Reviews of Fearless Fourteen: Disappointing, Disappearing and Reappearing

I’m sure some of you are going to roll your eyes and be like, “Dude, Bitch, take a Xanax and let it go already.” Me? Like a terrier! A terrier with screen caps!

Behold, the reviews that were taken down, should you be interested in reviews of Fearless Fourteen that did, but now don’t, appear on your local BN.com. While some of the reviews delve into an area that makes me feel squidgy in which the writer presumes Evanovich’s motivation in writing Fearless Fourteen, most of them make perfectly adequate points as to why the reader/reviewer didn’t like the book. There are thirteen reviews in all below the fold, all in pop-up images.

 

 

Screen Capture of Google Cache, 2 reviews.

“This book reads like it came out of the world of Bizarro Trenton.”

“Very disappointing – I quit.”

Not recommended – “Once upon a time, this was my favorite series.”

Disappointed – “I guess all good things come to an end.”

Morelli Takes a Hit – Completely Disappointed, “No real antagonist, no exciting plot, and no passion…”

A glowing four-star review that doesn’t seem to appear on BN.com as of today.

A fiver that’s gone missing as well, this one employing that rare reviewer technique of “go read fanfic, and I have some swampland for sale.”

Rerun – “I really really wanted to like this book.”

Save your money – “check this one out at the library.”

Fearless Fourteen falls flat – “It’s like a great tv show that has stayed a couple of years too long.”

Boring…Flat…Recycled – “From now on… I’m going to have to say that I was a fan…”

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  1. 1
    Popin says:

    I’d understand if it’s only bad reviews that are being deleted, but why did a 4-star and 5-star review disappear? That being said, this doesn’t surprise me at all.

  2. 2

    Just goes to show: as much as you want to, you can’t take back those electrons.

  3. 3

    Bummer. I so did want it to go on forever….:(

  4. 4
    Jesbelle says:

    You know, in cases like this, when the negative reviews are wholesale deleted, I start to discount the positive reviews. Like the 4 and 5 star reviews that were deleted. Were they posted by the author herself? Did B&N;take them down because they tracked them to Evanovich?

    See, if you just let the negative reviews stand I wouldn’t have to come up with crazy ass conspiracy theories.

    Also, author sanctioned or not, removal of negative posts reflects badly on the author. At least for me. Instead of reading those reviews and thinking, “Huh, well the newest book isn’t working for some long time fans, but there’s 13 books before it that might really be worth checking out.” I think, “Wow, that author has really bought into her own fame and cannot stand even the slightest bit of constructive critisizm or differing opinions. I think I’ll take my hard earned $7.99 elsewhere, thank you.”

  5. 5
    Chicklet says:

    Thank you for posting these! In the midst of the imbroglio of B&N;deleting reviews, I was thinking, What’s also noteworthy in this is that it’s some of Evanovich’s most vocal fans who are panning Fearless Fourteen.  I mean, if even the fangirls are talking about the author’s laziness, people behaving out of character (or OOC, if you’re a hip fanfiction reader like I am *g*), recycled plots, etc., you have to pay attention. These are people who not only were disposed to like the book, they wanted to like the book.

    I can’t speak for #13 or #14, because I quit after #12. At that point, I decided that even lab rats learn from negative experiences, so there was no excuse for Stephanie to keep leaving her apartment without her gun or with an uncharged cell phone or taser. (I like capability in my heroines, kthxbai.)

    Having said that, what galled me most in reading these reviews was reading about Evanovich’s treatment of Morelli in Fearless Fourteen. I’ve been on Team Morelli since Day One, so to hear about his OOC actions in the latest book is just… sad. And weird. And… galling, heh.

  6. 6
    Mercedesclk350 says:

    The less that five star review that seemed to appear for a short time on BN….is….guess what????  You guessed it. 

    No longer there.  Yup, it’s gone the same route as all the other less than five star reviews of those that actually read the book.

    When it was up, the rating was 4.5 stars.  Take it away, leave the five glowing “can’t wait for the book to come out – haven’t read it yet but give it five stars” reviews and the 5 star rating is maintained.

    My deleted review was a totally honest review from someone who read the book.  From a rabid Plum fan.  Rabid for ALL of Plum.
    Stephanie, Morelli, Ranger, Lula, Tank, Grandma Mazur. 

