The Chemist

Author: Stephenie Meyer
Genre: Spy Thriller, Crime
Quote: “today’s errand had become routine for the woman who was currently calling herself Chris Taylor,”
Setting: America – Present
Premise: Juliana is on the run. As a medical scientist and government employee, her last job pushed the boundaries of ethical, even if it was all done for the greater good. With the inevitable collapse of her department, Juliana made a run for it before she became nothing more than collateral damage in the name of plausible deniability. But now they want her back.

First up. This is nothing like Twilight!

Stephenie Meyer sky-rocketed to infamy with her YA vampire series, Twilight. There’s a lot to unpack around the Twilight novels, regardless of if you love or hate them, but they are not the subject of this review. The Chemist is a masterpiece compared to the sparkly questionable vampires, it’s almost like she needed them out of her system so she could evolve and write this fantastic story.

Juliana is a scientist, and as someone in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) it was so good to read about a scientist who felt entirely realistic. She is also very human, her flaws, her reactions, her decisions, right and wrong, all of them had basis. This story stays true to its spy thriller genre and portrays a strong female protagonist worthy of that title, without having to give her Ninja like skills to ‘keep up with the men’ as so often happens in this particular genre.

Mostly this is a book about trust. Learning who to trust and when to trust. Juliana’s conflicts drive her decisions, and the reader can really connect with her as she battles through the plot. The mysteries and twists which pull us from plot point to plot point are compellingly intriguing, and it can truly be described as a page turner. It’s the kind of book that you finish and think, ‘that was pleasingly clever’.

I resisted reading this book for a long time, predominantly due to a childish arrogance which said ‘I’m a potter head, this book is for twi-hards’ (despite me secretly being Team Edward and having Twilight hidden at the back of my bookshelves so my potterhead friends wouldn’t see – it was a complicated time to be a book nerd teenager in the naughties). Once I finally got over myself and accepted that authors can in fact write very different things, I discovered that this book was everything I had ever wanted the spy thriller genre to be.

You’ve heard enough about how much I like this book, but is this book you’re hunting for?
1. Do you love anti-establishment spy thrillers?
2. Are you in the mood for a strong and intelligent female protagonist?
3. Do you love plot twists as the story evolves?

If you answered yes, yES, YES! Then this might well be your next favourite read!


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