Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Betsy, Queen of the Undead

Betsy is having a bad day. She gets laid off from her job, her birthday party gets canceled, she gets run over by a car and wakes up...at a funeral home. Clearly she is supposed to be dead, but for some reason she's not. And she knows there's no way she could have survived the accident. So she tries to remedy things - jumps off buildings, drinks poison - but nothing works. And every man she talks to looks at her in adoration - despite the horrible outfit she was buried in - and - worse yet - the cheap, knockoff shoes. What on earth has happened to her?

She comes to realize she is strong and fast - unbelievably strong and fast. When she comes across a mother and little girl being attacked on a dark city street, she dispatches the bad guys with very little effort, and it is only when she feels the fangs pushing through her gums that she understands that she has become a vampire.

And it turns out that Betsy is not just any vampire - she possesses very unusual powers. That is, according to Sinclair -- an infuriatingly sexy vampire who is pushy, overbearing and annoying...and did I say sexy? Betsy is the prophesied Vampire Queen whose destiny is to overthrow Nostro, a powerful, sadistic vampire (and walking fashion disaster). Betsy just wants to return to her old life as much as she can, get her collection of designer shoes back, and possibly find another job. Unfortunately she's drawn the attention of Nostro, and events are soon well beyond her control.

I must admit I was skeptical when I began this book. A friend at work insisted I would love it, and it had been sitting on my book pile for quite a while before I finally picked it up - and I'm glad I did! It was funny and creative and unpredictable. It sets all the usual genre conventions on their ears and kept me laughing all the way through. Admittedly you need to be in the mood for a silly, Janet-Evanovich-style romp - if you are, you are in for a treat. The plot is gripping, with fun, surprising twists and turns, the characters are memorable, and the dialogue is snappy. I'm pleased that Betsy returns in subsequent books in the series, and I plan to pick up the next one soon.

Books in the "Queen Betsy" series:
  1. Undead and Unwed
  2. Undead and Unemployed
  3. Undead and Unappreciated
  4. Undead and Unreturnable
  5. Undead and Unpopular
  6. Undead and Uneasy
Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson (Berley Sensation, 2004)

Other blogger reviews:
Books to the Sky
Eat. Sleep. Read.
The Paperback Stash

17 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to say that as the series progresses, the quality of the books goes down (IMO). However, I still read them, only I borrow them from the library rather than buy them at full price.

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  2. Kait - Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. I was kind of wondering if she'd be able to sustain the tone and humor while still developing the characters and keeping the stories interesting. I'm glad you mentioned it so my expectations won't be too high when I read the next one!

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  3. oh my God, this sounds totally up my ally, if you haven't given the book back, can you keep it for when I return to the States?

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  4. I think you'd like it, VA Gal. When are you coming back? Let me know and I'll get it for you. And was it also Countess Below Stairs that you wanted to read and your library didn't have? Or the Colleen Gleason vampire ones?

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  5. Yay! I'm so glad you started this series! It's really great. My mom hates books about "things that can't happen" but she really enjoyed these because they're so funny.

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  6. I have Undead and Unwed to read this year. It's mostly because I need a book beginning with U for the A-Z challenge and it looks fun. It looks like silly fun :)

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  7. It is most definitely silly fun - you'll have a good time with this one!

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  8. I was reluctant in reading this series at first as well, but am so glad I did. It's a fun series.

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  9. Have you read the whole series, literary feline? I picked up the second one at work yesterday, but I haven't started it yet. It looks good, though!

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  10. I have read all but the most recent book, Undead and Uneasy. I've enjoyed the entire series, although I can only take Betsy in small doses. I much prefer Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire series, but MaryJanice Davidson's series is fun.

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  11. Literary Feline - I really enjoyed the Southern Vampire series, too - although I'm far behind in it. I had trouble with the last one I read, because events from previous ones were a bit fuzzy. So I decided to go back and reread them, only I haven't gotten there yet. I also would like to keep reading Harris's mystery novels - I read the first one in each of the two series and enjoyed them as well. Have you read those?

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  12. I've read the first in the Lily Bard series (loved it!) and have the first in the Tea Garden series here to read. I want to rad her other paranormal series too eventually. I think I'm one book behind in the Sookie series. I can understand wanting to go back and reread them. There's a lot of story overlap in her books where the characters are concerned.

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  13. I didn't even know she had another paranormal series - I'll have to try that one, too! It's tough having so very many books out there. How will I ever get to them all? Argh!!!

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  14. Her other paranormal series features Harper Connelly who I think can find dead people. Grave Sight is the first book, I believe.

    I know what you mean about there being so many books out there. I feel the same way. And there's never enough time to read them as quickly as I might life. Haha

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  15. That series does sound good - I will definitely check it out! And yes - even if I did nothing all day but read, I'd still never get to them all. But it's fun to try!

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  16. I finished this book yesterday (review is scheduled to post in a few days at my blog).

    It's total brain candy, but it's nice for a change of pace.

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  17. Hi, Mercy's Maid - thanks for stopping by! I agree - it IS total brain candy, but there are times when books like these hit the spot perfectly! :-)

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