The Chemist Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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In this gripping thriller, 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 US 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 best-selling authors.
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|Listening Length||17 hours and 1 minute|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||November 08, 2016|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #68 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#1 in Espionage Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
#11 in Suspense (Audible Books & Originals)
#28 in Espionage Thrillers (Books)
Reviewed in the United States on January 26, 2020
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Top reviews from the United States
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A) Meyer's writing in this book is of much higher quality than her other books. Significantly so. I really do detest 'filler' in books. Thoughts that don't matter, descriptions that are irrelevant, musings that bore me to tears... The writing really is amazingly tight in this book as compared to her other books.
B) It's a real thriller, not a romance with a bit of "fake" mystery to make it seem real, which again, was a surprise to me. I thought for sure it would be one of those pathetic romances with a prop for a plot. Well, not so at all in this case. The plot, with its plentiful twists and turns, is definitely the focus of the story, and it is a well planned, gripping plot at that. It was fantastically done.
C) The heroine is strong, brilliant, and capable, and my opinion as an avid feminist is that she rocks. I love her!!! I absolutely love her. I love that she isn't weak, and survives on her own, and doesn't need anyone... I love that her life on the run has been lonely, but she has remained strong and outwitted operatives who are far better trained. I love that she was capable of saving her own life when it came right down to the line. I also love the fact that, as mentioned, she is brilliant. Not just top in her field, but doing work nobody else could even keep up with. And then there is the part where she remains calm in tense situations, thinks clearly, acts with purpose... Yeah, I really do absolutely love her.
D) I very much appreciated the fact that Meyer didn't stoop to the use of slang, 'code' words used in dialogue, and over exaggerations of "special ops lingo" in an attempt at authenticity. I was military for 13 years...just an airplane mechanic...not something super secret or cool. But I have 0 respect for authors who try to make their books seem extra bad-a by using excessive, and grossly overdone language and terminology. This book stood on its own, and didn't need such props, and really benefited greatly from not having them. Very well done.
E) And finally, the love interest. I was conflicted at first, but decided I was very pleased with the way things turned out. To be honest, I get sick of the constant grind of alpha male, helpless heroine routine, and I ultimately decided this romance made me happy, mostly because it was real.
So those are the things that have most impressed me so far. Now, for the couple of things I struggled with personally as a reader. One wasn't a super big deal, but the other (though I lumped it in with the "nitpick") was noticeable enough to me at the start of the book that I almost didn't keep reading. So as for the two things I struggled with:
A) The POV is third person, which I like infinitely better than first, but the book starts out with a narrator telling the story from a distance, and though that went away, the distance did not. Not for a long time for me. I couldn't connect with with the heroine. I didn't dislike her for the first 8 chapters, but nor did I like her. To be clear, this was not insignificant for me. At one point around chapter 5 I felt so disconnected I started checking to see how many pages were left in the book like a nervous tic, because I didn't know if I could keep reading for THAT many. It went away, absolutely, and I generally loved the book otherwise. But the extent of my struggle is the specific reason why I knocked off a star.
B) It's a small complaint, but the name thing drove me nuts. The heroine, in the first chapters of the book, not only used different names when she talked to other people, she actually THOUGHT of herself in terms of those names. She WAS Casey, and then she WAS Alex, and then she WAS Jesse... Normally when using fake names, the character will still think of themselves in terms of their own names, but that wasn't the case here, and combined with the distance in the POV at the start, it did add to my overall struggle to really become engaged in the character and plot. That went away too, of course, but again, anything that almost causes me to put a book down, I mention.
So my overall thoughts on this book are surprise and pleasure. I had no intention of loving it so much. I have NOT been a Meyer fan for a lot of years, and to be completely honest, I only bought this book so I could read it and then mock it. That was the plan. I even told the plan to my sister (also not a Meyer fan) and we laughed about it together. And then I read the book...and it was overall fantastic. Don't miss the read, and if you struggle with the distance like I did in the beginning, don't give it up. Keep reading. I really don't think you will be sorry...and though nobody knows me, that is about the highest recommendation I can give considering the author, and my previous opinions of her work. I didn't think in a million years she would change my mind.
But she did!!!
I think whether you like this book or not depends upon your expectations. Most of the readers seem to have read the Twilight books. If you have, than you know Stephanie Meyer’s strengths and weaknesses.
Let’s examine character.
You’re not going to find character development. About 80% to 95 percent of what we know about two main characters characters boils down to “They are extremely talented and and knowledgeable at their jobs.”
The main female character is equivalent to Edward. Very deadly. Good at heart. Talented. Only drinks the blood of the bad guys. Hasn’t had any major deep romance previously. Hides her true self from others. Hasn’t had sex in a very long time, if ever.
What we learn about the main male character comed down to “he is very nice.” School teacher. Coaches a sports team. Has an ex-wife. There’s nothing even memorable about his appearance. Wait, he’s tall.
There you go.
The main male character is the equivalent of Bella, obsessed romantically with a deadly killer that not only COULD murder him, but has ALREADY caused him excruciating pain, and I’m not talking about a skinned knee.
No, he doesn’t mind that bad beginning the least, just like Bella didn’t give a thought to Edward’s obsession with drinking her blood.
But he so drastically underwritten you don’t really care. Go ahead Edward, drink his blood. I can’t stand the blandness. In a sea of 50 flavors of ice cream, he is vanilla.
The third main character, who disappears for very large chunks of the book, is actually better written than the leading male character.
