The Host Review: Cracked (Ch 22)

Dear lord why is this book only a third done…


As always this chapter is just continuing the last one with absolutely no indication whatsoever of why there was a chapter break.  Really getting sick of that.  It wasn’t even a cliffhanger.  Does Meyer actually think these are good points to end chapters?  This whole chapter takes place in the room we were in the chapter before. She just tells more stories.  Why not tack this onto the last chapter?  OR LEAVE IT OUT ENTIRELY!  That would have been preferable.

“I’ve wondered a lot what it’s like–getting caught, you know. Saw it happen more than once, come close a few times myself. What would it be like, I wondered. Would it hurt, having something put in your head? I’ve seen it done, you know.”

My eyes widened in surprise, but he wasn’t looking at me.

I don’t really see why this is surprising.  They’ve been there for, well judging by the timeline of this book so far, about a decade.  He’s survived this whole time, he’s said he knows what the parasites look like.  I mean, yeah, you wouldn’t naturally assume he’d witnessed an insertion, but is it really shocking?  Doesn’t seem to be.

“Seems like you all use some kind of anesthetic, but that’s just a guess. Nobody was screaming in agony or anything, though, so it couldn’t be too torturous.”

I wrinkled my nose. Torture. No, that was the humans’ specialty.

Oh just go fuck yourself already.


“Those stories you were telling the kid were real interesting.”

Hahahhahahahhaha… Oh… wait… he was being serious.  I knew Jeb being around too much would make him shittier.  All the characters that don’t suck need to only last either a few chapters then disappear completely or just a few lines here and there at most.  The longer a character is ‘on screen’ so to speak, the more opportunity for them to suck.

You’re a good storyteller.”


No she isn’t.  She’s a terrible story teller and her stories have so many holes in them I spent 4 pages ranting about 1 page of the crap she was spewing last chapter.

I kept my eyes down, but I felt myself softening, losing my guard a bit. Like anyone inside these emotional bodies, I was a sucker for flattery.

Not everyone is a sucker for flattery you know.  Most people like it, but you spent the last 12 chapters bitching about how evil and untrustworthy he is.  But all he had to do to win you over was say something nice about you?!  Pretty sure he’s already done that.  Oh but now it’s plot convenient for her to start trusting him!

Jeb tells her that everyone thinks she’s there to rat them out to the seekers, and instead of speaking up and saying ‘I hate my seeker too’ she bites her tongue so hard it bleeds because that makes total sense.

“What other reason could there be?” he went on, oblivious to my reaction or ignoring it. “But they’re just trapped in fixed notions, I think. I’m the only one with questions.… I mean, what kind of a plan was that, to wander off into the desert without any way to get back?” He chuckled. “Wandering–guess that’s your specialty, eh, Wanda?”

Bad Joke

I wonder if Meyer picked the name Wanderer just so she could make that shitty joke.  Anyway, if I ignore that joke, and that is very difficult to do, Jeb is actually showing critical thinking skills.  Something everyone else so far in this book, especially Wanderer and Melanie, have sucked incredibly hard at so far.  This almost makes up for the fact that he actually seems to like and respect Wanderer.  Almost.

Jeb uses Occam’s Razor (the simplest explanation is usually the right one) to determine that Wanderer nearly died in the desert looking for Jared and Jamie because she loves them.  This is supposed to be a big reveal, but how many chapters ago did I point out that he had figured this out?  I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that he at least suspected this multiple times, so I’m not sure why I have to sit here and read this conversation.

He talks about how he’s seen the parasites that seemed to be genuinely in love and Wanderer says that yes, the parasites do have all the same feelings their human hosts had.  So he concludes, for the second time, that she’s there to be with Jared and Jamie, not to hurt them.  Again, already knew that, really don’t care.  At all.

He finally implies he suspects that Melanie is still alive inside her head.

“Plainly, your memories and behaviors, all that is left behind. But your consciousness… Seems like some people wouldn’t go down without a fight. Hell, I know I would try to stay–never been one to take no for an answer, anyone will tell you that. I’m a fighter. All of us who are left are fighters. And, you know, I woulda pegged Mel for a fighter, too.”

Jeb pauses and Melanie pipes up in Wanderer’s head saying he’s a genius.  Personally I don’t think it takes a genius to put these things together, but he definitely is the smartest person in this book, so I guess I’ll give her that.  Wanderer gives her that he’s a genius, but she says he’s also crazy.  Because of COURSE she has to keep being a fucking massive bitch.  GOD FOR FUCKING BID she be nice to the guy who’s been helping her and been so fucking nice to her.

