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.
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This book is a mess.
From the line “hating what I do gave me the power to do it best” it is clear where this is going. For the record, she tortures people. Somehow hating torturing people makes her better at it?
It begins in an alright place, with the main character running for her life. The only real problem with this section of the book is that it is a lot of info-dumping. Tons of telling rather than showing. But it was still early and there was still a chance that things could be turned around once the story got going.
The telling v. showing did improve but never really went away. The plot was basically a chunk of swiss cheese with all the holes that were in it. The book contains one of the most moronic love interests ever. Seriously, the only fictional character that comes to mind while reading about him is…..wait for it….Bella freakin’ Swan.
Both are in a relationship that they really shouldn’t be in. In Daniel’s case, he falls in love with the woman that literally freaking tortured him! He rationalizes it with “she did what she had to do” but other characters do things that upset him and the exact same argument could be used for what they did, but he gets stupid angry at them. He actually tells Alex at one point as she is trying to tell him that she is bad for him “I loved you before you were the only woman in my life.” Okay, let’s set this straight here. You knew her for a total of 5 minutes before she became the “only woman in your life.” Also that magical before time was also the time before she had tortured you! But somehow this does not change his opinion of her.
The plot was a little all over the place. There’s a terrorist thing going on in the background that is the excuse used for all this stuff happening to Alex. You would think that the possibility of a biological weapon being used to murder a few million people would play a fairly major part in a book that is referred to as a spy thriller but no. Everything having to do with it is pretty much entirely off screen including the climax and conclusion of that plot line. The book instead focuses on Alex and her relationship drama with some action thrown in. A lot of the book is pretty much an action scene followed by a makeout scene which is followed by an action scene which is again followed by a makeout scene.
Rinse and repeat ad nauseam.
Finally, Stephenie Meyer’s attempt at creating Alex’s character completely failed.
As mentioned, Alex is a trained torturer. She describes herself as being a bad person because of this. Yet it is obvious that she really wanted the reader to like Alex and be able to relate to how she feels. Creating a character that is both dark and likable is a fine line to walk and requires balance and hard decisions. Those hard decisions were not made here. Sure, Alex thought an awful lot about doing the heartless thing but she never really actually did it (well, she did one thing toward the end of the book that was a little messed up but by that point the reader knew it was all going to be fine anyway). Too much effort went into making Alex likable and into makeout and love confession scenes and not enough into actually developing a dynamic character.
I read the Twilight series as a teenager and, admittedly, enjoyed it. As I got a little older and the movies began to came out I started to see all of its problems and slowly came to strongly dislike it. That said, when beginning The Chemist I made a conscious decision to leave my opinions for Twilight at the door, so to speak. I never read The Host so I don’t know how that book is but it has been several years since Twilight came to a close (not considering all the stuff from Edward’s POV and the genderswapping, none of which I have read). Surely after so many years of developing as a writer and diving into a new genre there is bound to be something good.
That’s what I told myself. And I was wrong.
This sounds really harsh even to me but I actually doubt that this book would have been published had it not had the name Stephenie Meyer attached to it and so was guaranteed to sell.
Ditto to everything above. In all honesty I have nothing to add that would say more than how boring and terrible this book was!