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20 July 2010 @ 01:24 pm
The host, chapter 8 (part 1)  
Justin: Hello crowd. I’m Justin with my friend Eliza and we‘re here to “riff“ this book chapter. Say hi Eliza.


Eliza: Whatever.

Justin: Now, I bet whoever is reading this is wondering “Where is Shaolina?” She’s a bit indisposed at the moment. She was given more work to deal with and a new deadline. She thought she would be done by Monday but turns out she won’t be done until Wednesday. That’s when her special project ends.

Eliza: Plus the wussy went to see that… air magician movie to take a break and is overacting like a bad 70s ripoff movie actor. Something about living in a world where eclipses are ok and those blue cat people suck monkey balls. Then some lake shows up and she wants to dump toxic waste on him. Look guys, I don’t know. Let’s just get this over with, I was promised a 5-meat sub and some chips.

 

Justin: We start off the chapter with two girls fighting, Seeker and Wanderer.

Eliza: Those are seriously the names of the characters? Seriously? I thought Shaolina was joking when she said that.

Justin: What’s wrong with those names?

Eliza: (Scoffs) Nothing, Mr. Case.

Justin: Wanderer is expressing her heartfelt fear of flight to her friend and she is ridiculing her. As the friend of somebody who has an irrational fear of flight--

Eliza: What do you mean irrational? If man was meant to fly we would have wings!

Justin: I have to say she’s handling it wrong. I find that knocking her with some Nyquil works better.

Eliza: O-kay, I’m not eating anything you give me ever again.

Justin: Then Wanderer talks about visiting her friend Ford--

[Loud screams are heard]

Eliza: What the--?

Justin: (Ahem) Turns out that to visit him Wanderer has to cross the desert. I have to admire her dedication to him considering there are other “healers”--

Eliza: Healers?

Justin: Fancy word for doctors, I’m guessing.

Eliza: Why not say doctor?

Justin: Not cool? What do I know? Wanderer starts thinking about the possibility of skipping this planet in shame, but decides against it because we make great hosts.

Eliza: Lucky us.

Justin: The Seeker in turn is taking an airplane and waiting for her in Tucson instead of riding with her. I have to say that is very inconsiderate.

Eliza: Wait, didn’t Shaolina mentioned this chick was stalking the alien?

Justin: (Checks notes) “I will never leave your side.”

Eliza: I think somebody needs to reevaluate what stalking means.

Justin: Not that it matters. Wanderer is talking for a while about she’s going to give up and posses something else. (Gasp) Oh, crap! The pacifist aliens are planning to take over dolphins. How cruel!

Eliza: Not surprised, they can be dicks.

Justin: They are not… um, like that.

Eliza: Shows what you know about marine life.

Justin: (Shrugs) So turns out Melanie hates the doctor guy. She just stayed quiet as Wanderer checked if she had forgotten something but there was nothing to take. She starts to monologue about how nothing and nobody in this planet wants her even though she loves it so.

Eliza: I’m so sorry for her pain. Truly heartbreaking. How does the planet dare be insensitive to the parasite. That’s like me not serving tea to somebody who just breaks into my home.

Justin: Then Wanderer and Seeker have a moment when they repeat what was said before Wanderer did her monologue.

Eliza: Wait, I think you are rereading the previous page.

Justin: (Rereads the page) Nope, I’m reading the next scene. The Seeker reminds her that she’ll be waiting at Tucson and that Wanderer will be driving while stating how much she dislikes her.

Eliza: Wow, truly we needed a copy paste of the previous scene. It’s not like we couldn’t get that Wanderer doesn’t want to be around Seeker from before.

Justin: Well,as--

Eliza: No, I’m not done! Seriously, why didn’t we get the “Oh, pity me and my loneliness” scene before these two twats snarling again? Does the author think if she says it enough we’ll buy it? Did she not reread it and noticed she wrote the same thing twice? Does she doubt our abilities so much that if she doesn’t repeat it our tiny brains won’t get it? WHAT THE FUCK?!

Justin: You keep interrupting me like this… are you sure you don’t want to read and summarize instead?

Eliza: Pass.

Justin: So Wanderer finally leaves and hit’s the San Diego highway… while driving slowly.

Eliza: Why on earth is she driving on the highway slowly?

Justin: Turns out she doesn’t know how to drive and neither does Melanie.

Eliza: So she’s afraid of taking a mode of transportation where somebody who actually knows what he or she is doing will take her in a safe and short amount of time, but she’s alright with driving without taking a single class?! (Groan) I’m sorry I asked.

