Chimera (Jim Chapel, #1)
A fabulous new talent-the heir to Patrick Lee and James Rollins-delivers his first published novel: a wildly imaginative tale that combines elements of horror and science in the vein of Michael Crichton, in which a circle of unlikely heroes must uncover a nefarious cabal and prevent it from unleashing a diabolical threat that could destroy the world7 fugitives escape from a secret military facility in upstate New York, leaving a trail of bodies in their wake.7 super-soldiers gone rogue.7 innocent citizens targeted for death.Disabled Army Vet James Chase is drafted for a desperate mission to stop this lethal force. Aided by a mysterious woman named Angel and a courageous, beautiful veterinarian, Chase sets off on a hair-raising cross-country hunt.But are the killers really rogue soldiers, or are they only the tip of a sinister conspiracy . . . the first piece of a shocking nightmarish plan that will lead to ultimate destruction?

Chimera (Jim Chapel, #1) Details

TitleChimera (Jim Chapel, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 23rd, 2013
PublisherWilliam Morrow
ISBN-139780062248770
Rating
GenreThriller, Science Fiction, Horror, Fiction, Suspense, Action

Chimera (Jim Chapel, #1) Review

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    January 1, 1970
    Excellent book. I considered going to the 5 star rating on this one. I can't really because it doesn't quite hit me the same as the best books I've read, but it's a great thriller.I suppose most of us know what a Chimera is. Most (since you're readers) know that there are a couple of applications/definitions for the word. First the mythological beast but also "now" a biological entity with more than one type of DNA..a "hybrid" at the genetic level.From there you can springboard into this story. Excellent book. I considered going to the 5 star rating on this one. I can't really because it doesn't quite hit me the same as the best books I've read, but it's a great thriller.I suppose most of us know what a Chimera is. Most (since you're readers) know that there are a couple of applications/definitions for the word. First the mythological beast but also "now" a biological entity with more than one type of DNA..a "hybrid" at the genetic level.From there you can springboard into this story. Throw in some action, some intrigue, some double dealing a dash of science fiction (that's probably only barely fiction) and you get the plot.I like the book, don't hate the characters, was absorbed by the story and didn't have too much of a problem with the "eye roll" factor.So, if you like science fiction and/or action this could be your read. Give it a shot.Recommended.
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  • Bob Milne
    January 1, 1970
    David Wellington is one of those authors who have been on my radar for a while. I've picked up copies of Monster Island, 13 Bullets, and Frostbite, and I remain excited about all of them, but they've yet to make their way to the top of my TBR pile.When I saw Chimera: A Jim Chapel Mission come available for review, I knew I had to seize the opportunity to finally make David a priority read . . . and I'm glad I did. Less of a straight-forward monster tale than his others, this is a sci-fi tinged t David Wellington is one of those authors who have been on my radar for a while. I've picked up copies of Monster Island, 13 Bullets, and Frostbite, and I remain excited about all of them, but they've yet to make their way to the top of my TBR pile.When I saw Chimera: A Jim Chapel Mission come available for review, I knew I had to seize the opportunity to finally make David a priority read . . . and I'm glad I did. Less of a straight-forward monster tale than his others, this is a sci-fi tinged thriller that could sit comfortably on the shelf next to the likes of Michael Crichton, Douglas Preston, and James Rollins.Chimera was a very well-paced thriller, with some nice dramatic tension, suspense, and a deeper mystery that kept the plot moving, but which never overshadowed the immediate story. David's style of writing here is perfect for the genre, tailored slightly for a character who is just a little uncertain about whether he's the right man for the job. There are a few moments of dark humor, as well as a typical will-they-won't-they romance that actually worked better, and was developed far more naturally, than I expected.The Chimeras themselves are interesting, and the slow unveiling of their origins adds a nice layer of sympathy atop the horror. Often, there's a danger in humanizing the monsters, but here it works, largely because of the way in which David balances that with the moral ugliness of their creators. In terms of the overall story arc, I don't think it's any great spoiler to say that there's a critical betrayal that precedes the final act, but even if I saw something coming, I must say I was pleasantly surprised to find the truth of the situation was deeper than I suspected.If I were to have one concern with the book, it's that Jim Chapel himself comes across a little flat. Maybe it's because this is first adventure, and David is just laying the groundwork, but he could definitely be developed a little better. Outside of his job, the rehab that landed him the position, and the war injury that landed him in rehab, we really know very little about him. He never opens up about favorite foods, hobbies, friends, or anything that might help to humanize him. It's not a huge issue, and certainly doesn't stand in the way of enjoying Chimera, but that kind of development is needed if Chapel is to reserve some space on the shelf for future adventures.If you're looking for a quick, action-packed, sci-fi tinged thriller to take to the beach or the cottage for the weekend, you could certainly do a lot worse than Chimera. Give it a shot, and you won't be disappointed.Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins
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  • David Lucchesi
    January 1, 1970
    kinda predictable but it has really good characters and a cool writing style. i liked the plot but it was nothing i haven't seen before so it was really easy to know what was coming next. that spoiled the suspense. i still enjoyed it though and would voluntarily read it again if i had no other choices. i am giving 4stars 'cause i related 2 the characters and think they where written good.oh yea! got this bk on first reads for free. think it was a advance copy. maybe they'll mk some plot changes kinda predictable but it has really good characters and a cool writing style. i liked the plot but it was nothing i haven't seen before so it was really easy to know what was coming next. that spoiled the suspense. i still enjoyed it though and would voluntarily read it again if i had no other choices. i am giving 4stars 'cause i related 2 the characters and think they where written good.oh yea! got this bk on first reads for free. think it was a advance copy. maybe they'll mk some plot changes b4 it goes 2 final print!
