After a staggering sale of over 155 million copies of "Twilight", the next novel, "The Host" which sold about 6.5 million copies, did generate some interest, but could not compete with the earlier novel. Despite the theme featuring shape shifters, vampires and werewolves, "The Host" was considered a grown-up novel, though many adult readers did not think it as a unputdownable.
Targeting a similar audience of grown-up adult thriller market, largely dominated by male bestseller authors, Stephenie Meyer has gone a completely new direction from her typical sub-genre "Paranormal Romance" and horned in the arena
So, why this shift?
In an interview with the New York Times, Stephenie Meyer says, "I get a little bored". She continues, "stories kind of run out and you want to do something very different. It’s like, after ice cream, you want pretzels."
Working for an obscure branch of the Government, the protagonist, Alex is a medic and uses her medical training to interrogate and torture terrorists to extract information by using excruciatingly painful drugs. she’s told at one point, with a perfect record. “I am the bogeyman in a very dark and scary world,” she says. “I frighten people who aren’t afraid of anything else, not even death. I can take everything they pride themselves on away from them; I can make them betray everything they hold sacred. I am the monster they see in their nightmares.”
Alex is on the run now as her bosses have been trying to eliminate her because she knows too much. She has no idea why her own people want her dead. Tired of running, she reads an email from an old boss asking her to take on one last job for the agency, because “many, many lives” are at stake and it seems too good to refuse. She hopes that her difficult days will be over with this offer, knowing little of the surprises that await her.
Despite some critic’s observations on the formulaic style, “The Chemist” is racey and a page-turner. Meyer continues to be a skilled pace-setter and as she says, ““I know that doesn’t bring in the same readers,” she said, “but that’s not why I write.”