Thursday, June 4, 2009

Undead and Unpopular

In this, the fifth volume of the Queen Betsy series, there is a lot happening in Betsy's life: she's planning her wedding with Eric (despite the fact that he thinks the whole thing is silly, because in his mind they are already married); she's dealing with political vampire issues, as a delegation of vampires has arrived from Europe; one of her friends has been diagnosed with a potentially deadly illness; and everyone keeps telling her there is a zombie in the attic (which she knows us utterly ridiculous, and doesn't she have enough to worry about without being told such absurdities?). Plus her birthday is coming up, and she's spending a lot of time trying to convince everyone not to throw her a party (while not-so-secretly hoping they will). To complicate matters, her stepmother is constantly dropping her stinky, lovable baby on the doorstep for Betsy to babysit.

This one was a fun, quick read (I read it in two rather short sittings last weekend), and because I have come to love the different characters, from Betsy's intelligent, sharp-tongued best friend and her incorrigibly upbeat gay doctor housemate to Cathie, the ghost from the previous book who's decided to stick around and, of course, Betsy's sexy vampire fiance, Eric.

However, this was not my favorite. The plot was scattered all over the place, with no real focus to the narrative. And one of the main plot points was centered on two characters that we met in a previous book, but (as is mentioned in an author's note, which was helpful) between this book and the previous one, Davidson wrote a short story for the anthology Dead and Loving It, called "A Fiend in Need." Events from that story are important in this book, and I was left wondering what the heck was going on as far as those characters were concerned. Fans of the series will certainly enjoy visiting with the characters in this book, but it would be a mistake to read it without having read the previous books in the series. And even for those who have, I'd advise reading that short story first.

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
7. Undead and Unworthy
8. Undead and Unwelcome


Undead and Unpopular (#5 in the Queen Betsy series) by MaryJanice Davidson (Berkley Sensation, 2006)

Also reviewed at:
The Eye of Loni's Storm: "It’s blood drenched chicklit. Admittedly, it’s not as good as her previous installments, but I still can’t get enough to Betsy, Sinclair, Jessica, Tina and all the situations they find themselves in."
The Reading Spot: "This episode lacked a little story (and the zombie threw me and left me going, Huh?), but was a good installment."
Wardrip Writes: "I love MJD, I love her sense of humor, I love her writing style. I didn't love this book. It seemed to be missing that irreverent sense of witty snarkism that always make me enjoy an MJD story."

6 comments:

  1. You're totally right about mentioning the short story being important to the plot line. Although Davidson isn't quite as bad about the shorts as other authors (Sherrilyn Kenyon has dozens scattered through her Dark Hunter series!)

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  2. Joanne - I was glad that she at least mentioned it in the introduction, and normally I'd have put the book aside till I could find the story, but it was the only book I had with me! Gasp! So I had to read it anyway. :-) I will go dig up that story at some point, though. Thanks for the warning about the Dark Hunter series - that's one I've been meaning to try some time soon. 'Cause I obviously need more series.

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  3. I remember that the fact that the short story that I hadn't rad had so much to do with this book bothered me. The last one of these I read was Undead and Uneasy so I really do need to get caught up though.

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  4. Ladytink - I'm glad I wasn't the only one who was annoyed by it. Still, it was fun, and I'm looking forward to continuing with the series (after I read that darned story!). :-)

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  5. I really enjoyed the first two (really behind on my reviews) so it's a shame to hear this one was not so good. Will bear your comments in mind about the short story when I get to this one.

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  6. Rhinoa - Oh, it was still fun and enjoyable (I mean, we're talking about Betsy, here) - just a bit disorienting. As long as you read the story first and go in forewarned, I bet you'll enjoy it. :-)

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