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  • Amy Rogers
    January 1, 1970
    ScienceThrillers Review: Before I go all reviewer-geeky and dissect this new science-themed thriller novel by David Wellington, I want to say I thoroughly enjoyed reading Chimera. The old saw about a good thriller being one you stay up late to finish held true for me on this one. Chimera is an excellent example of a satisfying, conventional modern thriller.In fact the more I think about it, the more Chimera looks like a book that successfully follows all the “rules” that make a strong thriller n ScienceThrillers Review: Before I go all reviewer-geeky and dissect this new science-themed thriller novel by David Wellington, I want to say I thoroughly enjoyed reading Chimera. The old saw about a good thriller being one you stay up late to finish held true for me on this one. Chimera is an excellent example of a satisfying, conventional modern thriller.In fact the more I think about it, the more Chimera looks like a book that successfully follows all the “rules” that make a strong thriller novel. Perhaps the only problem with this approach is the author doesn’t take any real risks or break any fresh ground in the genre. But who cares? This is a terrific book.Chimera opens with a suitably action-driven scene that shows the escape of a group of mysterious detainees from some secret government facility in New York state. Author David Wellington artfully reveals little about who these detainees are, and the reader is immediately hooked with questions. Next, he introduces our hero, former Army Ranger Jim Chapel, a war hero who lost an arm in Afghanistan and who now has a desk job with a military intelligence agency.Captain Chapel is the epitome of a sympathetic action thriller hero. He’s morally upright, obviously brave, has overcome tremendous obstacles, and yet he’s vulnerable because he’s an amputee who feels washed up and lonely. Never for a second does the reader think Chapel will do anything except the right thing. You can’t help rooting for this guy.Chapel is teamed up with two additional hero(ines) who don’t steal the show but who definitely shine brightly and are wonderful supporting characters. I fell in love with both Julia and Angel. Julia, a veterinarian by profession, plays the modern role of strong damsel in distress, rescued by Chapel but then becoming a powerful ally. (She’s also necessary for the requisite thriller romance subplot, which works fine in Chimera. Parent alert: this book has sex scenes described in some detail.) Julia is an appealing blend of vulnerable, strong, resourceful, and clever. Above all, she keeps her head under pressure–no panicky female here.Angel is equally good in a crisis but she is a more innovative character. A disembodied voice linked to Chapel by cell phone (and more), Angel works for the “higher ups” in this intelligence operation. A master of all things hackable, she seems to be all-knowing and all-powerful. She is deliciously ambiguous–what secrets is she keeping? Whose side is she on? She also is a useful device for the author to deal with mundane practical issues in the plot, such as getting taxis and buying winter coats and handling the local police following one deadly mess after another.Problems? Sure. Chimera suffers from some of the maladies common to this genre. Characters occasionally do things that don’t make sense or border on stupid (e.g., Julia entering the house in Atlanta); the villains are thin bad-guy stereotypes; the hero exhibits unrealistic physical stamina after injury; etc. As I read, a lot of questions came to mind related to the internal logic of the plot. Most of them were answered later, almost as if an early reader of the book told the author it was important to resolve this or that illogical bit. Not terribly satisfying, but Wellington writes well enough that readers who like thrillers shouldn’t have trouble with suspension of disbelief.You may be saying yes, yes, Amy, but what about the science? Two biohazards (out of 5) on that. Don’t be fooled by the science-y title. Chimera is a traditional action thriller with a little science sprinkled in. It’s no spoiler to say that the escaped detainees were the subject of some kind of military science shenanigans. This science is “explained” late in the book but it’s SciFi bunk. That’s fine. I was more bothered by the preposterous medical bits related to injuries (especially a blood transfusion scene) and the infection subplot. Also, I didn’t like the way scientists are portrayed with two of the most pernicious scientist stereotypes: mad/unethical and socially deficient.Note on structure: Chimera has no chapters, only an overall four-part structure and many tiny breaks defined by location/time stamps that are happily set in the format T+hr/min. (Date stamps with an actual time and date make me crazy as I can never remember how they relate to other dates in the story without looking back.) I liked this structure and wish more authors would use it.Overall: Chimera is more than the sum of its parts. It follows genre conventions without feeling too formulaic and maintains a high level of curiosity in the reader. The themes of government secrecy and “black” intelligence operations feel timely in light of the recent Snowden affair. All in all, a highly satisfying read.An advance reader copy was given to me for review.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve read some great books recently but this one seriously stands out. Its a smart, entertaining read that delivers. Its my first book by David Wellington and while I’ve wanted to read his others the TBR mountains has somehow prevented me from doing so. I ignored it this time and am delighted I did because I’ve discovered an author who’s other books I will make sure now I do get to.The blurb interested me and Harper Collins was so generous I couldn’t say no. Chimera starts out with an event at a I’ve read some great books recently but this one seriously stands out. Its a smart, entertaining read that delivers. Its my first book by David Wellington and while I’ve wanted to read his others the TBR mountains has somehow prevented me from doing so. I ignored it this time and am delighted I did because I’ve discovered an author who’s other books I will make sure now I do get to.The blurb interested me and Harper Collins was so generous I couldn’t say no. Chimera starts out with an event at a military facility and everything has gone to shit. Mega. Fence down, perimeter compromised and the detainees free.Who are the detainees? I’m not telling because that would give all the fun away, suffice it to say oh so interesting and scary because you know someone is attempting something like it.Jim Chapel is a war veteran, an amputee and now an office grunt who is called in to go on a mission to recover the detainees.It’s a great story that had me hooked. The characters were well written, relatable and you stood behind the protagonist Jim Chapel the whole way cheering him on and saying to yourself wow how did he do that. The baddies and they are there, Laughing Boy who I hated the most and wanted to gut like a fish you hated just as the author wanted you to.Your feelings for characters changes along the way so the reader is well played by David, those you think are baddies you come to sympathies with. You have a well written and interesting story. Great characters that keep your interest and emotions tied to. I read and enjoyed and read some more.If I had to find a gripe it would be to say that in some way it was a little formulaic, having said that its one that works and works well.Finding an author who’s work you enjoy, a character you want to read more about and a story that entertained you and had you in its grips well that to me is a great read. I’d recommend this one to thriller fans, it also has some sci fi and military elements that work very well for those who enjoy that in their reading. Chimera check it out its one hell of a good read.
