With The Host headed into theaters next month, Stephenie Meyer fans have likely been wondering when we'll see the next novel from the author. The Host was published in 2008, almost five years ago. Anyone who's aware of Meyer's work knows she's had her hands full with the Twilight films. But with the vampire series and its adaptations wrapped up, does that mean she'll have more time to work on the sequel to The Host? Meyer's commented on that recently, while doing press for the anticipated feature adaptation of the book - or the first book, as she says she hopes that this will be a "three book arc."
The Host has Meyer moving away from vampires and over to aliens, telling a story set on earth after aliens have taken over the bodies of most of the human population. The book follows Wanderer, an alien "soul" who inhabits the body of one of a young woman named Melanie, who's part of the remaining human resistance up until she's captured, and who refuses to vacate her mind when Wanderer takes over. Veering a bit away from romance (though there is some of that), the story explores humanity, love and survival with a sci-fi twist.
When we spoke to Meyer last week, she told us she is working on a sequel to The Host, but - understandably so - finding the time to write the follow-up to her alien invasion story has been an issue, between the film and her other commitments, including her family, producing Austenland and the adaptation of Lois Duncan's Down a Dark Hall, she's got her hands full.
"Yes, I'm working on the sequel to The Host," Meyer told us. "I have no idea when it will be done. And when I say it's done, then I still have to do the editing process, which can be extremely long. It's going really slowly right now and I have this Host tour coming up, which I know is gonna - I can't work on the road. I'm really awful about that, but I cannot get the focus I need when I'm not having large amounts of time. I mean, it's not being on the road, it's being interrupted every hour. So I don't know how long that's going to take. I would love to get that knocked out this summer, but that's extremely unlikely. I'd have to cryogenically freeze my children. And my husband. And if someone knows how to do that, call me.
So, while it does sound like she'd love to sit down and get it finished by the summer (after which there'd be editing, possible rewrites and updates, which could prolong the process), that might be too soon to hope for.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press got their own update on the status of the sequel, or sequels as it could be. Meyer mentioned a possible plan for a trilogy when she spoke to them, saying:
“Once you’ve created characters that have life to them, unless you kill them all, you know where their stories go. You’re always aware of what happens next,” Meyer told The Associated Press in an interview. “I’ve got outlines for the next books. I would hope that this would be a three-book arc, but we’ll see.”
So, if things go as Meyer hopes, there would be two more books to complete the story. Based on the first book alone, I'm actually not sure if I consider this the best news. I say this because I really liked The Host and I liked how it ended. To me, the semi-open-ended story left off with hope for mankind and the main characters. While it might be interesting to see what happens next, I don't actually feel like I need to. I might prefer a spin-off or another story set in that world that steps away from Melanie, Wanda and the rest of that group.
Of course, I'll happily eat my words if and when Meyer does get the next book published and it turns out to be great. It certainly sounds like she has ideas for her characters' futures. On a more positive side, The Host was a better story than Twilight, and a follow-up could give the author the opportunity to really expand and build on what she started in the first book. But if she announced that she was working on a new novel unrelated to The Host, or some kind of spin-off or prequel to The Host, I don't think I'd be especially disappointed.
In the meantime, I'm eager to see if The Host's feature adaptation lives up to the promising trailers. The film arrives in theaters March 29. More info, photos and videos here.