Friday, February 1, 2013

The Host--chapter 4

There are two chapters left Narcissus, and I don't want to do them back to back against the load of fail I did yesterday.

So. Host today, and we go back to regular schedules tomorrow.

Also? Tonight? Sample of Gray Fox goes up. I know, I know, hold down your excitement. There will also be several short stories released at random times this month, whenever I feel they are ready. So come back tonight to read things that hopefully don't suck.

After reading Laurel K. Hamilton's desperate scrambling for theme for the past two months, I find myself with renewed respect for Stephenie Meyer. Again: I feel dirty. But she is either the single most subtle writer I've ever read, no bullshit, or she is completely unconscious of theme and is just somehow doing it on her own without consious volition. I think it's the latter, given the way this book ends.

So the chapter opens with a hungry Wanderer hiding in the bushes. We figure out in very short order that this is a dream from Melanie, because no pretty perfect soul would ever be hungry and hiding in random bushes on a planet.

Melanie is raiding a house for food. She thinks about how perfectly the aliens mantain human lives and habits. They want the culture, folks, and the memories and the music and language and science, but they don't want any of that icky human stuff hanging around. You've heard of whitewashing? Well, kids, this is brainwashing.

Melanie takes her food and runs, only to bounce off another person. She panicks because it's probably an alien...except it isn't. He realizes that Melanie is still human-driven and in his joy and exhuberance he kisses her.

She knees him in the groin. By the way, this is Melanie's One True Wub for this episode, and since he's going to go unnamed for-fucking-ever I'm going to blow the suspense right now and tell you his name is Jared. 

Also. Dear authors of all sorts everywhere: STOP WITH THE NON-CON SHIT. IT IS GETTING VERY OLD.

And of course once Jared proves his humanity it is all sunshine and apocalyptic rainbows and unicorns in gas masks. He has a car, Melanie has a brother. They will survive the peaceful xenocidal aliens together.

Wanderer wakes up, curses at her human body for remaining so human, and immediately e-mails the Seeker with the name and last known location of Jared and Jamie.

Melanie promptly flips her shit.

Wanderer promptly flips her own shit because Melanie should not have any shit to be flipping. A surviving Host has never happened before, let alone one who has survived surpressed for MONTHS.

Melanie tells Wanderer she hates her. Wanderer tells Melanie to leave if she hates her so much. Wanderer also decides that she will have to visit her Comforter (councelor) and discuss her horrible inability to completely supress the human whose body she stole. Wanderer feels humiliated.

End of chapter.

And there's one thing I want to know: Did a Social Justice Warrior get hold of S. Meyer on a plane trip somewhere? Because you think that theme of repression and privelage are blatant, you ain't seen nothin' yet.


  1. "Mom, how do you know when a boy likes you?"

    "Well dear, when a boy surprises you in an abandoned dusty ruin, corners you, and forces himself on you, then he's your soulmate."

    "Wow mom, grampa and grandma really fucked you up, didn't they?"

  2. I just have to say that reading "apocalyptic rainbows and unicorns in gas masks" made my night!

    It's been awhile since I read The Host, but I remember enjoying it up until that ending. The Souls are such a wonderfully creepy creation, raising all sorts of questions about mental freedom and what really makes a person a person. I totally agree that SM does most of this unconsciously, though. :p

  3. I'm seconding the idea (Thirding? Multipling?) that Meyer's theme here is unconscious. Maybe it's just built into the idea of bodysnatching, of taking someone's life over completely, but there's nothing in Meyer's work or interviews that suggests she's even aware of privilege or how it functions.