Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Review - Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

Summary: (via goodreads) Seven Stones of Power. No one knows when they were created or by whom, each said to represent one of the Seven Deadly Sins.
For centuries, treasure hunters have been eager to possess the stones, undeterred by their corrupting nature. The list is long -- Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, to name a few. Now the Stones have found their way to Salem, Massachusetts, and so has Gerwulf Grimoire, adding himself to this rogues' gallery of power seekers. He's an uncommonly dangerous man, with a hunger for the forbidden, and a set of abilities that are way beyond ordinary. Abilities that he feels entitle him to possess anything he might desire.
That would include Elizabeth Tucker, the woman he needs to find the Stones. She's freshly transplanted from New York City to Boston's North Shore. With a new job as pastry chef at Dazzle's bakery and an old house inherited from her Aunt Ophelia, her life is pretty much on track …until it's suddenly derailed by a guy named Diesel, a rude monkey, and a ninja cat.
Lizzy can handle the monkey and the cat. She's not sure about Diesel. He's offering up his own set of unusual talents, promising to protect her from Grimoire. The kind of protection that Lizzy suspects might involve guarding her body day and night.
The Seven Deadly Sins are pride, greed, lust, envy wrath, sloth and gluttony. That pretty much covers everything that is wicked. Diesel thinks it also pretty much covers everything that's fun. And Lizzy thinks Diesel and the Seven Deadly Sins cover everything her mother warned her about.

Review: It is no big secret that Janet Evanonich’s Stephanie Plum series was one of the reasons Janelle, Erin and I started this blog. And even though the three of us could never really agree on whether Stephanie was better off with Ranger or Morelli, their twisted love triangle was a heated topic of conversation many a time in our pre-LitSnit days. And so, when word got out that Evanovich had decided to start a brand new series, I knew I had to pay some sort of homage to Evanovich’s LitSnit contribution, and give her newest work a try.

Evanovich’s new series (I think it’s officially known as the Unmentionables Series) has a really simple premise. Our main heroine, Elizabeth, is a pastry chef living right outside of Salem Massachusetts. Her life is pretty dull and normal until she discovers that she has the supernatural ability to sense empowered objects. This ability, as it turns out, is of pivotal importance to two men: Diesel and Wulf, who are in the hunt for seven special stones (one for each of the seven deadly sins) that if combined have the ability to ravage the world. In Wicked Appetite, Lizzy’s mission is to discover stone #1, the one representing gluttony.

All in all, this Diesel series is Stephanie Plum all over again, except with an interesting supernatural twist, a new set of love interests, crazier mysteries to solve, and a monkey (instead of a hamster) as a pet. I don’t quite know whether these alternations are for the better, but they work. For the most part, as I was reading this book I got the sense that Evanovich had decided that solving mysteries with Stephanie as we knew her had gotten a little stale, and had tried to find a way to change as much as possible without loosing that same fun, funky and addictive core momentum she had going with the Plum books. Lizzy might be a little weaker as a character compared to Stephanie (I definitely missed some of that Jersey flare), but Evanovich manages to balance this out by giving greater focus on the male leading character, Diesel, who is just as charming as Morelli, if not more. Even the subtle supernatural additions, which I felt uncertain about in the beginning, worked out well and allowed for more playfulness in the story. 

Wicked Appetite is enjoyable because it’s entreating, and easy to read. A definite must for anyone who loved One for the Money, or anyone who has never tried reading something by Janet Evenovich but is up for a fun leisurely weekend read.

Lit Snit Verdict: B

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