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Chimera: A Jim Chapel Mission (Jim Chapel Missions) Hardcover – July 23, 2013

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Product Details

  • Series: Jim Chapel Missions
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (July 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062248774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062248770
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,273,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Genetically designed savages known as chimera, named after the hybrid monsters of Greek myth, make trouble in this inventive thriller from Wellington (Monster Island). Four of these big fellows—whose DNA is 99% human, with the remainder coming from chimpanzees, rattlesnakes, and water bears—have escaped from a military prison camp in upstate New York. Pentagon officials know the creatures intend to kill eight people across the country, including a judge recently nominated for the Supreme Court. The task of stopping the beasts falls to Capt. Jim Chapel, a one-armed Afghanistan war veteran who works for the army's Intelligence and Security Command. Chapel is tough, but his quarry is tougher, and he must also contend with the CIA and the folks who designed the experiment that created the chimera. While the overwritten romantic elements distract, the constant action and novel concept will satisfy fans of this subgenre. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Aug.)

From Booklist

The author of horror novels such as 32 Fangs (2012) and the Monster Island trilogy sticks a toe—or perhaps an entire foot—into Jonathan Maberry territory. Jim Chapel, who used to be in the Special Forces until he lost an arm in Afghanistan, is given a new job tracking down four escaped military detainees. Here’s the problem: the escapees are infected with a man-made virus, one that gives them superhuman abilities (and a taste for human flesh), and they are systematically hunting down and killing specific men and women across the country. Assisted by Angel, a brilliant computer hacker, and by the daughter of one of the victims, Chapel sets out not only to stop the escaped killers but also to find out why they were created in the first place. It’s a good book, crisply written and exciting, but readers familiar with Maberry’s Joe Ledger novels might experience a bit of been-there, done-that: the genetically modified killers; the tough, no-nonsense hero; the powerful government organization. On the other hand, if you’ve read all the Ledgers and are jonesing for more, this might take the edge off. --David Pitt

More About the Author

David Wellington was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended Syracuse University and received an MFA in creative writing from Penn State.

In 2004 he began serializing his novel Monster Island online. The book rapidly gained a following, and was acquired for print publication by Thunder's Mouth Press.

Since then, Wellington has published more than 15 novels, and has been featured in The New York Times, Boing Boing and the Los Angeles Times.

You can find him online at

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bob Milne on July 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Coach D on November 19, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed reading Chimera. I checked out this thriller from my digital library. Wellington is the author of a zombie series (for example ~ Monster Island|, which I have not yet read) and a vampire series featuring a female Vampire hunter named Laura Caxton (see ~ 13 Bullets (Laura Caxton)).

I read & enjoyed all of the vampire books in the Caxton series. In Chimera I liked the idea of a super-soldier type story. And the hunt for these "monsters". Chimera is a well written thriller that fits into several categories: sci-fi, action, and/or thriller. This may be an old cliché, but this would make an exciting movie for sure.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J.C. Martin on October 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
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 veterinarian, 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.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover
David Wellington's latest novel, Chimera, opens with a prison break. Except, Camp Putnam isn't a typical prison:

"Sergeant Brian Lourdes had a pretty good security clearance. Not enough to know why those seven men had been locked away so tight. Not enough to know why they were so dangerous they could never be set free. But enough to know what would happen if they ever did get out. Enough to know it could mean the end of America."

That's page two of what may be horror writer Wellington's break-out thriller. So, right from the get-go, readers are told the stakes are high. We learn a few other disquieting facts about these escaped "detainees" in that first chapter. They dodge bullets moving at inhuman speed and gaze at the world through solid black eyes. Cue the eerie music!

Next the action moves to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and the office of Captain Jim Chapel. Chapel, a veteran of Afghanistan, works at INSCOM, the army's Intelligence and Security Command handling oversight on weapons system acquisitions. As the novel opens, he's not exactly field-ready, having lost his left arm in combat. But receiving new orders he notes:

"DIA was the Defense Intelligence Agency, the top level of the military intelligence pyramid. DX was the Directorate for Defense Counterintelligence and HUMINT--HUMINT being Human Intelligence, or good old-fashioned spycraft. DX was the group that used to give him his orders back when he was a theater operative in Afghanistan, but he hadn't worked for them in a long time--these days his work was handled directly by INSCOM and he hadn't so much as spoken to anyone in the DIA in five years."

Therefore, Chapel is an odd choice to track down and, well, neutralize these escaped detainees.
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