    Not one of Janet Evanovich’s fans anticipated this book more than me.  I was so very optimistic.  I felt that last year’s book was a fluke.  Hey, everyone is entitled to perhaps a not so stellar book.

    Of course, this book will be great!  NOT!

    It was hard to read, hard to follow the plots and subplots, hard to struggle reading characters so OOC. 

    Where WAS the heartpounding fear, the belly laughs, the spark, the wit, the wonderful world of Plum I so devoured for years?

    So, silly me, I wrote a review on Barnes and Noble.  An honest, articulate review.  I gave it one star.  Yes, in my opinion, it only rated one star. 

    Apparently, I was not the only one who felt the same way, many of the reviews articulated the same problems with the book.  Even the Publisher’s Weekly review used terms like “one of her less cohesive”, “non resolution of subplots”.  (PW kinda took the words right out of my mouth on those two phrases)

    I honestly could not find anywhere on the site where they state they would not post reviews for a book not yet released.

    I am surprised that BN has not removed the above mentioned phrases from the Publisher’s Weekly review.

    Uh oh, I bet that is next.

    Needless to say, despite the immense book buying budget I have, not one penny will be spent at BN.

  7. 7
    Robin says:

    n the midst of the imbroglio of B&N;deleting reviews, I was thinking, What’s also noteworthy in this is that it’s some of Evanovich’s most vocal fans who are panning Fearless Fourteen. I mean, if even the fangirls are talking about the author’s laziness, people behaving out of character (or OOC, if you’re a hip fanfiction reader like I am *g*), recycled plots, etc., you have to pay attention. These are people who not only were disposed to like the book, they wanted to like the book.

    I know I’ll end up reading this one, but I have to say that I’m interested in all the comments that facts have changed and characters are not consistent, because right about the time that the copyright changed to a corporatized Evanovich, Inc., I noticed the same things in the Plum books.  I can’t imagine that Evanovich herself isn’t still writing these personally, but the change I noted in the narrative voice in another book was strong enough for me to actually *look* at the copyright page of the book and note the change (which yes, I understand is for tax/inheritance reasons, not necessarily a reflection of the *person* writing the books).

  8. 8
    DS says:

    I have a friend who is an Evanovich fan.  Not to the point of reading fan fic, but buying the new Evanovich every year was a reliable birthday present for her.  However she hasn’t liked the last couple so I’m going with something else this year.  She did tell me once about an interview she heard with Evanovich where the author indicated she was trying to balance her two heroes and had no intention of letting Stephanie pick one. 

    It seems it would be impolitic to let it seem that one side is favored.  What both the four and five star reviews had was references to the book favoring one man over the other.  Assuming BN doesn’t remove books based on reader complaints they might have removed them as spoilers.  No one seems to be particularly interested in the mystery anyway. 

    I have some sympathy for Ms Evanovich who might wish she could be sneaking up behind Plum looking over the Reichenbach Falls.

  9. 9
    Strategerie says:

    Deleting negative reviews is nothing more than censorship. Let’s face it, we’ve all seen the one-star “drive-bys” at another site. I can click on the identities of those who leave them, and it’s a long, long list of one-star reviews, so I don’t take them seriously. At the same time, when paperbacks are now eight bucks, and hardbacks at least $16 and most often $25, we all have the right to know what we’re laying out our hard-earned money for before it’s too late.

    If Evanovich’s fans (and I used to be one of them; I bailed after Plum #10 because it was obvious to me she’d run out of gas,) are giving substandard reviews, it’s not a great book, and that’s too bad.

    It’s almost comical that the editor and publisher in charge of this project couldn’t seem to either ask for a rewrite or perform significant edits on the project before it hit bookstores all over the country. I understand that editor and publisher are in a hell of a position—let’s face it, the amount of the advance on this book has been the subject of romance writers’ conversations for awhile now,  but think how many other wonderful books by lesser or unknown authors will remain unacquired because they’ve spent multiple millions putting this out instead.

    IMHO, YMMV.
    -S

  10. 10
    Chicklet says:

    She did tell me once about an interview she heard with Evanovich where the author indicated she was trying to balance her two heroes and had no intention of letting Stephanie pick one.

