

Posted by Naybeth Díaz | Labels: | Posted On Wednesday, 6 August 2008 at 12:24

While it could be argued that Creed and Riana are more in lust than love, the second new novel I read this summer, Stephanie Meyer's "The Host," is a very human love story, even with the alien invaders.

For several years, a race of parasitic aliens has been quietly infiltrating Earth. The invasion was hard to spot because the "Souls" are implanted in living humans and take them over, no pods required.

While the "Souls" look upon themselves as benevolent and making life on Earth better, there are pockets of resistant humans who don't take kindly to being pushed out of their own mind in the name of a perfect, violence-free society.

When the "Soul" Wanderer is implanted into rebel Melanie Stryder, the hope is to pull information from Melanie's mind that will lead "Seekers" to her resistance group.
Instead Melanie bombards Wanderer with memories of her human life - the man Jared whom she loves deeply, her younger brother, the sharp quick knives that are emotions.
Soon Wanderer and Melanie are working together to reunite Melanie with Jared. What follows is a love triangle with Jared looking at the face of his former lover Melanie, whom he knows is inhabited by another, and Melanie and Wanderer sharing feelings of love and jealousy about Jared.

To complicate matters, Wanderer feels drawn to another human resistance fighter, Ian, and thus the triangle becomes a square.
I know I said summer books shouldn't be thought-provoking, but, for this one, I will make an exception. It brings up the questions: What is love? What do you fall in love with - the mind or the body? And what price should be exacted for peace?
The "Souls" are parasites - this they acknowledge. Every other species they have inhabited has allowed them in without a fight, until the humans. Should one sentient species be destroyed to let another live?

During their time together, Melanie and Wanderer learn about each other and their respective races. Wanderer learns that humans aren't as brutal and violent as she has been lead to believe, and Melanie learns that what could become the extinction of her race comes from a place of benevolence.
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