The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer



I hate writing negative reviews, but I do not have many positive thoughts in regards to this novel.

Of course, like everyone else, I first read this author in the Twilight Series. I actually did not think very highly of Twilight, but the other 3.5 books in the series were fantastic. I also read The Host, and after some difficulty digesting the premise in the beginning, I absolutely loved that novel.

This is Stephenie Meyer's first attempt at writing adult fiction. She really ought to just stick to the Young Adult genre. She is amazing at writing about emotions but has never excelled at writing action scenes.

Juliana was a brilliant scientist who was recruited by an agency while still in college to work as an interrogator. Her interrogation tactics do not leave the subject maimed, but give him or her maximum pain in order to force confessions. She was dubbed "The Chemist," though she did not actually study chemistry. She was also dubbed "Oleander," which she does not approve of whatsoever.

She has been on the run for years. The agency tried to kill her, and she doesn't know why. Meyers details her intricate nightly self-protection routine. There are many numbers thrown around. She was "85 percent sure" or "90 percent certain" or could dawn her gas mask in "3 seconds" even when tired (which, by the way, is impossible...I'm in the military and it takes around 7 seconds to dawn and clear a gas mask when on high alert) or the "entire exchange took 2 seconds..." You get the point. It's exhausting, mentally. We get it. She's a bad ass. And she likes numbers. Moving on.

She receives a message from a former associate at the agency that leads to her tracking down a target and interrogating him. It's obvious from the first that he is smitten with her and that she will attach herself to him eventually. The twist that occurs next is laughably predictable. What's hilarious is that Meyer actually makes fun of herself by having Juliana say that it is as ridiculous as a Soap Opera how things turned out. Because it is... Exactly. Like. A Soap Opera.

The rest is equally as predictable. And long. Sooooooooo long. This book, as an audiobook, took well over 17 hours to "read," which is twice the average length. There is just no sensical reason why it couldn't have been truncated.

The character development leaves a lot to be desired. The dialogue is weak. The narrator was monotonous. It was difficult to pay attention. I have so much on my TBR that had this been a hard copy, I would have set it aside for much, much later.

Audience: adult
I do not recommend this novel.
Trigger warnings: torture, murder, mild sexual content

Publisher's Synopsis:

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.


Audiobook on Libby

©Hachette Audio: November 8, 2016
Edition: Audiobook

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