God forbid

Meyer justifies the fact that Melanie has basically been relegated to a barely present background character by saying that she just can’t concentrate as hard now that she’s happy.  The fact that she’s ‘won’ by getting them there (of course Wanderer thinks of it as a battle that Melanie won.  She can’t think of it as cooperation, then she would have to take some fucking responsibility for her actions!) she’s got no more goals. Except maybe, I don’t know, winning back Jared, being a mother to Jamie, yeah, just the fact that she’s near them, that’s TOTALLY enough to satisfy the itch to get to them.  I know I wouldn’t care enough about what happened to keep up my own existence!  Wouldn’t you just fade away?!

Anyway they discuss whether or not it actually means anything if Jeb knows.  But they could at least tell him.  Even if they don’t tell anyone else, they could talk to Jeb.  But that would require Wanderer to be nice to Melanie and allow her to talk to someone other than her!  So Wanderer keeps her mouth shut and never directly confirms to Jeb that Melanie is still alive.

Jeb could only manage to keep quiet for a few seconds, and then he was off again, interrupting us.

Because he can totally hear your conversation and had any way to know he was interrupting anything.  Yup.  Definitely.


Jeb makes me hate him, even if just a little, by making her talk about the spiders again.  Fuck you too Jeb.

“How many eyes?”

“Twelve–one at each juncture of the leg and the body. We didn’t have lids, just a lot of fibers–like steel wool eyelashes–to protect them.”

I cannot even begin to explain how little sense this makes…  Also, so, they DO have 12 legs, including 4 coming out of their heads.  SO WHY ARE THEY CALLED SPIDERS?!  SPIDERS ONLY HAVE EIGHT LEGS AND YOU SAID THAT THE LEGS WERE WHY YOU CALLED THEM FUCKING SPIDERS!  WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

He nodded, his eyes bright. “Were they furry, like tarantulas?”

“No. Sort of… armored–scaled, like a reptile or a fish.”

So they looked absolutely nothing like spiders at all, you just called them that.  I’m pretty sure Meyer’s was on drugs when she thought up these aliens and their names.  This is what she sees when she’s on acid and thinks of spiders.

I slouched against the wall, settling myself in for a long conversation.

When Jamie was fascinated and asking questions you were happy to answer.  With Jeb you’re being a bitch.  As much as I don’t want to hear any more of this biologically improbable and logistically impossible bullshit, in Jeb’s universe this is real.  He has every right to be fascinated by this crap.  Humans had no idea aliens even existed before the parasites came and now she’s told him about multiple other species and planets.  If that wouldn’t interest you there is something seriously wrong with you.  But no, because she doesn’t like Jeb, for reasons of her being a massive bitch, she’s got to brace herself for the long conversation.

We are spared apparently hours’ worth of questions on the stupid alien spiders.  I am very happy they skip over that part, because I must conserve my rage for what they talk about later in the chapter.  Otherwise I might run out and my energy for this review would fizzle before I could get to the worst part!  And that would just be a crying shame, I know.  He does start asking about the flowers though, because we all needed to know how THAT worked.

I don't find you that interesting

“So did ya eat flies, like a Venus flytrap? I’ll bet you did–or maybe something bigger, like a bird–like a pterodactyl!”

“No, we used sunlight for food, like most plants here.”

“Well, that’s not as much fun as my idea.”

I agree.  That’s not fun at all.  At least if they ate protein you could justify that they had a brain for the parasites to invade.

Jamie can show up before we have to learn too much about the boring plants or the dragons (don’t worry, that’s coming, and my god do I wish it didn’t.) he brings food and they eat and I’m bored.

“Were you guys talking about dragons?”

“Yeah,” Jeb told him enthusiastically, “but not the lizardy kind. They’re all made up of jelly. They can fly, though… sort of. The air’s thicker, sort of jelly, too. So it’s almost like swimming. And they can breathe acid–that’s about as good as fire, wouldn’t you say?”


OKAY.  WHERE TO EVEN FUCKING START.  WHY ARE THEY CALLED DRAGONS?!  GUMMI BEAR WOULD BE A BETTER FUCKING COMPARISON.  Ahem.  If the atmosphere is so thick that they move through it like water, it’s not flying.  It IS swimming.  That is practically the definition of swimming.  Breathing acid makes no sense.  Other than as a thinly veiled reference to what Meyer was on when she thought of them.  THEY’RE MADE OUT OF JELLY.  It’s so fucking RIDICULOUS I’m not sure I can properly get up the hate for it.  I feel like I’m picking on a 4 year olds fantasy world.  Except this was written by an adult.  For adults.  Or at least teenagers.

THEY’RE MADE OF FUCKING JELLY GODDAMMIT!  I can’t get passed that.  JELLY.  Cut out some dragon shapes (though they’re probably not even fucking dragon shaped, because spiders.) in your jello and you’ll be as creative as Meyer.

I had read that there were jelly dragons in this book, but I honestly thought that maybe that was just what they were choosing to call them because they were soft or oozed or maybe that they spewed a jelly like substance instead of breathing fire, but no, there it is.  You read the quote.

