Can Stephanie Meyer's new spy thriller match 'Twilight' success?
'The Chemist,' the first adult novel of 'Twilight' author Stephanie Meyer, follows the adventures of a former clandestine government operative who goes on the run.
The Young Adult author, whose blockbuster "Twilight" saga made her a (very wealthy) teen fiction sensation, is writing her first adult novel, a spy thriller set to be released November 15.
"The Chemist" follows the adventures of a former clandestine operative who goes on the run after government agents determine she's become a liability.
“’The Chemist’ is the love child created from the union of my romantic sensibilities and my obsession with Jason Bourne/Aaron Cross,” Ms. Meyer wrote in a statement. “I very much enjoyed spending time with a different kind of action hero, one whose primary weapon isn’t a gun or a knife or bulging muscles, but rather her brain.”
In keeping with her top-secret identity, the protagonist's name has not been released, but publisher Little, Brown and Company did release this summary of the forthcoming novel.
She used to work for the U.S. 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.
Of course, Meyer is best known for her "Twilight" trilogy, which chronicled American teen Bella Swan's love story with vampire Edward Cullen. The books sold more than one hundred million copies worldwide and spawned film adaptations starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.
Building on the success of that trilogy, Meyer wrote variations on the original story, swapping the genders of the protagonists in "Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined," and "Midnight Sun," a spin-off series to be told from Edward's perspective that was put on hold after a manuscript leaked.
Trying her hand at adult fiction is a leap for Meyer, who has found much success in the lucrative young adult genre.
But she's not the first to make the leap. After the runaway success of her "Harry Potter" series, Ms. Rowling wrote "The Casual Vacancy" in 2012. While the book received some critical press and hasn't matched the commercial success of the "Potter" series, Rowling's name helped draw attention and sales – and quickly inspired three more books in a new crime fiction series, "The Cuckoo's Calling," "The Silkworm," and "Career of Evil."
And of course, one of the original young adult authors, Judy Blume, has penned several adult novels, including her most recent, "In the Unlikely Event," her first adult book in 17 years. (Her other adult novels were "Wifey," "Smart Women," and "Summer Sisters").
If Rowling and Blume are any indication, Meyer's name will help sell her new adult novel – but it will probably never match the success of her "Twilight" series.