by Laura K. Lawless courtesy of www.AwesomeBooks.com
I really like the premise of The Host: an alien race – the Souls – explores the universe by inhabiting the bodies of other species. It’s like Star Trek’s mission of boldly going where no man has gone before taken to a whole new level. And I greatly enjoyed parts of the book, especially the detailed descriptions of other worlds, and the second half of the book, when the protagonist of The Host, née Wanderer, begins developing relationships with the members of the human community her body has brought her to.
The problem is that, for such an intelligent species, the Souls are pretty stupid. Despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, they truly believe that they are doing no harm, and are shocked that humans continue to fight back even after it is clear that they are outnumbered and pretty much out of options.
Wanderer eventually comes to understand what is so wrong with her race’s actions, but only after literally hundreds of pages of insults, abuse, and attempted murder. This is a very long book – over 600 pages – and while I wouldn’t call the first half boring, it was certainly tedious to read about Wanderer’s fear and the humans’ cruelty in such detail. I felt like, “Ok I get it: the humans hate the “parasite” inhabiting Melanie’s body, they don’t see her as a sentient being, they can’t accept her into their community”. I didn’t need the repetitively detailed descriptions of her inhospitable “room,” her constant fear, the naked hatred on Jared’s face, the black venom almost visibly pouring out of Kyle’s body… it was too much. And even after Wanderer proved herself time and time again, the slightest thing could set off new accusations of betrayal and treachery. I nearly put the book down after a couple hundred pages, and while I’m glad I didn’t, I feel like I could have skimmed for a while to get to the part when she started becoming a real part of the community and the story got a lot more interesting.
Have some thoughts of your own? Laura and the AwesomeBooks community would love to here them, simply reply to the blog post. You can pickup a copy of, ‘The Host’ here, or to read more of Laura’s literary musings why not visit her blog http://www.lklawless.com/blog