His main character trait (other than he is great at his job, which I have already mentioned) is that he adores dogs and is good at training them. In fact, he is so good that one of them seems to understand every word of the English language. Good thing the characters aren’t speaking French.
He likes his family. Doesn’t think much of the main character’s profession. There you go.
This character is Jacob. A protector who will kill the enemy if he has to. Likes large furry things. Very strong. Dark hair, but short. But most of all, has muscles. Lots and lots of muscles.
His relationship with the main female character (our Edward) even proceeds just like the Twilight characters of Jacob and Leah. The more things change, the more they are the same.
Now let’s talk about the plot.
Skim the first 26 pages. It reads like an excruciatingly detailed manual about how to evade hired killers and safely prepare for a meeting for one of those potential hired killers. She is very talented at both. Damn talented. This Edward is good.
That is all you will learn. I have died for these literary sins and saved you from 25 pages that are so boring I threw the book 5 feet away in disgust. I still can’t believe I picked it back up again. See, I need to read an actual physical book when the light from my smart phone starts to burn my eyes.
After those pages, it kept me entertained. I wanted a book that I didn’t want to put down, mostly, and that is Stephanie Meyers amazing talent. Really, don’t criticize anybody too much when they can come up with a product that millions and millions of people want to buy.
I really didn’t have any problem with the plot, even though I have no experience with their environment. Or their profession, maybe I should say.
Except that at the climax it becomes exceedingly unbelievable. The main female character, Edward, manages to find two people at a busy tourist attraction (at least 1000 people) that is large enough to take hours to walk around. The search takes about as long as it does to find your kid roaming around in a small grocery store. No.
A minor character suddenly turns out to be exquisitely talented at a certain essential profession you will find in movie lots, television studios and the theater.
I won’t go on here, because it’s Stephanie Meyer, and you have already proved you can hold a willing disbelief when it comes to vampires and werewolves (shapeshifters). But this is Stephanie Meyer. Willing disbelief is part of the fun.
Let’s focus instead on what is truly unbelievable and Stephanie Meyer book: her willingness to let a male and female character have sex. Several times. Of course, they’re in their 30s. But they’re unmarried!
Of course, it takes a long time for the characters to get to this point, more than it would in real life. And after some heavy kissing, the male character gallantly apologizes for having manhandled the female character. He doesn’t want her to think he’s in this relationship for the sex.
Of course, the main female POV character is still chaste in thought. Of course there is no description beyond kissing and lying down. A man takes off his shirt. But this is Stephanie Meyer, and of course you don’t care. They did the dirty deed and they’re not married, and that’s a real departure for Meyer, who is a Mormon. But your average female-oriented magazine has more sex in it then this book.
Stephanie’s morality also comes into play when she indicates that a character is swearing, which she calls a “creative composition of words.” This book may be for adults, but she is faint at heart and a Mormon. She may not even know what those words are, so you really can’t fault her.
So there you go. Edward, Bella, and Jacob in a different setting, except with a zillion more deaths than the Twilight series, if you count meals and snacks.
Some reviewers have been turned off by violent detailed descriptions, but really, if you liked a book in which a few dozen tourists are lured to a cave where vampires drink their blood when they’re still mostly alive, you really shouldn’t complain.
It’s Stephanie Meyer!
Top reviews from other countries
So the premise is good, great actually, even if the blurb (and sometimes the writing) is heavily dramatic. But for some reason I just found it all a bit too much. It's difficult to connect with a character with multiple identities, but particularly when the narrative isn't even told entirely from their perspective. I just didn't connect with the main character - she could have been so much edgier and more interesting but she soon becomes super boring when she is too stupid to see an obvious game changer. For example, why might the perpetrator deny they are guilty even though they look exactly like the guy responsible? What's the simplest explanation? Because what you're thinking right now - that's probably it! A missed opportunity to really play with creative plot twists, but also just boring for the reader, and silly when the main character claims to be the best at figuring out these kinds of things but is more interested in making eyes at the guy she believes to be a future mass murderer.
But more so than that, I found it hard to even connect with the plot from the very beginning. Everything happens very quickly, particularly the romance that soon blossoms, and the twists aren't very twisty - even someone who isn't too familiar with this sort of genre would have seen what was coming a mile off.
A predictable instalove story, with flat characters - particularly the love interest who hasn't even got an instinct for self preservation on his side because he's so gooey eyed over a woman who just kidnapped him. So despite some good ideas initially, sadly too far fetched and full of irrational characters for me to enjoy.
The book is one you have to suspend any logic or reason from. It is way too OTT to pretend it could be real. That aside, the start is fantastic! The middle is boring and repetitive. The end is meh.
Overall, I found the book too long and tedious in places. The characters aren’t likeable and the storyline is laughable.
It was still a decent read but could have been much better.
3/5 stars from me.
Right from the start I failed to connect with the main character, super clever paranoid scientist geek survival freak whose name changes every 4 pages. She puts such a lot of effort into staying alive just so she can sleep in a bath with a gas mask on. It is not much of an existence, I couldn't see why she bothered. There would have to be a range of better solutions. Anyway – that is what she does. I got quite frustrated at the lengthy descriptions of security precautions. Yes, we get it, it is exhausting, just get on with it please,. Then there is some kind of romance, that never worked for me, I just didn't feel the chemistry (lol). Anyway things get complicated and she suddenly gets way more relaxed in her security regime. The ending is completely as you would expect and easily predictable after the first third of the book. Disappointing.