Lucky me, I was first in line at the library to get my hands on Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich, and I have to say I have mix feelings on this novel. This time around, we have a 10 year old bank heist where only 1 of the 4 robbers was fingered. Now that robber is out and he wants his money. To top that off, the robber’s sister is Stephanie’s latest skip and she needs someone to watch her son while she gets rebonded. Toss in an aging singer trying to regain her youth and hijinks ensue.
The novel itself was good, but it just seemed like it was missing some of the magic of the previous novels. We’re used to Stephanie getting into all kinds of trouble and something wacky happening that normally would lead into something else. However, in Fearless Fourteen, I just felt that each time something wacky happened, it had a final feel to it. That it really didn’t lead anywhere, that it was just thrown in for comedic relief. Especially the whole thing with Brenda, the aging singer. She definitely added chaos to Stephanie and Morelli’s life, but there were times where she was more annoying than engaging. I didn’t see the point of her character and I could honestly do without her. I think there would have been a completely different feel to what Brenda was trying to accomplish if, say, Grandma Mazur was the one doing it instead. Now that I think about it, Brenda seemed too much like Grandma Mazur to be original. Maybe that’s why I didn’t click with her. Grandma Mazur has an air of innocence to her chaotic actions; Brenda just seems overbearing and obnoxious.
Overall, I still like this novel, but in relation to the series, it really didn’t give momentum to anything. I think Evanovich is starting to run out of ideas or something with the love triangle. That’s the only ongoing story plot that I can think of and she’s really didn’t do anything with it. A person could easily skip this novel and not miss anything. For fans of Stephanie Plum, the story is good and fun, but it’s just not making me want to pick it up again any time soon.
I had to include this picture when I saw it on Janet’s website. Janet and Sally Sweet read from Fearless Fourteen at the Foxwoods release day party. Edited: There was a picture of Sally Sweet with Evanovich on her website, but it’s gone now. I think there’s a slideshow up, so if you want to see it, check her website.
If you want a sample of what you’re getting into with this novel, here are four excerpts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
One for the Money
Two for the Dough
Three to Get Deadly
Four to Score
To the Nines
Ten Big Ones
Eleven on Top
Lean Mean Thirteen
Finger Lickin’ Fifteen
Top Secret Twenty-One
Thanks for posting this. I had a hard time getting through this book because I kept zoning in and out; it didn’t hold my attention. I agree with your assessment that most of the humor was just there to be funny — it didn’t serve a real purpose — and that was a big strike in my book. If you have to try hard to be funny, you aren’t. I thought the plot was way overused. Four guys stealing money and now ending up dead? We saw that in two, eleven, thirteen, and now fourteen. I think it’s time that one was retired for good. Morelli and Stephanie bored me into getting a migraine. I’ve read more interesting relationships on mommy blogs. And as for Lula… well, jeez. If that’s how women are supposed to act when it comes to marriage, it’s no wonder some men are agamists.
Oh thank gosh. Someone else feels the same way I did. Boring is right. I struggled through and I’ve never done that before. I finished it because I don’t like to leave things unfinished but was it ever a chore. I read somewhere that Janet gave Morelli a turn in the spotlight and I don’t think it worked. He’s just not interesting enough in the later books. This may have worked early in the series but she’s ignored him for so long that I don’t care anymore.
Wow, that was fast ;>). I think I’m #256 on my library list, so it’ll be a while ;>). I do like Sally Sweet. Does he have a big part in #14?
Yeah, Sally Sweet isn’t mentioned anywhere in the novel.