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  • Zedsdead
    January 1, 1970
    Some mystery person in power uses a drone to break a team of genetically altered killers (chimeras) out of a super-top-secret prison camp in the New York state boonies, then instructs them to track and kill everyone involved in their creation. Jim Chapel, a one-armed desk jockey and former special ops captain, is drafted by the CIA and Department of Defense to kill the chimeras and save their intended victims.David Wellington has written a romance novel masquerading as an action thriller. The he Some mystery person in power uses a drone to break a team of genetically altered killers (chimeras) out of a super-top-secret prison camp in the New York state boonies, then instructs them to track and kill everyone involved in their creation. Jim Chapel, a one-armed desk jockey and former special ops captain, is drafted by the CIA and Department of Defense to kill the chimeras and save their intended victims.David Wellington has written a romance novel masquerading as an action thriller. The hero spends most of the book distractedly mooning over the requisite beautiful scientist who starts tagging along in Act One--one of many unlikely plot points that Wellington does a piss poor job of justifying. Chapel just respects her strength and passion so much, could it be--dare he think it--true love? He's a firm believer in secrecy and national security but gosh darn it she just DESERVES to be told every high-level secret that he can think of because it's MORALLY RIGHT. Ugh.Internal logic flies out the window over and over again. An example: a psychotic superkiller gleefully and easily takes down entire Seal teams, in public, kills every challenger and enjoys doing so; but when our one-armed hero confronts said superkiller alone in an empty house--affording him plenty of privacy for violence and butchery--he conveniently knocks Chapel down and runs away? This kind of thing keeps happening.Wellington clumsily attempts a series of shocking twists à la Jeffrey Deaver or Lincoln Child. He is not good at it. I look forward to not reading the next installment.
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  • OpenBookSociety.com
    January 1, 1970
    http://openbooksociety.com/article/ch...Brought to you by OBS reviewer Sammy*Beware of possible Spoilers*By page seven I was hooked.On page ten I was confused, but perhaps I shouldn’t be. There was a flirty woman and then she sees the hero has a prosthetic and can’t deal with it. So she totally backs away. Can we say shallow? No matter she wasn’t in the book long anyway. However, this was actually brought home fairly regularly throughout the book. It’s a pity that our society really has that min http://openbooksociety.com/article/ch...Brought to you by OBS reviewer Sammy*Beware of possible Spoilers*By page seven I was hooked.On page ten I was confused, but perhaps I shouldn’t be. There was a flirty woman and then she sees the hero has a prosthetic and can’t deal with it. So she totally backs away. Can we say shallow? No matter she wasn’t in the book long anyway. However, this was actually brought home fairly regularly throughout the book. It’s a pity that our society really has that mindset so much so that it is added in a book with all the negative connotations that are in the real world.Spider-goats, goodness they are real, yes I looked it up amazing! It made the whole story more believable. The laughing boy is super creepy, I found what he had interesting and looked it up, too. I would have liked a bit more information on the super soldiers and what went wrong with them. I was sad about Ian.There are some pacing issues, it would be very slow and then the author would put in something that I couldn’t wait to find out about and where things were going. That aside, this is an awesome story and I hope there will be more stories with these characters. I want to find out how our hero and heroine wind up. They made a wonderful team and fit together very well.I highly recommend this book for young adults 16+ because of some of the sexual content. Which was well written and flowed well with the story. And of course I also recommend this for adults who enjoy mystery with cutting edge scientific ideas. Great book.
