...basically a gender-flipped Robert Ludlum novel ... Meyer’s sympathy for femininity, and for passivity, is part of what many critics hate about the Twilight books. But it gives her an unusual ability to turn genres inside out ... Spy fans can be assured that in most respects, The Chemist functions in much the same way as a Bourne or Bond story, complete with mounting body count, cool explosions, stakeouts and betrayals. But changing the proportion of gender in the genre gives the concoction a renewed, and welcome, rush.
...an engrossing new novel ... Meyer’s heart is still in Forks, Washington, despite the change of genre. Her millions of readers will be happy ... There are a hundred objections you could make to The Chemist. Its biggest twist is visible from space. It’s full of the same daffy blitheness toward blood and pain that always made the Twilight books unsettling, at least to me. Alex’s foes within the government never quite come into focus in the third act, one lesson she didn’t take from Baldacci or Child. But Meyer is also just a really good storyteller. The Chemist is consistently fast-paced fun.
...this espionage action story will no doubt tighten her grip on her devoted readers ... The plot zips from Texas to Florida and back to D.C. and features all of the expected motifs of the genre ... Along the way there are some wonderful touches ... Other matters further challenge credulity. The melodramatic plot depends upon well-worn devices such as a pair of twins whose bodies mirror each other. The writing and bantering dialogue never fully escape a cataclysm of cliches. But one does not read Meyer for her style. Her appeal is emotional rather than aesthetic, and she knows how to control dramatic tension as skillfully as any of the Bourne movies. The pages turn themselves.