I’ve been a fan of Stephanie Meyer from the beginning. As a proud member of #teamjacob, I read all the Twilight books, but I also enjoyed her adult sci-fi novel, The Host, which I consider the best of all her books. With The Chemist, Meyer is writing in all-new territory yet again with this thriller/spy adventure, and it was bloody brilliant.
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, Stephenie 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.
My favorite thing about Meyer’s stories is her characters. She really spends time to reveal who they are, their fears, their dreams and what makes them tick. The Chemist is no different as we’re introduced to the main protagonist – a chemist on the run from the secret government organization that she used to work for. I’m typically one that gets bored easily with too many numbers and figures, but I really enjoyed the science in this book – the chemicals and drugs Alex uses to protect herself and interrogate others. The depth of knowledge in these characters required a whole lot of research and it gave this story the extra oomph that pushed it fully into the thriller genre.
I particularly enjoyed the strange relationship between Alex and Daniel. Saying they started off on the wrong foot is an understatement, yet Daniel’s optimism and Alex’s deep-seated need for companionship brought them together. The romance raised the stakes as Alex runs and then fights for their very lives. I was a bit disappointed with the fade-to-black love scenes, but that is so Meyer. (I’ll never get over the betrayal of limited information in Breaking Dawn.) However, I think it was fitting to the genre, and the romance took a backseat to the action.
The unraveling of the mystery of who is trying to kill Alex was exciting and I couldn’t help but sit on the edge of my seat as Alex fights for survival. The action scenes were spot on, and my favorites had to be the interrogation scenes at the beginning and the end. The progression of Alex’s relationships were endearing, and I turned the last page content in her journey.
I would be remiss to not mention the unexpected delight of animals in this story. I wish my dogs were so well-behaved, and they played such an important role in this story. If a dog can be kick-ass, then Meyer nailed it.
If you like badass heroines who fight with their brains, and action adventure with a splash of romantic tension, then The Chemist is for you.
STARS: 4.5 out of 5