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  • Randy
    January 1, 1970
    Take a desk job former Army Ranger with one arm, throw in some genetically altered humans with super strength and wicked tempers and you have the potential for an interesting read. Jim Chapel lost in arm while serving in Afghanistan. He is called back into action to help hunt down 6 subjects who escaped from a high security Department of Defense facility. Unsure as to why he has been called in for the job, he none-the-less begins to track down the subjects in his usual through manner. Along the Take a desk job former Army Ranger with one arm, throw in some genetically altered humans with super strength and wicked tempers and you have the potential for an interesting read. Jim Chapel lost in arm while serving in Afghanistan. He is called back into action to help hunt down 6 subjects who escaped from a high security Department of Defense facility. Unsure as to why he has been called in for the job, he none-the-less begins to track down the subjects in his usual through manner. Along the way he digs up more information than he is supposed to, and a scandal erupts as long buried secrets are brought to light.I picked up this book because I enjoyed Wellington's other novels. They are often fast paced and full of excitement. This book did not disappoint in that respect.I finished the book because the story was really good. I like the plausibility implied by the chimeras. The mix of science fiction and thriller made for a good read.I would recommend this to Steve. I think he would like the fast pace and the character of Jim Chapel.
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  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    I've been following David Wellington from the days when he posted his novels in serial format on the Internet, and his writing is solid and well-crafted. This book, his first published by a major publisher, is of a different genre than he has written in the past, almost a Ludlum style. Interesting premise and back stories with a very satisfying ending. I wonder if Mary Shelley (Frankenstein) and Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep/Blade Runner) are his influences; there's a lot o I've been following David Wellington from the days when he posted his novels in serial format on the Internet, and his writing is solid and well-crafted. This book, his first published by a major publisher, is of a different genre than he has written in the past, almost a Ludlum style. Interesting premise and back stories with a very satisfying ending. I wonder if Mary Shelley (Frankenstein) and Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep/Blade Runner) are his influences; there's a lot of existential concepts especially from the viewpoint of the Chimeras and geneticists. Still, it was a fun read and I'm looking forward to more of the Jim Chapel Missions.
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  • Samuel
    January 1, 1970
    This book stretches one's limit of logic. An one armed ex-spec forces soldier manages to kill these Chimeras where groups of active Spec forces soldiers can't? Chimeras are strong and move so fast as to be able to dodge bullets sprayed from multiple machine guns but yet cannot dodge being batted by this one armed ex soldier?A story is a story but I feel that there should be some foundation of plausibility.....Sorry to say that instead of trying to enjoy this book, I started looking for faults be This book stretches one's limit of logic. An one armed ex-spec forces soldier manages to kill these Chimeras where groups of active Spec forces soldiers can't? Chimeras are strong and move so fast as to be able to dodge bullets sprayed from multiple machine guns but yet cannot dodge being batted by this one armed ex soldier?A story is a story but I feel that there should be some foundation of plausibility.....Sorry to say that instead of trying to enjoy this book, I started looking for faults because of the way its written.
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  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    I must say I love David Wellington. I was totally hooked on his vampire series, (13 bullets) and now I can say I will need to read all of this series as well. Chapel is a great character. Smart, strong and determined. This book is full of action and suspense. I was hooked right away. I lost a lot sleep reading this book. I thought it was great and I loved the story line.
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  • Steven
    January 1, 1970
    Not my typical read but I became from the publisher as a goodreads giveaway and I thoroughly enjoyed it and found the main characters to be very sympathetic for what I initially conceived of to be militaristic novel. I will definitely try some more of Wellington's works and I look forward to the sequel.
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  • CJ
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! The government sends a one armed, semi-retired veteran to hunt down single handedly (literally) a group of genetically modified superhumans who are stronger, faster and more durable than regular human beings which comes in handy for them because they cannot control their rage and aggressive, violent tendencies either. The one perk is that the superhumans don't seem to have any superhuman intelligence. Plus that various departmental groups within the government are running a sideline game to Wow! The government sends a one armed, semi-retired veteran to hunt down single handedly (literally) a group of genetically modified superhumans who are stronger, faster and more durable than regular human beings which comes in handy for them because they cannot control their rage and aggressive, violent tendencies either. The one perk is that the superhumans don't seem to have any superhuman intelligence. Plus that various departmental groups within the government are running a sideline game to see who wins control of the whole project. Then add in a virus that could wipe out human civilization as we know it. However, if you believe that just because a person is disabled, that they are incapable, think again. Jim Chapel is the ultimate soldier and hero who believes that his country, and perhaps world, is worth fighting for. And he can definitely fight with a passion.This is well worth the read.
