Book Review: Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

FingerLickinFifteen

A few years ago, my then girlfriend (now my wife) recommended I read this writer named Janet Evanovich.  I started with the first book in the the Stephanie Plum series, and worked my way through.  I think book 8 was out around that time.  The characters were funny and engaging and the dialog witty.  Sure some of the scenes were a little hard to believe, but hey, I don’t think it was going for true to life action in the first place.  It’s also true that this is kind of a chicky series, but if I like it, I’m okay with admitting it.

Since then, we have bought and read every one of the Stephanie Plum series, plus a few of the other JE books.

Finger Lickin Fifteen will be my last.

Why?

Because it is exactly like the previous 14 books.  The characters never change.  The dialog never changes.  The lines that were uproariously funny 7 years ago are now tiny little chortles.  I outright laughed only twice reading this book.  That’s not good for a book that doesn’t have anything else going for it. 

It’s a series that needs to be put down like a lame horse.  Not because it wasn’t a good horse, but because it’s just cruel to both the characters and the reader to keep it going.  JE can’t go and do anything dramatic now, like get Stephanie pregnant or married or have Lula lose weight or have Granny Mazur kick the bucket.  It’s too late.  As the saying in Hollywood goes, that’d be like jumping the shark.

I hear Evanovich is looking for $50 million from the publishers for the next 4 books in the series, and I realize that she is a money making machine for St. Martin’s Press.  I just don’t know where she could take this series that I would want to read it anymore.  

Sorry Janet, but this one is a stinker.

Book Review: Zoe’s Tale by John Scalzi

Zoe'sTale Scalzi has done it again with Zoe’s Tale.  He throws us back into the universe he created for The Last Colony and shows us the world from through the eyes of John and Jane Perry’s seventeen year old adopted daughter Zoe Boutin-Perry.

There is nothing not to like about this story, and if my previous reviews of Scalzi’s work haven’t already convinced you to go out and read his books, you are either not paying attention or not a science fiction fan.  This series is required reading for anyone who has ever looked up at the stars and thought ‘What if…’

My only regret is that I didn’t have the time to just curl up and thoroughly dump myself into this book for hours on end.  With the distractions of writing to a deadline and everything else going on at the end of a busy summer, I read this book in fits and starts, and really did myself, and the book, a disservice.

It’s one of those books I can’t wait to hand to my son and my daughter when they say they are bored in a few years.  It exemplifies why I love collecting good books, and have hundreds stacked on my shelf for the next generation of the family to read, and why I can’t box them up and store them in a closet somewhere.  You keep books like Zoe’s Tale out on the shelf where everyone can see it, and when someone asks if you can recommend a good book, you point to the Scalzi shelf and say ‘Take your pick.’