    For my money, that’s a perfectly valid ending… for a single book. Or a series that ends at, say, three books. But sustaining that Ranger-Morelli tension for 14+ books is a fool’s errand. Even reading books 1-12 back-to-back (without the year-long wait in between installments) I stopped caring about who Stephanie was going to choose—it just seemed like she was treating both Morelli and Ranger like crap.

  11. 11
    Catherine J. says:

    I’m sorry to see this series go downhill; I picked up Ten Big Ones (I think that was the name) at the bookstore on a whim, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Numbers eleven and twelve received the same treatment, and I wound up burrowing through the rest of the books at the library. But since Lean Mean Thirteen and Fearless Fourteen seem to be circling the drain, I doubt I’ll continue on with this series. Pity.

    And trying to maintain the romantic tension forever is a fool’s errand. Fourteen-plus books and no resolution yet? Ms. Evanovich is a fun and entertaining writer, but she’s no Arthur Conan Doyle. (Personally, given how jeopardy-friendly Stephanie is, I think she should pick Ranger.)

    Verification word country34. In a lovely velvety purple on a faux-wood background, no less.

  12. 12
    Liz says:

    Evanovich is an expert fence-straddler.  And I think a large part of why she gets away with that is because her books aren’t straight romance.  I wouldn’t even label them as romantic suspense.  They’re cozy mysteries.  Everything else is just gravy.

    The subject of objectivity in a review has been brought up many times.  Some are, I’ll grant you, better at this than others.  But I’m not sure how much more objective one can be when writing a review that says, “I was bored.”

    I didn’t like the last book.  I thought there were several major hiccups in that one.  (For example, just how is it possible for a woman to believe her boyfriend is dead if he’s calling her up for phone sex tree times a day?)  But I gave it an average rating and a pretty good review, because I felt it was more important to review the book I had read and not the one I had hoped to read.  Just because it wasn’t to my liking didn’t mean someone else wouldn’t enjoy it.

    With Fearless Fourteen, I walked away not knowing what I’d just read.  Even while reading, it was hard to remember what was going on.  I often found myself in the middle of scenes, unable to figure out how I’d gotten there.  I would go back and re-read the last few pages, and still come up empty.  It was like Economics class all over again.

    I have looked at this book from every angle I could find.  As a series installment, it didn’t continue the story of the previous books.  As a standalone title, it didn’t tell a story at all.  As a romance, it had no passion.  As a comedy, it had no humor.  And as a mystery, it had no, well, mystery.  If it had been a debut from a new author, it’s possible I would’ve been more lenient.  But from an industry professional who’s been doing this for nearly as long as I’ve been alive, I couldn’t justify it.

    So for my own part, I don’t believe this book failed only as a Plum book.  I feel it failed as a book, period.  That’s only one woman’s opinion, and I’m sure there will be plenty who disagree with me, and I respect that.  But if “I was bored” is the cat no one wants let out of the bag, then maybe having negative reviews posted at Barnes & Noble prior to this book’s release is the least of their worries.

  13. 13
    LILinda says:

    Nearly 7 years ago I went to an Evanovich signing/ talk, and she made it very clear that her main influences were comic books and sitcom tv. JE stated that she viewed each book as a sitcom episode- different “guest stars”, different characters getting “screen time”, but still that formatt. I guess it’s finally reached the point that people don’t want a comic book at hard cover prices.

  14. 14
    Elaine says:

    She was never on my “must buy in hardcover” short list, but I enjoyed her series until a few books ago.  Long running series present a problem in keeping the writing fresh: especially if you allow for absolutely no character development in your protagonists.  This makes more sense now that I hear that she views the series as a sitcom, in which nothing is SUPPOSED to ever change.

  15. 15
    Heidi says:

    So for my own part, I don’t believe this book failed only as a Plum book.  I feel it failed as a book, period.  That’s only one woman’s opinion, and I’m sure there will be plenty who disagree with me, and I respect that.  But if “I was bored” is the cat no one wants let out of the bag, then maybe having negative reviews posted at Barnes & Noble prior to this book’s release is the least of their worries.

    Believe me, you are not alone in that opinion.  This Plum book by any other name would still be a flop!

    I’m glad to see that you were able to recover some of the reviews.  Min was not in that group.  I know at the time I submitted mine there were more than 20 negative (1-2 stars) reviews.