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  • Oleksandr Zholud
    January 1, 1970
    I really liked the Positive, the post-apocalypse zombie novel of the same author, David Wellington. Therefore I decided to read his other books even despite the fact they are in genres I usually avoid (I avoided zombie novels too, presupposing they are primitive trash). This one is weaker but still enjoyable.This is I guess a techno-thriller. Seven subjects escape a high-security detention facility and are free in the USA. They are superhumanly fast, strong and resilient. The have a kill-list an I really liked the Positive, the post-apocalypse zombie novel of the same author, David Wellington. Therefore I decided to read his other books even despite the fact they are in genres I usually avoid (I avoided zombie novels too, presupposing they are primitive trash). This one is weaker but still enjoyable.This is I guess a techno-thriller. Seven subjects escape a high-security detention facility and are free in the USA. They are superhumanly fast, strong and resilient. The have a kill-list and are virus carriers, they have to be stopped. This is the job of army veteran Jim Chapel. He is 40 years old, he lost his arm in Afghanistan – hardly a gung-ho warrior to match the escapees. He has to fail. Will he?The story is fast paced; a nice page turner and sometimes it can surprise the reader. To some extent it is a kind of anti-levelup mentality of similar books, where, as the plot progresses, the protagonist becomes better and better.There two minor flaws for me1. A mystery unfolds a bit slow, I guessed some answers much earlier than they were revealed. I don’t like books with protagonists playing dumb and not seeing all the evidence2. The super-prosthetic arm could be much simpler and closer to reality – as described it is unnecessary [for the plot] too high tech. I guess it creates wrong impressions about what real amputees get and will get in near future as well.A small quote that surprised me: “Sir, with all due respect—I’m the one running out of time,” Chapel told him. “There’s one other thing I have to say, though. One thing I need to make clear. You have the wrong man because I am not a hit man. I don’t kill people for money.”“You know how to use a gun, don’t you?” Banks demanded.“The army taught me that, yes,” Chapel agreed. “But I know you’re a civilian, sir, and you may be operating under a common misconception about soldiers. We aren’t in the business of killing random people. The mission of the armed forces is to extend U.S. policy through force only when necessary, and to use other means whenever it is humanly possible.”
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  • Thea
    January 1, 1970
    i really liked this new series and am looking forward to reading more about Jim Chapel.
  • Brian
    January 1, 1970
    DNF wasn’t into it. Started out interestingly enough, but by the time I got halfway through I lost interest.
  • B.
    January 1, 1970
    Listened to the audio book. First book in a long time I bailed on before finishing. Wanted to like it but wound up unsatisfied. Trite, juvenile and read with little finesse.
  • Jane
    January 1, 1970
    very light.
  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting blend of science fiction and mystery.
  • Talia
    January 1, 1970
    Entertaining. I got this free from a Little Library. I would like to try another book by this author.
  • Vince Waechter
    January 1, 1970
    The basic story was good, a secret government project gone wrong. The story telling could have been much better. Jim, the unstoppable super hero was too much to believe. He would get beaten and shot but like the energizer bunny, he would keep going as if nothing happened. The sex was much too explicit (2). Made me uncomfortable, the level of sexual detail did not add to the story.
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  • sixthreezy
    January 1, 1970
    I've wanted to read a lot of David Wellington's books for awhile, because he writes about awesome things. He has a series of werewolf books, zombie books, and a larger series of vampire books. Some of his books are actually available online to read as serials, which is really cool of an author to do. It gives someone who is interested in his work, a chance to preview his earlier writing and then go for the big stuff if they like his style. I for one, never got around to reading any of the serial I've wanted to read a lot of David Wellington's books for awhile, because he writes about awesome things. He has a series of werewolf books, zombie books, and a larger series of vampire books. Some of his books are actually available online to read as serials, which is really cool of an author to do. It gives someone who is interested in his work, a chance to preview his earlier writing and then go for the big stuff if they like his style. I for one, never got around to reading any of the serials, but rather just hopped into this book. This was recommended to me because of my serious love for Jonathan Maberry's Joe Ledger series, of which I still have one more book left to read. In Wellington's Chimera we're introduced to a war hero that has a lot of the same mental constructs as a Ledger-like character, but not quite the same physical makeup.What mostly makes Chimera interesting is the fact that our protagonist, Jim Chapel, is a tough as nails combat veteran that is recruited for a top secret mission, but he's at a disadvantage to most. Though, Mr. Chapel would be first to correct me in saying that he's not a disadvantage, he just has a different way of doing things. Chapel is missing an arm that he lost in Afghanistan, but he's been fitted for a high tech artificial limb that has enabled him to get by in the world. It works just like a regular arm, but it's mechanical and relies on his brain to be controlled. This part of Jim Chapel is what draws the desire for the reader to read Chapel's story, because you want this guy to come out on top and win. I thought this was a really cool addition to the story and provided me a reason to really root for Jim. However, his position marks him as the underdog in the story, but he never quite feels like he reaches complete despair in this book like other leading protagonists in similar books.What I wasn't much of a fan of in this book was the fact that it never seemed like the suspense of the story fully caught on. The Joe Ledger books were a breeze for me, so much so that I was able to finish each of the first four in a week. This book took me a little longer to read, because it just was never able to fully suck me in. There was never any true, all hope is lost, desperation laid upon Jim Chapel even though his mission was top secret and extremely difficult. It just all seemed too easy, and clear cut, and it never quite sucks the reader fully into the book vortex that us readers often find ourselves in. I think shorter stories would benefit Jim Chapel, and David Wellington's writing. I'm looking forward to reading the two that are already out apparently, called Minotaur and Myrmidon.The suspense was there, but it never fully takes hold in the story which causes a few of the scenes to drag out and take away from the building of tension. The chimeras are a legitimate threat, but they never take shape or become more than a pawn played in a larger game. I think I would have been much happier had there been more of a clear cut villain that actually had some say on the pages. The other thing I didn't much care for was Jim and Julia's extra-curricular activities on more than one occasion throughout the book. I'm not big for scenes of romance in my books, but I could have forgiven these after all was said and done. The scenes sort of felt forced, and it was a good example of how parts of the story took away from the building of suspense. Save it for the end of the book Wellington, because Chapel sure as hell deserved a good night in bed by the end of his mission. I would recommend this to fans of Joe Ledger or any other paranormal hunting military hero. While it doesn't quite present the crispest science fiction thriller, there is plenty of action and a damn fine hero in the making waiting for readers in these pages.Originally posted at sixthreezy at the movies & more!
