The Chemist Book Review

The Chemist: Book Review by Dinh.

2.5 stars


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

The Chemist Book Review


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?

Slow Pace
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.

Stephenie Meyer The Chemist


Cardboard Characters

And if the slowness of the book didn’t put you to sleep, then the characters will.

  • Alex

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

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.

  • Kevin

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!

The Chemist Review Page 102


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!

The Chemist is available here. Try Audible and listen to it for free.

Discover your next great read!

Have you read The Chemist? How does it compare to Stephenie Meyer’s other works?

23 thoughts on “The Chemist Book Review

  1. Thanks for the detailed review! I, too, read the Twilight books back when they were popular and it’s interesting to see Meyer try her hand at a different genre. I think what a lot of people liked so much about Bella was that she was such a blank slate, and it was easy for women to step in and imagine being in her role in the story. Here, sounds like the same approach for creating the character of Alex backfired.

    1. Hi Penny!
      I think Meyer missed the mark because you are expecting a thriller but it’s more of a romance and the characters are so formulaic.
      Arh, I hope she goes back to what she’s good at. 🙂

    1. Hello Linda!
      So nice to see you here! 🙂

      I was a fan of Meyer so I was disappointed in The Chemist. Although she is a good writer, she missed the mark when she changed her genre. I give her credit for taking a chance and going out of her comfort zone. You never know unless you try.:)

      Some writers are only good in certain genres, and that’s okay.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Ack, I’ve accidentally submitted an unfinished comment, thinking it was for the other post! Meep. I’ll start again…:D

    I’m going to admit that I have no intention of touching this solely because of the author. Twilight was I could barely tolerate but at least I did manage to finish two books from the series compared to one chapter of Fifty Shades of Grey! Ahaha. I do love how thorough you are on your review–great job!

    1. Hello Gemma!
      I am glad you have no intentions of touching it. Too bad you don’t like the author.

      I loved the Twilight saga but I couldn’t stand Fifty Shades of Grey. I have actually read all of the Shades of Grey books too even though I didn’t like them that much. They were repetitive and all soft porn sex and nothing else. So that was tiring and boring. I have a certain opinion that I have to read the whole thing for my judgement to be valid.:)

      I was surprised how Meyer really missed the mark on this one though. When you are counting the pages it’s a really bad sign…

  3. Oh gosh, pretty much the only thing going for Stephanie Meyer (in my opinion – no worries if you disagree) is her fast-pacing, take that away and… oh dear! Lol.

    1. Hi Cee!
      Actually I don’t think that fast pacing is her forte; rather it’s her ability to cultivate a good romance that you want to succeed. Well, at least that’s my opinion, LOL. That’s my take-away from the Twilight series. I liked them not only because of the romance but because of the vampires and werewolves. They weren’t particularly fast pace just good tempo in most parts.

      Anyway, Meyer doesn’t have much going for her in this book. I say to her: stick to what you’re good at. 🙂

  4. What? How did I not know you were a Twilight saga lover? I love that series so much! I have to admit, that I love The Host a little more though. Or maybe them both equivalently. I can’t decide. I am sorry this one was so different from her usual and just not as good. I haven’t had the chance to try it yet but I don’t know if I will… I can’t stand too slow a pace in a novel :/

    1. Hey Olivia!
      Are you surprised? Hehe, glad I can surprise you. 🙂 I loved the books but the movies were terrible I thought. I definitely think the Twilight saga was Meyer best work. The Host was a good read and The Chemist was just bad.
      I gave The Chemist a chance but it wasn’t gripping and so slow. The set-up was slow and then it just didn’t pick up. Meyer is definitely more suited to YA paranormal romance.

      I am now wondering what your favorite books are…

  5. Eugh, this sounds like a dull one that I’ll stay far away from!

    A thriller where all the focus is on a building romance? Naaaah thanks. I don’t see how that could ever work!

    1. Hey Jodie!
      Yeah, right? I don’t know what Meyer was thinking…a thriller needs some action not slow building romance.

      Hopefully she’ll go back to what she’s good at!

  6. Negative reviews are so much fun to read. 😉

    I all but devoured her Twilight series. However, I never felt interested in The Host, and The Chemist is not ranking very high after reading your review. Perhaps, YA is more her cup of tea. Always love your honest reviews, Dinh!

    1. Hi Lonna!
      Yes, I agree with you that it’s fun to read negative reviews. I also like reading 5 stars review. So-so books are the ones that I have the most difficulty with.
      It’s hard to branch out of a genre and I don’t know anyone I can think of that has done it successfully. Most writers tend to stick at what they are good with.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      1. Yes, the 5-star ones are good to read, too, so long as the reviewer isn’t too dramatic, which the YA ones can be. Oops, was that out loud?

        1. Hi Lonna!
          I sometimes get confused with over dramatic reviews as the review will go on about how good it is then only give it 3 stars…
          I guess we all have different grading system, that’s why I prefer to look at the stars. It’s the bottom line. 🙂

  7. Good for you to have read through the whole book!
    I don’t think I will be picking this one up… sounds really boring.

    1. Hello Becky!
      It was tough reading this but like I said I had read too much of it to just give up. Also, I ploughed through so I could give an honest opinion. If I didn’t finish it I wouldn’t have been able to express my opinion.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Too bad you didn’t like this book, it really does sound like it would be a great read! The overview of it made me think I would like to read it, it sounds like something right up my alley, and if it was a movie (is it a movie) I would definitely like to watch it, I like all things government and spy. But it doesn’t sound as great as it would seem. Too bad the main character is boring, she sounds like she could have so much potential in being an awesome character but then she just gets brought down by her feelings? She seems she should be stronger than that.

    1. Hi Summerly!
      I like Stephenie Meyer’s other works so I thought this would be good too.
      She went out of her comfort zone and tried something different so kudos to her, but it really didn’t work out. Thrillers need to move and you can’t develop a romance in it!
      The main protagonist is not believable. It’s like everything is her first.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  9. The synopsis sounded exciting but I’m glad you provided an unbiased review of the book. I am quite surprised that this book by Stephanie Meyer isn’t as good as her previous works. I think I would chucked the book away if it’s that slow. Thanks for persevering to the end of the story for this review!

    1. Hi Yvonne!
      The synopsis did sound really good but the execution wasn’t there. Meyer didn’t write for her new audience, instead she used her old way of doing things and thought it would work out.
      To be quite honest, I think she should go back to YA paranormal romance where she excels in.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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