December 29, 2013

Twilight's Successor – The Host or Mortal Instruments?

Mortal Instruments
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Stephenie Meyer‘s Twilight Saga is coming to its conclusion and angsty tweens with a bloodlust will have to go hungry. Or will they? Two contenders have emerged as viable successors but we don’t know yet which will likely take the prize. Coincidentally, both have released trailers just this week, within days of each other. Each have aspects that seem more than vaguely reminiscent of Twilight, like having strong but vulnerable female heroes that are emotionally conflicted. But they do have differences from each other and those will ultimately decide which will have more appeal to the demographic.

The Host, which is a film adaptation of another Stephenie Meyer book of the same name, takes place on an Earth where humans have already lost to an alien takeover. Human bodies are being used as hosts for the alien entities, thereby wiping out the original person. There are a small band of humans left who have formed a resistance, two of whom are the main character Melanie and her boyfriend. The main conflict arises when Melanie is captured by the Souls, as the aliens are called, and is implanted with one herself, named Wanderer (Wanda). Inexplicably, Melanie’s thoughts, emotions, and memories are able to hang on and form a bond with Wanda, reshaping her own views and feelings for the people in Melanie’s life and the nature of the alien takeover.

While not exactly a one-to-one remapping of Twilight‘s storyline, one of the main concepts to be utilized is the idea that one can defect from their own in favor of those who are literally not of this world. The split side that I’m sure will also be explored is the reluctance of the opposing side to trust and take in an outsider. It may have been vampires in Twilight but I can see it being played to equal effect with aliens in The Host. Add love triangles to the mix and you have your story.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is based on the book series by Cassandra Clare about a girl, Clary, who discovers that she’s descended from a long line of demon hunters. Demons walk amongst us and Shadowhunters must hunt them. They do this all without being seen, as most of their activities, and even base of operations, is cloaked to the “mundanes”. As a Shadowhunter, she’s half angel and half human and must now use her innate abilities to save her mother who has been attacked and taken. The premise of this series, full of its own twists and nuances I’m sure, sounds more similar to the Percy Jackson series, or Grimm, or even Buffy the Vampire Slayer. All deal with monsters and the like, with the seemingly ordinary main character being thrust into a mission or destiny after realizing the power and responsibility that’s in their blood. This particular world has vampires and werewolves, much like Twilight did, but does try to go beyond the supernatural and incorporate more magical elements, like faeries and spells. Love triangles are plentiful in this story as well.

The Host is set to release on March 29, 2013.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is set to release on August 23, 2013.

By David C. Sales

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