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  • Natalie
    January 1, 1970
    Chimera introduces Jim Chapel, a Special Forces veteran who rides a desk after being fitted with a prosthetic for the arm he lost. One day Chapel gets called into a very shady meeting by a man he refers to as Laughing Boy, a fairly unhinged CIA agent. Chapel is met by two very high ranking clandestine officials of different agencies who inform him that he has been handpicked to deal with a situation. A number of extremely violent and dangerous fugitives have escaped from a secret prison and must Chimera introduces Jim Chapel, a Special Forces veteran who rides a desk after being fitted with a prosthetic for the arm he lost. One day Chapel gets called into a very shady meeting by a man he refers to as Laughing Boy, a fairly unhinged CIA agent. Chapel is met by two very high ranking clandestine officials of different agencies who inform him that he has been handpicked to deal with a situation. A number of extremely violent and dangerous fugitives have escaped from a secret prison and must be stopped immediately. Chapel is equipped with a Bluetooth device that connects to a tech genius he calls Angel who can seemingly find him any bit of information and ensure the availability of cars, planes, trains, and more! Chapel sets off on his mission but arrives too late to save the first victim. He does manage to save the victim’s daughter, a beautiful veterinarian who, surprise surprise, ends up becoming his sidekick on his very classified and very dangerous mission. He takes her along under the guise of keeping her from being silenced by the big bad government goons or the fugitives. Julia is a bright and very capable woman but when tracking down unhinged and extremely violent killers, it seems a bad time to pick up a woman. In case you haven’t figured it out, I am not always thrilled with the haphazard shoving of romance into thrillers just for the sake of having a love interest. Bring on the explosions, fist fights, high speed chases and leave the kissey face at home. I do understand that many people like a little sex with their espionage and heroics and in many cases it works when it’s subtle. Julia’s presence throughout the novel is often awkward and creates more difficulties than are needed to advance the plot. Additionally, Chapel seems to have enough identity crisis going on as he deals with his prosthetic and figuring out how he fits into this more active role without throwing in his constant waffling about whether or not he’s worthy of Julia. I think had Wellington waited until the second novel, it would have been less distracting. The book progresses at a good pace and keeps the reader involved in the action. The plot bounces nicely between Chapel’s interactions with the fugitives as well as his frowned up investigating into the larger conspiracy that locked these men up and put seven people on a hit list. While some of the twists and turns are predictable, Wellington does an excellent job keeping the reader guessing with most of it. The overall conspiracy itself is fascinating and also thoroughly disturbing. Overall, the book is a good and interesting read. The romance angle was distracting for me but might not be for everyone. I’m not sure that I’ll actively await another book in the series but if I come across it in the future I would be willing to give it a read. Chapel is an interesting character and has the potential for a lot of growth in dealing with who he is as a soldier despite his missing arm and his advancing age.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I was so excited when I got the email notifying me that I had won this book from Goodreads. I was introduced to David Wellington through his zombie series, and moved onto his vampire and werewolf books as well. Each of these series had their own unique feel within their perspective sub-genres, and I enjoyed them a lot. Chimera departs from David's usual fare of supernatural horror and moves into science gone wrong and government conspiracy.The book opens with prisoners escaping from a top secret I was so excited when I got the email notifying me that I had won this book from Goodreads. I was introduced to David Wellington through his zombie series, and moved onto his vampire and werewolf books as well. Each of these series had their own unique feel within their perspective sub-genres, and I enjoyed them a lot. Chimera departs from David's usual fare of supernatural horror and moves into science gone wrong and government conspiracy.The book opens with prisoners escaping from a top secret military installation. There is no explanation, no exposition, just immediate and intense action. I was hooked right away. The pace doesn't slow down as the story continues. The sections of the book are marked with the time from the initial event: T+ 1:46, etc. Not being military, it took me a little bit to wrap my head around how to read this, I've only seen it used in countdowns before. We are introduced to Jim Chapel while he's at work and struggling to concentrate on his paperwork. We quickly learn that Jim is a war veteran and has lost an arm, though he's not letting this slow him down. We went from duty in the field to working for Military Intelligence providing oversight for civilian government contractors. To break the tedium of his work and refocus his mind, he goes for a swim in the pool. In the midst of his swim, he notices that he is being watched and that the man is laughing. Chapel doesn't think anything of it at first, he is use to people finding the appearance of a one-armed man swimming amusing. But the man doesn't leave, Chapel is pulled from his swim for a secret mission, so secret that he can't even tell his current boss that he's leaving. The man will not tell him anything about what the mission is or where they are going, he just keeps laughing. Chapel is escorted to Pentagon and taken deep into a former fallout shelter turned office where he meets Rupert Hollingshead (the man that requested him for the mission). Hes told that he must capture the escapees but little else, so little in fact that it increases the danger of the mission. From the title, some of you have likely figured out what kind of prisoners escaped the facility. He must deal with genetically modified humans without having any ideas about their capabilities. Hollingshead, part of the DIA, is in a power play with Agent Banks, from the CIA, over who is in charge of the mission and how it should be handled. The laughing man is Banks' lap dog. They present Chapel with a kill list and tell him there are four men he needs to capture. With so little information, Chapel's task is almost guaranteed to fail.I won't go any further into the story of the book, I know how evil spoilers are. If you are looking for an action packed read, then grab this book.
