Janet Evanovich is the well-known author of the Stephanie Plum mystery series, and here she begins another series that edges firmly into the paranormal arena. Elizabeth Tucker lives in Marblehead, just north of Boston, and makes cupcakes for a living while living in the house bequeathed to her by Great Aunt Ophelia. Her life is perfectly pleasant but very ordinary when two men walk into it and proceed to turn it upside down. One is Wulf and he is a Bad Man. The other is Diesel, our Alpha Male, who explains to Liz that she is an Unmentionable and has to help him search out the SALIGIA stones (named for the first initials of the Latin names of the Seven Deadly Sins). Wulf is also looking for the stones and so Liz is caught in a race against time to discover their whereabouts.
I was really looking forward to Wicked Appetite when I first heard about it; I thought it sounded amusing and exciting. Disappointingly, the reverse is true. It is often extremely unfunny and there is not a hint of excitement to be found within the pages.
I enjoyed a few things in the book, principal amongst them the description of Liz’s cupcakes, mostly because it made me hungry to eat some of them. Another large benefit was the slightness of Wicked Appetite, which meant I didn’t have to endure it for too long.
There is very little other than that to enjoy. The plot is preposterous; the manner in which it’s explained to Liz is paper-thin; and the characters are barely two dimensional, let alone three. I couldn’t tell you anything about the motivations of Diesel, Liz, Glo, Wulf or any of the rest of the cast. What’s more, thanks to the frivolous manner of writing, I couldn’t have cared less.
The “humour” is quite often tiresome, rather than funny. I use as an example the monkey Carl. Now, the first time he “gives someone the finger” I did find myself smiling at the idea, but on one page it happened no less than three times. At that point I just wanted to shake said monkey and throw Wicked Appetite across the room.
I did persevere to the end, although it took all my patience, and I was not rewarded by the climax to this book. It is boring, there is no sense of tension or threat to any of the characters, and I realised (to my horror) that it leaves a set-up for more novels in this series.
Reading Wicked Appetite can be equated to eating candy floss — it seems like a good idea at the time, but leaves you unfulfilled and with a great sense of disappointment.