In this tantalizing SF thriller, planet-hopping parasites are inserting their silvery centipede selves into human brains, curing cancer, eliminating war and turning Earth into paradise. But some people want Earth back, warts and all, especially Melanie Stryder, who refuses to surrender, even after being captured in Chicago and becoming a host for a soul called Wanderer. Melanie uses her surviving brain cells to persuade Wanderer to help search for her loved ones in the Arizona desert. When the pair find Melanie's brother and her boyfriend in a hidden rebel cell led by her uncle, Wanderer is at first hated. Once the rebels accept Wanderer, whom they dub Wanda, Wanda's whole perspective on humanity changes. While the straightforward narrative is short on detail about the invasion and its stunning aftermath, it shines with romantic intrigue, especially when a love triangle (or quadrangle?!) develops for Wanda/Melanie.
My take: I know we're all tired of the Twilight/Edward/Bella/Jacob saga with four books and movies galore but, let's face it, when it all started we were caught up in the hype just like everybody else.
Stephenie Meyer engaged us with a new idea - a vampire, nay, a demi-god who absolutely adored and wanted to feast on a regular girl. A regular girl like you and me. Oh, yeah. We loved it. And then it got old.
Ms. Meyer did it again. She developed another new story and gave the characters personalities we grew quite fond of. I never really connected with ALL of the main characters, but I grew to care about how Melanie/Wanda could exist apart or if they would choose to.
The author creates the Utah/Arizona landscape and climate to a point that I really needed to drink a lot of water during my reading. She also develops the intricacies of the souls and the humans along with their needs, wants, and survival skills. Quite fascinating.
By the way, paperback edition includes a bonus chapter. It's a chapter that really fills in some holes. Without giving anything away, it's when you-know-who finds out you-know-what and sees you-know-who and knows that you-know-who has you-know-what and now she has to...
Wait. I can't tell you the rest. Maybe you can figure it out by reading this.
The new paperback edition also includes notes for book group discussions.
If you haven't read this book or you did but it's been a few years, I'll give it to you for such a small price. Give me your body so I can insert a soul into the base of your neck.
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There will be 2 lucky winners.
Contest ends June 4, 2010
Open to U.S. and Canada residents with physical address (No P.O. Boxes).
Thank you Valerie at Hatchette Review Group for sponsoring this giveaway.