In honor of the release of New Moon at midnight tonight, I decided to recommend one of Stephenie Meyer’s novels as my third Thursday Treat. However, I’m not recommending one of the Twilight novels, for two reasons.
1. Most of the world has already read the books.
2. The Twilight novels, while lovely, are horribly written and I’m sorry, I can’t stand Edward.
3. Writers become better the more they write, and since Twilight is her first series, I simply can’t recommend it.
4. Again, the writing is HORRIBLE.
With this is mind, I decided to talk about Meyer’s other novel The Host, which I think is underrated and overshadowed by its older sisters. Where the Twilight saga is more young adult and really focuses on the relationship aspect between characters (between completely one dimensional characters), The Host is far more science fiction and really focuses on creating a world.
Meyer basically went from a fantasy land to a science fiction reality between the two series. And in my opinion, she is a much better science fiction writer. Too often fantasy and science fiction are grouped together as one genre. They are completely different. Fantasy doesn’t have to have rules. It doesn’t have to make sense. Magic can just be and things can just happen. Nothing really ahs to be explained and the reader has to take it as it is. That’s where you can get loopholes-because nothing is concrete.
Science fiction is far more set and finite. Things have to be explained with logic and the characters have to follow rules that cannot be broken. Science fiction is much more real than fantasy and the reader can feel the possibility of that reality actually happening.
The Host is a view of a future that can feel very real at times, which is its strength. Unlike Twilight, where things seem to happen and then explanation happens, the world of The Host is already set. While the characters don’t necessarily agree with their world, they fight back, within the parameters of the rules Meyer set. That makes for good science fiction.
The real reason why I like The Host better than the Twilight saga is that Meyer learned to write. She’s not so focused on making a teenage love triangle work, but rather than she display a world and characters that are far more relatable. And while there is still a love triangle, it happens far more naturally and normally than it does in Twilight. Overall, it is simply a much better written novel—far more entertaining, well-written, and touching than her other novels.
It saddens me to think that it was not as well-received as it should have been. For authors like Meyer, they will forever be regarded as the writers of immensely popular fiction. Like J.K. Rowling, Meyer will forever be known for the world she first created. It will be hard for her to break away into writing more serious works, unless The Host is just a warm-up to the novels she has in the works. I hope that she can break away and create more works like this.
I will say, as a negative, that they only thing I did not enjoy about the book was the ending. I really wish Meyer has been brave enough to give the book the ending it deserved. She went there, then took it back. I understand she’s turning The Host into a trilogy, so I get it. I just wish she hadn’t. I believe part of that decision lay with her publisher. A publisher can make more money off a trilogy than a standalone novel.
Anyway, mini-rant aside, if you haven’t given The Host a try yet, either because you hate Twilight or you’re scared to go there—go there. It is a wonderful novel with great characters and an amazing world.
And for those of you also going to the midnight showing—go Team Jacob!
You can find out more information about Stephenie Meyer and her novels at her official site: http://stepheniemeyer.com/
Btw, Stephenie has no idea who I am and I am 100% positive she doesn't care. This is just my own opinion and recommendation.