Ariel and I graduate this weekend. So brace yourself for lots of emotions. Just like Wanderer has to in The Host! Seamless transition!
Chapter 3: Resisted
Wanderer has been put in her new human body, but something is amiss when she can’t access her host’s memories that she thinks her bosses want. Sensing a conspiracy, she uses her newly-acquired HUMAN FEELING of angst to demand answers!
“Have I been placed in a damaged host in order to gain the information you need, Seeker?”
There was a gasp – surprise and outrage mingled […]
“The scans were perfect,” the Seeker said. Her words were not reassuring by argumentative. Did she mean to quarrel with me? “The body was entirely healed.”
“From a suicide attempt that was perilously close to succeeding.” My tone was stiff, still angry. I wasn’t used to anger. It was hard to contain it.
Much like Ariel, I’m very interested in Wanderer’s first experience with farting. On a serious note, though, I love how Stephenie Meyer is using this “alien learning about being a human” idea to still write emotional teenage girls.
She explains that she can’t access her host’s memories, and the professionals in the room explain that that’s to be expected from resistant hosts. But first, Wanderer has to deduce this using her new human powers!
The atmosphere, which had gone tense at my accusation, relaxed. I wondered how I knew this. I had a strange sensation that I was somehow receiving more than my five senses were giving me – almost a feeling that there was another sense, on the fringes, not quite harnessed. Intuition? That was almost the right word. As if any creature needed more than five senses.
You just spent the last chapter bitching about how this was your first experience with the sense of smell, Wanderer. I’m very confused how you’re drawing the lines you draw.
Wanderer starts to get used to the body and identify the sort of environment she’s in. She keeps talking with the Healer about the resistance, and then requests that he tell her “the facts of the case”. This may just be me, but the fact that she apparently knows nothing about humanity and the human race’s militant resistance against the bodysnatching Souls even though she’s been put into the body as part of some sort of very important mission based on her very useful years of experience with being an aquatic plant is kind of baffling. So the Healer and Seeker (who have still not bothered to introduce themselves) explain to Wanderer that sometimes when a Soul is put in an adult human as opposed to a child human, the human host will fight back and sometimes take over and the last person who did this died. So now we also know that Wanderer is terrible at reading paperwork.
Wanderer explores her host’s backstory:
“Her name was Melanie Stryder. She was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was in Los Angeles when the occupation became known to her, and she hid in the wilderness for a few years before finding … Hmmm. Sorry, I’ll try that one again later. The body has seen twenty years. She drove to Chicago from…” I shook my head. “There were several stages, not all of them alone. The vehicle was stolen. She was searching for a cousin named Sharon, whom she had reason to hope was still human.”
She then struggles with trying to find the rest of the memory in a scene that – although I haven’t seen the movie adaptation – I can only imagine looks like someone trying to take a shit.
I gritted my teeth, truly fighting now […] sweat beading on my forehead. The Seeker and the Healer were very quiet, allowing me to concentrate.
She gets a little more, asks if Sharon, the cousin, was found, and then realizes with horror that it wasn’t her question.
She keeps thinking and is overwhelmed by trying to find information about a rendezvous point in her host’s twenty years of memories. But she does figure out that 1) someone named Jared is safe because of how long they’ve spent with her host body, and 2) Chicago is cold, which, yeah, that’s pretty important. Chicago’s fucking freezing in the winter.
Chapter 4: Dreamed
Suddenly the font size gets smaller, and I think it’s supposed to indicate that someone else is speaking? It just made me think I accidentally messed up the font size on my Kindle somehow. Make of that what you will. Either way, we’re not off to a very promising start.
It is too dark to be so hot, or maybe too hot to be so dark.
It seems like this is Melanie narrating her backstory on the run from the Souls now. She describes how the Souls “keep our habits so perfectly, it’s hard to see any difference” like “going out for a night on the town” on Friday, so… I really don’t know what to make of this yet. It’s creepy, certainly, but the Souls just seem like very directionless villains? They find native species whose lives they can take over and imitate and this is literally all that they do? They’re so devoid of character, it’s hard to see them as evil, just dumb.
Melanie breaks into a house to get food and gets caught, and there’s a really tense scene where the man who lives there tries to kill her, realizes she’s still human, and kisses her, which is kind of not the right moment, man.
She knees him and runs away and he chases after her on the open street, yelling after her that he’s human too, which is a very abrupt shift in survival strategy after we saw him nearly kill someone on sight to avoid being caught.
“I’m not one of them!” […] He’s still yelling at full volume. “Look! I’ll prove it.”
Although it’s entirely possibly that although they’re drawing ridiculous amounts of attention to themselves, the Souls just don’t care because they’re putting on a really good, stupid-looking show.
“I’m sorry I kissed you! That was stupid! I’ve just been alone so long!”
He catches up to her and demonstrates with a flashlight on his eyes that he’s human. But he does have the neck scar infected humans have, because it was self-inflicted to blend in. He explains this without quite realizing that he’s already totally struck out and is just coming off as creepy now.
“It’s self-inflicted,” he explains. “I think I did a pretty good job, though it hurt like hell. I don’t have all that pretty hair to cover my neck.”
The man turns out to be Jared. Melanie decides to trust him because “How can I not trust another human completely? We’re family – both on the brotherhood of extinction” and sparks are flying now.
He reaches his hand down toward me slowly.
And I take it.
Wanderer wakes up from her dream/host’s flashback, and feels some more of those human emotions.
I could still feel the heat of Jared’s lips on mine. My hands reached out without my permission, searching across the rumpled sheet, looking for something they did not find. My heart ached when they gave up, falling to the bed limp and empty.
Man, I can’t wait until she experiences blue balls. Or whatever the female equivalent is. Is blue clit a thing? Can we start calling it that?
She emails her boss about the new information she got, because Souls use email, apparently. The Wanderer-Melanie schizophrenia begins.
I hate you, the voice snarled in my head.”Then maybe you should leave,” I snapped.
Leave what? Her head? This is an insult that makes sense.