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.
Author: Stephanie Meyer
Hardcover, 521 pages
Published: November 8th, 2016
Publishing House: Little, Brown and Company
The Chemist is the latest book by Stephany Meyers, best known for her Twilight series. I never read that series and therefore did not recognize the author of this novel at first. I simply picked up The Chemist due to its promising premise and I desperately wanted to read something very different. As far as chemistry goes, it’s the furthest removed from my life, so this seemed like the something new I was looking for.
Dr. Juliana Fortis is on the run changing identities, documents, looks, and habits constantly. She has done some bad, bad things to people when she was working as the chemist for the US government. She is known as the torture lady. Her part of the job was to interrogate subjects while using evil chemistry to hurt them via injections and other painful methods. But not anymore…now she is on the run with a big target on her back.
The book begins razor sharp and incredibly thought through. Juliana is covering her tracks amazingly well and the measures she puts in place with her secret arsenal of chemical weapons and actual weapons to protect her hideout sound uber-professional. Then, she receives an e-mail from a contact still in the workforce requesting to meet. She is offered a way out. No more running. No more hiding….if she does just one more job for them. And this is where things started to water down for me.
There is an organized group out there that Juliana is to stop spreading a virus that would contaminate the greater US population and make people sick or even kill them. She is to locate one of the subjects and interrogate him so this virus can be stopped. After much elaboration on this idea, she takes the case but it turns out to be a setup.
First, I thought this was very cleverly instigated. Juliana continued being this bad-ass protagonist until she deals with the helpless dear of a subject she has captured in the case. As it turns out, he (Daniel) is too sensitive of a guy and generally was to nice and has no idea what is going on. As she uncovers a mix-up of a derailment that was set in front of her, it is too late. She is falling in love with Daniel and he reciprocates despite the torture she initially used to interrogate him.
So from here, another antagonist enters the playfield and the three of them don’t get along at first but decide to work together at the end to uncover the case and the truth about the people hunting them. Daniel becomes this big civil liability to Juliana, yet she schleps him along for love.
How will this all end, oh my?
Initially, this was a fantastic read. Despite my removal from chemistry or perhaps thereof, I was fascinated by all the accurate sounding or staged scenarios set forth. This was going to be amazing if it had continued that way. Juliana was one heck of a female bad-ass protagonist until I found myself wading hip-deep through the mush of love. Daniel made these fancy dinners amidst running from the government in an adrenaline-fueled plot and his innocence in the love department as a grown man seemed very puppy dog like to me. And because of Juliana’s constant ‘on the run’ movement, apparently she has not much experience in the love department either, so while the plot with bad guys was rolling in the background, their innocent long and whiny love became the main plot midway through the novel…and it went on and on.
For some, this may be the perfect book…action, romance, and drama. To me, it was a flaw unfortunately. I would have liked it better if it had not turned into a love fest.
Now, there are very redeemable qualities to this novel. For one, the writing was well done and the better side of the plot was very complex. The twist in the middle albeit perhaps foreseeable was pulled through intelligently and solid. So I do not want to dismiss Stephanie Meyer’s books altogether. I can see the brilliance of her voice and will give her other novels a chance for sure. I just cannot deal with the mush. I know many other readers have loved the book and that should be said and heard. So, I am curious what she will write next.