The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

January 5th, 2017 Kimberly Review 63 Comments

5th Jan
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
The Chemist
by Stephenie Meyer
Narrator: Ellen Archer
Length: 17 hours and 1 minute
Genres: Thriller
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration: 5

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.

thriller SUSPENSE smartfunny scifi

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer is a page-turning thriller narrated by Ellen Archer. While going into the tale, I was aware of the mixed reviews; I am here to tell you I devoured the audio. Action-packed and filled with snark, twists and a smidgen of romance Meyer delivered a tale I’d love to see on the big screen.

Five reasons to grab your earbuds and listen to The Chemist

  • The set-up: Dr. Juliana Fortis worked for a secret government agency doing enhanced interrogations until they decided she was a liability and tried to kill her. Her interrogations involved chemical formulas that inflicted torture without leaving a mark. She was one of the best and was utilized by several top branches of law enforcement within the United States. When we meet Juliana she has been on the run for over three years and has escaped death too many times to count. She is currently using the alias Alex and living entirely off the grid. When she goes through the crazy task of checking her email at a public library, she finds an email from a former co-worker. The agency needs her help stopping a terrorist threat in exchange for calling off the hunt. Alex’s decision sets off a catalyst of events that will have you listening into the wee hours.
  • The characters: Alex (Juliana) is methodical, brilliant and at times down right scary. I loved the steps she took from her appearance to boobie traps. Of course, all of this attention to detail makes Alex frightening at times. The tale is told in the third person a departure from Meyers first person narratives. Some readers complained that as Juliana repeatedly changed her name it confused them. While she was mostly Alex, she was also Chris and Casey. When she became them, the story would read Casey went through the door. Since I listened, I did not encounter this issue as the voice remained the same. Secondary characters from the handsome and soft-spoken love interest to one highly capable Navy Seal helped add substance and depth to this suspenseful thriller. The Navy Seal made me crack a smile more oft than not, even if he was totally alpha. I loved the banter between him and Alex. The three of them worked well together, and I liked the dynamic of their relationships. I have to mention the dogs, with their unique personalities and amazing skills. I love that Meyer gave them unique personalities and page time.
  • The plot: I love conspiracies, assassination plots, secret branches of government and cloak and dagger tales. If you are a fan of thrillers with dark undertones, assassins, mercenaries and government conspiracies you’ll enjoy this page-turning tale. Meyer’s took her time in the first 200 pages to bring us into Alex’s world and create believability. When Alex takes on this task, she does so to protect innocent lives, and I admired her for it. We get plenty of twists as Alex finds herself unwittingly partnered.  Because of it, she ventures into unchartered territory. She goes from leading a solitary life to working with others and forming emotional attachments. Meyer’s weaved in personal aspects that allowed the reader to catch their breath and experience the personal side of these characters.
  • The romance: I was not expecting a romance in The Chemist and don’t necessarily need one in this genre, but it worked for a couple of reasons. Alex is ruthless, and a mastermind at what she does. The romance shared her vulnerable side and allowed her to experience things you cannot learn in a textbook. The romantic interest is a good man, but we also got to see him exhibit some alpha tendencies that even shocked him. Is it instalove? Pfft, probably, but I can handle intense feelings given the situation.
  • The narrator: A good narrator can add a level of enjoyment to a well-developed story and bring the characters and action to life. This was my first time listening to Ellen Archer, and I think she did an excellent job of portraying the characters, their personalities and setting the tone as scenes unfolded. By her inflection, I could tell Alex’s state of mind, hear the snark and sense the growing tension.

The Chemist is five hundred pages and offered over seventeen hours of audio listening. While not without flaws, I think Meyer’s excelled at balancing the tale, lending some credibility to the story and developing her characters. The ending was satisfactory without being tied up in a forced little bow. In fact, she left me smiling.

[bctt tweet=”Action-packed  w/snark and twists The Chemist by Stephaine Meyer delivered #audio” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

63 Responses to “The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer”

  1. Olivia Roach

    I’m a huge fan of all of Meyer’s books. I love the Twilight Saga unashamedly, and I also really love The Host as well. This genre just seems so different from what she usually writes so I’m not sure about it,but you’ve convinced me it is going to be good. I like the idea of a mastermind, but then also getting to see her vulnerable side as well because of the romance.

  2. Kay

    I honestly still can’t decide if I will read this. Perhaps I will try it on audio. You may have convinced me. Thanks for the review!

  3. Tressa

    Great review! I’ve been planning on reading this one because I like the genre and was also curious. I actually liked The Host (the book – hated the movie) so I knew she could write something that developed and evolved. I knew some weren’t going to read this just because of the author and some had mixed feelings, but your review just sold me more. 🙂

  4. Renu

    I love the way you’ve formatted you’re review. 😀

    I’m curious about this one as I enjoy spy/thriller books, and I did like The Host so I’m not opposed to giving it a go. Great review!

