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CALL HER THE 'WANDERER'
Popular YA author Stephanie Meyer strikes gold with first adult novel, 'The Host'

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Date published: 6/8/2008

STEPHANIE MEYER, famous for her teenage- vampire-romance "Twilight" series aimed at young adults, has written her first novel for grown-ups, although the teens are apt to like it as well.

In "The Host," already on the New York Times bestseller list, a species of well-intentioned and mild-mannered alien parasites called "souls" have conquered Earth by slipping unobtrusively into humans' brains, taking over their bodies and supplanting their personalities. But when a soul named Wanderer, veteran of many host bodies on other planets, is inserted into the body of a young woman named Melanie, she's in for a surprise: Melanie refuses to be suppressed.

Instead, Melanie so longs to return to her boyfriend and brother that her emotions seep into Wanderer's, and, though only a voice trapped in her own mind, Melanie persuades Wanderer to rebel against her own society and seek Melanie's hidden humans.

What they find surpasses anything either of them expected, and Wanderer is forced to confront her assumptions about humanity.

"The Host" is being touted as perhaps the first love triangle involving only two bodies, but parents whose teens loved Meyers' earlier works needn't fear their reading this one; the romance is kept pretty PG. The book is definitely complex and deep enough to hold adults' attention, mixing questions of love and humanity with an imaginative element of sci-fi.

Chelyen Davis is a reporter for The Free Lance-Star.


THE HOST By Stephanie Meyer (Little, Brown, $25.99)