Betsy Taylor is Queen of the Vampires. She is currently engaged to Eric Sinclair, the Vampire King. In trying to get her wedding arrangement together and dealing with the on/off surprise birthday party, Betsy totally forgot about the European delegation arriving. Betsy wants nothing to do with the ancient vampires, especially since they should have appeared long before, but it is a queen duty she must complete. However, one member of the delegation is Alonzo. Alonzo is the vampire who murdered Sophie in 1892 when she was a bar girl. And Sophie is out to return the favor!
Betsy is furious at Alonzo for committing the deadly deed, even if it was decades before she was born. Betsy gets madder when she realizes that Alonzo could care less about his actions against Sophie, that is, when he could even recall the incident. Sophie wants Betsy to execute Alonzo. Alonzo says he was young and in a type of blood rage, unable to help himself. (Not that he would have even tried to stop from playing with his food had he not been young.) Betsy understands both sides and feels trapped. Betsy loves Sophie, but must play nice to the delegation. And if she does nothing, Sophie will take matters into her own hands.
Other major things are happening as well; Liam, Sophie's [still alive] boyfriend, is about to let Sophie turn him into a vampire. This means that if Liam survives the process with his sanity, he will need to be closely watched for ten years while the blood rage is upon him. Jessica, Betsy's best and oldest friend, has myeloma. Delk's book about Sophie's undead life is about to hit the book stands and Delk does not even recall writing the book, thanks to Eric wiping his mind clean. And that is only the tip of the iceberg.
** This episode comes across as being too stilted.Read more ›
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A month back I read and enjoyed the first few books in Betsy's tale and remember them being so much more. For me these books are a easy single afternoon read but easy should be replaced with simple.
The overall story line is not bad but it lacks in depth, of any kind. The humor seems to have faded, inside jokes makes no sense and Betsy is just whiny and bitchy. Compared to the writing skills of writers like Laurell Hamilton, Mary Davidson's written skills don't come close.
The story is entertaining, but I feel like I've outgrown Queen Betsy and her little group.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Will appeal to MJD's fan base.....June 11 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
MaryJanice Davidson continues her vampire series featuring the reluctant Queen Betsy Taylor and King Eric Sinclair with UNDEAD AND UNPOPULAR.
Betsy doesn't like certain aspects of being a vampire. After all, the whole live-forever thing is a bit overrated since one has to actually consume blood. So, for her 31st birthday, Betsy has decided to give up drinking blood- although she hasn't yet told Eric this.
Giving up blood makes Betsy a bit cranky, and she is less than thrilled when a contingent of European vampires finally show up to pay their respects to her as the new Queen. Much to her horror, one of the vampires, Alonzo, was responsible for forcibly converting her friend, Dr. Sophie Trudeau, to vampirism. Needless to say, Sophie wants revenge!
Betsy also has to deal with babysitting her baby brother, BabyJon, her best friend, Jessica's, recent diagnosis of blood cancer, and planning her wedding despite Eric's total avoidance of all details associated with it. And don't forget that there is a zombie in the attic!
Readers new to the series will probably wonder what the big deal is all about. The strength of the Undead series relies totally on the characters. Betsy is a sarcastic, sometimes airheaded, fashionista who was transformed into a vampire on her 30th birthday. Since then, she has become the Queen of the Vampires and acquired Eric as her consort. The humorous interaction between Betsy and Eric is always good for a laugh. However, if the reader hasn't been with the series from the beginning, this book will probably appear shallow and rather undeveloped. In addition, one must read the short story "A Fiend in Need" in DEAD AND LOVING IT or Garrett's transformation will make absolutely no sense.
The zombie in the attic is perhaps a bit superfluous but this part provides most of the action of the story. Finally, there is a flash of something besides whining and fashion tips from Betsy. Despite the concerns, however, this reviewer enjoyed the book as it was like a short visit with some old friends. UNDEAD AND UNPOPULAR will appeal to the fan base of MaryJanice Davidson but will probably not attract new fans due to the shallowness of the plot. Regardless, this very short book is still an entertaining read!
