[693]: The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

Bella Swan has left the building.


The Chemist
by Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer has had years to come up with a book that will make her relevant again. The Host, a futuristic utopian novel, gave us a glimpse of what it would be like if she distanced herself from YA and into the alleys of Adult Science Fiction. That book was a winner. I don’t care what anyone says. I don’t care if you’re a seasoned reader of Sci-Fi and you’re scoffing at me right now because of my statement. The Host was phenomenal. I was chomping at the bit and waiting patiently for her next novel. So with nary a fanfare, The Chemist stole into our shelves quietly. And in my case, at the airport bookstore on my way to San Diego.

Unfortunately, this is one of those instances where I got excited for a whole lot of nothing. Because with all its promise of “a gripping page-turner,” this was an absolute snoozer. As much as I’m a big fan of protagonists on the run from big, bad government, Alex didn’t incite any thrills as one that goes by her days looking over shoulders.

Ms. Meyer also failed to show me all the hows and the whys Alex found herself the subject of ire by the very people she worked for. If she was as good a chemical torturer that she made herself to be, why then would her bosses want to get rid of her? How did she become a liability? And then, out of nowhere, they wanted her back in the fold. I smell a setup.

Her reinstatement had her tailing a man who was going to unleash a deadly virus to the American public. But soon she’ll find out that it was only a cover up for something much bigger. Predictably enough, a romance developed between her and her victim (yawn). One of the things that frustrated me while reading this book was I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out why in the hell would this man fall in love with her when she caused him immeasurable pain?! It was one of the most fucked up Stockholm Syndrome romance if there ever was one. It was at this time when I realized, man or woman, I don’t like reading about doormat characters. Bella Swan drew flak for her passiveness in Twilight. And while I commend Ms. Meyer for the role reversal of sorts in this book, I really couldn’t stand how weepy and eviscerated the male character was (name’s not coming to me at the moment). A classic case of an inexplicable instant-love.

Not to worry, though. All is not lost. You’ll fall in love with the German Shepards trained as lethal but loveable guard dogs. You’ll probably wonder if Alex sells her poison-laced jewelry at the home shopping network. You’ll probably even find Alex’s no non-sense attitude charming, provided that you don’t find her cold and calculating while she’s inflicting pain on her victims. But she’s smart, and she’s not all, kill, kill, kill. Underneath her hard exterior lay a conscience – which is inconvenient for an assassin like her. If you ever thought that Twilight was too passionate or too romantic, you’ll more than likely consider The Chemist the exact opposite.

  • I skimmed your review, as I’m still reading this book. No, scratch that, I haven’t picked it up in over 2 weeks, and before that it was another 2 weeks. I started this book just after Christmas, but for the life of me I can’t seem to connect. I’m not going to DNF it because I actually want to see if I can finish it.

  • So…what you’re saying is I should really just go snag myself a copy of the Host and read it ASAP? I have to admit, it did pique my interest, but I was scared away from the title after my experience reading the Twilight saga.

  • German Shephards! The poison stuff sounds really interesting too but oh man, the romance *shudders*. I can never get behind Stockholm’s syndrome because HOW. HOW DO YOU LOVE YOUR ABUSER.

  • Jazmen

    To be honest I’m a Twilight fan which I’m sure you gathered at some point in visiting my blog but that’s about all I’m going to give to Ms. Meyer. I’ve seen this book circulating quite a bit but I just can’t be so bothered and after reading this it sounds like I’m not missing out.

  • I was honestly considering this before but was too afraid to pick it up since I’ve never read anything by Stephanie Meyer. So glad didn’t buy this BUT you did convince me to try The Host. Great review, Joy! šŸ˜€

    czai @ the Blacksheep Reader

  • I debated about trying this book. I’m like you, I loved The Host. I thought it was a great story and I’ve relistened to it a few times. I almost requested this book for review. I decided that I wanted to wait to see what kind of reviews came in for it. So far, I’m not convinced to try it. The idea of a doormat is not something I want to read. The good news is that I’m sure my library will have this one, so if I decide I want to try it, I can grab it for free to give it a try. Then, I feel like I can DNF if I’m not enjoying it. I don’t like to do that with review books. Great review.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

  • I tried reading The Host once, but it reminded me so much of a book I read in high school (that I cannot remember the title of for the life of me – it’s an ongoing item of frustration grrr) that I just couldn’t.

