Wednesday, September 11, 2013

REVIEW: Maryjanice Davidson's Undead and Unsure

Book: Undead and Unsure

Author: MaryJanice Davidson

Series: Betsy Taylor, Vampire Queen

Publishing stats: August 6th 2013 by Berkley Hardcover

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Cover Blurb: It’s no surprise to Betsy that her trip to Hell with her sister Laura landed them in hot water. Betsy isn’t exactly sorry she killed the Devil but it’s put Laura in a damnable position: assuming the role of Satan (she may not have the training but she looks great in red)—and in charge of billions of souls as she moves up in the world. Or is that down?

But Betsy herself is in an odd new position as well—that of being a responsible monarch suddenly in charge of all things more earth-bound: like her vampire husband Sinclair who has gone from relieved to ecstatic to downright reckless now that he can tolerate sunlight. And if Sinclair isn’t enough to contend with, Betsy’s best friend Jessica is in her sixth (and hopefully last) trimester. Considering she’s been pregnant for eighteen months, she’s become a veritable encyclopedia of what not to expect when you’re expecting. Oh, the horror…

And speaking of growing pains, Betsy and Sinclair’s adopted little BabyJon is finally starting to walk. And if the increasingly unpredictable toddler is anything like his extended family, precisely where he’s headed is anyone’s guess.

First line: “The devil's dead, and the Antichrist is pissed.”

***** If you're behind on the series, below may contain minor spoilers *****

What I liked: Like in the second and eighth books of this series, this book featured a sprinkling of chapters told from a perspective other than Betsy, the regularly scheduled narrator. Not only does this let the reader in on information Betsy wouldn't be privy to, it also allows for other characters to be fleshed out and gives direct insight into their psyches. The treat here was that the character sharing the spotlight with Betsy this time around was none other than Eric Sinclair. It was surprising; I didn't expect the tone his thoughts took, didn't anticipate the emotions driving his actions, and most certainly didn't see that last twist coming until it had run me over and backed up to wham me again. Which, really, is par for the course where Sinclair is concerned.

What I didn't like: This books featured events that are no doubt going to have a huge impact on the future of the series. Unfortunately, they all happen at the end. Until that point it's basically Betsy planning Thanksgiving, Betsy fretting over her relationship with Laura, Jessica being pregnant, Sinclair being in the sun and, oh yeah, Betsy goes to Hell. It's literally the last three chapters that contain all action, so to speak. Don't get me wrong, the lead up is funny as all sin, but it just seems like a splash of ordinary life with OMFGPLOTPOINTS! tacked on the end.

Overall: I love this series; it's quirky, it's funny, it's surprising, it's innocent. No matter how bad things get, they'll always get better. No matter the tragedy, the betrayal, the horror, or the body count, sooner or later it clears up and bright skies shine through. I love the MaryJanice Davidson brand of comedy; her books never fail to have me laughing out loud, be they Betsy, Fred the Mermaid, or Alaskan Royalty. This book was by no means my least favourite (Undead and Unworthy still holds that claim - between a geographically divided cast, psycho Laura, and judgmental werewolves the plot was just too...un-Betsy), but I was disappointment by the pace of events. It was a little like going to a Spiderman movie where Spiderman only gets twenty minutes of air time (Oh, wait, that's happened - thanks a lot Spiderman 2). Point being, it was a good book, funny and with a great ending, but its flow of action left much to be desired.

Would I read this author again: Yes - she's hilarious.

My rating: ☺☺☺/5

To purchase the book for yourself, you can find it at,,, or The Book Depository. Enjoy!

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