Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Host--Chapter 9

I need a break from LKH awfulness. How I managed to lazily read past a child simulcrum confined to a dog bed I will never know.

So we're back to Stephenie Meyer. A different kind of awful that is saving itself for the very end. What we are left with is boring.

Comfortable boring.

When we last left our "heroine" Wanderer was driving across New Mexico to avoid a perfect shiny silver soul who is also a stalking sociopathic lunatic. Melanie is upset because she realizes that she's going to die. Wanderer is upset because she's skipping bodies, and that would make her a quitter, and because she maybe kind of sort of feels sorry for the republican Human whose body she stole.

And then Melanie goes on the fucking war path.

Wanderer realizes that a landmark is triggering a major memory for Melanie. Melanie realizes that it would be bad juju if she gives away this memory with Wanderer about to sacrifice her body for the cause, so Melanie starts slamming Wanderer with every good and fuzzy memory she has. Jared and her brother Jamie, over and over and over, until finally Wanderer screams uncle and says she can't live without the two boys now either.

Yeah, if you look up "co-dependant" in the dictionary you'll find a picture of every S. Meyer female ever right beside it.

That's when Melanie drops a bombshell. Her uncle, aunt, and several relatives were all conspiracy nuts. Bigtime. And as all of them dropped off the face of the earth right around the time the Souls began taking people over, there's a real good chance they're still alive. In the process, we get a few memories of Melanie's uncle trying to talk her dad into believing that her mom is no longer her mom.

Yeah, we've totally skipped over the best part of this story. I know Invasion of the Body Snatchers has been done so much it's a trope in its own right, but the alternative is an endless drive through New Mexico. Fuck that shit, I'd rather read about how Melanie got away from Soul-Zombied Mom and Dad.

Wanderer now has to decide if she'll continue on to Tuson or follow the landmarks to humanity. We also get this internal concept:

This shouldn’t have felt like a betrayal, the idea of continuing on my right and proper course. My first language, the true language of the soul that was spoken only on our planet of origin, had no word for betrayal or traitor. Or even loyalty— because without the existence of an opposite, the concept had no meaning.

I don't like this. I don't like the idea that a concept requires an opposite for definition. It's like how people insist that yin-yang represents a good/evil dicatomy. Evil is not the opposite of good the way hot is the opposite of cold. Evil is the absence of Good. It's like quality. You don't know what it is, but you know when it's there and you know when it's not there. Loyalty would exist as a concept without the idea of betrayal. Life would exist as a concept without the idea of death. These things are made more obvious by the existance of their opposite, but they are not defined by that opposite. Saying that loyalty is defined by the existance of betrayal is like saying that romantic love is defined by the existance of rape.

If you can agree with that, do us all a favor and go away.

Finally Wanderer decides to do the only thing she can do: She goes shopping. 

End of chapter. 

...well, at least we haven't had to deal with non-con yet.  

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