The host

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Stephenie Meyer


Copyright © 2008 byStephenie Meyer All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Little, Brown and Company Hachette Book Group USA 237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017 Visit our Website First eBook Edition: May 2008 The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. The author is grateful for permission to reprint the poem “Question” fromNature: Poems Old and New,by May Swenson. Copyright © 1994 by The Literary Estate of May Swenson. Reprinted bypermission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. ISBN: 978-0-316-03232-2

Contents Prologue: Inserted Chapter 1: Remembered Chapter 2: Overheard Chapter 3: Resisted Chapter 4: Dreamed Chapter 5: Uncomforted Chapter 6: Followed Chapter 7: Confronted Chapter 8: Loved Chapter 9: Discovered Chapter 10: Turned Chapter 11: Dehydrated Chapter 12: Failed Chapter 13: Sentenced Chapter 14:Disputed Chapter 15: Guarded Chapter 16: Assigned Chapter 17: Visited Chapter 18: Bored Chapter 19: Abandoned Chapter 20: Freed

Chapter 21: Named Chapter 22: Cracked Chapter 23: Confessed Chapter 24: Tolerated Chapter 25: Compelled Chapter 26: Returned Chapter 27: Undecided Chapter 28: Unenlightened Chapter 29: Betrayed Chapter 30: Abbreviated Chapter 31: Needed Chapter 32: Ambushed Chapter 33:Doubted Chapter 34: Buried Chapter 35: Tried Chapter 36: Believed Chapter 37: Wanted Chapter 38: Touched Chapter 39: Worried Chapter 40: Horrified Chapter 41: Vanished Chapter 42: Forced

Chapter 43: Frenzied Chapter 44: Healed Chapter 45: Succeeded Chapter 46: Encircled Chapter 47: Employed Chapter 48: Detained Chapter 49: Interrogated Chapter 50: Sacrificed Chapter 51: Prepared Chapter 52:Separated Chapter 53: Condemned Chapter 54: Forgotten Chapter 55: Attached Chapter 56: Welded Chapter 57: Completed Chapter 58: Finished Chapter 59: Remembered Epilogue: Continued About the Author

To my mother, Candy, who taught me that love is the best part of any story

QUESTION Body my house my horse my hound what will I do when you are fallen Where will I sleep How will I ride What willI hunt Where can I go without my mount all eager and quick How will I know in thicket ahead is danger or treasure When Body my good bright dog is dead How will it be to lie in the sky without roof or door and wind for an eye with cloud for a shift how will I hide?

–May Swenson PROLOGUE Inserted The Healer's name was Fords Deep Waters. 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. As the whispers of the Healing students buzzed in the far corner of the operating room, his lips pressed together into a tight line. The expression felt out ofplace on a mouth more often given to smiling. Darren, his regular assistant, saw the grimace and patted his shoulder. “They're just curious, Fords,” he said quietly. “An insertion is hardly an interesting or challenging procedure. Any soul on the street could perform it in an emergency. There's nothing for them to learn by observing today.” Fords was surprised to hear the sharp edge marring his...
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