Monday, March 17, 2008

The Host, by Stephenie Meyer

Title:
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The Host
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Author:
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Stephenie Meyer
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(Bestselling author of the Twilight series.)
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* ADVANCE READER COPY *

Novel to be released in May, 2008 as hardcover.
Also to be available as large-print and audio editions.
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ISBN-10: 0-316-06804-7
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ISBN-13: 978-0-316-06804-8
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Published by:
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Little, Brown and Company
Hachette Book Group USA
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10169
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Price (as hardcover):
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$25.99 US / $29.99 Can.
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Ms. Meyer, who resides in Arizona with her three young sons and husband, is a graduate of Brigham Young University, with a degree in English literature. In The Host, she brings to us her first adult-angled novel, a futuristic science fiction thriller with the survival of earth's humans at stake.

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Meyer makes us ask questions, and to consider answers as well, which we might not be comfortable with encountering. Love of family, romance, loneliness, desperation. The genetics of body versus the strength of soul. Pull a string, get a reaction. It might not be what you expected. It might not be what could, at first glimpse, be called “humane”.

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What is “humane”, anyway? Hmm? You'll probably get exactly as many answers as the number of people you ask that question.

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This book, though in a different context, reminds me strongly of such books as The Handmaiden's Tale, Wolf and Iron, Neena Gathering (all by different authors)... and a few others of similar genre as well. These titles might be considered as classics of their kind. They're all books that make you think on realistic terms of what might happen if our society as we know it broke down for some reason.

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Take a look for yourself. I was surprised and pleased at the depth of the story, the quality of the writing. Ms. Meyer offers us an interesting – and rather horrific – fictional tale about “preconceived notions”, so to speak, and the possibilities of (literally) universe-al love. It's a big universe out there, and who can know what, or more to interest, who, we might eventually find or be found by, here in our lonely ignorance? Plant, animal, mineral? Gas, even? Or any combination? Does the shape or construction matter, when the soul is in control?

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How would a mercurial, widely-varying, and highly emotional species such as we are appear to ... others? The wost ancient words I've ever been able to find for “stranger” also mean “enemy”. Would we then meet enemies or friends, and more than that, how does one define the one from the other? A parasite, by our medical definitions, is (roughly) a symbiotic creature that does minimal damage to its host, for example. Could you find such a thing beautiful? Do our preconceived notions set us to positive or negative paths?

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This is a novel that will make you think. Do you want to? What's out there? Don't you wonder...?

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Thanks to Hachette Book Group for the chance to review Ms. Meyer's new adult novel. For information on other books offered or about to be offered by HBGUSA, please visit their website. . ... . Comments? Questions? Speak your piece and welcome! . -- The Fireside Reader

1 comment:

Pepa said...

This reminds me of the one Doris Lessing book I read, "Memoirs of a Survivor." She wrote it in the 70s. She describes a way of living (the current Western one) that is collapsing fast. Depressingly interesting.