But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she's never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.
©2008 Stephenie Meyer; (P)2008 Hachette Audio
This book by Stephenie Meyer, author of the aclaimed Twilight Saga, is a deeply moving story about what it means to be human. Aliens have conquered Earth and taken over the minds of humans. Most humans have submitted, but there are some who resist. When Wanderer is driven by her resistant human host to seek sanctuary among the people her host once knew, she faces rejection, hatred and violence, but also discovers the meaning of true love and friendship. This is a science fiction tale which is not my usual fair, but I thought it was very well written and I found the characters both complex and engaging.
I had never come accross Stephanie Meyer before, and I was very pleasantly surprised. This is science-fiction at its best. At a basic level this is a survival thriller. But Meyer uses the premise that human beings are possessed by aliens to skillfully explore xenophobia, prejudice, loyalty, betrayal, love, cruelty, kindness, altruism, selfishness, and the meaning of humanity.
The book is written from the viewpoint of an alien possessor, and the action, physical and psychological, moves at a good clip, which made it compulsive listening for me.
The narrator deserves special praise too, she acts out the parts with care and skill, getting the voice characterisations and the inflexions just right.
Whether you want a provocative and thought-provoking story or just a gripping yarn, I can thoroughly recommend this audiobook.
OK, I'll admit it, I am a Stephanie Meyer junkie. If she copied a restaurant menu, I'd probably read it.
That, however, doesn't stop The Host being an excellent, thought provoking listen! Picking up from the credits of most bodysnatcher movies, you're transported into the body of Melanie and the mind of Wanderer. Melanie and her 'Soul' form a bizarre union, searching for Melanie's lost love. The Host casts an inetersting new light on the 'love triangle' whilst posing some interesting philosphical questions about whether the person is contained in the body, conscious, or conscience.
Kate Reading has an upward vocal inflection, which I found quite irritating to start with, but once she started expanding the character range it became less noticable.
If you started with Twilight, I suspect you will buy this regardless, but if you have seen your children become obsessed and want to know what all the fuss is about, I would start here.
Absolutely brilliant book, almost unrecognizable to the style of the twilight series. This book is worlds above them. However the voice of the narrator draws attention away from the story at points because of unnecessarily exaggerated inflections which are not easy to listen to.
I thoroughly enjoyed the novel 'The Host' and thought that the audio-book would be a bit of fun, background stuff yadda yadda and instead I had to carefully portion my time to listen to it - the emotions run higher when you can hear the words spoken and as so much of the story is about a persons heart and soul, and the fate of the dwindling human race, the emotional content tends to run high and it was wonderful, I'm still mourning having finished it - my first audio-book hangover if you will.
Unlike Twilight (which I confess I do enjoy as a guilty pleasure) this story sticks to the pre-established trope that Body-snatchers etc have introduced us to over the years - a symbiotic race steals our bodies and our planet etc - but that's where the likeness ends.
Wanderer, our main character is one of a race who explore the galaxy and bond with creatures to learn and absorb and improve their cultures, having taken Earth before we can destroy it and ourselves to boot.
It's got romantic elements, it's even rife with Meyer's predilection for love triangles but the main love story is of Wanda/Wanderer and humanity; for all our brutish ways and hot blooded emotions nothing converts her like the love between humans and particularly her Host's lingering love for her little brother, a love so strong it converts Wanda from gentle Soul, to quietly stubborn heroine.
The film didn't do the book justice sadly (too much content for a two hour film methinks) but the audio book was so good I may leave my paperback to gather dust in favour of a re-listen versus a reread - it's a heartwarming sci-fi tale of love for each other and our planet both and I cannot recommend it enough :)
I particularly enjoyed the way Kate Reading intoned Wanderer's words with the sense of being new to the language, hesitations and stresses on things that were glossed straight over in her 'Mel' voice, not to mention her wide range of differing tones and accents made for a believable cast with both male and female characters.
Having read the book before I didn't think anything was likely to surprise or move me but Kate Reading's depiction of Walter made me cry my face off, as did Wanda's final deal with Doc - it was a wonderful story overall but to be moved by something you already know will happen is particularly amazing.
I loved this audio book, I loved the book and I don't think either get the recognition they deserve, I sincerely hope more people will give either version a try because two empowered heroine's in one body fighting for the people and the planet they love beats Twilight any day.
I felt the narrator did an outstanding job with all the characters voices. The unfamiliar inflections and tones that the narrator uses with Wanderers voice in the first part of the book, I think was intended to illustrate the fact that Wanderer was alien and not used to the language..she changes this as the book progresses. Anyway, I did not find the narrators voice irritating at all..I very much enjoyed this book and would recommend it as an easy, enjoyable and entertaining listen.
Work in mental health and music, have to commute a lot so audiobooks are great for those journeys.
One of my favourite listens. I have listened to it half a dozen times.
