Author: Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Little Brown & Co.
Release Date: November 8, 2016
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Jessica Higgins
A surprisingly good read that keeps you guessing and rooting for the characters survival.
After being on the run for three years trying to stay alive, Juliana must do one more job to clear her name. Juliana might be her real name but it’s not one she has gone by in the last three years. She has had to change her identity several times over the years to stay hidden. She used to work for the U.S. Government, not something many ever knew. She was the one they called on as a last resort to get information needed. She liked to refer to herself as The Chemist. In order to get secrets out of even the hardest to break, all she had to do was administer a few chemicals and wait for them to do their magic. When she saw something she wasn’t supposed to see, she became a liability. They want her dead. Then she gets a cryptic email from her former handler, one last job to clear her name and ensure her safety. She thinks it is too good to be true but has to find out more. When she has the subject in a safe place and begins the process of extracting information, she quickly finds out that she was not given all the details. It doesn’t take long for her to realize she has even fewer choices than she did before coming out of hiding and her life is now in more danger than ever. Without knowing who to trust, she ends up forming an alliance with an unlikely partner in order to ensure both their safety and survival.
I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical when starting this. I read the Twilight series almost ten years ago and really enjoyed. Now, as I look back at them after having read many, many more books, I feel they could have been written better. But Stephanie Meyer was a first time writer at that point and even if they were not written as well as others out there, they sold like crazy so it really doesn’t matter. A decade later, I am pleased to say Meyer’s writing has greatly improved. I found The Chemist an overall improvement. At times it did seem to drag a smidge and it could probably stand to cut close to a hundred pages and make the story flow better. If you were to take out some of the unnecessary fluff, it would be a top notch thriller. With that being said, I did enjoy this much more than anticipated. The tension at the end, where it mattered most was delivered beautifully. These characters had some real spunk to them. The main character did get a bit confusing at times with the name changes but wasn’t too difficult to follow. If this is an avenue that Meyer plans to continue writing down I see a bright future for her and an audience ready to read whatever she puts on the shelf.