Elizabeth (Book_Attict)'s Reviews > Explosive Eighteen

Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
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Nov 13, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: on-my-shelves, reviewed
Read from November 22 to 23, 2011

Okay, I admit it -- I'm a Stephanie Plum sucker! I read Smokin' 17, and until the last chapter of the book, SWORE that I'd no longer be running out to get the hardcover edition of another Stephanie Plum book as soon as it was released, Instead,I'd be looking for the paperback at one of the used bookstores I frequent...

I love Janet Evanovich's writing style, her dialogue is hilarious, the characters are great, and reading the latest installment is like going home to visit with old friends -- well, old friends that NEVER change-- but still a fun read.

I've voiced my complaints in reviews for past Plum novels about the marked lack of forward progress and character development. Well, at the end of Smokin' 17 Evanovich presented herself with the perfect opportunity to go a little outside the box and move the story forward -- Stephanie gets a trip for 2 to Hawaii -- the cliff hanger at the end of the book is -- who's she gonna bring? Ranger or Morelli?? I know, I know, pretty lame for a cliff hanger, (but when it comes to Ranger & Morelli, I'm a cheap date).

So I, (still firmly in "sucker mode"), preorder the book, blurb unread, and anxiously wait for it to arrive only to find (drum roll please)

.....Stephanie coming home from Hawaii & getting off the plane in New Jersey...

Thus missing a fantastic opportunity for Evanovich to get Stephanie outside of her comfort zone, maybe get a little more in-depth with the hottie she brought with her -- no such luck

I. Am. Beyond. Pissed.

This seemed to be the "travel season" for several of my favorite series, most notably Eve & Roarke/In Death series by J.D. Robb (N.Y. to Dallas) & the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs (River Marked) . While missing the supporting cast of characters in these series, we got much more in depth with the main characters and there was some definite personal growth going on......

Not so with Explosive 18....

Never (it seems) with Stephanie Plum. I guess the same jokes/situations /scenarios/car "mishaps"/Grandma Mazur/Lulu eating jokes are going to stay firmly place...and getting a little less funny with each subsequent incarnation.

I was in love with this series. It was one of my favorites. Then, somewhere around Fearless 14, I started getting the feeling that Janet Evanovich was phoning these books in.

Okay, reality check here. Stephanie Plum's a bounty hunter. A really inept bounty hunter. A really inept bounty hunter that someone's always trying to kill, maim, run over or blow up. She has a really close "friendship" with Ranger -- a totally bad-ass bounty hunter with his own security company, who would be MORE than happy to provide weapons & self-defense training (I'm sure).

What does Stephanie do???

Absolutely nothing.

She still keeps her gun in the cookiejar, her stun gun is never charged when she needs it, and her pepper spray is usually empty. She stumbles into situations becomes a “damsel in distress” and then Ranger pulls her ass out of the fire -- yet again. I swear, Rex the Hamster has better honed survival instincts than Stephanie. Her mother has every right to be worried about her; she SHOULD get a job at the button factory.

As for the man issues…just for the record, I’m definitely Team Ranger. Morelli & Stephanie have history, they know everything about each other and they’re comfortable. BUT who’s always there for her when she needs him with cars, assistance and saving her life? Ranger. (Plus, as an added bonus, he’s got that whole dark, hot, mysterious bad boy thing going on). Actions speak louder than words, after all…..

Will I read 19, 20, 21, etc? Probably -- I'm hooked.

Will I run out and buy it retail (hardcover or paperback)? No way.

I hate to say it, but the Stephanie Plum series has been downgraded to my "Used Bookstore Shopping List"
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Reading Progress

11/23/2011 page 49
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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Diana I couldn't agree more with your review.


message 2: by Wendy (new)

Wendy I am such a huge fan of these books. Well, at least the first 7. The next couple were not great, but good and still fun. And after 14 I was done. There were only supposed to be 12 in the series, but they got very popular around the time 8 came out and I'm guessing the publisher and author saw an opportunity. I think 9 was the first one released in hardcover. It's a shame that this series is a shell of it's former self.


Dawniepants You're so right you've said everything I thought! It's been 18 books how is she no better? I'd love to see her an ranger get together an have a very dysfunctional relationship, have joe try to get her back, have her work for ranger drama ensues etc.
I think it's really lazy! Do you remember when she and ranger had that 1 night stand and there was barely a mention of it? Genuinely so mad!


Elizabeth Jane Well she at least kicked Razzle Dazzle's ass without help! That's a marked improvement! :) Normally she just gets the situation handed to her fixed somehow but she got him good all by her bad self...lol. I can see how readers find her "non-growth" redundant & overdone, but, seriously, if she chooses one man, settles down, becomes an excellent bounty hunter...where's the plot? I look to these books for comedic relief. I know what to expect most times, however, Janet is really good at finding new ways to joke about the same thing. I LOVE that. I mean, in real life my best friend & I have "running" jokes that never end. Stephanie Plum's existence is kind of similar. ;)


message 5: by Debbie (new) - added it

Debbie I agree... the literary version of a chocolate covered donut. Do I love them ... YES, but after each one I swear it is the last.


Bonnie I stopped buying (and reading) the books after #8. For all the reasons mentioned above. But last year I kind of missed Stephanie, so I started borrowing the ebooks from the library for my kindle. I still enjoy them, but I'd enjoy them alot less if I had to pay for them!


Sandy Pfefferkorn Superb review! I agree with everything you've said, but like the others, I'll probably continue reading.


message 8: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer I stopped reading after #9 for all those reasons. Popped in to check reviews for this one, thinking that surely, after 9 more books something must have happened.... Guess I was wrong lol. :) Thanks for the head's up!


Karin If I was any good at reviews, it would say exactly what you wrote! Duh me, on to eighteen!


Shastina (Sassy) Henderson I'm right there with you. I enjoy them, but am annoyed by them at the same time. Maybe if Ranger was naked more often. Either way, 20 comes out this year, and I know I'm going to read it. No matter how repetitive they get, I must know how they end.


Tasha Great review. This is my first time reading a Stephanie Plum book & I am not sold on reading the entire series.


Tracey Raimondo Tasha... Try starting with One for the Money... It is very good.


QNPoohBear Spot on review. I got bored after 12 or so. I pick these up at the library or when I'm hanging out at the bookstore waiting for the bus.


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