Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Host, by Stephenie Meyer

This book totally took me by surprise - one of the most entertaining audiobooks I've come across, period. I knew from reading the Twilight series what kind of an author Stephenie Meyer was, and how the romantic storyline was central to the plot of those books, and kind of expected a science fiction book that was more romance than science fiction, but still entertaining. Instead what I got was an entertaining and gripping science fiction story that had me riveted and anxious right up until the end of the book. I kept wishing I was reading the book instead of listening to the audiobook, not because the performance was lacking (it was top quality) but because I wanted to be able to get through it faster. Many times I realized I had been holding my breath when it was tense, or laughing, or gasping.

I thought Orson Scott Card had the prize for a wacked out romance that I could enjoy when, in Children of the Mind, Miro was in love with a bodiless soul that lived in the computers, and at the same time, with a soul-less body that was animated from afar by his stepdad. Weird, right? Well, in this book you have an alien parasite not able to entirely subdue the consciousness of its host human body who is in love with a member of the resistance and has a brother there too who she also loves and misses terribly, and then they get involved with others and it gets messier. Don't worry though, it's also got giant clawbeasts, underwater dragonfly dolphins, alien vivisections, mutilated bodies and brains, and all the gooey stuff you expect from science fiction, and yet somehow Stephenie Meyer managed to make it not seem gooey. It was awesome.

I give this one a ten all around - the story is awesome and the audio production is flawless. The characters are believable, sympathetic, and realistic, and the story is intriguing and enthralling. It's clean too - little if any swearing, sex, or other material I'd have to shelter my children from. Way to go Stephenie Meyer!

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