Without doubt this is my favourite book of the year so far. It makes you cry, makes you laugh and makes you think. And I don't think there's too much more you can ask from a book. I think it takes great skill to take a reader from sad, to happy, and back to sad and make it all feel real at the same time.
Very well written you understand both Melanie's perspective of violation and being taken away from her family too soon. But you also understand Wanderer's point of view and how the Souls must see us (humans) as disparate populations unable to get along with one another without violence, waste or misery. And I also found it pretty easy to follow who was talking and when..
Melanie was thinking sulfurous thoughts about the kind old man.This is largely being regarded as Stephenie Meyer's first adult book. Personally I'm not sure I see that, I always thought the end of the world would involve more swearing and more sex, and this book has none of either. So I think I regard that as more of a marketing ploy. I've also been reading some comparison between Twilight and The Host as first books in a series. I have read Twilight, and other than the fact it's about a vampire called Edward and a girl called Bella, couldn't tell you much else. The Host on the other hand is sticking in my brain. (Of course I'm going to read Twilight again after reading this :)).
He was being nice. He's sincerely concerned about my welfare, I reminded her.
You're all very creepy, she told me acidly. Didn't anyone ever tell you not to talk to strangers?
Onto the characters, I don't think there is one character that isn't well written. Wanderer is a fascinating, and considering the aliens have taken over the world, she remains remarkably true to her pacifist nature.
Melanie on the other hand is much more kick ass if a little naive. When she and Wanderer manage to join some free humans, she is somewhat shocked at their attitude to her. Of course they don't realize Melanie is there, they only see the silver in her eyes - indicative of possession by an alien.
Wanderer after a lot of hard work, manages to forge a place for herself among the humans, and become friends with Melanie. But even as she does so, she comes to question what she and her entire race have done. And comes to realize that she has some difficult sacrifices to make.
If I'm being picky at one point Wanderer says the cryotanks were built of no element that existed on this planet. I'm not sure about that - at a certain point on the periodic table elements become unstable and I'd stick my neck out and say that's probably true on any planet.
At the very end of the book we meet Burns Living Flowers, and I so want to know his story. I hope that The Host is the first in a new series, and I'll definitely be getting book 2 whether it's marketed as Adult, Young Adult or anything else. Highly recommended.