Reading Out of Order ~ Book Review of ‘Explosive Eighteen’ by Janet Evanovich

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on October 25, 2012 0 Comments

Honestly I can’t think of one thing to add to this assessment of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series that I haven’t said before.  It’s not as if the series, which numbers far beyond eighteen if you include Evanovich’s Between the Numbers novels, drastically change from one book to the next.  It is the sort of franchise where it makes little difference what order you read them.  The only thing noticeably different is that through the years the references to technology have changed.  In the first Plum novel, One for the Money, there was much ado about the luxury of having a “car phone” – the year was 1994.  Now eighteen years later Explosive Eighteen is out in paperback for mass consumption and seemingly Plum is still the hot little number she has always been and Grandma Muzar hasn’t slowed down at all.

             What makes this series fun is that you get exactly what you expect from book to book.  Evanovich is skilled in clueing her readers in to what they need to know from previous storylines without weighing down the narrative.  There is always humor in the same vein as a modern day Lucille Ball as well as enough sex appeal to keep the more romantic fans of the books happy.  They are all fast reads and fall under the category of the type of novels that flourish in airport newsstands.

              The downside to the novels is that the mysteries tend not to be that mysterious.  In fact, it is more mysterious as to why Plum doesn’t seem more freaked out by the constant break-ins that take place in her apartment.  Listen, it’s one thing to constantly shuffle cars because they are stolen or explode (a fine Plum tradition) but having numerous villains lurking inside your humble abode awaiting your return just seems all the more reason to move.  Further, the plots of the books are forgettable almost a day after finishing them.  These novels are character driven with a universe of familiar folks that upon this, my sixth Plum novel, feel like old friends.

              I recommend Explosive Eighteen if what I described above sounds like a genre you would like to explore.  It’s not a series I am passionate about in the same way I feel about others.  I tend to read the perils of Plum more as a literary palate cleanser than actual books that I feel are compelling reads.

            Happy reading!

Westerfield © 2012

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