Jelly Dragon

They skip over the rest of the conversation and a few more hours later Jeb finally gets tired and compliments her story telling again.  She wasn’t actually telling a story, she was just answering questions, which is very different, but whatever.  She says it’s what she did before she came out here to find them.  Which also isn’t true.  Story telling is not the same as teaching either.  I’m pretty sure Meyer doesn’t know what words mean.  Any words.  Maybe she’s actually an alien and this is just her not understanding the nuances of the English language.

Wanderer prattles on about things we already know and really don’t care about.  She goes on about how she was only an honourary professor, which she went on about at length in an earlier chapter, and how she’s unique for having been to so many planets because we totally needed a reminder of how super special she is.  She does say that they move bodies before their hosts’ die, which honestly I find kind of horrific.

Think about it.  An alien parasite invades your brain, takes your body over, and then right before you die you finally get it back.  You spend your first free moments in probably years, even decades or centuries with some of the species, slowly dying.  Your freedom comes at a point where you cannot do anything about it.  Your last breath leaves you in tears, all the things you wanted to do with your freedom, but even when you get it you’re still trapped by death…


She whines again about how she expects to die within the month because everything has most definitely pointed to that outcome.  I haven’t at all spent the last 3 chapters saying how unlikely that is because she’s definitely right to be scared!  Come on now!  She’s Wanderer!  She knows everything!

“Earth is… very interesting,” I murmured. “It’s harder than any place I’ve been before.”

“Harder than the place with the frozen air and the claw beasts?” he asked.

“In its own way, yes.” How could I explain that the Mists Planet only came at you from the outside–it was much more difficult to be attacked from within.

Attacked, Melanie scoffed.

Ugh.  I have a feeling the claw beasts are going to cause a rant in the future.

Wanderer is just such a sweetheart to Melanie isn’t she?

I yawned. I wasn’t actually thinking of you, I told her. I was thinking of these unstable emotions, always betraying me. But you did attack me. Pushing your memories on me that way.

I learned my lesson, she assured me dryly. I could feel how intensely aware she was of the hand in mine. There was an emotion slowly building in her that I didn’t recognize. Something on the edge of anger, with a hint of desire and a portion of despair.

Jealousy, she enlightened me.

She’s holding Jamie’s hand for context.  But yeah, sure.  She wasn’t thinking of Melanie at all, except she totally was.  Because Wanderer is perfect and everything is Melanie’s fault, even when she’s trying to say she wasn’t trying to say it was all Melanie’s fault.

And yeah, she’s never felt jealousy you guys!  Except those times when she witnessed Melanie’s memories and wished it was her in them instead of Melanie, or those times when she was jealous of everyone else getting to talk to the people she loved.  Or that time when she was getting all sad that other people could make friends when those students left her classroom talking and she shut out the jealous sadness by saying she didn’t want to be friends with them.  And she wasn’t exposed to it already when Melanie realized Wanderer was in love with Jared.  Nope, jealousy is new to her.


Jeb gets tired and he and Jamie get ready to leave.  He threatens to force us to learn more about the other alien species, but SO COINCIDENTALLY Doc, Wanderer’s guard for the night, shows up RIGHT THERE.  Because of COURSE he’s going to have the most perfect timing in the fucking universe.  He just KNEW Jeb wanted to go to sleep.  He wouldn’t have shown up a few hours ago when it was becoming night time which would have been when Jeb told him to come back to be her guard, no!  That would have interrupted their fucking conversation!

Wanderer is of course fucking TERRIFIED of Doc, because he has done so fucking much to hurt her already.  Jeb assures her that Doc is safe but she keeps being a bitch and assuming everyone is going to kill her because she’s learned NOTHING.

I’d promised myself that I would not disturb this place, but it probably wouldn’t hurt anything if I just curled up on the foot of the bed. The floor was rough and so hard.

Yeah, Wanderer is so perfect she can’t even keep a promise to HERSELF.  Seriously, I am so sick of her just claiming she’s so fucking perfect and doing the exact opposite of anything that makes any fucking sense at all.  Her principles only matter until it fucking inconveniences her.  She’s been sleeping on the rough ground for a week now, at least here she can stretch out or take the blanket off the bed.  But if she’s going to sleep on the bed anyway she could just sleep on the fucking bed, but no, she has to make damn sure you still think she’s being conscientious by only sleeping curled up at the foot of the bed.  Because curling up into a ball when you’ve spent a week curled up in a ball is totally going to be more comfortable then sleeping stretched out on the rough floor.  Because that’s how backs work.

But my god the chapter actually DOES end on a cliff hanger for a change!  Someone is in the room with her, but Doc is sleeping at the entrance.  Damn good guard he made!  Anyway, who wants to bet it’s Jamie wanting to know about the claw beasts so I can stab someone?!

This chapter was boring.  Boring and stupid.  I have nothing else to say about it.

Fucking Bored

Till next time, check out The Llama’s take.

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