Review: Stephenie Meyer’s The Host: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion

Stephenie Meyer’s The Host: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Mark Cotta Vaz

I was alerted to this Movie Companion being released early by Stephanie, who runs The Host Movie Fans website.  I did not pre-order the book, so those that did were probably the first ones to know it was on its way, much earlier than the previously released release date of December 4, 2012.

I would like to point out that I never owned any of the Twilight Movie Companions, so I have no idea how this book compares to those

This is not a hardback book.  It is soft-bound and is larger in dimensions than a normal book.  It is fully in color with images galore from the film and behind the scenes.

The book is separated into nine sections; Introduction, Possessed, Survivors, The Cave, Souls on Earth, Fight for Survival, Haunted Places, “The Fire of This Movie World,” and Notes & Acknowledgements.

The book is very detailed from start to finish.  There is equally a lot of information about pre-production and filming itself.  It does not have much information about post-production, and the book ends shortly after the story of filming ends.  Anything you want to know about how this film came to be is in this book.  A short list of topics covered: budgets, locations, makeup, costumes, sets (exterior and interior), casting, the script, the director, stunts, logistics, and the acting.

There are lots of interviews with the actors, director, author/producer Stephenie Meyer, producers, and all of the other members of the crew that made this film what it is.  One thing I would have liked to see was more information about Chandler Canterbury, but there are a few pictures of him in the book.  There is hardly anything on Boyd Holbrook.  The book also gives us our first looks at Frances Fisher, Mustafa Harris (Brandt), Lee Hardee (Aaron), Scott Lawrence (Doc), and Shawn Carter Peterson (Wes).

The book itself is spoiler-heavy.  If you don’t want to know much about the film or the look of the actors and the sets, don’t pick up this book until after you have seen the film.  There are things in the book that have not been seen in the trailers or in the studio-released photos.

Of note in my reading of the book:

In the book, the Seekers carry guns, but in the film, they carry a spray called “Peace.”  The exception is The Seeker who chases Wanda.  She carries a gun because she is a little different from the other Seekers.

Producer Nick Wechsler had the initial budget in the 40 million dollar range, but it ended up being smaller than that (the production budget).

No flashbacks to those other worlds Wanda has been to due to the budget and it would take viewers out of The Host’s Earth world physically and emotionally.

Stephenie Meyer did want an actress in her mid to late twenties to play the role.

There is a nice couple of paragraphs on how Lee Hardee got the part of Aaron.  Congrats, Lee!

Melanie was almost a blonde!

Souls have a healing spray (see the second movie trailer).  Also from the trailer, ” . . . souls travel through outer space in pods that are about six inches by four inches, not huge spaceships.”  Yes, this is different from the book.

Eva Green was almost The Seeker.

I could give away more, but then I know not everyone wants to know everything about the book.  Plus, you need to pick up your own copy.  It is a well-done book for the fans of The Host and those interested in how this film came to be.

Below are a select few photos from the book: (Can you tell I don’t have a scanner?  I don’t have a scanner.)

Source: Little Brown, and Company, The Host Movie News


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  • Nena Gunn

    I seriously can’t wait! I’m getting contact lenses like her to wear at the premier!

  • Jill

    i too never perused the twilight movie companions, just never was a big fan of movie guides. i did flip through the hunger games companion and was impressed; if it’s anything like that then my gamble to purchase it will be worth it.

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  • Anna

    One question: in the trailer they say that they are in the future, but in the book the story happens in the actual time right?

    • Luna

      Well, at least it feels like it’s in the very near future. Nothing’s really changed except for the things the aliens have changed like medicine and spaceship travel.

    • Taylor_is_a_sexy_BEAST

      The book never gives any dates or tells you how many years the aliens were on earth. You just kinda of guess. I also noticed they never gave any hints about what decade this novel was set in because they never described the type of fashion, model/year of cars or technology. I think this novel was left ambiguous so you can image this at any time within this century.

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  • Jill

    To those that have it, anyone not really “wowed” by the companion guide? I feel kinda bad because I’m such a huge supporter of the book and film that I feel like I’m obligated to like it, which is weird, haha.

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  • Wanda

    Can`t wait to see the movie… i think it will be awesome!!!! :)