Justin: Maybe she went to wikipedia and learned how to do it?

Eliza: (Facepalm) You would think years of being your friend would prepare me for this kind of hobby.

Justin: Wanderer starts saying how she’s a loner ever since she came to earth. She blames Melanie for it--

Eliza: (Yawn) Yeah, that’s it. Considering these buggers are as interesting as watching bread get moldy. Honestly, how did they take over humans? Did they just talk us into submission?

Justin: (Checks notes) Well, says here--

Eliza: I was kidding!

Justin: Well, turns out Melanie shares your feelings since all this time she was too busy daydreaming to even pay attention to Wanderer. Wanderer takes this opportunity to disrespect the privacy of the calm human host. Truly this ethical behavior.

Eliza: Yeah… I’m sick of this bullshit. Let’s go!

Justin: But I’m not finished and we promised to do this chapter.

Eliza: Alright. How many pages?

Justin: Around six.

Eliza: Yeah, screw that with a spiky can of bug spray. Look, we can go on tomorrow if we must but I‘m tired of hearing you read this crap.

Justin: (Grin) Fine, but you get to narrate the rest.

Eliza: Oh, you mop headed bastard!

Justin: Well, that’s all for today.


(Chapter 8, part 2)

 


 
 
Feeling: tiredtired
 
 
 
Carakaslacarakasla on July 20th, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)
You know Meyer, there are these drugs that can make people go night-nights when they go on a plane. Maybe people use them so the can go on a plane, instead of driving without a license which is highly illegal. I gave my dogs one of these drugs for when she went on a plane for my vacation, and they worked well.

Wait, you think cough syrup is a highly addictive substance. Nevermind.

Are there cops in this Alternitive Universe?! Why aren't the CHP chasing down their asses and arresting them for driving without a license?! They get suspicious of very slow drivers too, ya know!
Miss Shaolinashaolina on July 21st, 2010 12:44 am (UTC)
The souls are just so good and wonderful that cops aren't needed. I mean it's not like they do illegal things like breaking traffic laws-- oh, wait. Oh, but what does it matter? It's not like people die in traffic accident-- hold on. But slow traffic is safe traffic... although in a highway it might cause a crash when drivers have to make a sudden change of lane or full stop. Oh, but they are super smart so they can do anything!

My question is: why can't she take a bus? There are planes and cars but not buses? She's even distraction herself by probing Melanie's mind. This is beyond reckless. She's never taken a class, is being super slow and is paying no attention to the road in a highway. If this had some semblance to reality she would crash and die. Even if the highway is empty for some reason, it is still dangerous as is.
Carakaslacarakasla on July 21st, 2010 12:51 am (UTC)
And what about trains? I know people don't use them too often but they haven't gone...you know...extinct.

See, this whole 'spesul' crap when it comes to the parasites could work in a very creepy way. An alien race coming to 'fix' the humans to mold them in their image. It very much screams the British Empire going and conquering the savages and 'civilizing' them. But, we all know that is not Meyer's intention, so it fails. Hard.
Miss Shaolinashaolina on July 21st, 2010 01:16 am (UTC)
That's another option! I would say hire a driver or get a buddy to road trip but the first one can be expensive and she's "a loner" so no friends. I still stand by my bus option though. XD

And that's what I said. XD This is the Romas expanding their territory. The Spaniards coming to America and "civilizing" the tainos and other native americans. The americans "helping" other countries incluiding Puerto Rico. This is the Fire Nation taking over the Earth Kingdom and the Water tribe! This is Sparta!! (with the Persians trying to take over them XD) This is a tale as old as time. XD (And no disrespect to the countries mentioned)

This could be the tale of colonialism in the eyes of the ones in charge instead of those below. The countries doing the conquering don't see what they are doing is wrong in any way and the people living a normal life might not even think about it, but what they do affects others. They take power and suck resources and train the humans to be what they need them to be.

I don't completely hate the story because it has potential. Not super original, but with some thought it could have been a cool book. If I were in charge of taking care of it I would have changed how Jared and Melanie fell in love, reduce a bit the number of times the aliens describe themselves as kind and change others in ways it looks as propaganda, erase every mention of Wanda being Brave, Smart and Wonderful (If she is you will notice) and make her take the damn bus (or train).

