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on 4 December 2011
Explosive Eighteen: A Stephanie Plum Novel

I am most certainly not an author and I would never presume to tell an author what to do especially one with so large a library under her belt. But I`ve been reading the reviews and rants about this book and the way the series is going and something about this reminds me of the old TV series "Moonlighting". It was a great series until the script writers gave in to the fans and gave Maddy and David a relationship. We all know how that worked out right?

Ms Evanovich seems to have written herself into a corner. None of the fans are going to be be happy anymore. We are unhappy if Stephanie does not pick one to sleep with, and we are unhappy because she is picking too many to sleep with. Unfortunately, in this particular book Stephanie has become a "Joyce Barnhardt" type character and seems to be sleeping with anyone at anytime and anywhere.
Somewhere along the line, Stephanie has lost her scruples and I think that is what is bothering me the most. None of the characters has grown at all after 18 books, and that certainly does say something about this series. I agree with my fellow reviewers that the guys have to take a step back. The men were treated like objects instead of worthwhile humans in this episode. Actually, most of the characters in this book didn't ring true to me. They all seem to have undergone some sort of change and none of the fans saw it coming. Stephanie's mother is turning into a lush, her father is no longer hiding behind his newspaper but is almost participating in the family (actually I liked that part) the guys seem to have given up, her Grandmother seemed almost docile. Even the crew at Vinnie's didn't seem to be themselves.

While I do not want to see Stephanie lose them both, something is going to have to give in Stephanie's private life and no matter what path Ms Evanovich chooses for Stephanie she is going to alienate some of her fans. Unfortunately, the story line was weak, convoluted, and even confusing at times. I miss the days when Stephanie had weirder but a little less lethal skips to go after and people less apt to be trying to kill her. I have to admit that Stephanie finally seems like she took a step in the right direction by agreeing to arm herself better

All in all this series has gotten neither better nor worse. It has stagnated and I can't see how Ms Evanovich can ever pull this out of the hole it's in. We can't go back and Stephanie and crew may be what the fans like even less if she moves forward.
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on 22 February 2012
I adore these books - I really do but I have to say I was disappointed in this one.

The plot was weak - nothing really was explained - ok Stephanie went on holiday but it was brushed over so quickly she shouldn't have bothered!

Stephanie also seems to have lost the blundering idiocy that we love her for. She is now trigger happy whereas before she wouldn't fire a gun, let alone carry one. As for her love life - lucky lady but where was the angst trying to decide between Ranger and Morelli!

The end was so abrupt I thought something had happened to my kindle download.

Plus I think Rex must be the longest living hamster in the history of the world - I know its a book but come on!

Let's hope 19 gets back on track.
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on 22 November 2011
Another Plum book thats lost its sparkle. Only amusing bit is right at the end. Time to wind these books up and get Stephanie either married off or the men out of the picture.
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I always say that this will be the last Stephanie Plum book I read. Then I see the latest book in the library and cannot resist having a read to see if Evanovich has actually moved the story on at all. I always hope that I will be surprised by what she writes and I will rekindle the love I had for this series when it first came out. It never happens.

This book did not make me laugh once. The plot was thoughtless and pointless, even the scary villains aren't scary any more. The whole Hawaiian holiday sub plot was, in my opinion, pathetic. It promised much and delivered almost nothing at all except crushing disappointment on the part of the reader. Nothing ever, ever gets resolved for Stephanie. Every book takes the characters and readers through the same old stuff and to what purpose? When I scan reviews by other readers I see so many other readers disappointed by what Evanovich has done to what used to be a really fresh and interesting series. Back in the day I would be so excited to get my fix of Stephanie Plum novels I would express order them from the States, where they came out earlier than in the UK because I could not wait to read them. Now I do not even buy them any more, I get them from the library and only if I happen to see one on a display. I never even scan the shelf for them.

Please, please, Janet Evanovich, can we move on now? Can you give us some of the old style, shake you up comedy thrillers that really used to make me laugh and thrill me, and not this exercise in taking money from loyal and patient fans?
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on 18 May 2012
I'm less than halfway through and am already disappointed. I've read all the series and love them but the last few have gone off the boil. I agree with all the other reviews and all the comments about Stephanie and her men, in this book she has totally lost her morals and is properly two-timing Morelli. I always liked and respected her when she resisted Ranger and have always preferred Morelli and wanted her to end up with him. He has barely been in the last few books and Ranger has featured more heavily and I think this is because the majority of readers want this. All in all I think she's just churning them out now and the result is pretty shameful.
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on 7 May 2012
I am sorry to say that I have to agree with everyone else that has commented about this book being below par. It really is. Something about all the characters and situations felt half-hearted, and even less plausible than normal. The story was missing it's usual sparkle and humour and I found the story over all very much lacking in substance. All the characters in this book appreared to be pale imitations of those that we've come to know and love over the past 17 books, Lula in particular deserves a mention as in this book she is irritating beyond belief.

Not quite sure what has gone wrong with this book, but I really hope Ms Evanovich takes a break before writing another Stephanie Plum one and comes back with plot and characters that do the series proud instead of this rushed attempt.
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on 6 September 2012
I've long been a fan of the Stephanie Plum series for its verve and the inventive characters and dialogue. But I!'m afraid the magic has gone. The plots are just too silly in this one and too lazily resolved. I always thought it a mistake to give Stephanie two hot lovers and the dilemma has by now been stretched for too long so we no longer believe or care. Time to move on,
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on 9 July 2012
The lates installment of Stephanie's adventures seems tired to me. Nothing is very fresh, or very amusing. There is the occasional smile, but no laughs. The plot is far fetched, and there are no really memorable incidents. Stephanie is still uable to make up her mind between morellie and Ranger, and it remains something of a mystery why Morelli continues to put up with her, when there muwt be girls around who would be only too happy to committ to him. But he just waits for Stephanie to stop drooling over Ranger.

Lula continues to be made more and more absurd, in this episode she decides she has drunk a love potion, and imagines herself in love with a huge fat purse snatcher. Grandma Mazur doesn't appear much, and altogether this series seems to be running out of steam. There is definitely nothing explosive about this one.
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"That which has been is what will be,
That which is done is what will be done,
And there is nothing new under the sun." -- Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NKJV)

I was hoping for something new in this book . . . and yes, it has new elements . . . but ones that are just sort of sad . . . rather than funny.

So what happens? Stephanie returns early from a trip to Hawaii and won't talk about why . . . or what the untanned spot on her ring finger means. Along the way, a seatmate headed for Trenton disappears . . . and later turns up dead. Stephanie discovers she has acquired a photograph and throws it away. Pretty soon, a lot of people want that photograph.

There are the usual bail skips to pick up . . . with the predictable complications.

Stephanie has a lot of people to get out of her hair . . . and she ends up feeding a lot of them out of pity.

She has reached the point where she shoots first (with stun gun or Glock) and asks questions later.

If her heels got to be any rounder, she wouldn't be able to stand up. Whatever happened to the Stephanie who tried to resist sexual temptation?

It's heavier handed . . . and not very funny . . . humor (?) (I guess that's what it's supposed to be).

In the alternative, you can watch a rerun of an old sitcom. You'll probably laugh more that way.

It's time to seriously consider giving up on reading this series. It's on the skids.
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on 28 April 2015
I just love Stephanie Plum she is a total walking disaster!! She is so inept in her job but it doesn't help with her equally inept sidekick!! If you want a giggle then read all of them they are great!!!!!
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