In the last chapters of The Host, chores were done. Also, Jamie and Jeb now know that Melanie is still sharing a body with Wanderer. Also, Ian and Doc (who was supposed to be scary but always seemed like a nice dude) are apparently allies of Melerer. For some reason.
This chapter opens with long descriptions of Melerer’s chores and what the other people in the cave are like. I just…I give no fucks about the single mother of two boys who is afraid to let Melerer anywhere near her kids. Or the three old people that hang out together. STOP TELLING ME!
Also the cave apparently has an apartment complex and Melerer has scared most of her neighbors away. I guess they have multiple cave apartments here, which isn’t even the most unbelievable part of this whole cave nonsense. I hear Jeb is currently working on a cave dance club for the younger generation to enjoy. By some crazy twist of fate, the cave is just the correct configuration to install outlets for a sound system which Jared found on a raid! WOOOAH!
We find out that Melanie’s cousin Sharon is dating Doc. For some reason I thought Sharon was really young and he was middle aged or something. In any case, I can’t stop thinking of Doc as one of the seven dwarfs, so either way this isn’t presenting any nice imagery in my head.
It’s so strange in this book, some things are given multiple paragraphs or pages of description (like planting a field in the cave), but then we get about two seconds for Melerer to tell us that Jamie informed her that after Melanie went off to save Sharon and Maggie (which is how she got caught by the souls), Jared found them instead, and after being held at…ancient sword point…for five seconds, convinced them he was there to help. All of this is told in the shortest paragraph ever, which compared to the endless descriptions on members of the cave, seems really odd.
It had not taken long with Maggie and Jared working together for them to decipher Jeb’s riddle. The four of them had gotten to the caves before I’d moved from Chicago to San Diego.
Yup, there you have it. It was just that easy to find the fucking cave for those four.
Wanderer then tells us that Melanie has gotten pretty quiet these days, so it hasn’t been so much Melerer lately but just Wanderer. Jamie somehow picks up on this because he is magical.
“Why is Melanie so quiet now?” Jamie asked me late one night. For once, he wasn’t grilling me about Spiders and Fire-Tasters. We were both tired— it had been a long day pulling carrots.
You’d think by now he would have gotten bored asking the same questions about the other aliens. Also, I love how even Meyer is getting bored of writing about the chores and is just like, “Fucking carrots, man. Pulling them is hard.”
Jamie also asks if Wanderer thinks Melanie is going to disappear completely, and Wanderer says she hopes not, but she isn’t really sure. Because this is almost interesting, Meyer quickly skips ahead to another scene where Jeb askes Wanderer to teach a class in the cave. She says no.
We jump ahead to a scene at meal time when Doc starts asking Wanderer about the closest species to humans she’s ever inhabited and how healers get their knowledge. Wanderer starts talking about these bear creature things that build ice sculptures and how they’re kind of similar. Seriously, I’m reading about bear-like creatures building ice sculptures with their razor hands. I can’t even.
We do kind of learn how the souls started colonizing other planets. It’s just vague enough to sound sort of plausible but also vague enough to sound like total bull shit.
Doc was leaning forward with his face in his hands. “Do they remember how the host -parasite relationship was formed? How did the colonization begin?” Jamie looked at me, shrugging.
“We were always that way,” I answered slowly, still unwilling. “As far back as we were intelligent enough to know ourselves, at least. We were discovered by another species— the Vultures, we call them here, though more for their personalities than for their looks. They were… not kind. Then we discovered that we could bond with them just as we had with our original hosts. Once we controlled them, we made use of their technology. We took their planet first, and then followed them to the Dragon Planet and the Summer World— lovely places where the Vultures had also not been kind. We started colonizing; our hosts reproduced so much slower than we did, and their life spans were short. We began exploring farther into the universe….”
I’m also extremely confused. Did the Vultures initially want to bond with the Souls but then the Souls fucked them over? THIS IS WHERE MORE EXPLANATION IS ACTUALLY FUCKING NEEDED, MEYER, OKAY? And how were they not kind? Please continue.
Also the way all the species are capitalized annoys the shit out of me. We don’t write I had to go home to feed my Cats or walk the Dogs. FUCK THAT.
Turns out this was all part of Jeb’s plan to get people wanting more stories from Wanderer so that she’ll start teaching them. Talk about a crazy twist, amiright?
Wanderer becomes a teacher after all. Are you surprised? The anticipation of it all sure was killing me this whole time.
Given none of this took any time at all, I guess it’s only fitting that now we have to read long, endless paragraphs about the questions Wanderer answers and how she answers them. After about a month, Jared returns in the middle of one of Wanderer’s stories about the Dolphins. It’s always super awkward when you’ve been gone from some place awhile, and when you get back things are completely different. It sucks for both sides, actually. Even Ian is like, “Oh, God, here we go.” Even characters in this book are like, “Okay, shes a Soul, no one gives a fuck anymore. Let’s hear more about these dolphins!”
For the first time in ages, I guess, Melanie returns to the scene because Jared is here. She basically just gets excited and shouts his name…you know, inside their shared brain.
Ian’s brother Kyle (remember him? No? Oh well) is also pissed off that everyone is being nice to Melerer. But Wanderer can’t pay attention to potential danger when Melanie is swooning.
Melanie’s love flowed through me like a lake bursting through a dam, distracting me even more from the enraged barbarian closing the distance quickly.
Meyer really has a talent when it comes to creating female characters that are completely defined by their men.
Jared comes forward and says it’s time to kill Melerer. He’s such a psychopath! Maybe he just feels really left out, or something. Jamie, of course, saves the day, though. With his magical Jamie-ness.
This chapter’s actually pretty short. Some of the cave dwellers want to make sure Melerer is safe, while some leave the room seemingly feeling embarrassed that they don’t hate her anymore. I think it’s mainly the old people and Ian who stick around to try to help. I guess aliens are wildly popular with old people and some of the younger potential love interest population.
Melerer goes off to angst on her own and ponder whether or not it’s better if she dies now and blah blah. In the end she decides to go back to her prison hole…At least this chapter was mercifully short.