By Stephenie Meyer
Stephenie Meyer’s first adult novel is a piece of science fiction.
In the future, parasitic but peace-loving aliens called “souls” seem to be taking over Earth and of course, the human race.
Souls have an army of Seekers (their so-called police force). When a seeker captures and takes humans for implantation. A small cut is placed on the base of the skull and a centipede/parasite like creature is put in the cut. This is the “soul”. When inside, the soul connects with the body to take control, firstly by receiving all of the host’s memories, and then receding. The soul then takes over completely and continues to live his way. But in case of the Wanderer (a soul) his host Melanie is a rebellious one. She refuses to take a back seat. This leads Wanderer on a whole new journey and experience. Since Melanie’s consciousness does not fade away, it makes Wanderer love the people Melanie loves. Wanderer then sets out to seek a new host and the story that follows is Wanderer’s connect with the humans and their resistance.
Though Wanderer has the ability to control Melanie’s body, her memories and thoughts and spirit are hard to suppress. This makes Wanderer’s job (to report human resistance) a lot tougher. Wanderer also knows about the two people Melanie loved the most – her brother Jamie, and the love of her life, Jared.
Sharing a body, Wanderer and Melanie develop a friendship of sorts. Melanie uses her power of dreams to evoke sympathy and love in Wanderer. The tip over is not very difficult. Wanderer starts feeling guilty about what her people have done. Showing her loyalty to Melanie she starts out in search of Jamie and Jared.
The left over humans (rebels) finally accept Wanda (her human name) as she comes out to be a different person –much like them.
Apart from the complicated love triangle and the complicated issue of violence in our society, this is a rather interesting read. The setting is pretty realistic, highly descriptive and desirable. It evokes emotions and ethics in the reader.
Though the premise is creative, the pace of the story is slow. It is somewhat a complex story to decipher easily. The character could do with a little more depth. I do feel that people who don’t usually like Science-Fiction might like this one, as it essentially feels like an ordinary story about the power of love, hope, friendship, loyalty and family, set with the backdrop of extra-terrestrial life and high end technology.
The story, in bits, is intense, exciting, compelling and dramatic and probes into the depths of human emotions and questions the invasion of one society by another.
Apart from the normal loopholes and glitches, giving her vampires (of her Twilight series) a rest, Stephenie has done a good job overall. If a sequel follows I might just read it too.