Previously in The Host:
- Kyle’s attack ends with Kyle left unconscious and about to drown (wow, that didn’t work out very well, huh, Kyle?)
- Melanie is on Team Let Kyle Drown (and Team Jared)
- Wanderer is on Team Save Kyle’s Life, but she’s struggling and the ledge is still breaking!
Man, it’s a good thing Ariel and I aren’t doubling up on posts anymore. After yesterday’s cliffhanger, I know nobody wanted to wait a whole week to get their hopes up that Wanderer might die halfway through the novel for some reason.
Chapter 33: Doubted
Wanderer’s cries for help are heard by the only other character in the novel you would expect to see at this point, Ian!
It took him two long seconds to process the scene that was so different from the one he’d been expecting – Kyle, trying to kill me. The scene that had been, just seconds ago.
Ian saves Wanderer and Kyle in a typically overwritten and painfully slow Meyer scene, so here’s a gif of a dog in a water park instead.
Even though there is absolutely no question what happened, Wanderer aka The Best Fucking Person On Earth is determined to protect Kyle by not telling Ian that he was trying to kill her. This is all conveyed through a moral argument (sort of) between Wanderer and Melanie taking place within Wanderer’s head, during which time I guess Ian just sort of played Candy Crush on his phone while Wanderer stared blankly into space or something.
Ariel says: That must have been what he was doing! It’s like when J.D. has flashbacks on Scrubs and sometimes other characters actually comment on the time that elapsed during one of the flashbacks. Except here no one comments on this bizarre-ness.
[Wanderer:] And if they kick Kyle out for me… or kill him… I shuddered. Well, can’t you see how little sense that would make? He’s one of you.
[Melanie:] We’ve got a life here, Wanda. You’re jeopardizing that.
[Wanderer:] It’s my life too. And I’m… well, I’m me.
Oh, well, thank god for that! I was starting to doubt whether Wanderer was Wanderer! I guess the constantly acting better than everyone wasn’t enough for me to go on.
Ian argues with Wanderer about her story a lot, determines her leg isn’t broken but the muscle is probably bruised, and helps take her to Doc. Doc sees right through Wanderer’s story and laughs, because apparently that’s the appropriate response to attempted murder. Wanderer summarizes the entire plot for some reason.
Was Kyle dying, despite my efforts? Was he conscious again and looking for me? What about Walter? Was he sleeping… or gone? Had the Seeker given up her hunt, or would she be back now that it was light again?
Melanie continues the summary of a plot that we’re getting for some reason, which of course means it’s all about Jared.
Will Jared still be with Doc? Mel added her questions to mine. Will he be angry when he sees you? Will he know me?
Shut the fuck up, Melanie.
Wanderer and Ian get to Doc and Jared, where Ian tells them Wanderer’s story about Kyle not trying to kill her, which nobody believes.
“They’re bringing Kyle. I’m not having them in the same room […] I’ll get a place ready for her. I’ll need you to keep Kyle here until… until we decide what to do with him.”
I started to speak, but Ian put his fingers on my lips.
Oh my God, just kiss her already, dumbass.
“I’ll be back soon. Don’t be afraid.”
He ducked in and touched his lips to my forehead.
No one was more surprised than I, though I heard Jared gasp quietly. My mouth hung open as Ian wheeled and nearby sprinted from the room.
Huh. Well, uh, that’s not quite what I meant, but, um, you do realize I was joking, right, Ian? Like, it would obviously cause a shitton of problems if you made a move on the alien possessing your friend’s girlfriend’s body.
Ariel says: I really wasn’t sure if this was going to happen. Okay, I was sure, but I was in denial because of how stupid this is. It adds needless complication that will probably be resolved in five minutes somehow. It would be kind of hilarious is Wanderer loved Ian and Melanie loved Jared and they had to divide their time between their boyfriends while the other inhabitant of the body stayed in their corner of the brain.
They bring in Kyle and he comes to, mildly delusional, frightening Wanderer. Meyer writes an unnecessarily confusing paragraph.
“‘s okay,” someone murmured. Not someone. I would always know that voice.
Then just say that it’s Jared. It’s not like this is a surprise. Almost every character in the book is in the room right now. Who would we have thought it was? I hate when the authors of these awful books do stuff like this, as if stretching out who is doing what by a few sentences is going to heighten the suspense or something. Remember when we were reading Hush Hush and Nora heard running then realized she was running, or that time Nora noticed something wet on the ground then realized she dropped her milk? This is bad writing.
Ariel says: Oh my God, my note on this line is pretty much identical. I jotted down, “Then why did you say ‘someone’ in the first place, asshole. Why not just say “Jared said”. It’s not a fucking twist!” That really is what constitutes as a reveal in this drivel, I suppose. The someone was Jared. GASP.
Also Kyle is upset that Wanderer is alive…
Chapter 34: Buried
…so Jared punches him in the face.
Jared lunged forward, away from me. With a loud smacking sound, his fist hit Kyle’s face.
Kyle’s eyes rolled back in his head, and his mouth fell slack.
The room was very quiet for a few seconds.
“Um,” Doc said in a mild voice, “medically speaking, I’m not sure that was the most helpful thing for his condition.”
Ariel says: This was the only thing in this book that made me laugh on purpose.
Jared explains that “Kyle tried to kill it” and Melanie has fucking had it with being called “it”. This results in a rather bafflingly oddly-timed discussion of, uh, the Soul reproductive cycle?
“We’re… a little like your hives of bees, or your ants. Many, many sexless members of the family, and then the queen…”
“Queen?” Wes repeated, looking at me with a strange expression.
“Not like that. But there is only one Mother for every five, ten thousand of my kind.” […]
Keep in mind this is going on during the same scene where Jared has just punched Kyle unconscious.
“How many drones?” Wes wondered.
“Oh, no – there aren’t drones. No, I told you, it’s simpler than that.”
It is also filled with Meyer’s usual “it’s like this, but it’s not, but I can’t provide a sufficient explanation for how it is actually any different” pseudo-science:
“The Mothers… divide. Every… cell, I guess you could call it, though our structure isn’t the same as yours, becomes a new soul. Each new soul has a little of the Mother’s memory, a piece of her that remains.”
“How many cells?” Doc asked, curious. “How many young?”
I shrugged. “A million or so.”
How? How is this different from cellular division? Because you pretty much just described the process after telling us it wasn’t that.
Doc was stroking his chin, entranced. “I wonder what the evolutionary track would be… to produce a hive society with suiciding queens…”
Dude, you’re not the only one.
Walter (guy dying of cancer) comes to briefly, still delusional that Wanderer is his dead wife, and she plays along to ease his pain, which is nice of her. Later in the chapter they have a funeral for him, and it’s reasonably emotional and there’s really nothing to make fun of. Except that’s a lie, because we can’t even have a funeral for a man that died of cancer in this book without there being something glaringly stupid for me to mock.
“Walter always saw the bright side of things. He could see the bright side of a black hole.”
Does Stephenie Meyer have any idea what science even is?
There’s some protesting, but Wanderer does say some words on his behalf, and – according to my Kindle – hundreds of people who read this book highlighted what she had to say, and it does represent a turning point for Wanderer’s character.
“There was no hatred in your heart,” I whispered. “That you existed is proof that we were wrong. We had no right to take your world from you, Walter.”
So, naturally, the chapter ends with the humans drugging Wanderer with morphine because people decided they were more comfortable with her unconscious.
Ariel says: And because it was time for her to go to fucking sleep already/she’d just had the shit beaten out of her. God damn.