The Chemist: Book Review by Dinh.
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.
Synopsis from hardcover version, 518 pages, copyright November 2016 and published by Little, Brown and Company
This book is not what I’d expect from Stephenie Meyers. I have read her renowned Twilight series (which I loved) and also The Host, which I enjoyed.
However, The Chemist was a big disappointment for me.
I have more negative things to say about this book so I am just going to go ahead and start with that.
So What Didn’t I Like?
Oh boy, this book was so very slow in its pace!
I don’t mind slow to get moving, if it gets moving. This was not the case.
The book was really slow to start and by chapter 4, I was wondering if it would move along and pull me in. I was losing patience about this time and thought of not finishing it.
It’s not a gripping thriller like I’d thought it would be. By pages 215, yes I am counting the pages; I was hoping it would be more exciting. But no, it just slowly plods along. By this time I was ‘pot committed’ as poker players would say, so I continued reading.
There’s some action in the book but because it was so slow in moving along, it was not enough to keep my interest. Even the ending was not thrilling!
I was really hoping for a female version of a Jason Bourne type book, a fast pace thriller with lots of good action, but this was not the page-turner I was hoping for.
And if the slowness of the book didn’t put you to sleep, then the characters will.
What can I say about Alex the main protagonist? She’s a flat and boring character!
Yes, she’s an ex-agent on the run.
Yes, she’s a trained agent in specializing in making chemicals that tortures people to get answers.
Okay, she has special skills sets that is suppose to be make her a kick-ass heroine, that part I liked, but all I got was how annoyingly lame she was because she couldn’t work out her feelings.
I didn’t think her character was believable at all.
She’s an intellectual who was always more interested in her work than anything else. She has no social skills apparently, so when she falls in love she doesn’t understand her feelings and how to express it.
She’s like a broken record who can only communicate by saying what she needs to do to survive.
Daniel Beach the love interest is also not believable. He falls in love with Alex on the first sight?
Let’s think about this. After she tortures him he’s in love with her? It’s not plausible. Meyers has made him a Mr. Nice Guy to bring in some contrast between him and Alex but it doesn’t work well in my opinion.
Another character that is also one dimensional is Kevin Beach. He’s your typical formulaic character, ex-CIA brother to Daniel comes to the rescue.
Of course, you’d expect him to have animosities toward Alex. And he does. Meyer tried to create some conflict between the characters to make it interesting. I found that it was predicable and unsatisfactory.
This popular formula for the characters did not work in this book!
Romance Based and Thriller Killer
The focus on romance in this book killed the book.
Meyer slowly builds the romance between Alex and Daniel, and whilst that is happening, nothing else is. Because she spends so much time on the romance side, it made for a slow book.
Meyer’s recipe for success worked well in her other books, such as the ones in the young adult paranormal romance, but it did not work here in the adult conspiracy thriller.
Was There Anything I Did Like?
Ha! I liked that the heroine is a female and she that uses her brains as oppose to brawn to achieve her goals.
My Final Thoughts
For a book that promises a gripping page-turner, it did the opposite! Sure it sounds exciting when you’re on the run from the government and have to use your skills to stay alive, but this book failed to deliver its promise.
Meyer has the skill set to have made this an exciting action packed thriller but what we got was a not so interesting romance with some action thrown in. In a nutshell, it was boring. So not my cup of tea at all!
I think fans of Meyer would be disappointed in The Chemist!
Have you read The Chemist? How does it compare to Stephenie Meyer’s other works?