This Is Gonna Be A Rough One: The Host Prologue

Posted on May 3, 2013 by

18



This is my last day of college classes ever. What.

And I only got to recreate this scene from Animal House about five times.

And I only got to recreate this scene from Animal House like seven times.

Prologue

I immediately started giving Ariel shit when she told me she wrote her entire post on the prologue and didn’t get to the first chapter. Seriously? An entire BBGT post about the prologue? The prologue is about as long as any one of our posts. How inane could the prologue be?

The Healer’s name was Fords Deep Waters.

…go on.

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.

Okay. Let’s get ourselves oriented here. Humans experience stuff like irritation and are therefore bad. Souls are aliens that live inside human bodies, have stereotype Native American names, and are good. Not… not entirely certain what the metaphor is quite yet.

Fords Deep Waters is in a room full of Healing students, apparently about to perform some sort of exciting operation.

Darren, his regular assistant, saw the grimace and patted his shoulder.
“They’re just curious, Fords,” he said quietly.

Okay, the fuck kind of aliens are these? They have names like “Fords Deep Waters” and then fucking “Darren”? Sure, we learn a little later on in the prologue that Darren unusually kept his human host’s name as his own name, but when the first two names you throw at us to introduce a brand new alien society are Fords Deep Waters and Darren, there’s a certain degree of verisimilitude that’s not quite coming across. I mean, Jesus, this sounds less like science fiction and more like a Western/inspirational teacher crossover movie.

Which, uh, looks like this, I guess.

Which, uh, looks like this, I guess.

They prepare their operation: which is inserting a soul into a “wild” human, who is a girl notable for unspecified “pain she’d endured”, which, yep, definitely sounds like we’re reading a Stephenie Meyer novel.

I wanted to find a picture of Bella crying, but, yeah, this is pretty much Kristen Stewart's only face, I guess.

I wanted to find a picture of Bella crying, but, yeah, this is pretty much Kristen Stewart’s only face.

Also notable is the soul going to use the new host body. We get hints that she (the soul) is doing this for some sort of important mission for “The Seeker”, and that she’s a person well-respected within the society of souls.

“This soul was specially picked for the assignment,” Darren said soothingly. “She is exceptional among our kind – braver than most. Her lives speak for themselves. I think she would volunteer, if it were possible to ask her.”
“Who among us would not volunteer if asked to do something for the greater good? But is that really the case here? […] The question is not her willingness, but what it is right to ask any soul to bear.”

Oh my God, everyone, I think there’s two meanings to that! Because a “soul” is the alien in this book, but it’s also, like, our souls, man. Whoa. This is deep. Like the Waters that that guy Fords!

Haha, no, seriously, the metaphor here is actually that the souls in human bodies that face challenges are the souls in human bodies that face challenges. Hot damn, this is going to be a fun book.

“She’s lived on six planets.”
“I heard seven.”

The students keep revealing clues about what a renowned soul we’re dealing with here.

“She’s been almost everything. A Flower,”

What the actual fuck? The first example you can think of is that she’s been a flower? Holy shit, guys, for someone who’s accomplished so much, you could probably have come up with a way better first thing. This is like trying to explain why Gandhi was a great person and starting with “he could tie shoes”.

“a Bear, a Spider-”
“A See Weed, a Bat-“

Okay, this is not an impressive resume, you guys. I mean, spiders do a lot of pretty important stuff, but it’s not like it really requires a lot of skill to be a spider? This has to be either a metaphorical list or these have to be names shared with other aliens on other planets or something, because this makes no goddamn sense, and not just because she’s been whatever a “see weed” is supposed to be. I’m not sure what makes her so qualified for such an important mission. In fact, she seems dangerously underqualified for mission in a human body seeing as she has never been in a human body.

“Even a dragon!”

She’s been a motherfucking dragon and you still started with “flower”?!

"Well, Mr. Eriksen, you seem to have a very impressive resume."

“Well, Mr. Eriksen, you seem to have a very impressive resume.”

Fords begins the operation to insert the soul, which is a creature like a shining silver ribbon in appearance, into the human host body.

he edged the scalpel through the skin at the base of the subject’s skull with small, precise movements […] Fords delved delicately beneath the neck muscles, careful not to injure them, exposing the pale bones at the top of the spinal column.

How the hell did these aliens evolve? These things are parasites incapable of getting into host bodies if left to their own devices. How on earth did these things evolve if they need to perform surgery they would be incapable of doing on their own in order to live? I’m one exam away from having a Bachelor’s Degree in biology, The Host. I can call some pretty serious bullshit now.

The operation a success (apparently – since they don’t, like, test if the soul has actually taken over the human body or anything), Fords wishes the soul good luck, and adds “How I wish you didn’t need it.” And that’s the prologue! Next week we begin with chapter one of The Host. And sure, the prologue was hella dumb, but my interest is piqued, even if it is a Stephenie Meyer novel. Granted, I’ve never read a Stephenie Meyer novel before, but this doesn’t seem so bad so far. How bad could this be?

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Posted in: The Host