Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stephanie Meyer, A Word If I May

One of the sites I frequent often is Goodreads. You know the sites I mean: everyone has that handful of 'bookmarked' sites they always head to first when online. For some people it's Facebook, others Twitter, some Hotmail, Yahoo, and some Blogger. These are the ubiquitous examples, and now I introduce Goodreads.

Well, not literally 'introduce'. I know there are a few of my Blog readers who are already acquainted with Goodreads. Anyways, that's not exactly why I am writing.

When in my Idly Browsing About The Internet phase, I often just peruse book recommendations and book reviews - written by other members on Goodreads - and sometimes click around the odd Book Discussion forum topics.

NO SPOILERS. (as such)

This morning, I stumbled upon a discussion on the book The Host by Stephanie Meyer - which more people might be familiar with as it had been made into a movie. (Aside: if the name Stephanie Meyer rings a bell (for those who do not already know this), she was the author of the YA Twilight series. The Host  was her attempt to cater to an older audience, as such it is not technically a YA novel. This could be debatable.)

The discussion in particular centered around this question, "should there be a sequel made?" The response was highly varied, from absolute die-hard SM fans gushing a resounding yes, and an equal number of others saying no. Some, like myself, tendered a rather tentative response that fluctuated between a yes and no, conditional upon case-scenarios.

What mostly occurred to me, while scrolling through the pages of responses was that 99% of the responses missed out on something. Why does a sequel have to be defined as the continuation of a story inclusive of the same characters, following off the previous plot?

Specifically: I think a sequel would be a very good idea, if this sequel actually took in consideration the amazing context Meyer had already created. The substantive background that served as the stage upon which her characters lived was/is as unique a concept that it deserves living again.

The characters in The Host, however, have already lived out their story. The ending of both book and movie served that purpose, and furthering the story specific to the book would be a bit of prolonged torture to fans who might only become disillusioned and dissatisfied with the entire project.

Not having been a Twilight fan - book or movie - (I've never relished the conversion of books into movies; my own imagination seems to outdo that of movie-makers) I also hesitate to endorse a sequel being made solely with an intent to commercialize on Meyer's success, and to again make a literary endeavor more of a franchise. Cashing in on this rather than concentrating on the actual creative accomplishment of the author is what most readers should be wary of.

Again, I feel that the theme and context developed in The Host possesses lots of potential that could be and should be used and optimized. Carrying on with the same characters would be exploiting, not optimizing the theme. She created an entire new world and limiting her fictional universe to a mere handful of individuals localized in one place within such a huge world would be a...huge pity. Developing parallel stories would open up so much potential.

 If only she 1. somehow read this, 2. took this all in consideration and 3. actually listened to me, eh?


  1. Ermm I don't even know, I'd prefer there not to be a sequel, because:
    1) it's amazing as it is
    2) the story has a great ending, like you said prolonging it would torture us
    3) it's going to become the next twilight movie type thing
    4) they probably just want to make more money out of it
    5) my name might be badnaam

    The only exception would be like you suggested, new characters but that same amazing world :)

    1. It was quite a struggle to explain what I mean without leaking any spoilers by elaborating. But I knew you, Wanderer, of all people would know exactly what I meant! :)

      p.s. Your name is already badnaam by your love for your Professor. *runs*

  2. I agree with your point of a sequel reconstructing the stage or the concept but not necessarily with the same characters. If the characters have lived their parts well, then it won't do much good to drag their role out.

    And I have also felt that translating books into movies is not that good an idea. Imagination is the best and gives due credit to the books. However, sadly we get to see the director's imagination and are forced to realign to it. One person's imagination cannot be the limit for the entire world.