The Healer's name was Fords Deep Waters. Because he was a soul, by nature he was all things good: compassionate, patient, honest, virtuous, and full of love. Anxiety was an unusual emotion for Fords Deep Waters. Irritation was even rarer. However, because Fords Deep Waters lived inside a human body, irritation was sometimes inescapable.Thus begins the highly anticipated first adult novel by Stephenie Meyer. The opening scene shows a man, occupation Healer, getting ready to implant a Soul into a human being. These souls are parasitic aliens that have spread across the galaxy. They are able to take hosts--different hosts--on each planet. Our narrator is a Soul named Wanderer. She's unusual, in a way, because she has been to many planets--I can't remember if it's seven or eight or nine--and lived that many lifetimes. The souls know no death, they just move onto a new host when their host's body dies. This is Wanderer's first time on Earth, her first time in a human host. Our secondary narrator is a woman named Melanie. And you've probably guessed by now that she is the host body to Wanderer.These aliens didn't take over the world overnight. They didn't announce their arrival at all. Their goal--if they had a goal--was to assimilate quietly and peacefully with humans. It wasn't until the humans noticed that something was off that there was any resistance, any battles, any blood shed. What was off? Humans were being too nice, too perfect, too Mayberry. From the Souls' perspective, they were doing humanity a huge favor. They were turning these rowdy and unpredictable and altogether too violent and volatile humans into peace-loving, happy-go-lucky people. Souls love everybody, accept everybody, trust everybody. Except for that one teeny tiny little detail that they won't take no for an answer. All humans must be implanted. As long as their are humans without Souls then there is the potential for blood shed and loss. To "protect" themselves--or so they claim--they must either assimilate or destroy those resisting pesky humans. Those Souls that are seeking to destroy and/or assimilate humans are called Seekers.Melanie's luck has run out. Or so she thinks. On the verge of being captured, she throws herself down an elevator shaft. She thinks that she'll avoid her fate by destroying her body. But Healers are really good at repairing the human body--another so called "benefit" to this alien domination.Wanderer and Melanie are soon to be linked together for life. Not that that is the plan. Souls are supposed to erase, eradicate, the consciousness, the personality of their hosts. But Wanderer finds that Melanie will not go down without a fight. She guards her life, her secrets, closely. She will not accept the finality of the situation.Life is about to turn very interesting for this two-in-one package as they journey together into the Arizona desert to find the meaning of it all. It's a story about humanity, about sentient life forms, about right and wrong, about justice, about love, about forgiveness, and grace, and redemption. It's a novel with a lot of heart and soul and gumption.This concept isn't completely original. They're not as overtly (openly) evil as the goa'uld (go-ah-OOLD) by any means. But the concept of a parasite invading through the neck and wrapping themselves around the spine and brain and 'controlling' the human and 'erasing' the host personality has been done before. So has the concept of a human host living side-by-side compatibly with a parasite--that's a Tok'ra for you. Tok'ras are the 'good guys' in the parasite world (supposedly though Jack still calls them snakeheads) who only enter voluntary hosts. Even the concept of love can be seen to be similar to that found in Stargate--the parasite and host body falling in love with their mate's parasite and host body. Four personalities, two bodies, love all around.It was hard not to think about goa'ulds and tok'ras while reading The Host. That could be because I tend to relate all things back to Stargate eventually if at all possible. It doesn't have to be oh-so-obvious. In this case, I think if you've seen Stargate at all, you can see the connection in some ways, but not in all ways.This story has plenty to make it special all on its own. I don't want to get into the particulars but the environment was very unusual but it worked. In some very teeny tiny way it reminded me of Dune. I don't know why. I've only seen the movie once. But there were scenes from that movie that came to mind when reading the book. Maybe it's the desert environment. (There are no giant worms however.) I don't know. At this point, it's irrelevant. (Maybe also slightly Journey to the Center of the Earth). She created a world that is so strange, so different from present day life, from reality. It's a world that it's easy to get swept up into in a way. The setting, the characters. It just worked. It was very rich in detail. I thought the depths of the back-story was just really well done. (The little details that Wanderer discloses in her storytelling and her question and answer sessions.)I can't say that I fell quite in love with it as much as I did Twilight upon first reading it. But it's good. The romance, the chemistry, isn't quite as intense, quite as magical as it is for Bella/Edward/Jacob. But it isn't a romance without some merit. I personally was more into Ian than Jared, but that's just me.First sentence of chapter one: I knew it would begin with the end, and the end would look like death to these eyes. I had been warned. Not these eyes. My eyes. Mine. This was me now. (9)So I definitely recommend it. Do you have to love science fiction? It might help. But if you're not a fan, don't let the genre turn you off. This is a story about what it means to be human. (In some ways it mirrors the themes of the novel Frankenstein--what it means to be human, to live, what it means to be a monster.) It's a human-interest story therefore. It explores the depths--the good, the bad, the ugly--of humanity in general. The fact that some humans have been possessed by aliens while others haven't is just a distinction that separates it from other novels you might have read through the years. But science fiction fans, I hope, will be pleased with it as well as newbies.I would have read it anyway--it's got Stephenie Meyer's name attached to it--but it comes with a blurb from Orson Scott Card himself. So you know it has to be good.And for those that are curious, I tend to like Wanda/Melanie much much more than Bella as far as personality goes. In Twilight, Bella didn't annoy me so much. But in some of the sequels, I found myself growing more and more irked at her. Definitely to a point where I understood where all the hate was coming from saying that she was too whiny and mindless (in a way). Not that I'll ever reach a point where I'll stop reading the series. Who could stop now? (I'm on Team Jacob by the way.)