My biggest problem with this is that Meyer falls into the same holes of fail that she did in the Twilight series. She tries to move on but really doesn't and, unlike the Young Adult section, the sci-fi section is not full of squealing fangirls. Plus advertising as "Sci-fi for people who hate sci-fi" is disrespectful for the genre and that book has already been invented... it's called "The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy."

Carakaslacarakasla on July 21st, 2010 01:39 am (UTC)
Yeah, there isn't anything wrong with using an old idea, so long as you add your own unique twist. 'The Host' twist could have been interesting; humans being taken over by parasites, something we typically see as below us and equate to something weak. (Which, in a non-animal context, I find very ironic she would pick parasites, especially after 'Twilight'.) You actually see very few stories from the view of the one doing the conquering.

I've heard people say that about 'Twilight' too. If you dig through all the adjectives for 'perfection', crap writing, and god-modeling, it could have been a pretty good cautionary tale with a fantasy twist. Even with Bella going all 'Edward can do anything! I just SUCK!', it could show the twisted mind of someone who devoted their complete selfs to another person. But of course that would involve A) Meyer admitting that was her intention. Which is wasn't and B) Meyer actually doing some sacrifice at the end, probably with some (preferably Bella) dying.

...What? What is the point to reading a genre if you don't like the genre? That's like saying: 'I LOVE fantasy, but I don't like all of those monsters they use! Like dragon, elves, goblins, dwarves, drow, vampires, etc. Can't they just use normal animals?' -_- Wtf?. What a crap marketing gimick.
The reason Meyer keeps falling into the same traps is because she never learns the first time around. If she actually LEARNED anything from Twilight, she could have used 'The Host' as a bit of a do-over. Her second attempt at writing a decent book in a different genre so she doesn't get too much tied to the other genre. Not that I advocate genre-jumping. It can be very difficult, and I don't think Meyer should have attempted it. No wonder 'The Host' did so horrible.

...I'm sorry, I'm pissed at that quote. I'm not a Sci-Fi lover, but that could easily piss off and alienate your audience. Again, no WONDER 'The Host' was shit in sales.
Miss Shaolinashaolina on July 21st, 2010 02:06 am (UTC)
Not at all. Every idea is old in a way, it's a matter of how you spin it. As you said, parasites (among the "lowest" of lifeforms) taking over humans could have been cool. But it would have taken research and I don't mean scientific. Looking how countries promote going to other countries to fix them while getting profit would have been a good way to go. I bet there is research and books about the subject she could have read, classes she could have gone, read old newspapers in times of war. The host could have been so much better and richer, even if she didn't show all of that.

Yeah, I've heard that too. I don't disagree because I think any story has potential of being good depending on how you write it. Like the tale of an orphan kid taken cared off by mean people growing up to be a force in the magical community can be good and told in different ways (Bartimaeus trilogy and Harry Potter being 2 examples) I do like the spin you gave it since I'm a fairy tale fan. Cautionary tales are some of my favorite types.

I don't like that line too. I guess she was trying to get her fangirls to switch over since I doubt a good chuck of them love sci-fi.

Now from time to time a book shows up that can make the masses consider a genre they had ignored before. Like the way Harry Potter attracted people that didn't read YA before, the love people feel for the hitchhikers guide even if they don't read sci-fi or my obsession with Soulless even though I don't hang in the romantic horror section. But here's the thing: those books don't come in claiming to be "(their genre) for people who don't read it" Good books can cross barriers without such gimmicks, it's a matter of being great.
Carakaslacarakasla on July 21st, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
If I wasn't so engrossed in writing my own book, I would probably rewrite a few chapters of Twilight with that spin. You don't see a lot of Romance stories nowadays that deal with the darker side; stalking, obsession, co-dependency, abuse, even mutilation and murder. It would probably be quite heavy and not suitable for YA, but hey, I like twisted stories.
I, personally, don't think there is really anything wrong with using well used prompts. Even the Tolkien prompt. It's all about the spins.

I was more talking about what Meyer did. She established herself as a Romance/Fantasy writer, then all of the sudden she went and did a Romance/Sci-Fi writer. I don't mind books transcending genres, or even authors, but something about Meyer doing it irks me. I guess its the whole thing that she didn't grasp the fantasy genre (which I personally write in), then why go to another genre that sometimes demands lots of research and comprehension of scientific ideas. Not that fantasy doesn't demand lots of research, I've had to do tons of research of mythical creatures. It's just...yeah it irks me.
Miss Shaolinashaolina on July 21st, 2010 02:56 am (UTC)
The one I want to rewrite is the Bree Tanner one. XD That one could have been great under the right spin. Heck, I read it however I wanted and the darn thing made me laugh so hard. As is it could be taken as Meyer finally using the unreliable narrator, having a girl stuck on her own reality to cope with the fact she's a monster now and the only people who have been nice to her are using her to fulfill their needs.

