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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Review: Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum series) by Janet Evanovich


Explosive Eighteen continues to tease us along in the Ranger vs Morelli lust triangle.

The beginning of the book is particularly annoying, as we are strung long, not knowing who she went on vacation with, or what happened.

Once we get beyond that and find out what happened, I have to wish the story had been made into a book. I think it would have been a much better story than the one we were given. The basic plot wasn't that bad, it was the execution of the plot, and the silly shenanigans getting there, that were the problem.

One good thing though - Stephanie manages to rescue herself in an amazing fashion, without being rescued by either of her guys. I'll add a star to my review for that one fact alone.

As for the writing elements:
  • The plot was wasn't so bad, but as I said before, the execution of it pretty much sucked.
  • Pacing was fine in places and drug out in places.
  • Prose and dialogue were typical latter-Plum. Sometimes I wonder if Janet Evanovich is still writing these, as those first eight or nine books were executed so much better.
  • Character development continues to stagnate. 
There were a few pluses in Explosive Eighteen. I've already mentioned that Stephanie manages to save herself once. She also seems to have a better handle on her own self esteem, and she's getting a bit better at planning and executing when it comes to catching FTA's. Not that she's good at it yet, she still has to screw up at least once with each person, but she's better at figuring out what went wrong and correcting for it. She's also not as hung up on whether or not she's a slut as she once was. That was annoying, I'm glad it's mostly stopped. There was an annoying bit about her being a slut if she slept in the nude (since all of her pajamas were dirty), though.

What I'm leading up to is the part where I figure out a rating, and I'm thinking it's going to be a six of ten. I keep reading the series because I keep thinking that eventually there will have to be a resolution.   I'm keeping the series at a 7, but that's mainly because the first nine or so books are so good.
  • Book Rating: Explosive Eighteen: 6 of 10
  • Series Rating: 7 of 10
One for the Money, the movie, is due out in theaters in January, here is the trailer:


    Stephanie Plus Series
    One for the Money (1994)
    Two for the Dough (1996)
    Three to Get Deadly (1997)
    Four to Score (1998)
    High Five (1999)
    Hot Six (2000)
    Seven Up (2001)
    Hard Eight (2002)
    Visions of Sugar Plums (2003) (don't bother)
    To the Nines (2003)
    Ten Big Ones (2004)
    Eleven on Top (2005)
    Twelve Sharp (2006)
    Plum Lovin' (2007) (don't bother)
    Lean Mean Thirteen (2007)
    Plum Lucky (January 2008) (don't bother)
    Fearless Fourteen (June 2008)
    Plum Spooky (January 2009)
    Finger Lickin' Fifteen (June 2009)
    Sizzling Sixteen (June 2010) 
    Smokin' Seventeen (July 2011)
    Explosive Eighteen (November 2011)

    Diesel Series
    1. Wicked Appetite
    2. Wicked Business (June 19, 2012)



    1. Your rating of 6 of 10 stars for the book and 7 of 10 stars for the series, is, IMO too generous.

      I thought that Explosive Eighteen was one of the weakest entries of the series. It is a slapdash, mishmash, patchwork of many ideas and scenarios that Ms. Evanovich has used to better effect in the past. The plot has potential that wasn't realized. The book did not fulfill the promises made in the promo summary. I am glad that I borrowed this book rather than spending my hard earned cash for a book that would not have been published if it did not have Mr. Evanovich's name on it.

    2. It would have been five stars if Stephanie hadn't saved herself once. I get so tired of her always having to be saved, it was a nice change. Also, I appreciated that we didn't have to listen to her worry about whether or not she's a slut this time around.

      I agree with what you're saying about the series rating, and I debated about dropping another star from it -- it could have gone either way. In the end, I feel the first nine or so books were so good that they are holding the rating up right now.

      I can't argue with the people who are rating it lower than I, though. It's all subjective, and while I gave the ratings that felt right to me, I totally understand why some are giving it lower ratings.

    3. I enjoy the Plum series. There is not a huge mystery plot. But the characters are quaky and it is fun to see what adventures they over come. This time Connie has a bigger role which is nice. And Mooner, what a guy. I agree it is the same old thing, who does Stephanie want to sleep with, how does her car blow up, which FTA is going to give her grief. But you know what it is ok. Not the best she has written but not the worse either. It is a good summer read or a stuck in the house due to illness or a winter storm kinda of thing. These books don't take me long to go threw but like I said it is enjoyable for the most part. Just wish she would shake it up a bit and do something more. But I guess what is not broke don't fix.