Saturday 13 October 2012

Review: THE HOST

The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Book 1 of The Host series
Narrated by Kate Reading
Format: hardback, audiobook
Genre: scifi/fantasy

About The Host:
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.

When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind 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 begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.
Source: Info in the About The Host was taken from GoodReads at on 09/04/2012.

I bought the paperback edition of The Host a few years ago, but I just couldn't get into it. I couldn't get past the first chapter or so until I finally gave up and gave my copy away. However when I saw the audiobook format for download from the library, I thought that here is my chance to cheat and finish the book, finally. Of course lately I also saw that it is to come out as a movie next year. Hopefully by then I would have forgotten most of the book enough for me to enjoy the movie instead of sitting there playing critique.

I think the best feature of this book is the world building. It is massively beautiful! It insinuates into your mind and it stays with you long after you have read the book. Then I felt cranky after reading the book because I was left looking for another book to read with the same level of masterful beauty!!

I like Kate Reading's interpretation. It gave the story a certain flavour that I like. Her voice is not as mesmerizing as Therese Plummer or Alyssa Bresnahan but it is not as grating as Cristine McMurdo-Wallis either. Plus her diction is good. The words are clear and distinct. However, I did not like the way she gave her reading a question mark "up-tilt" at the end of her sentences even though they are not questions.

The story telling quality is not very compelling though. This is an audiobook, right? But I still find myself stopping and needing little breaks from it. This gave the book a feeling that it is considerably longer than the 23hours that the audiobook is suppose to be. And like I said, it took me a long time to get into this book even with the audiobook version. However once I got across the halfway mark, the pace did pick up and it went faster and faster specially towards the end. The plot also has little holes in it which were worthy of an "eye-rolling" disbelief moments. Having said that, I did like the ending and cannot wait for the next book in the series!!

CymLowell Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 3.5
Character development = 3.5
Story itself = 3
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 3.5
Pace = (23 hours and 6 minutes listening time)
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries

Author Link(s):
Stephanie Meyer
Book Link(s):
Movie Link(s)::
Movie Release Date: 29 March 2013
Movie Trailer:

Thank you to the RCT Library for letting me borrow this book (both digital audiobook and hardback editions).

FTC Disclosure:
This book was borrowed from the library. No money received for this review.


  1. I did try to read it but I skimmed cos it was sooooooo boring

  2. Blodeuedd - I can totally relate with you! That was why I gave away my copy, I just couldn't get into it. However, I was very glad that I found the audiobook format in the library and decided to give it another go because it was so worth it in the end! :)

  3. You liked it? Awesome. I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this book. I should try the audio.

  4. Juju at Tales of - The world building is just so beautiful that I want to visit it again! :)

  5. I had a friend who had 2 copies of this one give me a copy. I've been putting off reading it as I never read her other series and I wasn't sure I'd much like this one. Shame as I feel bad having the book and not reading it. But know. :) Thank you for the great review.

  6. Melissa (My words and pages) - You gotta have the will power to read through the first three quarters of the book to get to the good part...

  7. I have to say that I passed on this book SO many times. First was the whole host thing, yuck. I will admit that yours isn't the first good review Ive read. Maybe I should give it a shot. Thanks for the review!

  8. Elie - You can always just wait for the movie to come out and watch that instead. Would probably be more or less the same.

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