Český titul: Hostitel
In The Host, Stephenie Meyer leaves vampires and the misty forests of Forks, Washington behind as she moves into the arid Arizona desert and the realms of science fiction. While The Host isn’t marketed as a young adult novel, it is not not a novel for young adults either. The story has a fairly universal appeal and I can see Stephenie Meyer’s existing fan base finding enough similarities to the Twilight series in the writing style and the content of The Host to be more than satisfied.
Unlike the most popular alien invasion movies and science fiction TV shows, The Host doesn’t have Will Smith or Richard Dean Anderson to save the planet against a background of gun fire, secret weapons and loud explosions. In The Host humanity lost, vastly outnumbered and stealthily overwhelmed by superior technology. There are tiny pockets of resistance left, just a handful of humans who haven’t yet been captured, but they don’t spend their days plotting to retake the planet from the aliens – just surviving consumes all their time.
Indeed, The Host isn’t really about saving the planet from alien invaders; it is a story about what it is to be human, about identity and about individualism. Most of all The Host is a story about the nature of love. Romantic love, love of family, love of friends - all of these emotions are explored by Wanderer as she first succumbs to Melanie’s emotional memories then succumbs to the emotions for herself.
There is more than just memories left of Melanie though; she is trapped inside her own head unable to take control of her own body, forced to be an unwilling host to the alien Wanderer. Which makes things very interesting when Wanderer and Melanie eventually meet up with Melanie’s loved ones…