Title: Undead and Unwary
Author: MaryJanice Davidson
Genre: Fiction – Paranormal comedy (with a very small amount of romance)
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group / Penguin Group
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Pages in book: 303
Stand alone or series: Series – Undead/Betsy Taylor #13
Blurb from the cover: First: kill Satan. Second: reorganize Hell. Sounded simple enough back then, but for Betsy Taylor, managing “down below” isn’t as easy as she’d hoped – even if she is doing it with her sister, Laura, a bona-fide Antichrist. So yes, Betsy has been shirking her hellish responsibilities, but she’s been just so darn busy these days. And she’s not just yanking Laura’s chain. There’s a brand-new baby drama involving a pair of uncanny (okay, terrifying) toddler twins, an upcoming birthday party that has to be planned, and, are you ready for it? Betsy’s dad – once so very dead – has been spotted in downtown St. Paul.
It’s enough to send Betsy fleeing to Hell, if only for some quiet time with Laura. But while there, in addition to meeting old acquaintances, Betsy discovers that death can be just as complicated as life.
Now, despite all the chaos, Betsy’s friends rally around, helping her handle all this fire and brimstone jazz. As for Betsy’s sister and dad – they have their own surprises in store for the vampire queen. And jolt by jolt, Betsy will discover that there’s nothing as heartwarming as family. Yeah, like Hell.
My rating: 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015 checklist under the “book with nonhuman characters” check box. This book picks up a few weeks after where the last book in the series left off. I’ve been a fan of this series from the beginning, but to be honest this book was not my favorite in the series. There was just too much reviewing of previous books, and not just references but like in depth explanations of relevant things that had happened in previous books. There was even a whole chapter that was an excerpt from a previous book. And while this is probably ideal for people who are picking up this series for the first time with this book (though I don’t know why any sane person would start a series with the thirteenth book) it ends up being pretty dry and somewhat tedious for someone who has already read the whole series and knows all the background information. I also had an issue with Betsy’s big revelation concerning Laura at the end. It never really says how she figured it out, all of a sudden a light-bulb turns on and she realizes her sister sucks. I just feel like that isn’t very realistic. I went with it though. Other than those two things, I really did enjoy the book. Betsy finally takes responsibility for Hell in an interesting way, and there are a lot of interesting developments concerning Betsy’s asshat father, Jessica’s great but weird kids, and Betsy’s abilities as the vampire Queen.
The bottom line: I would still recommend the series overall (and obviously this book as a piece of the series) but I wouldn’t recommend this book as a standalone.
Author website: http://www.maryjanicedavidson.net/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Undead-Unwary-Queen-Betsy/dp/0425263444/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1420461969&sr=8-1
Memorable quotes from the book:
2 thoughts on “2015 Book #1 – Undead and Unwary by MaryJanice Davidson”
Hi, Rebecca! Sorry you didn’t like UNWARY better, but you made an excellent point about the challenges of trying to keep regular readers satisfied while also luring (hmm, maybe not the best word choice) new ones in. There will only be 2 more UNDEAD book, UNDEAD AND UNFORGIVEN out October 2015 and one more after that, and a big challenge for my publisher and me is how to balance the new with the old. Hopefully I’ll do a better job with that in UNFORGIVEN. Regardless, thanks for taking the time to read and review!
I’ve always been a huge fan of all of your books, across the many different series you write. One of the more recent series about the woman with a multiple-personality disorder working for a special division of the FBI was particularly ingenious. And I loved the plot developments in UNWARY, you’re so very talented as a writer!!! I love your sense of humor, I laugh out loud when I read any of your books. I look forward to reading the next two books in the Undead series, and any other new publications you come out with! Thanks so much for reading my review, I have to say I feel quite honored!!