  16. 16
    TracyS says:

    I liked the books up until #10.  They are shelved in the Mystery section at my library so I try to remember that when reading them (as far as the romance aspect)

    it just seemed like she was treating both Morelli and Ranger like crap.

    That is my problem with Stephanie. I don’t think she deserves either one of them.

  17. 17
    desertwillow says:

    Now look at this…

    Another great series that turned to crap because nobody wanted recognize that it was dying.

    Where have I seen that before?

    I stopped reading JE after Nr. 10. By the time I got to the end of that one I knew there was nothing left to learn about Stephanie.

    Too bad about Morelli. I liked him.

  18. 18
    Jen C says:

    I am a Morelli fan-girl, and this whole cousin thing, is upsetting and kind of gross.  I always wanted Steph to end up with Morelli- I certainly got the impression from the first few books that that is where the series was going- but now I have no idea how to resolve it.  There is no way to break them up again, and more stuff with Ranger makes her a cheating hussy, so I have no idea how she is supposed to carry on with the triangle for this long.

  19. 19
    Tinkerbon says:

    I quit this series at 10, and only picked up 11 in hardcover because it was $1 in a bargain bin somewhere. I don’t think I even read it, just shelved it with the others that have been relegated to the bottom and very back of one of my bookshelves. Yanno, the shelf that you have to get down on your hands and knees with a flashlight if you are looking for something.

    Ah, how I fondly remember the days of reading in bed until the wee hours, chuckling with glee at all the crazy madcap exploits of our girl Stephanie … Now the books are hidden away because I’m ashamed of how much money I spent on all those hardcovers, knowing now how the series has … borrowing a phrase from an above poster … circled the drain. Sad, really.

    Luckily, there far too many other wonderful authors out there who still care about their readership and their craft, for me to really mourn the passing of this series.

    — Bonz

  20. 20
    trish says:

    Hey there!!
    Gotta love the web. Someone linked me here the other day, and I’m having a blast reading all the blogs…..on all manner of topics…

    Just thought someone may be interested in my (second, because the first didn’t ever get up) review. Just posted this to BN.com, where I am sure it will get lost in a circular file in the next few days. No matter. I can post again AFTER the book comes out, right?

    I admit to the following. I buy used books at Goodwill, (and most of my clothes, too, if you must know) to help the locals develop marktetable skills; and I support my library by returning books late, thus insuring a fine. However, I also petition them to carry things they don’t have, therefore opening an audience to an author they may not otherwise find. That should cover some of the side comments through the last few posts in the Fearless Fourteen posts ….

    And I am what seems to be a derisive moniker, a FAN GIRL, who actually WRITES fan fiction….(but who has had my husband cracking up reading some of the early Plum Books….)

    So, you can take my review for what its worth….

    Boring.
    Oh, you wanted more than a one word descriptor, a REVIEW?? ok.
    VERY BORING.

    Sorry to the reviewers above who seem to worship at the feet of one over the other male lead, but.

    Joe bothered but intrigued me at the beginning of the series. A testament to Janet’s writing, to make me kinda like the guy. I never understood how a woman would ever get involved with a man who basically molested her as a child, but whatever. I guess we were supposed to read it as innocent childhood exploration.

    But, now, the Morelli that some worship can say that he sometimes wishes, on that one night he banged her on the bakery floor, taking her virginity, and not while dating her, BTW, that he wishes he had gotten her pregnant—-

    he admits he didn’t use a condom because SHE wasn’t like every other slut he banged back then. Right. And this was what, two weeks before he left to join the Navy??

    so his brilliant thought would be….too bad I didn’t knock you up as a 16 year old, we could have gotten married….and he’d be off in God knows where, she’d be raising his kid in a slum in Trenton…

    and the REAL problem with that thought? Stephanie bought it. She didn’t go all New Jersey female on him.

    And to take side characters and caricaterize (sp) them to the degree that she did… sad.

    Actually the best part of the book is that the Ranger character seems to have been missing almost altogether, so therefore he is able to survive with his dignity intact….he has apparently had it himself with being treated as badly as Steph has been treating him lately and just given up. Guess he figures Steph and Joe DESERVE each other.

