- Title: The Host
- Author: Stephenie Meyer
- Series: The Host #1 (possibly)
- Source: Personal Purchase
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.
Featuring one of the most unusual love triangles in literature, THE HOST is a riveting and unforgettable novel about the persistence of love and the essence of what it means to be human.
I originally read The Host back in 2009, shortly after reading Twilight, and I really liked it. I didn’t love it as much as I loved Twilight, but I liked it a lot. However, unlike Twilight, I was unable to reread it (I tried). With the movie coming out last month, however, I decided it was time to reread it. I bought both the Kindle and Audible versions and decided to give the audio a try for this reread. It took me a long time to get through it, but I did enjoy it while listening.
The narrator, Kate Reading, took me a little bit to get into. During the first chapter, she sounded almost robotic to me, maybe a little too sci-fi, and I was worried it was going to make me DNF the book, but by chapter 2, it wasn’t as bad. In retrospect, I think the first chapter is written in third-person, while the rest of the book is written in first person, so perhaps that’s how she chose to differentiate between narrators.
I thought that Kate Reading was a good narrator. I read on Goodreads that someone thought that she sounded too old for the character, but I thought it was appropriate. Yes, Kate Reading’s voice is a little old for Melanie, but since the main character and narrator is Wanderer, a thousand-year-old soul, it made sense. I also thought that her male voices were pretty good. There are a lot of guys in The Host, and while I couldn’t always differentiate which character was talking like I can with some other narrators, I thought they were good. I’ve decided that there’s nothing I hate more in an audiobook than a narrator who tries too hard or sounds like they’re mocking the opposite sex (*ahem* Anna Dressed in Blood *ahem*).
Because I’d read The Host before, I remember most of the big plot points, but it had been so long that I forgot a lot of the specifics. Even having read it before, I really enjoyed the story again. There were definitely some scenes that I felt were slow-paced and possibly not needed, but I didn’t think there were enough of them to really affect the plot for me.
I know that Brittany said something similar in her audio reread of Mockingjay, I think (I know it was a Hunger Games book), but I felt that the slower pace of an audiobook, versus my feverish reading of a print book, really benefitted me here, as well as Kate Reading’s narration. There was an emotional scene near the end that I don’t remember affecting me much while reading the first time, but I found myself getting choked up this time around.
In short, I still think that The Host is a good read, and I would definitely recommend the audio version, even if it is 22 hours long!