Another question comes up like the sticky issue in peace talks between Israel and Palestine. You know how some authors give their evil characters a trait, either personality or physically a la Bond villain, to make sure we’re aware that we’re not supposed to identify? Others will make their character do a deliberate jerk move like garroting a box full of kittens and then blaming it on the guy in room six nineteen who’s dying of cancer.
A lot of authors screw that last one up by making it so far out of character that it’s just plain silly, hint hint Otis. Sometimes they don’t even do that much though and you’re left wondering why everyone in the story hates Bob even though he’s infinitely nicer than Jill.
Just how are we supposed to differentiate between the characters Otis wants us to like and the ones she doesn’t? Sure we can logically look down at the line she’s drawn to divide the room up. Sharon, Maggie, HK and Jared over on one side and everyone else on the other. But I can’t see what sets them apart.
Let’s compare two characters who are at the opposites of each end, Jared and Ian. Both are young survivors who care deeply about the people around them. Both of them possess above average skills which make them invaluable members of the colony and both have a sort of ill-defined attractiveness that allows Otis to paste the face of whoever’s hot this month on them. They’re both the average gritty Joe Average hero who could star in a generic shooter or action flick.
Yet there’s only one difference I can figure out and that’s that Jared is larger than Ian. They’ve both done violent and mean things to Eve. Both of them have apologized for the misunderstanding and received her forgiveness faster than a fourteenth century priest selling indulgences for smiles. And yet Jared remains distinctly on the other side of the room blocked by an invisible wall that dooms him to author hell. Maybe something’s supposed to come up later when the epilogue is wrapping things up neatly for a sequel.
This chapter is called ‘touched’ and if history has anything to teach us as a whole is that this chapter isn’t going to spark a trial where somebody mentions ‘jesus juice’ and knocks their nose off with an errant swipe of the tissue.
Eve apparently has the mental capacity of a fruit bat who’s been given heroin. It’s just dawned on her that maybe Ian is competing for her affection with Jared. Wow, isn’t that a pleasant twist. Here I knew what was going on and Otis confirmed it for me. That’s good because I didn’t want to have to engage in any thought while reading. I like my books like television, simpler than reality and available in ten minute chunks.
I’d like to see Ian fall for Eve the alien. Then we could have a love scene that plays out like the end of the crying game crossed with an H-game. It’ll turn out Ian has a strange fetish which he never though he could satisfy until Eve crawls out of Jackie Otis’s body, who can then go back to Jared, and then do awful things to Ian that are better left unimagined. Bells ring, saints sing and everybody’s happy.
Ian does some creepy things, like run his fingers along her arm, which Eve like and Jackie Otis doesn’t. They both reveal they like each other which in this universe means they’re together. Ian wants to do things to her and Jackie Otis doesn’t want that. Luckily Eve’s in control and can act as a sort of intercourse facilitator like a hyper-intelligent Rohypnol compound that never goes away.
Eve thinks Ian’s just attracted to her body. Ian says no of course not and she asks what if she came there as an older lady or even a man. He says she’s in this body and stuck there unless she goes back so issue closed. Then Eve gets weepy about dying a little and says that humans have the shortest life spans out of all the creatures she’s met.
They kiss a couple of times and Jackie Otis screams in her head while wishing she could hit Ian or shove him away. Ian wishes Jackie Otis would go to sleep or take five so he could get his groove on damn it. He gets jealous when he hears she becomes overwhelmed when Jared kisses her but not him. Then he bucks up and says he’ll change her mind. ‘Don’t worry, by the end of this book Otis will make Jared so unlikable, to you anyway, that you’ll have to pick me!’
Jamie stops by to ask her to come back to Jared’s room so they can live together just like old times. Then he says he loves Eve too not just Jackie Otis when she reminds him there’s now four of them and she complains about a razor edge cutting at her heart.
“Perfect,” I whispered, and felt the razor’s edge again.
Well why don’t you grab it and run it along your arm Eve? What a pity it’d be if HK discovered signs of human habitation and flew a bomber overhead, dropping a nuclear payload to ensure the humans and traitor were dead. Come on HK, do us a favor.
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And don’t forget, Rippy the Razor says “Down the block, not across the street.”
Seriously? This is what passes for a climax? The host and the parasite are arguing over which boy they think is hot stuff?
… Yeah, typical Meyer if the Twilight series was any indication. I still can’t believe I managed to slog through that series (borrowed it because I was told it was good, kept reading because I thought something had to happen eventually… and when it did, in the final book, it didn’t amount to much and was stupid enough I wanted to throw the book–and would’ve if it’d been my book) and Host seems even worse.
yeah, borrowed the first book to see what i was missing, concluded “nothing at all” (really) and stuck to the blogs after that. far more interesting.
Meyer seems to think romance and cancer equals action and her fans enable this crap.
To be fair, not all novels have to be action novels, but there’s nothing resembling a climax here. There’s no real complication even when there are obvious reasons that two characters should not get together.
And I’m sure if she could, she’d have Eve pregnant with an alien-human hybrid baby by the end of this book (or series, but let’s hope that doesn’t happen).
Romance can be a plot. Granted I’m not that into romance novels despite being female, but if there are sufficient problems with the romance happening, it can become a plot to see how the characters will overcome this and be together anyway. I can kind of see what she’s doing here, with the conflict between Ed–er, I mean Ian, and Jac–I mean Jared. Plus there’s the issue that the host and parasite don’t agree with one another. But you’re entirely right about the aliens not being so very nonviolent, and it doesn’t seem like this is going to be much of a problem anyhow…
The first comic, it made me laugh seeing his expression. http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=248