Is it plagerism to copy a book review off a total stranger's blog??? The book was so boring I couldn't even bring myself to read this review.
****This review was written by Becky Laney and was used on this posting w/o her consent.
I was planning on a different picture for today and doing an entirely different post. As I went to download pictures off my camera, I found Wini's birthday pictures and saw pictures of these two beauties cruising around, having a good time. For those you who don't know, my niece Violet is on the left and Wini is the driver. Those girls had so much.I love how big Violet's smile is on the bottom picture.
It all started about four months ago. We had a major change in our family and a teenager came to live with us. She seemed like a very nice girl and loved little kids. She had no history of aggression and was never ever mean to my kids. In fact, my kids loved her and at times preferred her over me. But at night time when I was trying to sleep, all that kept running through my head was "I have a teenager living in my house that I just got out of jail." I know it was silly of me to be so paranoid but what can I say, my dad was a worry wort and it is in my DNA. So after tossing and turning I decided to get up and get the kids and bring them in my room. I laid Teddy and Wini on a mattress on my floor and put Wolfe in bed with me. Morgan was very annoyed at my paranoia and told me he would not put up with the kids sleeping in our room every night. The next night was the same thing though. This time I waited until Morgan was asleep, then I crept out of my room, grabbed the kids, and put them in their same positions. I always made sure that Wolfe was on the end at my flanks and me in the middle so that Morgan would never find out. Morgan was usually the last one to wake up in the mornings so the kids would be out of our room and usually the evidence would be gone. I made sure that me and Wolfe snuggled up together really tight so Morgan wouldn't feel crowded. Time went on and as I got to know this teenager, I really did feel like she loved my kids but then she started to hang out with hoodlums and giving them my phone number and address. Now I was paranoid about who might be sneaking over to our house at night. So the kids still had to be brought into my room at night. Again, time went by and eventually this particular teenager ended up getting arrested and leaving our house for good. So now all my paranoid fears are gone...but I still can't sleep. There was way too much room in my bed and I needed to hear the sucking of a binki and I missed the creepy sleep talking that went on at night time. So as soon as Morgan was a sleep, I went and got the kids and brought them into my room and fell fast asleep.
Hello, my name is Sara and I am addicted to kids sleeping in my room.
I know it is not my fault. It is a disease. There is family history of paranoia and children sleeping with their parents for prolonged periods at a time. I try every night to not bring them in. I look myself in the mirror before bed and tell myself, 'I am strong and I don't need them to sleep.' But I can't do it. I need them.
My friend was over at my house today creating a blog and forgot to log out. I of course took the opportunity to post something on her blog (and apparently left some comments on other peoples blogs under her name. Sorry). But now I still have to post something on my blog. Oh No I Don't!! I can just copy and paste it right onto my blog. I am so smart. Alls I need to do is just add the word "flank" in a few times and change the spelling of "guys" to gize and I have got a post!