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  • J.C. Martin
    January 1, 1970
    Chimera is such an apt title for this book. The best way to describe the story is that, like the mythical creature the novel is named after, it is a hybrid: technothriller meets sci-fi meets mystery meets adventure meets political thriller. Wellington has taken the best aspects of these different genres and put them together into an explosive whole.I was hooked and intrigued from the very first page, when mysterious forces release a group of men from some sort of detention camp in the middle of Chimera is such an apt title for this book. The best way to describe the story is that, like the mythical creature the novel is named after, it is a hybrid: technothriller meets sci-fi meets mystery meets adventure meets political thriller. Wellington has taken the best aspects of these different genres and put them together into an explosive whole.I was hooked and intrigued from the very first page, when mysterious forces release a group of men from some sort of detention camp in the middle of the Catskills. Who are these men? Why were they imprisoned there? Who helped them escape? And eyes that are all black (not a spoiler, as it is mentioned within the first few pages)? Whoa! What's going on here?Jim Chapel is one of the most original, most loveable main characters I have read in a long time. Still getting to grips with the war wounds he suffered in the line of duty, he is a soldier through an through. Nevertheless, while he would follow orders unquestioningly, and would sacrifice himself for his country, he continues to conduct himself within a strict code of ethics. This human empathy and all round niceness, in spite of his physical flaws, is what makes Chapel such a likeable hero. It was also interesting to see how the adversaries he meets in the course of the story underestimates his because of his apparent handicap.With the help of a red-headed veterinian, and a disembodied voice he calls Angel, a computer whiz he communicates with only by phone, Chapel has to not only hunt down the escaped men, but to uncover the agenda behind their release, a conspiracy that resonates right up the chain of command within certain government circles.Wellington weaves a taut, fast-paced tale that keeps you guessing at what's coming round every corner, just as he sends you hurtling towards said corners. And while I managed to guess at one major plot outcome, it may only be because being female, I am more sensitive towards the issue (can't say more than that without spoilers).The one (small) down point about Chimera, is how it overly depicts one of the big no-nos: gratuitious sex or violence (which you'll have to read the book to find out). In fact, I have tried skipping over a couple of chapters of the stuff, and losing them does not detract at all from the story.All in all, reading Chimera is like being strapped to a roller coaster packed full of dynamite, with broken tracks ahead. You'd better hang on for the ride!4½ stars!
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  • Daniel
    January 1, 1970
    I had originally planned to give this book a 3-4 star rating, but between reading Chimera and writing this I have since changed my opinion.This is the first (and probably last) review I will ever write. I'm reviewing this book because I got an advance copy through my job. Having said that, I felt the need to throw my thoughts out there because this was the only advance copy that I actually read in its entirety. Moreover, it was the first time I found myself wanting to finish an advance read. Tha I had originally planned to give this book a 3-4 star rating, but between reading Chimera and writing this I have since changed my opinion.This is the first (and probably last) review I will ever write. I'm reviewing this book because I got an advance copy through my job. Having said that, I felt the need to throw my thoughts out there because this was the only advance copy that I actually read in its entirety. Moreover, it was the first time I found myself wanting to finish an advance read. That in and of itself is worth at least a 4 star rating, the additional star is given because of the rest of the review. The plot isn't anything original per se, but Wellington did such a good job constructing the events, characters, and an interesting storyline that it's forgivable. There was no wasted sentences, no superfluous details or dialogue that I wanted to skip over. It was entertaining. Some things may have come across as too convenient, but it seemed plausible rather than cheesy to me. The characters were interesting , and the dialogue was good and even pretty funny. At first I thought the conclusion was utterly transparent, for the most part I was right, but the means by which everything resolved was compelling. I didn't feel like he rushed anything and cheated his readers by taking the high road. Every little detail led up to that point; it made the conclusion feasible and just a tad bit thought provoking without grasping at straws when it came to tying everything together. It was fitting. As a whole, it was well planned, delivered, and executed. I cared about the characters (if I don't care about what happens to them, I can't continue reading) and Wellington kept my attention throughout. There are some characteristics of a typical espionage/thriller novel, but I didn't feel like it detracted any interest from the book. Three descriptive terms to sum it up: entertaining, well-crafted, and satisfying.
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  • Jean-Luc
    January 1, 1970
    TERRORISTS have staged a prison break, and it's up to the super-secret DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY to track down the escaped TERRORISTS!OK, I realize that sounds like the most generic blurb for a thriller ever, but trust me: Wellington is anything but generic. Whether it's zombies or vampires or werewolves or elves, everything he writes has his own masterful take on the subject, and this book is no different.This book establishes who exactly Jim Chapel is, and why he has missions. He isn't a mon TERRORISTS have staged a prison break, and it's up to the super-secret DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCY to track down the escaped TERRORISTS!OK, I realize that sounds like the most generic blurb for a thriller ever, but trust me: Wellington is anything but generic. Whether it's zombies or vampires or werewolves or elves, everything he writes has his own masterful take on the subject, and this book is no different.This book establishes who exactly Jim Chapel is, and why he has missions. He isn't a monster, he isn't a machine, he isn't a super-spy. But he is a soldier, he has his orders, and he's going to follow them to the bitter end. His main ally is a hacker whispering sweetly in his ear, and his progress on the ground is trailed by a damn creepy mofo. Half the tension comes from not knowing whether Chapel is gonna get offed by his own damn side.There's some science fiction here, but if you're willing to put your brain on hold ("they didn't know what they were doing, they couldn't have predicted, and the average reader can't know any better") then it's not a big deal. Compared to the garbage you'd find in any airport (Dan Brown, James Patterson, et al), this is some Nobel Prize-winning shit right here.But seriously, it's a fun page turner, very well paced, perfect for anyone who enjoys thrillers.