The main character(s) Wanda and Melanie Stryder, Meyer has definitely captured the nuances of each character fantastically.These two characters, although they share the same body, are entirely their own person.Wanda is the soul that has been drafted into Melanie's body; she is mild mannered, timid and painfully kind to everyone.Melanie is smart, strong willed and has spent years on the run, she has a no-nonsense and outspoken attitude.Wanda/Melanie are very strong characters in their own right.
Moments of laughing out loud, moments of gripping emotion and connections with characters.I fell in love with most of the characters in the caves, Jeb is delightfully mad, Jamie is heart achingly sweet, Jared is fiery and enigmatic and Ian is loyal and strong.
Narration was outstanding, Kate Reading really did all of the characters' voices incredibly well. Wanda and Melanie are given different voices that do justice to their temperament.A great story about, humanity, survival and everything that is good and bad about being human.
This was an engrossing and interesting listen. It starts slowly but once it gets going (and it does get going) it doesn't stop. I listen at the gym, and one day even found I'd done 4 minutes over my time on the treadmill I was so caught up in things!
I sort of guessed how the end might be resolved, and womanfully avoided picking copies of the book up in my library or local Smiths just to see if I was right (I was, in a way).
What was nice was that there was no contrived badness to interrupt what was essentially a book about learning who, and what you are, and how that affects those you love.
The only problem now is, after over 20 hours of listening I'm going to really struggle to get into another audio-book.
This is beautifully read with lovely characterisation - she copes with the main characters brilliantly, doing crotchety old men, teen boys, women and men, staying in character throughout. Well worth the pennies and well worth listening to - go buy!
Simply wonderful, very well written and very well narrated had me totally captivated after listening for about 20 minutes.
Sadly I watched the film after listening to the book and found the film sadly lacking :(
Okay... it didn't surprise me as in twists and turns - I could see most of it coming - but by how much I liked this. I'm not usually a fan of slow narrated stuff (bought it in a post-Twilight moment of insanity), but this book still sucked me right on in.
I especially liked the fact that the author didn't seize every opportunity to make a disastrous cliff hanger of every situation. Everything just keeps working out, which is actually nice. The interest comes from the commentary on human nature - the story isn't particularly deep and meaningful, but it does make you think a little.
Look forward to the sequel.
I loved this book. After having the cover of The Host starring at me all the while I was reading the Twilight Series, I had to read it. I love Wanderer. The rollercoaster of emotions that was her plight with the humans and the choices she makes. A great read/listen.
"Needs editing - get the abridged version"
Sometime intricate detail can be captivating and create a technicolor vision. This is not one of those times. Long winded, frankly boring descriptions with minimal actual plot progression creates such relief when something actually occurs in the story that it can be mistaken for enjoyment. I have listened to over 100 files from Audible and this is one of the 5 most tedious and boring... Sorry, but the more I heard the more I wish I had waited to read reviews (it was a new release when I purchased it).
"good story and great narrator"
The Narrator didn't just read, she performed
the Concept is really interesting
the different voices she puts on
when the people started to accept the main character
The first time I started listening I got tired after about an hour, did not really understand what was happening and I had expecte something else ... Then I gave it another chance, which I absolutely do not regret! The story is superb, you laugh and cry. is among the best I've ever heard and read. listen right now on the book for the second time!
Can't think of someone..
When they accepted the wanderer and when they took away the soul of the young woman, but saved it, if for the original soul wasen't still in the body, and when Wanda helped to get antibiotics....and EVERYTING!!
"Far better than Twilight!"
I originally read The Host after dipping into Twilight a few years back, before the films were released. The plot, in my opinion, is far superior and believable and I have read it again several times while Twilight grows dusty on my book shelves. I was looking for an audio book that I didn't have to concentrate on (for listening to when doing a task that demanded greater concentration at times) and so picked 'The Host' as I was very familiar with the story. Initially, I was very disappointed in Kate Reading's performance as Wanderer. I found, like another reviewer noted, she was stilted. However, it was only a few chapters in that I realised that this was actually necessary given the nature of Wanderer and by mid-way through the book I was grateful for Kate Reading's clear distinction between characters. Don't be put off in those first few chapters! Keep at it, and you will see what I mean.
"Enjoyable albeit Soap Operatic at Times"
I enjoyed this audio book, this being the first I have listened to. I loved the Twilight series, but with HOST was a bit disappointed - the reactions of the characters at times seems a little unrealistic and over-exaggerated. They somehow seemd two dimensional at times, not believable. There were places I found a little monotonous however the storyline kept me interested and at times I found myself keen to keep listening, or thinking about the characters... Worth it for good escapism - I would certainly "read" any sequels to this!
"Sorry I bought this"
When I read this book, I was so excited to then buy this on audio. What a disappointment. It was narrated very badly, short and stilted. I'm so annoyed that I paid money for this, it could have been done so well. I wish I'd had a listen to the sample before, but I was too excited.
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