The picture you are all enjoying is me flanking my three kids. I had a forth at the time but she is not pictured and no longer lives with us (flank goodness <--J.K.). So this day started out as many of our days with the Neustaedters do, flanking at the Horse Troph, a.k.a. Golden Corral. Neustaedters like to eat at this place because all their kids eat for free and Strassers (me) like this place because of the all-you-can-eat-do-it-yourself-ice cream dispenser. Well, as soon as we are all un-satisfied but our tummies were full we left. Usually after our shmorgashborgs, we will go over to a park near someones house. So I decided not to use the germ infested public restroom and just wait until we get to one of our houses to go to the bathroom. As usual we load up our kids and then since we are too lazy to walk from one handicap parking space to the next to decided where to go now, we just drive away and call each other on the cell phones. As we are discussing where to go, Steve makes a wonderful <--being sarcastic, suggestion that we go to Jump Creek. Well of course Katie and I don't want to take 9 little kids and a teenager with a bad attitude to Jump Creek but Morgan took Steve's side and since he was driving and in the lead, that is where we went. I told Morgan I needed to go pee but he assured me that they had REAL bathrooms up there. I didn't recall there being plumbing in the middle of nowhere but if any of you know Morgan, he is always right. So I just continue to "hold it" with a very stuffed tummy for the thirty minute drive to Jump Creek. And to make matters worse, I had no cell phone coverage so I was unable to ignore Morgan the whole time while I talked to Katie. We finally get there and I can see the restroom. I quickly dash over and get inside and IT WAS A PORT-A-POTTY!!! Oh no he didn't!! Okay well I really had to pee so I tried to psych myself up for it but as I peered into the deep dark toilet, all I could imagine we a giant snake in the flanking position living down there, waiting for an unsuspecting girl to place her bare bum on the toilet seat. Snakes are such perverts. Anyways, I just couldn't do it. So I leave the bathroom and tell Morgan I need to leave but he says, "Oh stop being a baby and just take a cup, pee in it, and then dump that in the toilet." Genius! It was quite easy to find a cup since my entire car was filled with McDonalds happy meal cups. I grabbed my cup, ran to the bathroom, and started to relieve the pressure off my bladder. UH-OH! This cup isn't very big. I also didn't "prepare" my self well enough to be able to tell when I was getting close to the top of the cup. Not a big deal. I will just stop right now, empty the cup, and then finish. Well, unfortunately, I was already at the very tip top. As I VERY carefully tried to move the cup away from my clothes while still having a half full bladder, I ended up spilling most of it on my pants. Crap! Now what? Oh I tried to play it off like it was no big deal. "Oh that, it is just a little pee I spilled all over my pants. It happens." Steve took the opportunity to make fun of me as much as possible (<--hissing at Steve) but I don't think any of the 9 kids thought it was a big deal cuz "Peeing your pants is the coolest." Well, at least it was just my family and the Neustaedters who saw. Except as we hiked to the waterfall we actually saw quite a few people. I tried to make loud comments about how stupid I feel for falling into some pee smelling water so that when the strangers were wondering if I fell into some pee smelling water or if I peed my pants, they would think I just fell. I am not sure if they bought it but I like to think they did. We finally made it to a very crowded waterfall and I quickly sat down on a rock and crossed my legs for the remainder of the time, acting as though I was tired and "I will make the sacrifice of sitting here taking pictures of you gize". Once my pants were dry and I now smelled like stale urine, we pack up the kids and left. I was quite anxious to get home and take a shower. After wearing pee pants for several hours, the shower never felt better. So now I have TONS of pictures to remind me of the day that I basicly peed my pants. The moral of the story, Don't use port-a-potties. Perverted snakes live in them and they will bite your bum if you sit on one. If you would like to read the exact same blog, feel free to visit Katie's blog. I did find a few more error in this one that I was able to fix. It may be fun for you to read both and find the errors I corrected. Maybe I will give a prize to the person who finds the most!!
I think what I hate most about blogging is that as soon as I finally get around to blogging about something, it is old news and everyone else keeps posting new blogs daily. A blog a week is really really good for me but even with my 1 blog/week I am still always near the bottom of everyone's blogger's list (thanks mom for keeping me from being at the very bottom. Your sacrifices are never ending.). Most people will blog about whatever happens during their day and it is not usually exciting but I am always very entertained reading it. So I will try to blog about my day and I am sure you will all be very entertained.
