The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer


14 Critic Reviews

The Chemist, meanwhile, is a lengthy wander well out of that comfort zone, and it’s hard to knock a good college try. Though there’s no doubt Meyer has earned her place in popular fiction, the cloak and dagger just don’t fit.
-National Post arts


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.

About Stephenie Meyer

See more books from this Author
Stephenie Meyer is the author of the #1 bestselling Twilight Saga and The Host. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in English literature, and she lives with her husband and three young sons in Arizona.
Published November 8, 2016 by Little, Brown and Company. 523 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Crime. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
Peak Rank on Dec 11 2016
Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Chemist
All: 14 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 9


Above average
on Nov 04 2016

A tale of skulduggery, bodice rippery, and shoot-'em-up action unfolds, complete with help from a luscious mistress of disguise who could have stepped right out of a James Bond novel. Rated B for badass.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Mar 24 2017

Once Chris finds Daniel, the plot plays out along predictable lines that don’t do justice to the intriguing setup. Underdrawn characterizations don’t help.

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LA Times

Reviewed by Noah Berlatsky on Nov 08 2016

Spy fans can be assured that in most respects, “The Chemist” functions in much the same way as a Bourne or Bond story, complete with mounting body count, cool explosions, stakeouts and betrayals. But changing the proportion of gender in the genre gives the concoction a renewed, and welcome, rush.

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Entertainment Weekly

Above average
Reviewed by ISABELLA BIEDENHARN on Nov 08 2016

Meyer is still a skilled pace-setter, and The Chemist’s 518-pages fly by quickly and easily. But perhaps it would have taken a sprinkle of something supernatural — or a smattering of heartbreak — to feel like Meyer’s characters were really in danger.

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Booklist Online

Below average
on Nov 07 2016

The main plot is far less interesting than the biological terror concept, and otherwise muscular writing is juvenilized by the overuse of fillers like “um” and words like “squicky.”

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Below average
Reviewed by Wendeline O. Wright on Jan 08 2017

However, Ms. Meyer herself provides better recommendations with the book’s dedication “to Jason Bourne and Aaron Cross” — my advice is to read those books instead.

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20Something Reads

Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds on Dec 02 2016

I could not put this book down, having read it over just a few days. You’ll feel exactly the same way, and be astounded and beguiled by Meyer’s storytelling ability and Juliana’s ordeal.

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USA Today

Below average
Reviewed by Charles Finch on Nov 04 2016

There are a hundred objections you could make to The Chemist. Its biggest twist is visible from space. It’s full of the same daffy blitheness toward blood and pain that always made the Twilight books unsettling...But Meyer is also just a really good storyteller.

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Denver Post

Above average
Reviewed by Keith Donohue on Nov 17 2016

The writing and bantering dialogue never fully escape a cataclysm of cliches. But one does not read Meyer for her style. Her appeal is emotional rather than aesthetic, and she knows how to control dramatic tension as skillfully as any of the Bourne movies. The pages turn themselves.

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Deseret News

Above average
Reviewed by Christine Rappleye on Dec 23 2016

Meyer, an Arizona resident and Brigham Young University alumna, weaves a suspenseful spy thriller that crisscrosses the South and the East Coast. Her characters, including Julianna and those she works with, are believable and are easy to root for as they try to make it through one more day.

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The National

Below average
Reviewed by Ben East on Nov 22 2016

Maybe Meyer is trying to tell some unpalatable truths about the way the world works. But ­doing so in the context of an ­eager-to-please cinematic thriller, with added romance and ­redemption, seems a bit odd. The writing, too, gets dragged down into reams of plot ­exposition and cliché.

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Fantasy Literature

Above average
Reviewed by Tadiana Jones on Dec 14 2016

Despite its length, The Chemist moves along quickly; I finished it pretty much in one evening and never got bored. This would be a good beach ― or perhaps Christmas vacation ― read.

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Below average
Reviewed by Alison Flood on Nov 15 2016

There are some fabulous pitched battles leading up to a conclusion that it’s easy to imagine in the cinema – the only major duff point is the love-at-first-sight romance to which Alex is subjected, which fails to ring true for a number of reasons, not least its opening act of torture.

Read Full Review of The Chemist | See more reviews from Guardian

National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Terra Arnone on Nov 16 2016

The Chemist, meanwhile, is a lengthy wander well out of that comfort zone, and it’s hard to knock a good college try. Though there’s no doubt Meyer has earned her place in popular fiction, the cloak and dagger just don’t fit.

Read Full Review of The Chemist | See more reviews from National Post arts

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