    This sounds a bit…yikes? I must admit, I do like Twilight (if we ignore book 4) and I know it’s problematic, but I can’t help myself. I was hoping she’d come out with something amazing at some point, but this doesn’t sound like it’s it šŸ™

  • Aww I’m so sorry that you didn’t like this one and that it was a big let-down šŸ™ I actually had no idea that this book existed?? HAHA (I’m so unupdated with new releases, I need to change that). At least the dogs made up for it? šŸ™‚ HAHA. Great post, and I recently found your blog. Your blog is lovely! I hope to visit you someday <3

    Jillian @ Jillian’s Books

  • Ugh, I’m sorry that this book was pretty awful : Yet you still gave it three stars, so yay? lol šŸ˜€ I don’t think I would enjoy it. Sigh. Romance sounds baaaad : I never read The Host. Ack. One day, though šŸ˜€ I always loved Twilight. Unsure if I would if I re-read the books, though, lol šŸ™‚ I think I would love book one, but not the rest :p Lovely review Joy. <3

  • Was The Host a standalone? After Twilight I never followed-up with Meyer. Sorry this was a half-half for you, in any case, you are a true fan because you still found small things to love about the book. Meanwhile I’m here thinking “if the dogs are the books’ redeeming quality then it must be bad”. Well that’s just me anyway. Sorry, Joy! I hope her next one will have the same magic as Twilight.

  • shootingstarsmag

    Aw, bummer. I was hoping this would be a good one. It’s an interesting premise. Sorry it wasn’t all that exciting though, and the love interest sounds awful and just no.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

  • I actually liked Twilight but looking back… not as much as when I first read it. I think I was starved for some PNR at the time. LOL However, I agree with you and I really liked the Host, so therefore I have no troubles believing that I would like this one as well. Looks like this is another book I’ll be getting from my library. šŸ™‚

  • I read the Twilight books and The Host back when they came out. I liked them well enough then but I have no desire to read any more of her work. Maybe she will write something to change my mind at some point but I don’t think I will be picking this one up. Great review!

  • I think a lot of authors do this, like J.K Rowling with her adult books some love them and some hate them. I don’t think that anything will compare to their maiden voyage, in this case Twilight. To this day everyone still picks it up – I haven’t picked up The Host though. Great honest review.

  • I think it’s great that Meyer has moved away from the Twilight world, but it sucks that this one wasn’t quite up to standard! I feel kind of sorry for the author – she went from universally adored to universally despised.

  • *eyeball twitch* doormat male character? enough said

  • Darn, sorry this was not al that you had hoped it to be. I’ve not read The Host but now you have me curious since it was a win for you. Thank goodness for the German Shepards šŸ™‚

  • Dena

    Oh no! I was hoping this would be better. I didn’t like The Host. I fell asleep while reading it, so I doubt I would like The Chemist. You never know, though. Maybe this would be the kind of “snoozer” I end up liking. Ha ha

  • RO

    LOL! Tell us how you really feel Joyous Joy! Despite her popularity from the beginning, and yes I admired her talent, I could never get into her books, or even the movies. Like you, a wimpy character just can’t keep my attention for very long. Great review! Hugs…

  • sorry it didn’t take you away as much as you thought…. I confess that I was never a big fan of her books so after a few I just gave up… Well I did read the twilight series hoping it would get better but it wasn’t the case for me. I saw the movie for the Host but wasn’t impressed so I stopped there.

  • I don’t think I ever read The Host. May need to change that!

