Monday, January 9, 2012

Explosive Eighteen

From Goodreads:
Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 from Hawaii to Newark, she’s knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, she’s flying back to New Jersey solo, and someone who sounds like Sasquatch is snoring in row 22. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he’s dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. His killer could be anyone. The FBI, the fake FBI, and guns-for-hire are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying.

Only one other person has seen the missing photograph—Stephanie Plum. Now she’s the target, and she doesn’t intend to end up in a garbage can. With the help of an FBI sketch artist Stephanie re-creates the person in the photo. Unfortunately the first sketch turns out to look like Tom Cruise, and the second sketch like Ashton Kutcher. Until Stephanie can improve her descriptive skills, she’ll need to watch her back.

Over at the Bail Bonds Agency it’s business as usual—until the bonds bus serving as Vinnie’s temporary HQ goes up in smoke, Stephanie’s wheelman, Lula, falls in love with their “largest” FTA yet, lifetime arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt moves into Stephanie’s apartment, and everyone wants to know what happened in Hawaii?!
Morelli, Trenton’s hottest cop, isn’t talking about Hawaii. Ranger, the man of mystery, isn’t talking about Hawaii.  And all Stephanie is willing to say about her Hawaiian vacation is . . . It’s complicated.

From Misty:

SUCH a disappointment.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Bear with me.  (Did I really just use the term bear with me? Yikes.)

I thought maybe Laura had reviewed this already, but I didn't see it on quick scroll through, and I thought, well, we have different opinions on pretty much everything anyway, so I will review it since it was pretty much the only new thing I read this week (sucks in a breath). 
As a stand-alone, this novel is fine.  It is even somewhat funny and moderately interesting.  Evanovich has the formula down pat by now, and E. Eighteen--no, no, let's call it Explosive E.--is a fun, one-day read for those who don't mind a kind of trashy protagonist with loosy goosy morals. 

Yes, Stephanie crossed the line over to trashy in this one, and what's worse, we didn't even get to see it.  The first scene is Stephanie flying home alone from a vacation that was supposed to involve Morelli, turned into a working vacation with Ranger, and ended up in a fistfight, which again, we did not get to see (described in detail or at all, I mean) between Morelli and Ranger.  Finally, Morelli takes a stand, and we don't get to see it!  Newflash, Morelli and Ranger are carrying this series and nobody gives a flying patoot about any of the other characters, and that's starting to include Stephanie.  The mysteries are not that mysterious and the FTAs are recycled FTAs from previous novels.  Nothing new has happened since book five and nothing funny has happened since book twelve.  Grow up, Stephanie!  In the words of a wise one, "Nobody wants to see a fifty year old Fonzie hitting on chicks."

So, as the eighteenth novel in a series that is not going anywhere (I mean, after nearly twenty years, the economy hasn't changed enough for Stephanie to find a new job?), this book is a flop.  The romance, which as I stated before is 100 percent carrying this series, is still going nowhere, and Stephanie has become such a twit that she is finally the loser she always thought she was. 

That said, I liked this book and I am dying to see the movie which comes out this month. Girl's night anyone?


Jillian said...

LOL! Love this review! No way will I even start the series but maybe the movie will be better... are there 17 other movies I should see before the movie?

Tuleps said...

I haven't even gotten around to reading this one yet. :( very sad, i know. But i do understand what you mean when you say nothing has changed since about book five but i would give it to 13 since something really funny. 13 was a good one. Down hill after that though. That being said i still like morelli and ranger and will continue to enjoy the series as i read them again and again, but after 18 books of basically the same thing i am ready for steph to end up with morelli already and for janet to give ranger his own series without the crazy stephanie plum.

Rosenbalm Photography said...

Great review! Won't be picking this one up... not enough time in a week to get through that long of a series. lol You'll have to let us know how the movie turns out!