Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Just finished The Host by Stephanie Meyer and let my just say, Hallelujah, she does have some writing ability. After reading the cluster f*** that was Breaking Dawn, I was quite worried.

I won't go so far as to call it "great", but the moral dilemma brought up was interesting. I grew up reading Animorphs, which is essentially the same concept. Alien invaders = tiny wormy creatures that need a host to survive. Only these creatures, which call themselves "Souls" aren't malevolent, the way the Animorphs Yearks are. They come to various planets in hopes of exploration, colonization and learning, rather than conquest. None of their previous planets have had the force of will, the feeling of individual or the concept of freedom needed to put up a struggle or form a resistance, so it felt more (I assume) like cohabitation than hostile takeover. Enter the Human Race. Apparently the Human race has a higher emotional platform than other species (speci?), which means that the takeover on Earth requires more work, and that there are humans who fight back. The Main character, named Wanderer, is placed in a host, Melanie, who does just that. But instead of feeling hatred toward Wanderer, who is, undeniably, a parasite, we feel conflicted. We know Melanie deserves her freedom, but is it really Wanderer's fault that she can't survive without a host? She doesn't want to cause pain. She honestly thinks she is doing the right thing, and when the knowledge that the human race is not a good candidate for takeover makes itself apparent, she attempts to put things right. It's an interesting look at what happens when two sides conflict, but neither is inherently wrong. We are so accustomed to every story having a clear bad side and a clear good side, but I think Meyer's point is that sometimes there is no clear winner in the moral battle. Sometimes (read: almost always), both sides have heroes, both sides have monsters, and neither side has a monopoly on "right". This story is one of the few I know of that truly gives both sides of the coin.

Also, it turns out that Mrs. Meyer has bought herself a dictionary and looked up the word chagrin, because not only did she only use the word once, but she used it in the correct context.
For those of you who haven't read Twilight, Bella is constantly "chagrined". Even when she's not.

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