by Stephenie Meyer (2016)
Alex is on the run from people who want to kill her, like badly want her dead because she’s already evaded them three times now and she knows things – things that can’t get out to the public. Having trained for years to become a medic and worked as a torturer for the last section of her life, Alex is known as the Chemist to those around her – a name that brings fear to people.
But her previous employment have got back into contact with her again because they need her help. An intricate trap is set in place for Alex to investigate this new information on her own terms but as she discovers something even more horrifying, she is dragged into even deeper distress and Alex finds that making friends is never safe and it’s a liability when there are people out to kill you.
“You’ll make mistakes because it’s impossible to know what is or isn’t a mistake until it’s made.” – Stephenie Meyer, The Chemist
Alex is a fearless character who is no stranger to doing what needs to be done in order to survive. She’ll kill anyone who tries to kill her first but has that something special inside her which hasn’t turned her into something sadistic because she only hurts and kills if peoples’ lives are on the line. I loved her as a character and how independent she was but I hated how isolated and lonely she had become all because of her situation. Alex lives in another world where you can’t trust anyone or get close to anyone for fear they could be used against you. All she knows is chemistry and she sticks to what she can do well.
I loved the fact that she was the best at her job because she is just so intelligent and plays her weaknesses to her strengths – no one suspects a little woman to be the source of unimaginable pain and that’s how she gets results and is why she is the best in the business. All the while having the utmost for saving people and the repulsion to hurting innocents.
The Chemist was just dripping in research because the DETAIL was astounding. You could tell the author had done their research to get the correct details and add just that bit more realism to the story. The science, the fighting and all the disguises were fantastic as well as the extra additions of adding things like the fact that the characters needed to eat and had to go undercover in order to get supplies – things that some people might just miss out rather than include but characters need to be fed! It really added to making it feel realistic and like this could really happen.
There was so much action in this book and intelligence but it was punctuated throughout enough to give the reader a break. And I really liked all the characters involved and Einstein the dog was brilliant! Seriously give this book a go if you like thrills and action – I don’t even pick up thrillers often but I thoroughly enjoyed this book so much. It kept me on the edge of my seat and nerves wired, especially at adrenaline-induced action parts.
Its ending was just perfectly done and somewhat unexpected. Now I must mention some things that happened that shocked me so look away now to avoid spoilers!
So I need to begin with Daniel because I kept having such mixed feelings about him. I honestly thought he was the bad guy and did not see the whole ‘his twin is still alive’ thing until right before she showed him the photograph and his reaction was disbelief but sadness. PLOT TWIST – his brother didn’t die and Alex just tortured an innocent.
I couldn’t believe she actually tortured a man who was completely innocent and didn’t really feel bad about it after – she just kind of accepted what she had done and got on with her job. I suppose there’s nothing she could have done though, you can’t turn back time but still… I guess she’s just hardened given her job.
So Daniel’s brother, Kevin, is alive and comes back to rescue Daniel which is kinda cute that he still loves his brother loads even though he had to pretend to die to protect him. But what confused me about Daniel is how he didn’t seem traumatically scarred by being tortured by Alex – he just gets over it pretty quickly and ends up becoming more than friends with her. Sorry but if someone tortured me, I would NOT want to be anywhere near them let alone get into a relationship with them!
Saying that, I found myself really hoping they ended up together because I liked them as a couple – Daniel is kind and funny and brings out the best in Alex who needs to be reminded that she can be happy and live without fear with the right people around her. What is a thriller was also a bit of a romance but more so about not forgetting who you are and to stay human, not allowing yourself to become a monster that someone has tried to turn you into.
This book was so full of action but one last thing I want to mention is the bit where Daniel gets shot because OH MY WORD I was so sure he was going to die and I seriously did not see that coming about him being a mirror twin which is what saved his life from the kill shot. I had completely forgotten that being mentioned earlier on in the book and when I read it I was like
Such a good idea and one I haven’t encountered before – so much better than just surgery being done quick enough or their will brought them back. I loved it!
The book ended on such a good note with the reader being satisfied with the knowledge that Alex, Daniel and Kevin are safe running a little restaurant. It was a sweet way to finish by focusing on someone completely different when the man phones up Daniel and Alex’s restaurant to announce they’ve won a prize because we just get a small glimpse into their new life which is enough and exactly what the reader needed.
An absolutely brilliant book I couldn’t put down and became invested in the characters, I really loved reading The Chemist!