Just to show that she can do more than the teen vampire genre, Stephanie Meyer had her first adult science fiction novel published this summer. The book is titled The Host. The book is based on the idea of aliens who take over earth by taking over the minds of humans, leaving the bodies intact. Human beings are essentially “hosts” to this other life form, and the book is about one host body in particular, that of Melanie, who is not prepared to give final control over to her alien, Wanda (The Wanderer). Okay. (The book is actually not as corny as that last sentence just made it sound. I promise.)
Books about aliens taking over the earth can go in many different directions, so I was curious where Stephanie Meyer would go with this plot. I thought that there might be more underlying messages about the environment, and there is some of that – there is certainly concern for human violence and some funny exchanges about individualism and competitiveness, but the book is not preachy in this way, and I suspect most readers will agree with many of the author’s observations and find the ways in which they are presented interesting.
Stephanie Meyer’s writing style makes this a very hard book to put down. If you pick it up you may get through it in a day or two. But it is more than just an exciting sci-fi book; it is also a book about what makes someone who they are, about the relationship between the body and the mind, and in this sense it is a book that raises questions about personal identity. It does not take itself too seriously in this regard, but I enjoyed the opportunity to think about identity issues and to reflect further on several interesting questions raised by an author I had only known for teen fiction vampires. Stephanie Meyer shows that she is in this business for the long haul.