by Stephenie Meyer
What is it with pale, moody teenaged boys? Annoying in life, they are sheer gold in 21st- century literary culture. After Harry Potter waved his wand, along came Edward Cullen: vampire, sulker and hero of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight novels. Lapped up by adolescents of all ages, the story follows a m?nage a trois involving Cullen, Isabella Swan and a werewolf called Jacob Black. If Jerry Springer made shows for the undead they would sound like this. Meyer has now ventured into more adult terrain - a natural progression because Cullen and Swan were becoming increasingly hot and bothered. The Host is more of the same, mixing science fiction and romance - as the blurb blurbs it, 'the first love triangle involving only two bodies'. An alien called Wanderer meets a human called Melanie and is supposed to complete a hostile takeover of Melanie's mind and body. But Wanderer falls in love with Melanie's absent boyfriend, Jared, so the pair set off on a journey of 600 pages to find their man. Meyer still writes as vividly as a plastic cup: 'How does a three-inch-long worm fall in love with a human being?' The Host is pleasingly odd, ambitious and readable. Take that, JK Rowling.