  5. Lark

    Good review! I had pretty much decided not to read this (not being a fan of Meyers’ other books), but if I change my mind, your review will be one of the deciding factors. How would you say it compares to Nora Roberts or Jayne Ann Krentz?

  6. Di

    I’m so glad to see you enjoyed this one so much. I have to say I haven’t tried anything by Meyer since Twilight but I really need to move her up the TBR pile, especially after seeing such positive reviews. In fact, you’re even making me want to try this one in audio! *gasp*

  7. ShootingStarsMag

    I’ve only read the Twilight books from Meyer, but I DO think she’s a good storyteller if nothing else so I’m curious about this one. Being so long, it would have to capture my attention relatively quick I think, but I’d be willing to try it out sometime. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  8. Deborah

    I didn’t love this book as much as you but thought it had a lot of potential and loved the protagonist! I thought it offered something quite different. (But that’s a loooong listen!)

  9. Lexxie

    I’m so happy you enjoyed The Chemist, Kim, because I have been holding off on this one because of the mixed reviews 🙂 Alex does sound a little scary, but at the same time, I think I’d really enjoy reading about her.
    Great review!

  10. Rita

    I read The Host and The Chemist but none of Twilight, though my girls loved them and the movies.

    I really liked this one (though read, not listened to) but I did cringe at the unique torture scenes. It was better than I’d hoped for, certainly.

  11. Katherine

    I read the Twilight series when my oldest was obsessed with them so we could talk about them and while I didn’t love the story I did find them really readable. While this isn’t a genre that I read much of I’m curious about this one. It sounds like her readability has only improved with time. I’ll have to look for the audio.

  12. Sophia Rose

    Oh this does sound delicious. I loved The Host, but this sounds like a more mature and complex work. Plus conspiracies and romance are a thing with me.

    Enjoyed your review, Kimberly!

  13. Dianna

    Thanks for your thoughts. I read her other books and really enjoyed them, especially The Host. I might just order it and see how it goes!

  14. Rowena

    I haven’t read a book by Meyer since Eclipse and haven’t really been tempted before but this one sounds really interesting. On my list, it’s going. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kim,

  15. Nicole

    Like many people, I’ve been really curious about Meyer’s latest. I don’t know why she manages to garner so much love AND ire, but I’ve enjoyed all of her books and I’m interested in reading another one. Sounds like the audio for this was great!

  16. Debbie Haupt

    This has everything I love about thrillers/suspense
    Secret Government agency – check
    complex character(s) – check
    cloak and dagger plots – check
    and a romance NEVER hurts 😉
    thanks Kim you know this is another of those authors that I never read, mainly her because I’m not a fan of YA but I think this warrants my giving it a closer look!

  17. Ethan

    I was very curious to see how Meyer would transition into adult fiction. It sound’s like she did so with ease! I got this novel as a Christmas gift, so I’ll definitely be reading it at some point this year.

  18. Heidi

    I reserved this at the library. I have been seeing some good reviews for this and I am wanting to read an adult book by her. Glad it was mostly a win for you!

  19. LeKeisha

    I started this about 2 weeks ago, but haven’t gotten very far. I really hope I feel like picking it up again this weekend. The writing is superb, but I’m just not invested in the story. Maybe I need to get to a certain point and it’ll take off.

  20. kindlemom1

    I’ve been waiting for someone I know (and trust!) to read this one. So glad you liked it. I definitely think I will end up giving it a try.

  21. Maggie

    Kim I am actually reading this one!!! I didn’t hear great stuff about (for some reason anything Meyer comes with preconception to suck or so it seems) it but I was very curious so I grabbed and I found myself enjoying it. I didn’t read the full review (don’t want to feel influenced) but I will come back to tell you how much I ended up loving it once I am done. I have to say – Alex is a kick-ass heroine.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yay, I am glad you are enjoying it. I read the Twilight books with my teen girls and enjoyed them. It was fun seeing them choose

  22. Melissa

    So glad to hear you really enjoyed this! I love The Host – Didn’t read Twilight as the movies were “meh” but have been looking forward to this one.

  23. Melanie Simmons

    I saw this book and even thought about requesting it for review, but I decided to wait and see what kind of reviews rolled in for it. I was very excited when I saw you were reviewing it. I read the Twilight books and thought they were okay, but I didn’t love them as much as many others. I read The Host and really loved it and I’ve revisited it on audio even. I will have to request this on audio. Good to know the narrator is good too. I haven’t hear of this narrator before this review. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  24. Berls

    How did I miss that she wrote another book? I happily admit enjoying Twilight and The Host so I’m excited to try this out. Another completely different genre from the first two but it sounds like she executed it well. And I’m excited to hear the narration is good – that will help me get to it even faster! Great review!

  25. Ginger Cat

    Your review is very close to what I thought of the book. I enjoyed its balanced tone and positivity :).