Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

The Host The Host
by Stephanie Meyer

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Katie Boyle

You’re never supposed to review a book you haven’t finished reading. I’m giving fair warning that this review breaks that rule.

The premise of The Host is that humanity has been taken over by a race of parasitic aliens that twine themselves about individuals’ central nervous systems and take over their bodies. This is by no means a new idea, as people who watched the original Star Trek know. (Flying pancakes, anyone?)

I started the book with some anticipation, because when it’s done well this premise can lead to thought-provoking writing. After 142 pages, when I still had about 475 pages to go, I called a halt. There was simply too much. What I was reading provoked some thoughts, yes—but no interest. The aliens view themselves as gentle saviours, stepping in and taking over sentient races and preserving the ecosystems in which they live. This naturally leads to reflections on humanity and our role in our ecosystem, but ultimately I was overcome by apathy.

When I stopped reading, the book was looking to turn into a romance between the main character, an alien in the body of a human whose mind still functions (lots of internal dialogues going on) and the former friend/lover of the human. An extremely improbable, and probably boring, romance.

Stephanie Meyer is the author of the enormously popular Twilight series. I had thought that I might give that a go, because its huge popularity is likely to indicate some level of…well, interestingness. After trying to read this book, I’m not going to bother.

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