Today Morgan and I took Teddy and Wini geocaching. (For those of you who don't know what geocaching is, it is when someone hides a little box of treasures* using gps coordinates and posts it on the internet. Then you can go find the "treasure box", take something out of it and then leave something behind for the next person) I absolutely HATE geocaching but Morgan, Teddy and Wini love it. Teddy and Wini think they are searching for treasures that pirates left behind and Morgan likes to collect the traveling coins that are in some of them. Ususally when we go it involves four wheeling-which I HATE, hiking-which I HATE, and then we only find the geocache maybe half the time. Today was another flanktastic adventure. Morgan first tricked me into going by telling me he had to go into Boise to pick up his pay check. He invited me to go along and since I only had about 10 loads of laundry, 3 messy bathrooms, floors that needed to mopped and vaccumed, toys that needed to be picked and 5 beds that needed to be made, I decided I could take the day off and go along for the ride. As soon as we pulled out of the drive way, he pulled the geocaches that he had sneakily printed off. I told him I didn't want to do it but since Teddy and Wini already heard him, I was out numbered. The first cache was out in the country. Morgan and I had our usual fight about how he loves the georgous scenery with it's dried out weeds and broken down cars and hopefully someday we can live there and me having to disagree. We finally got to the first cache and it is rocky and on the edge of a very scary cliff. Morgan is wandering around looking for it while I am trying to keep both kids at my flank and stumbling around the rocks in my very unstable and unsupportive sandals. We finally found the treasure and Teddy got a dirty old broken compass, and Wini got a tiny dirty plastic frog. Now on to our next destination. This one was in the same general area but instead of walking around a rocky cliff, you had to actually climb up the cliffs, holding tightly to the rocks. Morgan says, "Oh you and the kids can just wait here in the car and I will go up, find the box, and bring it back down to you gize." Of course I agreed, I was going to climb the rocks with my kids at my flank, just to get a plastic toy. So the kids and I sat in the car. And we sat. And we sat. Thirty minutes later, Morgan shows back up with no box. Typical but at least I didn't have to hike around looking for it. I just had to sit in a hot car with two very bored kids who nothing to play with except a dirty old broken compass and a tiny dirty plastic frog. After that adventure, we had to head home to get kids off of buses. The whole adventure was flankishly annoying and hopefully it will be at least another week before I am tricked into it again. But at least we got a dirty old broken compass and a tiny dirty plastic frog out of the deal.
*Pieces of crap and old toys people found while cleaning out their cars.
My sister, Amy left this comment about how un-photogenic she is. I think she is way off. Every photo of her is perfection. As I was looking through Wini's birthday pictures on my mother-in-laws facebook, I found yet another picture-perfect-picture of Amy.
Today is Winifred's birthday!!!!! She is 3 years old. I love her and am so glad I had her. She is super funny and way smart. She has lots of creative ideas. She is a chunky little girl and so much fun to squeeze and squoosh. Wini and Teddy are best friends and play so well together. Wini is the kind of kid that can sit and play with toys for hours by herself. She is pretty well behaved and I am so pround of her. I love her sweet little voice and all her speech impediments. Here are some recent pictures of her: Wini and her BFF, Teddy. My little rag-a-muffin at Jump Creek. Three years ago I had my baby girl. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I instantly loved her. Morgan was quite annoyed that I was pregnant and even more annoyed when we found out it was a girl (he wanted only boys so we could form a football team. Seriously.) The second I had her though he was in love. She has been the apple in his eye ever since and he spoils her. Here she is 3 years ago:
The first time I "held" her. One arm was still tied up and I was still being sewn back together. Morgan being happy even though it was a girl. Her first bath.
I am looking HOT! Her nose was so cute and big.
The beginning of their friendship. Just had to throw this one in of Wolfe because it makes me laugh.
Well, our computer (lap top actually) finally gave out a few weeks ago. We had stopped using our desk top computer a few years ago because we discovered that with a lap top we could just "barrow" our neighbors internet FOR FREE! Anyways it finally gave out so we broke down and bought internet again and our using our old computer. It is very nice. The screen is gigantic. The only parts that really suck is 1) My itunes account is on the other computer and I didn't back it up and 2) Sims is WAY slower on this computer. The good part about it is all the old pictures I found of kids from a couple years ago. They changed a lot. Here are just a few for you. Teddy probably around 18 months. Teddy almost looks fat there and Wolfe looks exactly the same except shorter. Our poor dog. Wolfe still treats him like that but now that he is bigger, the dog is actually getting hurt. Duke loves Wolfe though and never runs from him or growls or snaps. I wish I could show side by side pictures of how much they changed but all my recent pictures are on the other computer. Oh well. More pictures to come!!!! Stay tuned!!