  • sarabara081 @ Forever 17 Books

    I don’t care what anyone says, I loved the Twilight series when I read them years ago. But I haven’t read anything else from her since. I’m not sure why I never checked out The Host. I guess the subject wasn’t appealing to me though now I hear you loved it it does make me a little curious. And I honestly don’t think I’ll bother with this one. Maybe someday she will write something again I will be interested in. *coughMidnightSuncough*

  • THE HOST WAS AMAZING!!! I re-read that book so many times. But wow, I’m glad I didn’t pick this one up then. I don’t think I would enjoy it with everything you pointed out. Seems kinda pointless, the story.
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

  • Guess I won’t be adding this one to my ever-growing TBR list (wipes brow) I don’t really care for stories that leave me wanting a little more insight and background into the characters/story. Although I really enjoy stories where a woman is kickin’ ass or inflicting a little pain. I’ve been seeing this book EVERYWHERE. Great review as always! šŸ˜‰

  • Hmmm.. not sure about this one. I mean, I’ll probably end up reading it because I LOVE Twilight (no shame, no shame :P) and I LOVE The Host, so even if I don’t end up loving it, I think I’ll give it a try. And even though it was kinda slow and snooze worthy it still sounds like there were some points of interest. *hopes beyond hope it isn’t too bad*

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    Wow, I never would have thought a Meyer novel would be the opposite of passionate, not to mention a snooze-fest! Twilight was such a hit precisely because it was so compulsively readable! Anyway, thanks for the honest review, Joy! I’ll be skipping this one for sure!

  • Oh man, I thought this would be a good one. I’m not in the mood to be bored by a book. Thanks for the heads up, Joy. Your review rocked my socks. Ha!

  • Well, yay, finally a book I do not need to add to the wishlist šŸ™‚ I may have to add The Host though.

  • Even though I loved Twilight back when I’d read it and it got me back into reading after a fifteen year hiatus, I just don’t think I can tolerate her writing anymore. I tried reading The Host when it came out, but it felt so much like Twilight with aliens that I couldn’t get into it. I can’t image shell stray very far from the same tropes sadly, she had so much success so probably just resting on her laurels now. This could have been a massive comeback for her but apart from the dogs, I don’t think The Chemist and I would have a good time together. Sorry you couldn’t have enjoyed this more Joy, but thanks for taking one for the team <3 <3 Wonderful review.

  • Karen

    Damn. I loved The Host too and had high hopes for this one.

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

  • I hate torture in books, and the fact that Alex does that turns me completely off. She tortured her love interest?! I have a copy from the library on my kindle right now, and I was going to get to it, but I don’t think so now. P.S. I liked The Host, too. Great review, Joy!

  • Haven’t read anything of hers past the Twilight series. Glad to know that at least The Host was a good read. The premise of The Chemist did not pique my interest at all. šŸ™ I don’t know, I think in my head Stephenie Meyer = Twilight (which is not saying anything bad, just that)…

  • kindlemom1

    Glad this wasn’t a complete waste. I was really hoping it would be awesome though, I really did love her Host book.

  • Darn! Like you, I loved The Host (why, oh why could we not get a sequel?). The Chemist didn’t sound like my type of book anyway, but I was thinking of giving it a try. I probably won’t bother.

  • Bummer! I didn’t have high hopes for this one but I was hoping it would be a good enough of a read. But dang, I can’t do Stockholm Syndrome romance. Yay for cute dogs though! They always make a book better.

  • I’ve actually never read twilight but I enjoyed the host. Sad to hear that the idea of this one wasn’t quite fleshed out enough – probably going to pass on this one myself

  • good idea, but the execution is crap. i think Meyer has good idea but need a lot of work

  • I loved The Host too! Too bad this one was a disappointment for you, I don’t know whether or not I will try it.

  • *coughs* I will not speak of Twi, yes I enjoyed one of them, but so badly written. But this one….

  • Oh, no way will I ever read this one. Torture? Nope, not going there. Btw, I was a big Twilight fan. I admit it. This would have been a DNF for me for sure. Thanks for your honest review!