Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer Review

Book Nerd Review by Sarahjane

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

Praise for THE CHEMIST

"This espionage action story will no doubt tighten Meyer's grip on her devoted readers. Its main character is much like Jason Bourne, to whom the novel is dedicated affectionately.... Meyer knows how to control dramatic tension as skillfully as any of the Bourne movies. The pages turn themselves."―Keith Donohue, Washington Post

"Engrossing.... A terrific ride.... The Chemist is consistently fast-paced fun, especially the way that Alex's scientific genius gives her an array of potions-she's small, but you don't want to get within swiping distance of the rings on her fingers-that verge on the magical."―Charles Finch, USA Today

"Fans will likely tear through The Chemist, just as they did with the Twilight novels and with The Host.... Our heroine is very good at staying alive.... The book hit on an appealing theme. Chris is an expert in her field, one that happens to be male dominated. Her peers are out to get her. She has to watch her back constantly.... With so many popular novels out there featuring unreliable female narrators stuck in various suburbs, it was nice to read about a woman who gets out and has a lot to do."―Meredith Goldstein, Boston Globe

"[Meyer has] an unusual ability to turn genres inside out. The characters in the novel are motivated by love of family rather than by duty to country or abstractions like saving the world. Love gives the adventure meaning, rather than just being a subplot off to the side. Spy fans can be assured that in most respects, The Chemistfunctions in much the same way as a Bourne or Bond story, complete with mounting body count, cool explosions, stakeouts and betrayals. But changing the proportion of gender in the genre gives the concoction a renewed, and welcome, rush." ―Noah Berlatsky, Los Angeles Times

"A tale of skulduggery, bodice rippery, and shoot-'em-up action unfolds, complete with help from a luscious mistress of disguise who could have stepped right out of a James Bond novel. Rated B for badass."―Kirkus Reviews

"The Twilight mogul moves from blood-sucker romance to heart-stopping drama with a thriller about a kick-ass scientist and ex-government agent on the run."―Angela Ledgerwood, Cosmopolitan

"Here, an exciting heroine (see: female Jason Bourne) knows too much, is a threat, and has one last chance to clear her name."―Steph Opitz, Marie Claire

"It's nice to see a heroine whose greatest asset is her brain, one who can fell brawny hitmen with tiny syringes and weaponized jewelry. Meyer is still a skilled pace-setter, and The Chemist's 518-pages fly by."―Isabella Biedenharn, Entertainment Weekly

"Twilight fans will find another romantic couple to root for, plus the most supernaturally intelligent guard since Rin Tin Tin." ―People

"[A] gripping page-turner." ―Ali Ehrlich, Good Morning America

I liked this book. There, I’ve said it. Was it an epic spy thriller? No, not really? Was it filled with death, destruction and pure homicidal rage? Not really, but for a Stephenie Meyer Book, you could argue that it is. But is it like Twilight? No, definitely not, far from it. And that, I feel, is the problem for many readers.

Meyer has made the leap from sci-fi YA to adult thriller, and while she’s no James Patterson or Martina Cole, I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing. Those books do get very clich├ęd and typical after a while.

That said, you do need some patience when reading this book. Like The host, there’s a lot of exposition. Which is needed, Meyer wants the reader to sympathise with a CIA torturer. And I did. I found myself hoping that Alex would survive, I could understand the choices she made, and as I continued to read the book, I began to cheer her on. So, though the start was long and some could argue arduous, it was needed.

And yes, it has action. But not constant. There is a section where Alex is hiding, and I can see how this may bore some thrill seekers out there, but to me this just makes the story more believable. She’s not James bond, she needs to regroup once in a while. I can’t hold that against her. Besides, someone on the run and whose whole narrative is “I need to survive” isn’t going to go and ask for trouble out right.

And that brings me to the Romance. Oh la la. Is this the “timeless” burning passion of Bella and Edward? No, and again I’m glad because Meyer has been there and done that. Yes, the romance here does fill rushed, and that's an honest criticism, but I still did wonder if the romance would pan out. And what’s more Alex isn’t a damsel in distress! For a writer who highly criticised about the feminist perspective, Alex is a fighter. A fighter who not only challenges male counterparts, but thrives when doing so. So, why can’t she be a fighter and have a little happiness on her own terms too?

The Chemist isn’t perfect, but for what it is, I repeat, I liked it. If you're a Kathy Reichs fan, this may not be your cup of tea. But it is a well researched narrative, with all the traits a true Meyer fan will love. Give the book your time and effort and you will be rewarded. But if you want a book that you can read in an hour, pick something else. This book needs to be savoured, not choked down in one gulp.

You can purchase The Chemist at the following Retailers:

Author Spotlight
Photo Content from Stephenie Meyer

Best known for her Twilight series, Stephenie Meyer’s four-book collection has sold over 100 million copies globally in over 50 countries, with translations in 37 different languages. Meyer was the highest-selling author of 2008 and 2009 in the United States, having sold over 29 million books in 2008, and 26.5 million books in 2009. In 2008, Meyer also released The Host, which debuted at #1 on The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. Additionally, USA Today declared Meyer “Author of the Year,” citing that she had done something that no one else had in the 15 years of the USA Today bestselling book list– she swept the top four slots in 2008. Meyer also accomplished this feat in 2009, when The Twilight Saga once again dominated the top of the bestseller list. All together, her books have spent over 303 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Stephenie Meyer graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English Literature. She lives in Arizona with her husband and sons.


  1. No, I have not had the chance to stand up for someone I did not know. Would if I could. Thanks for the chance to win The Chemist!

  2. No, I haven't had a chance to stand up for someone I hardly know.

  3. "Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?" No, I don't think so.

  4. Yes, I do it often, especially online in groups. I find it very difficult to stand back and watch injustice or prejudice without getting involved.

  5. That I have, I've been there & can't stand "Haters"