Melanie Stryder refuses to to fade away. Planet Earth has been invaded by an unseen enemy and humans have become hosts for these unseen creatures. These "souls" come from a distant place and inhabit the bodies of creatures of different planets; the hosts' mind is taken over, but their bodies are still intact and they continue to live their lives apparently unchanged. These "souls" live lives of peace; never fighting, never stealing, never lying. It is unnecessary to take protective measures on Earth while the "souls" inhabit it because of their way of peace. Most of the human race has been taken into this new life style. However there are still a few survivors who are in hiding that have refused to succumb to the "souls". One girl, named Melanie was one of the remaining humans not occupied by an invader. However, while on the run with her brother Jamie, and a man she fell in love with, Jared, to find the safe haven her uncle left behind for her, she is captured. The "soul' that now occupies her her body is called Wanderer. Wanderer is warned of the dangers of living in a human body; the strong emotions and vivid memories could be over whelming. The first few days of Wanderer's existence in Melanie's body goes by without trouble, but soon enough Melanie begins to fight back. Wanderer is at times herself, but at others, Melanie grabs hold of her own conscience and tries to order her body the way she used to. The event of a human being strong enough to fight back is very rare, but Wanderer refuses to give in to Melanie. She hears Melanie's thoughts and often talks to her. Because she is able to see how Melanie feels, she begins to break away from the peaceful life of the souls and tries to find the remaining humans. Also by listening to Melanie's thoughts, Wanderer begins to fall in love with Jared and develops a sisterly love towards Jamie. The two are forcibly allied and as one they make their way to the remaining humans. At first Wanderer is locked up and treated with great caution but eventually proves herself. Both Jared and Jamie had already found their way to this safe haven and at the sight of Melanie, pain is great in them. Jamie learns to trust Wanderer and makes a bond with her, and is able to feel Melanie sometimes, while Jared does not trust Wanderer but at times when Melanie is strongest he can feel her presence and learns to endure Wanderer. While at the safe haven Wanderer comes to make new friends. A man named Ian also begins to fall in love with Wanderer. It is hard for both Melanie who has to be with Ian because of Wanderer, and is hard for Jared because he sees Melanie's body with Ian. In due coarse however, Wanderer attains a body for her own and Melanie is given back her own body. Both Melanie and Wanderer are given a life to live where one is not at the mercy of another.
1. Melanie fights through Wanderer to sometimes gain conscience of her own body. She is strongest when she thinks of Jared and her brother Jamie. Do you think this is because of the strength of her love for these two men, her unwillingness to be taken, or both? Do you think that this shows love is one of the strongest emotions of a human being?
2. Throughout the novel, it is shown that souls lack the intensity of emotions that humans feel. It is also shown that they have a very peaceful way of life. Do you think this shows that human emotions contribute to many of the crimes that occur in the real world?