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30 June 2010 @ 01:09 pm
The host, first chapter  
The soul experiences the girl’s “attack” and fawns over an extremely handsome man (even though she’s an alien and thus have different perceptions of beauty!). The end. What? Nothing else happens and the narration is so weird in this chapter. 




    I started reading the choppy narrative with low expectations. This is Meyer after all and that prologue was not really comforting.
   
    Well, at least Ford won’t show up again, right?

     The story starts with the wonderful, brave soul mentally cowering at the prospect of the last memory. Sure, it’s an attack, but this prologue did not go on and on about how special this soul is just to have her be an oversensitive wimp at the idea of something!

    Why is it that whenever I read one of Meyer’s books the heroine is cowering somewhere?

    She makes a remark about how she can smell for the first time--

    Wait, wasn’t she a bear? Bears can smell, right?

    The soul talks about how they are one and the same, running down some place dark, cold and smelly.

    Do I want to know where they are?

    Meyer ups the drama-meter by telling us everything is lost and over. Footsteps are approaching them.
    The Seekers start calling the soul and I’m guessing the next lines are them talking to her about being careful and she’s shocked by the concerned. And I do mean “I guess” since there’s no real transition between the memories and this and given that she calls the body “me” too.

    This is so confusing!

     I have to wonder if this is part of the memory and she’s being chased by captors who want her “safe” or if this is the other souls speaking from outside. Specially because after the concern we get a description of violent hatred, after which she tells us she had never felt that before.

    Well, how can you know it’s violent hatred? You know, she keeps saying it’s the first time she felt X feeling and I have to wonder how accurate this bug is. We know feelings in reference to others and through social interaction. If she was frozen until dunked here, how can she tell she is feeling mad vs feeling annoyed?


    Anyway, the girl starts screaming in the memory and Wanda doesn’t know that it was screaming--

    So she knows the feelings but she doesn’t know what screaming is?

    And the girl explains to her that what she did was screaming.

    Because the narration wasn’t confusing enough, now I have to think real world, memory, the soul’s thoughts, narration and this girl. As annoying as Twilight was, it was at least more clear.


    The book reveals the memory takes place in an abandoned building. The girl in is front of an elevator shaft about to jump to avoid her chasers. The soul doesn’t want to jump down the shaft but she does anyway.


    So this girl jumped down an elevator shaft, but she’s fine now? Beautiful still and no sort of problems or repercussions?

    The soul cries that she wants this over and everything starts turning black. Memory over... or so she thought. No, there’s a memory within a memory and she’s about to see it.

     Because somebody who just jumped down an elevator shaft would so be able to have one of those.
   
    What does she remember? A man.


     The face was as alien to me as the faceless serpentine tentacles of my last host body would be to this new body. I'd seen this kind of face in the images I had been given to prepare for this world. It was hard to tell them apart, to see the tiny variations in color and shape that were the only markers of the individual. So much the same, all of them. Noses centered in the middle of the sphere, eyes above and mouths below, ears around the sides. A collection of senses, all but touch, concentrated in one place. Skin over bones, hair growing on the crown and in strange furry lines above the eyes. Some had more fur lower down on the jaw; those were always males. The colors ranged through the brown scale from pale cream to a deep almost-black. Aside from that, how to know one from the other?
     This face I would have known among millions.
     This face was a hard rectangle, the shape of the bones strong under the skin. In color it was a light golden brown. The hair was just a few shades darker than the skin, except where flaxen streaks lightened it, and it covered only the head and the odd fur stripes above the eyes. The circular irises in the white eyeballs were darker than the hair but, like the hair, flecked with light. There were small lines around the eyes, and her memories told me the lines were from smiling and squinting into sunlight.
     I knew nothing of what passed for beauty among these strangers, and yet I knew that this face was beautiful. I wanted to keep looking at it. As soon as I realized this, it disappeared.



       1) The soul should not be able to call him beautiful, by her own admission she knows nothing about our standards. 
       2) As an alien, shouldn’t she find her own species attractive vs ours?
       3) Known among millions? Unless he’s Quasimodo, I doubt it. Nothing about that description tells me he really is THAT especial to be recognized among millions.
       4) Why must everyone be hot in Meyer’s world? Can’t we just have a description and let us come with our own conclusions?

       Funny, the first sign of normal narration comes from describing the face of the gorgeous love interest and how special he is.

       The girl does not responds well to the mind raper ogling her guy and says “Mine”. How does our kind, noble, sweet soul responds? Well...

       Again, I was frozen, stunned. There should have been no one here but me. And yet this thought was so strong and so aware!
       Impossible. How was she still here? This was me now.
       Mine,I rebuked her, the power and authority that belonged to me alone flowing through the word. Everything is mine.
      So why am I talking back to her?I wondered as the voices interrupted my thoughts.

 
       So much for kind, good and selfless. See, this is why you should avoid describing a character for 4 pages instead of focusing on how she acts. So far she’s been bravely cowering, selflessly taking claim of this girl and her boyfriend (I would guess) and kindly bitching. Heavens, this is so annoying and it’s 60 chapters.

       And so our chapter ends and I just want to smash some bugs. I hope the next chapters are more fun.  Well, at least they will have normal narration.
 
 
Feeling: annoyedannoyed
 
 
 
aikaterini: Young Tom Riddleaikaterini on June 30th, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
"Kind, good, and selfless?" Wanda (the soul) is immediately claiming everything that is Melanie's just because she can, because she has (almost) complete control over her. How is her behavior any different from Caligula's, who stole another man's new wife on their wedding night and bedded her himself just because he could? I'm sure that many other emperors and kings did the same thing. History tends to not judge them kindly as paragons of virtue.
Miss Shaolina: Pointshaolina on June 30th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
I know! When I read that reaction I went into "You bitch!" mode. They go on telling us how wonderful and brave this alien is and how sensitive and kind this race is that they don't even know anger, but look at that! There is no consideration over the host's feelings and she claimed her boyfriend (I think) because he's pretty. She doesn't even see memories of how he is. Like I said in the prologue, the host is just real state property.

That whole chapter made me want to go to my closet and get some raid. And I'm sure Meyer wants me to like her, well I don't. I can only hope the host is somewhat decent.
zelda_queenzelda_queen on July 1st, 2010 03:13 am (UTC)
I haven't read the book, so I might be horribly wrong on this, but maybe it'll turn out to be a case of unreliable narrator? I did hear that Wanda later goes native and all.

But really? This all centers around a guy again? I guess there's no reason to be surprised...
Miss Shaolinashaolina on July 1st, 2010 03:31 am (UTC)
I would LOVE for this to be the case of unreliable narrator. I love that trope and I feel every first person narrative needs that. I wonder if Meyer has the skills to use it right.


So far it seems that way. I refuse to read ahead or investigate. I want my reactions to be in the moment. XD
zelda_queenzelda_queen on July 1st, 2010 03:37 am (UTC)
Okay, I won't tell you what I know then. XD

But yeah, I know that this has a lot of Meyer's usual fail, but I'm sort of hoping that she managed to make it a little more complex.
cecamire on July 1st, 2010 01:02 pm (UTC)
Apparently it's better written than her other books?
zelda_queenzelda_queen on July 1st, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
I really can't say, since I've never read what wasn't available online. But it does sound slightly deeper than the Twilight series (like that's a big achievement).