Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Best. Evanovich. Ever.

You always hope your favorite authors will just get better and better. For me, most of the time, they don't. They grow stale, or the problem is me, and my tastes change. Sometimes, when they branch out, I don't like the new stuff as much as the old stuff. Sometimes, I like the new stuff better.

I just read Twelve Sharp, Evanovich's latest. It's a fully qualified 10. Out of the 37 books and 10 novellas I've completed this year (and not counting the 15 books I started and didn't complete), I've only scored eight of them a 10. And a few of those didn't FEEL like 10s, but were 10s because I didn't really have any complaints.

This book has humor. No other author makes me literally laugh out loud. She does, a dozen times per book. It has suspense, though of the light kind (my favorite). But most importantly, it has Ranger.

Lots and Lots of Ranger. Like, three times as much as any other Evanovich book has had.


Ranger is right up there with Roarke with most readers. What makes those two so damned appealing? Part of it is what others call the "bad boy" element, but what I call intensity. Yes, there is a bit of the criminal in Ranger, as we don't ever know how far he has gone over the line. And with Roarke, because he did a lot of "wrong" things in his fight to survive and succeed. But more than the actual criminal pasts, I think they are appealing because they focus and control their passions.

They are also appealing because of how much they care about and for the heroines, yet let them do what they need to do without interference. Their rescues are partnerships, not superiority issues. They respect their heroines the way they are, and don't try to change them. They're also funny and real and complex and have flaws that make them even more appealing.

Joe Morelli, the other hero of the Stephanie Plum books, is the same way. He's just tamer. Most readers seem to lean in his direction,, Ranger. I have no trouble with Stephanie's inability to choose. The longer this tension goes on, the better (with interludes desired in between, of course).


Lyn Cash said...

Okay. Now I gotta get that book. Sounds great!

Natalie Damschroder said...

You won't be sorry, Lyn!