Saturday, November 18, 2006

Title: Motor Mouth
Author: Janet Evnovich
Published: 2006, HarperCollins
Category: General Fiction
Rating: 6/10

This is the second book in Evanovich's Barnaby series. I read the first, Metro Girl, and thought it was just okay. And this one was just okay too.

To be honest I don't think I can come up with an intelligible plot synopsis. It was all pretty ridiculous. Alexandra Barnaby (she goes by Barney) is a "spotter" for NASCAR driver Sam Hooker. She stays in the stands, watches the race, and sort of coaches Hooker through the race over a headset. When Hooker comes in 2nd place, Barney suspects that the winner is using illegal traction control technology. Then Hooker and Barney are called in to rescue a friend who's been locked into the other team's hauler (semi-truck where they store the cars). In order to rescue him, they end up having to steal the hauler. Then they find a dead body and a billion-dollar microchip, and soon they're wanted by the police for murder and grand-theft auto and by the bad guys for stealing their expensive technology.

So the plot is ridiculous but it was still funny. I think a big part of the reason I didn't like this book too much is that I don't know anything about NASCAR. And really have no desire to know anything about NASCAR. I'm sure the stereotype of NASCAR racers and fans all being...well, not the sharpest is not true, but really they don't show up too well in this book. Hooker and Barney generally come off as two bumbling idiots.

These books just don't have the charm of the Stephanie Plum books. I'm not sure exactly why. Barney and Hooker are both likeable characters. Maybe it's the fact that there's a logical reason that Stephanie is always getting into scrapes. She's going out and looking for criminals. So the over-the-top adventures work a little better than in the Barnaby books.

This book costs $27, which is a total rip-off. Good thing I didn't buy it--got it from the library. The type and leading are so huge it almost looks like large print edition. The prices on big-author books are getting a little out of hand, I think.


nath said...

that sucks Jennie! I've heard how ripped off this book was. I'm so disappointed. I liked the Plum series, but I got fed up after 6 I think... I haven't read this series yet, but I don't think I will... but great review!

Samantha said...

Eeek, NASCAR! I get enough of listening to NASCAR stuff down here, don't really want it in my book. Even though I do find it interesting that there's actually a romance series somewhere centered around NASCAR type things.

I've tried one or two of Evanovich's non-plum series books and could never get into them.

Mailyn said...

27 dollars?!?!?!? Are they kidding? Sheesh, you'd think these books were actually good. LOL.

Dylan said...

Hmmm, I would NEVER buy a book that cost $27, I'm glad you didn't spend that much on this book too...doesn't sound like my cup of tea though, I was scared to start this series and I still am.

But it was a good review.

Marg said...

I meant to say something about the size of the type in my review too, but I completely forgot. Luckily I borrowed it from the library!

Jennie said...

Nath--I love the Plum books, but these just seem like a paler imitation.

Samantha--Yeah, I tried Full Tilt, which I think she coauthored, but it was not good, couldn't even finish it. It is strange about NASCAR + romance.

Mailyn--I know! $27 is a lot of money. If it's a great big fat book I'm gonna love, then it's okay. But not for this!!

Dylan--Yeah, I'd recommend this only to hard-core Evanovich fans.

Marg--About the type size--I read this right after QoS and it was such a difference! Same price and QoS must have been at least three times longer. And better. :)

Valeen said...

After the fiasco of the first one, I wouldn't have paid hardcover price for this one. Definite rip-off.

I'm not even sure I want to read it, I could only handle so much of a half hero referring to himself as NASCAR Guy.

Jennie said...

LOL Valeen! I'd forgotten about the NASCAR guy thing. I don't think he actually referred to himself that way in this one. Maybe JE realized how stupid that sounded!

CindyS said...

Luckily for me, I can't seem to get as easily separated from my money like I used to be. I did buy the first one in hardcover and thought it was 'meh'. When I saw this one at the bookstore I almost yawned.

I still buy the Plum books in HC and her last one redeemed her again. I think I have to have a few bad ones in a row before I drop an author and her last few Plums were boring but her last one was good.

The good news is I can save the money for something else now ;)