COURTESY OF CK2S KWIPS AND KRITIQUES
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Uh....What's going on?May 17 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my first review, and after reading every single review for this book and the last, I decided to throw in my two cents. Glad to know that the hardcover is over $20, because that is waaaay too much money for these tiny books. I read the last two books in one afternoon. Unfortunately, most of the(mediocre)reviews are exactly right; this character started out witty and sharp, with a hilarious and charming take-no-crap attitude, but with a sense of deep caring for her friends. She has turned into a selfish, childish, moron who stomps around telling her closest friends to "F-off" and "shut up" and various other insults, for what appears to be absolutely no reason. It's almost as if there was some sort of back-story or filler information that got edited out at the last minute, and kind of leaves you going, "Huh?" The storyline is scattered and at times makes no sense. Betsy has a bitchy sense of entitlement that is NOT endearing at all, and whereas she once cared very much about Jessica spending money on her, she now seems to feel that she's owed and makes no attempt to take care of herself. Gone is the strong, independent woman who paid her own way. In her place is a child who is solely dependent on everyone for everything. The one thing that really irked me the most was her whining to Sinclair that she wanted his baby, even after it's been established that is not possible, and then there's no follow-through, just a quiet response from Sinclair that he cannot give her one, which leaves the reader thinking, "Why are you with this stupid, stupid little girl?" You almost wish he would find someone that is his equal, like she was in the first few books. This chick is definitely not a queen of anything. At this point, Betsy has developed into a weak, sniveling, whining, helpless twit who has continually had to have everyone around her save her life. Everyone sneaks around and tells secrets behind her back now, which is one example among many that is a testament to what seems to be the author's purposeful de-evolution of Betsy's personality. Maybe it's the constant reminder to her that she's "very young" that has caused her to turn into a hormonal teenager instead of a 30 year old woman. I mean, now we've got her babysitting, whining about her boyfriend, and sticking chewed gum to the banister of the mansion? What is that all about? I feel like I'm back in elementary school reading Babysitter's Club books, only with the f-word CONSTANTLY spewing out of her mouth. Classy. In the first books, her use of bad language could often evoke a laugh-out-loud moment, because in moderation, it is hilarious. Unfortunately, it's overuse in the last couple of books is getting to be like listening to a truck-stop waitress in a bad mood. In addition, it seems that the other characters care less and less about what happens to her. The intensity of the concern over the attacks on her life seems to be gone from previous books. The story line about Jon Delk is downright asinine, from start to finish, culminating in a scene in which we are inspired to hate his guts for trying to kill Betsy, only to have her whining once again, "You guuuuys, don't kill him, he's my frieeeeeeeeend." Ugh. She has become Chrissy from Three's Company. And just when you're cheering for Sinclair for finally nailing an extremely unlikable character, she up and flips out on everyone for hurting her wittle fwiend Jon. Stupid. Add to that the irritating scene (possibly in the last book?) in which she discovers Jessica is ill and literally throws herself on the kitchen floor, whining "I can't believe this is happening to meeeeee." It's just getting to be too much for this reader. I will not buy the next book, but I will give it a shot, as I'm hoping the author will redeem this character and plot, such as it is, by tying up loose ends (*zombie* cough cough) in the next one or two books. I love MJD's sense of humor, I really like her other series about the Wyndham werewolves, and so I'm not throwing out the baby with the bathwater. I would recommend that MJD maybe go back and re-read her own work from start to finish, and remind herself of the endearing, funny, and wonderful character(s) she started this series with. It's not too late! One last item: the use of repetitive words and phrases throughout the whole series, such as "snark" or "snarky," "mojo," and "what fresh hell is this" is SERIOUSLY annoying and tells me there is a really bad editor behind it all.
28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Undead still going strongJune 8 2006
Robin E. Snodgrass
- Published on Amazon.com
After reading the book and truly enjoying it, I read the reviews posted here. I can agree with some of the opinions...i.e., the book is too short, the murderer's confession was a bit too convenient, and the zombie was never fully explained. That said, I still enjoyed Undead and Unpopular very much. I wish the books were longer since it only took me 4 hours to read this one. I still enjoy reading about Betsy and her menagerie of friends and roommates. I hope that in the future Ms. Davidson will make the books longer as that seems to be a standard wish of fans.
If you are a fan of Ms. Davidson's books, you must read this one. If you are new and looking for a good author, well, you've found one - but don't start with this one (you'll just be lost) - pick up the very first one of the series "Undead and Unwed". You'll be hooked if you do! And don't forget those wonderful Wyndom Werewolf books (Antonia is part of that series as well as this one).
All in all, I loved the book. Now, when is the next one coming out???? LoL
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Where's the beef? Funny, but short.June 7 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
As much as I love the "Undead" series, I hate that they are too short. "Undead and Unpopular" is no exception.
This new addition to Betsy's tale easily had the potential to be at least 200+ more pages. For example, where did the zombie come from and why was it in the attic? One would think that since it was mentioned in the opening sentence that it would be a major part of the book (kind of like a thesis for a research paper - ring any bells?). Instead, the zombie incident was more of an afterthought - "Oh yeah, I forogt about that..."
Also, Ms. Davidson could have put more of a twist into Alonzo's murder - was it Jon, going back to his Blade Warrior ways? Or perhaps Sinclair had it in for him out of jealousy. It was rather disappointing to have the convenient phone call confession.
Other plot lines that could have been expanded: more about Antonia & Garrett, Alonzo & Mark, the European vampires, Jon's freak-out and possible take-down (I really think Eric would have iced him, btw), etc. It was extremely TOO SHORT! Waaah! ;)
Ms. Davidson, instead of wrapping things up so quickly to meet deadlines, beef up these dinky 250 page wonders and make them worth the $22.95. Hello? That's the same price as a Stephen King 1000+ page cinder block!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
amusing entertaining vampiric fantasyJune 7 2006
- Published on Amazon.com
Engaged to marry his highness Eric Sinclair, vampire Queen Betsy Taylor keeps telling the dead and undead not to throw her a surprise birthday party; everyone says they will honor her wishes. The European royal vampires visit, but Eric says they insult them as they should have come last year. Still Eric tries to be the diplomat when a follower Sophie goes berserk. She recognizes Alonzo the vampire who killed her in the late nineteenth century.
As Betsy tries to clam down Sophie, the raging vampire's human lover Liam wants to convert and to kill Alonzo not in that order. Betsy is a bit cranky as she has given up blood and her visitors don't make it easier on her as they believe she is undeserving to be queen let alone a vampire. Life after death interferes with buying midnight shoes as she plans her wedding, rehearses to act surprised at her surprise birthday bash, calm down Sophie, and let the Europeans know to stuff their opinions on her in the part of the anatomy that does not see sunshine (of course that is the entire body). Now less than one week before she turns one, there is so much to do and so little time to do it.
This is a terrific Taylor tale that starts off zany ("There's a Zombie in my Closet") and never slows down as all hell breaks loose on several fronts. Though often amusing there is a more serious undertone to the fantasy than in previous Undead tales. Besides the Alonzo "crime" that puts quite a spin on cold cases, Betsy best friend human Jessica is ailing with the vampire queen pondering the ethics of bringing her across against her will. As always MaryJanice Davidson provides an amusing entertaining vampiric fantasy.