I tend to go for lighthearted stories, but I don't shy away from dark ones either.

Ah, I get what bugs you. it's the fact that she's jumping around genre's without thinking about what makes it unique and demands of her. You feel she hasn't fully grasped the fantasy genre to just jump to sci-fi with the same lack of effort, right?

Honestly, I would have preferred she stayed in her little box. She feels bored dealing with vampires apparently, but I think that maybe she should try writing differently instead of just changing creatures. It's like she's playing the literary version of madlibs. What's infuriating about Twilight it's also infuriating about the host. The constant repetition, the use of the word perfect to describe a group of jerks, bad relationships, bad logic and stupidity abounds. Although I'll admit it is less purple so far, but otherwise it's the same story all over again.

I mean, how does Melanie and Jared fall in love? Melanie swoons and caves like a good little female as soon as Jared declares his dominance by telling her he will stalk her and there's nothing she can do about it. She shot Melanie's characterization by turning her into Bella. She also declared them madly in love after that. WHY?! Why couldn't they start slow, and avoid the rapist vibes and make Jared his own character instead of an Edward expy. This book is full of expys.

You know, I would like to challenge Meyer to write a romance where the main characters don't fall at first sight. That should be quite a challenge for somebody who seems to rely in love at first sight as an explanation.

I also like writing fantasy. What type of stories are yours?
Carakaslacarakasla on July 21st, 2010 03:27 am (UTC)
Well, with the entire Twilight Series, this is what I would have done: I would have darkened it and turned it into a cautionary tale about obsessive love and abuse. I would have changed Jacob into the concerned friend rather than the 'other love interest', which means I would have taken out 'Eclipse' and in turn TSSLoBT. Then, in the end, I would have either had Edward snap when he finds out Bella is pregnant and commit a murder-suicide (I-I just want them both to die) or Bella would have died in childbirth. The End.

Yeah, especially when you have two genres as intertwined as Sci-Fi/Fantasy, you can't jump between both without grasping at lease one of them. My characters could just as easily fit into the Sci-Fi genre (with some fixes, of course) as they do in the Fantasy genre. And none of them are human. Even with 'The Host', with a few changes you can make it a fantasy story. (Possessing spirits/parasites). I wholly believe what makes a story unique and different is the author's writing style and how they develop characters. That is why I think many people call 'The Host' the 'Twilight' of Sci-fi.

I guess that is how Meyer stayed in her niche. She may have changed genres, but you still have the weak heroine, abusive hero, and race that is holier-than-art-thou humans. One could even argue that Wanda is Jacob to Melanie's Bella and Jared's Edward. The Seeker is Jane (as you've said) and Ford (*leans back*) is Carlise. Shit, all we need is the bitchy blonde and true strong female who ends up failing at life, and it's Twilight in a different packaging. I doubt Meyer can do that challenge, because she doesn't believe her niche is...well a niche.

I write Adventure Fantasy. My book is actually about Dragons and Dragon-humans who are trying to save the world, in the barest explaination you can get. Obviously it's way more complicated than that. I don't really have Riders and stuff, and the dragons and their humanoid counterparts are the main characters. I hope that seperates me from 'Eragon' and DRoP. I guess you could say that is my twist XD.
zelda_queenzelda_queen on July 22nd, 2010 04:53 pm (UTC)
I'm still holding on to hope that it's intentional that the aliens are stupid (like in Stephen King's The Tommyknockers, when the villagers are given superhuman intellect, but no forethought, leaving one woman to rig a TV to electrocute her adulterous husband, then accidentally fries herself in the process). Of course, knowing Meyer...

And look, it's Eliza and Justin! Hi!!! :D *waves*
Miss Shaolinashaolina on July 22nd, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, if only. But no, Wanderer is too kind, smart and wonderful for that.

XD They would wave back but Eliza is pissed at me since I made them read the first 3 Twilight books for practice. She was not pleased. XD
zelda_queenzelda_queen on July 23rd, 2010 12:32 am (UTC)
"Eliza is pissed at me since I made them read the first 3 Twilight books for practice. She was not pleased. XD"

I can imagine. XD