Wicked Appetite: Fortunately it’s short

fantasy book reviews Janet Evanovich Diesel 1. Wicked Appetitefantasy book reviews Janet Evanovich Diesel 1. Wicked AppetiteWicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

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.

Diesel — (2010) Publisher: Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston’s North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down — and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that more isn’t always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins. With delectable characters and non-stop thrills that have made Janet Evanovich a household name, Wicked Appetite will leave you hungry for more.

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AMANDA RUTTER, one of our guest reviewers, used to be an accountant in the UK but she escaped the world of numbers and is now living in a fantasy world she creates. She runs Angry Robot's YA imprint, Strange Chemistry. And we knew her when....

View all posts by Amanda Rutter (guest)

7 comments

  1. I have not liked anything I’ve read by a popular mainstream author who begins writing fantasy.

  2. It seldom works. I think a lot of mainstream authors see fantasy doing well and try to write some, but don’t read enough of it to know what fantasy readers like. So they write their usual formula but with some magic thrown in.

  3. Yeah, and they don’t realize that we have brains. Their plots are stupid and full of holes big enough to drive an airship through.

  4. Good point. I sometimes wonder, with these books, if genre contempt is slipping in. “Aw, I’ll just put some mumbo jumbo in here and those geeks will lap it right up!”

    (With the disclaimer that I’m not talking specifically about Wicked Appetite, as I haven’t personally read it.)

  5. I just felt as thought Evanovich was writing very lazily. It wasn’t thought through and it wasn’t entertaining.

  6. Yes, I think it’s genre contempt, Kelly.
    Amanda, a woman who works at Waterstones commented on our Facebook page that she’d have to move this book out of crime and put where it belongs (on the paranormal shelf, not the trash bin). She had mis-shelved it, then read your review.

  7. Good review, Amanda!
    While I liked the book a little more than you did, I did find it one of Evanovich’s less interesting books. She just seemed to be going through the motions. She’s written a few other books with a touch of paranormal in them, so I don’t know if in her case it’s as much genre contempt as her being formulaic, but then that’s actually Kat’s point above, so maybe it is a sort of genre contempt after all.
    I’m trying to think of a popular mainstream author who successfully jumped over into fantasy, but right now my mind is drawing a blank. Maybe I’ll be able to think of one in the morning, after some coffee!

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