    The writing is sloppy, and lackluster and the dialogue boring and the plot is plotless and what the F is with more freaking circus animals???? Someone call barnum and bailey because apparently a train car burst open in Trenton some time in the past few years and all the animals are at the Evanovichs

  21. 21
    Karmyn says:

    I’m not even sure I want to get this one at the library if the Morelli rumors are true. Has JE forgotten that he’s domesticated now?
    I had this in my basket at mysteryguild, but deleted it after hearing how bad it is. Plus, there wasn’t any info about the book. That’s usually a very bad sign.

  22. 22
    Georgia says:

    ’m not even sure I want to get this one at the library if the Morelli rumors are true. Has JE forgotten that he’s domesticated now?
    I had this in my basket at mysteryguild, but deleted it after hearing how bad it is. Plus, there wasn’t any info about the book. That’s usually a very bad sign.

    You’re right Karmyn, there has been very little information about Fearless Fourteen.  Several years ago there were blurbs about Ranger having a wife up as early as January.  It makes you wonder why SMP is holding the book information so close to the chest.  I have to wonder if they knew they had a stinker which could make sense since they’re behaving like a guard dog with the less than stellar reviews.

  23. 23
    Georgia says:

    FYI, I just checked and there are now 25 reviews up.  Included are some from the screen caps posted yesterday and some new negative reviews.  These have lowere her rating to 3 stars and her sales rank has gone from four yesterday to nine.

  24. 24
    trish says:

    majorly interesting developement… MY original review, titled Sad, Sad, Sad has apparently made it BACK onto the review site….
    so now, will my SECOND review, posted above also appear? 

    the power of the pen (web??) at work??

  25. 25
    Georganna says:

    I’m so glad to have found this site today!
    I had been a faithful, release-day, hardback buying, Plum fan for years, through the great ones and the not so hot.  I really liked #12 and was so hopeful about #13.  Combining the complete disappointment I felt after reading #13 and the just plain old lousy quality of the ‘between the numbers’ books,  I vowed to never purchase another JE book.
    I certainly will NOT be buying #14.

  26. 26
    Fiamme says:

    I’ve read them in the library, and mostly l like them enough that I pick them up second hand whenever I see one I don’t have yet.  The ‘boring’ reviews make me think ah well, no hurry to put myself on the reserve list for 14.

    As to Stephanie treating her men badly? Um, I think some people need to chill a little. From what I recall, Ranger never wanted a serious relationship with her. He described himself as strictly dessert, and just wanted to have a hot shag now and then and take care of her—strictly no serious luuuurve. How is she treating him badly by taking him up on it some of the time?

    Morelli, well she’s on again off again with him. *shrug* Again, if she’s technically broken up with him at the time i have no issues with her having the (much hotter, but so completely Mary Sue) Ranger on the side.

    I guess the bits that bother me most about the reviews, as in, turn me off reading the book at all? The stuff with Lula (come on, so not like her—she was straight up) and the stuff that makes Morelli sound like slime instead of just what he usually sounds.  A bit too macho for my taste, but seemed to be the sort to make the er, less evolved but so very cute Stephanie happy.

  27. 27
    ardith says:

    I loved the books at first, too. But I stopped reading after that Christmas hardcover came out a few years ago. I bought that, read it, and decided that enough was enough.

    I did the same thing with Laurell K. Hamilton books.

    At the same time, I feel like I’ve given them a couple of chances. I understand it must be a lot of pressure to keep on writing book after book, but isn’t it better to take a break than to break your fans?

    All this talk makes me really sad, so I think I’ll have a marathon read of Jo Beverley books.

  28. 28
    Heidi says:

    Whoa, 52 reviews and 2.5 stars!!

    Ok, mine is still not there but since there is a flood of negative reviews I’ll try resubmitting mine.

    I bet that this site has something to do with the reviews returning.  Of course, they may be gone in an hour…

  29. 29
    Meet Women says:

    good review.

  30. 30
    Suze says:

    What is it about series that causes them to jump the shark as soon as they go hardcover?

    LKH’s Anita Blake was highly enjoyable until about 2 books into the hardcover issues.

    Stephanie Plum, laugh-out-loud for the first 6 or 7 books.

    Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Darkhunters.  Lots of fun, until they started coming out in hardcover.

    It’s like some kind of curse happens whereby we readers have to pay twice the money for half the reading pleasure.

    windows81.  Heh, Vista is so bad we have to go back THAT FAR?

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