Title: The Chemist
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publish Date: July 11, 2017
# of Pages: 528
(**Warning** Possible spoilers)
(From Goodreads) In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.
She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.
Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.
When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.
Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.
In this tautly plotted novel, Meyer creates a fierce and fascinating new heroine with a very specialized skill set. And she shows once again why she’s one of the world’s bestselling authors.
The Chemist is Stephenie Meyer’s first adult thriller novel. It features an ex-government interrogator (Juliana aka Alex), an ex-CIA agent (Kevin Beach), and the agent’s twin brother (Daniel Beach). In this novel, it’s kill or be killed, and Alex and Kevin team up to dispose of the top-level people hunting them.
I’m really surprised this book got such low reviews on Goodreads, but I have a feeling it has more to do with Meyer’s previous novels than the caliber of this novel. I’ve read the Twilight books—they were okay—but I think this book shows Meyer has matured as an author and wants to break the notion that she can only write fluffy young adult novels about sparkly vampires.
So what did I like?
First off, the characters of Alex and Einstein are awesome. Alex is a feisty doctor who’s learned fierce survival skills. She prefers weapons she can create through chemistry but also knows her way around guns and knives. Kevin is a hardened ex-CIA agent, but he brings a nice amount of comic relief to the book. He disapproves of the budding relationship between Alex and Daniel, and some of the interactions had me laughing out loud.
Second, there are dogs everywhere! Einstein is a ridiculously smart dog who saves their necks more than once. It’s easy to grow attached to Einstein—he’s a cool dog—and the connection between Einstein and his owner, Kevin, is played up appropriately.
The storyline. I liked the story with all of its twists and turns. While the story itself is pretty far out there, the book had my full attention.
What didn’t I like?
For the life of me, I could not place Alex’s age. If it was laid out explicitly in the book, I missed it. She’s a doctor, was employed for several years, and has been on the run for over two years. I would assume late 30s, early 40s, but she feels younger. That drove me crazy.
I didn’t like Daniel’s character. I don’t think he added a lot to the book. He was supposed to be Alex’s love interest, but honestly, I would have rather seen her with Kevin.
“She also should have respected the power of pure stupidity to take a smart person completely by surprise.”
“Sometimes you cling to a mistake simply because it took so long to make.”
Check this book out at your local library, or buy it here* on Amazon.
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