Undead and Unreturnable: A Queen Betsy Novel Mass Market Paperback – May 30 2006
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In Davidson's latest Undead romp, Betsy Taylor, Queen of the Vampires, is busy planning her wedding, babysitting for her new little brother, and feeding the feral vampire who crochets in the basement of the mansion where she writes a "Dear Betsy" column for a new vampire newsletter. Hunky Nick, a cop from her past, is heading up the task force to find the Driveway Killer, who targets women who look like Betsy. Betsy's best friend, Jessica, starts going out with Nick, and Betsy, who can get into enough trouble on her own, may wind up in over her head with the help of her crazy sister, the ghost of a Driveway Killer victim, and a cute college boy. Diana Tixier Herald
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A lighthearted vampire pastiche…a treat.”—Omaha World-Herald “Seventh heaven for the fans.”—Kirkus Reviews
“MaryJanice Davidson is a refreshing voice to both the romance and vampire world of writing…I cannot recommend her enough!!”—Paranormal Romance ReviewsSee all Product Description
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This novel, like all recent Davidson books, is disappointingly short, not much longer than an outline. The serial killer plot is very underdeveloped and is resorted in a quick, unsatisfactory way. The novel consists more of lighthearted bantering between Betsy, Sinclair and Jessica. Tina and Marc appear in a few scenes and nothing more. If anything, this novel is more centered on Betsy and Sinclair's relationship. I like that Davidson develops their relationship further in this offering, but sometimes the book in general seems chopped up and uneven. There is also some development centered on Laura, Betsy's sister, and how she has become all the creepier since Undead and Unappreciated. There is also a rather dark scene with Sinclair and Betsy that I like because it adds character depth and growth into the mix, no matter how fleeting the aforementioned character depth and growth may have been though. The characters remain great. I love self-centered Betsy, the darkly gorgeous Sinclair and the quick-witted Jessica. The vampire/librarian from previous MJD vampire novellas called Marjorie shows promise in this series and so does former Blade Warrior Jon and his suspicious interest in Betsy's life story. I guess what I'm saying is that there are some good, substantial moments in this short, light and at times lopsided continuation of the series. The novel is without a doubt hilarious. I laughed out loud as I read the novel, so Davidson's abilities with creating quips in her dialogues are still intact. And I know that she is still the same talented storyteller who wrote gems like Love's Prisoner and Undead and Unwed and I hope she will go back to that style of writing. She does leave some interesting cliffhangers for future offerings. I only hope that she will take her time in creating something more substantial and less abrupt next time.
Betsy, Queen of the Undead, rides again. But where was Tina the snarky? Where was Jessica the snarky? Where was Marc the snarky? In this one these funny characters basically chew the scenery, except there is a very tiny subplot where Jessica gets laid.
Queen Betsy and her sister Laura, daughter of the devil, spend all their free time together in this one, making it boringly wholesome for the most part. Or, that is, all the time she has when Bets isn't having, well, surprisingly boring sex with King Eric. And given what we know of him, how could it be boring? Yet, it is.
Even the Ant is relegated to nothing in this book that seems...well, flat. Nothing really happens.
Bets can see ghosts and goes on errands, helping them talk to their loved ones. Jon, of the Blade Warriors from book 2, moves in and does a biography on Betsy that turns into a book...named "Undead and Unwed". Gee, how...original.
Betsy tells Eric a deep dark secret and this time, it's he is who is afraid of her. But now the honeymoon is over, and they seem like an old married couple, and about as interesting. Yet Eric remains very fleshed out and matures well in this book, grudgingly I admit Betsy is still as dumb as ever but more patient.
Laura loses her temper and it seems...could the prophecy be true? Will she take over the world? Unknown, as it's not explored as well as it could be; a good plot left to trail off. George becomes more human-like and learns a new stitch, but that's about all.
Oh, a serial killer is running around Minneapolis and his last victim is the only funny, snarky character in the book, following Bets around. But that plot fizzles as it only really crops up in the last 50 pages and is resolved instantly, tying into the bare bones "is Laura evil?" plot (that will surely be all that drives book 5.)
It's nowhere near as funny as the last 3 and the plot just doesn't grab me. If you haven't read this "Undead' series yet, skip it. For a funny heroine that always keeps going, I would say get hooked on the Stephanie Plum novels of Janet Evanovich. If you're a fellow long-time fan, well, all we can do is hope the next one is a little better.
Don't blow 20 some odd bucks on this. Wait for the paperback version, just head to the library or bookstore and read this if you can't wait.
And P.S. - hope this gets back to Ms, Davidson. Please stop using the word "rape" so callously, I, like many others, find it offensive. You use it too lightly and it undermines what a horrible crime it really is.
I really loved the first book of this series, Undead and Unwed, I liked the idea of a Vampire Queen who was Blonde and Tall and the ultimate girly girl, complete with a shoe fetish. The first two books were basically there to lay down the premise, to have Betsy discover her powers and her duties to both those she surrounds herself with (vampires and humans alike) and to those she is Queen of, although in my eyes she never gets beyond her own hang ups regarding her love life and her love for shopping. By the third book, Undead and Unappreciated all Davidson has done is introduce new characters and make them trod through boring storylines until you get to the end and wonder how a book series could spend so much time...on nothing. Onto the fourth book, I still had high hopes that Betsy would grow beyond banal sex scenes, shopping for shoes, berating her stepmother, babying her roommates, and ignoring her duties as Queen instead focusing her energy on making her boyfriend marry her. Seriously, that is what the first three are basically about! I know she discovers new powers, and that would be exciting if she did something with them besides go to starbucks in the daylight, and wonder endlessly about accessories! This book is about solving some local murders, and really all of 5 pages are devoted to just that, the rest are spent on yet again more boring sex, fights with her boyfriend, and her talking like a 16 year old hyped up on power bars. Are we supposed to care about her pending wedding? And the planning for it? Or her choice of pajamas, or what her family is doing? Not me. I want to see how she will grow into leading her people, how she will gain the entire planets vampire populations respect, but what do I get " my boyfriend is so totally hot" and "I would sell my soul for those shoes" and " oh crap I cant get a pedicure"
Now onto my views on Nancy Wu, who reads the audiobooks. She stinks, not just stinks, but she doesn't even comprehend what she is reading, I have caught her reading in a voice for one character, when its another. She makes a sexy male vampire sound like a drawling butler, a 21 year old male college student sound like he is 14 and in a bad news bear movie. Nancy is asian, and she sounds like it, and therefore our blonde betsy sounds like Mulan on No-Doze. I have listened to 4 audiobooks worth of terrible valley girl/cheesy vampire accents and I cant take it anymore. Her reading sex scenes is embarrassing to hear, in no way, shape, or form are they the least bit steamy, sexy or provocative.
So that's it for me, books, audio books or otherwise. Save your time and energy and go read the Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris if you like amazing vampire literature that is also smart and sexy