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  • Peter Kalin
    January 1, 1970
    This is really more like a 3.5 star novel and I erred on the lower side because I can't say I 'really liked it'. I did like it, but there were a number of glaring flaws that stuck out like a sore thumb. The first, and in my opinion most glaring, problem was the way the protagonist interacts with female characters, which was, in a word, dreadful. I have this idea that male writers of thriller fiction should try to steer clear of romance and Wellington is no exception. The way women tend to have s This is really more like a 3.5 star novel and I erred on the lower side because I can't say I 'really liked it'. I did like it, but there were a number of glaring flaws that stuck out like a sore thumb. The first, and in my opinion most glaring, problem was the way the protagonist interacts with female characters, which was, in a word, dreadful. I have this idea that male writers of thriller fiction should try to steer clear of romance and Wellington is no exception. The way women tend to have sex with these leading men at the drop of a not particularly attractive hat is disturbing, as is this bizarre need that male authors need to single women out as somehow 'exceptional' because they happen to prove themselves as competent as their male counterparts, if not more so. They are probably well-intentioned, but certainly misguided, as they reveal themselves to be chauvinists, if not misogynists. The writing, at times crisp and fast-paced, needed a great deal of editing, particularly when it came to dialog. Much of it felt forced and unnatural. I cant' imagine it would be all that hard to reread an exchange of dialog out loud and realize no one would talk that way under any circumstances and fix it up a bit. Despite it's flaws, I will recommend this one as a series that has potential, although it doesn't look like Wellington has written an follow-ups for it.
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  • Kari
    January 1, 1970
    I have to say that Chimera is one of the better books that I have read this year. I devoured this book! When I was done, I felt like I had run a marathon. It's non-stop adventure with a touch of romance added into the mix. What could be more exciting than escaped genetic mutants who seem to be following a kill list? The main character, Jim Chapel, is a war veteran who is missing an arm. Don't worry, he has a very cool prosthetic arm. He's tough and flawed and that made me like him so much more. I have to say that Chimera is one of the better books that I have read this year. I devoured this book! When I was done, I felt like I had run a marathon. It's non-stop adventure with a touch of romance added into the mix. What could be more exciting than escaped genetic mutants who seem to be following a kill list? The main character, Jim Chapel, is a war veteran who is missing an arm. Don't worry, he has a very cool prosthetic arm. He's tough and flawed and that made me like him so much more. The best thing about Chapel is that a lot of people underestimate him because of his missing limb. He is the guy I want on my side in a fight! He is aided by the mysterious Angel who is a constant presence in his ear. Think Garcia from Criminal Minds.This is a hard book to describe because there are so many surprises and twists in the story that I would hate to ruin it. But, with a story that involves the FBI, CIA and other government agencies, you can never be sure who to trust. The scientist in me loved the genetic aspect of the book. The chimera idea was fascinating. There is a novella featuring Jim Chapel coming out in October called Myrmidon. I can't wait to spend some more time with Chapel!Review posted on From the TBR Pile 09/05/2013
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Not sure if I like the combination political thriller/medical thriller genre, but Chimera isn't a bad example. We have a former Army Ranger,Jim Chapel, sidelined to a desk job because he lost an arm in Afghanistan, seconded to a Top Secret Agency (or two) because - no surprise - he's the only one who can possibly do the job that needs being done. All information about the job are Need To Know, and, well, he doesn't. Oh, and no surprise: he goes rogue. Often.In this case, there's some so-secret-n Not sure if I like the combination political thriller/medical thriller genre, but Chimera isn't a bad example. We have a former Army Ranger,Jim Chapel, sidelined to a desk job because he lost an arm in Afghanistan, seconded to a Top Secret Agency (or two) because - no surprise - he's the only one who can possibly do the job that needs being done. All information about the job are Need To Know, and, well, he doesn't. Oh, and no surprise: he goes rogue. Often.In this case, there's some so-secret-noone-has-heard-of-it facility in the Catskills - no one goes in, no one goes out. Then a drone or something helps the inhabitants (if there are any) escape. Not only do they escape, they escape with a hit list. Our Hero's job is to find these escapees and neutralize them (preferably "with extreme prejudice"). And off we go, racing against time and several highly motivated killers... who just so happen to be virtually unstoppable.Along the way Chapel picks up some help, including a Penelope Garcia-esque woman he nicknames Angel (my mind immediately went to "Charlie's Angels", because we never meet Angel, only hear her voice). The characters are pretty stereotypical and the action predictable, but that's one of the things you go into this type of book knowing. Still enjoyable.ARC provided by publisher.
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