2015 Book #1 – Undead and Unwary by MaryJanice Davidson

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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:

2014 – Book #106

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The hundred and sixth book I read in 2014 was Undead and Unsure by MaryJanice Davidson. This is the twelfth book in the Undead/Betsy Taylor series by this author. I finished this book on 12/28/14. I rated this book 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5. This book picks up a few days (I think) after the last book leaves off. Betsy has just killed the devil in front of her half-sister (the devil’s daughter). This causes a bit of family tension at the Thanksgiving 2.0 holiday that Betsy has planned. The Antichrist is pretty upset that Betsy got her into this situation, where she’s stuck being the devil’s replacement.

Sinclair is ecstatic that he can now go outside in the sunlight with his two puppies, Furr and Burr. Betsy is ashamed that he is acting so “cute” and not at all like the bad-ass vampire king that she has come to know and love. Betsy is trying so very hard to recover her fragmented relationship with her sister and thinks that Thanksgiving dinner will do the trick. However, Laura has other ideas and drags Betsy to hell and then ditches her there. Also this whole time Dr. Taylor (Betsy’s mom) is very worried about the fact that no one knows when Jessica got pregnant, no one knows when Jessica is due, and no one seems to be worried about these facts.

Overall I really liked the story line in this book. The Antichrist acts like a scared little girl in this book, which was a tad different from how we’ve seen her in the past. And I loved that we got to hear pieces of the story from Eric’s point of view in this book. I loved that Jess’s babies turned out to be weird and I think its hilarious that Marc ended up having to deliver them. (Oh yea, SPOLIER ALERT 🙂 )I can’t wait to read the next book in the series (the new one)!!!

Link to author website: http://www.maryjanicedavidson.net/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Undead-Unsure-MaryJanice-Davidson/dp/0425263436/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1419907889&sr=8-1

2014 – Book #104

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The hundred and fourth book I read in 2014 was Undead and Unstable by MaryJanice Davidson. This is the eleventh book in the Undead/Betsy Taylor series by this author. I finished this book on 11/26/14. I rated this book 4.0 stars out of a scale of 5. This book picks up about a week after where the last book left off. Marc has just died and everyone is trying to deal with the repercussions of that. Betsy seems to be taking it less well than the others. Betsy is determined to save Marc and bring him back from the dead. Jess and Nick (those darned humans) are opposed to this idea but Betsy is going to do it anyways.

Fortunately for Betsy, she doesn’t need to do a thing. She goes into the attic to put something away and discovers zombie Marc just shambling around up there. And then we find out from Laura that the Book of the Dead is actually made out of Sinclair. Like from his skin. Because the devil skins him alive in the future and Betsy uses his skin to make the Book of the Dead. So then Sinclair goes off for awhile and Betsy thinks it’s because he is scared but I guess he was researching.

And then Ancient Betsy pops up and says that she’s waiting for something to happen but she won’t say what. So Betsy decides on a spur of the moment decision to do something a little unexpected and kill the devil. And then Laura will have to take her place. But hopefully because she doesn’t end up working with the Lena Olin devil, hopefully Betsy doesn’t do a bunch of bad shit and the world as they know it won’t come to an end.

Overall I did really like this book, as I liked all the books in this series. This book specifically I liked the plot twists and turns and I like that Betsy took some kind of action to try and save her and Sinclair. And since the Book of the Dead was gone in the end of this book, I’m hoping she succeeded. Good read and good addition to the series.

Link to author website: http://www.maryjanicedavidson.net/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Undead-Unstable-Queen-Betsy/dp/B00B1LDDRE/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1417029191&sr=8-2

2014 – Book #103

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The hundred and third book I read in 2014 was Wolf at the Door by Mary Janice Davidson. This book is technically part of the Wyndham Werewolves series but Betsy Taylor from the Undead series plays her own part in this book so I am reading it in my Undead series re-reading. It says in the preface to this book that it takes place after Undead and Undermined (the tenth book in the Undead series) but I’m pretty sure that’s not true. In this book Marc is already up and walking around and everyone knows about him. At the end of Undead and Undermined, Marc had just died. I think this book really takes place after the end of the next book or maybe even the one after that. Anyways, I finished this book on 11/22/14. I rated this book 3.0 stars out of a scale of 5. This book was about Rachael Velvela, a werewolf accountant, and Edward, a Bostonian who lives with a vampire and vampire hunter.

Rachael is asked by her cousin Michael (leader of the Wyndham werewolf Pack) to go St. Paul and keep an eye on the vampire queen (Betsy Taylor). Meanwhile Edward in Boston gets a copy of the vampire newsletter and decides to go check things out. The two meet by chance in a Barnes and Noble and boink their brains out. And eventually solve the mystery of some murders.

This book was ok. My main problem with it is that the timeline doesn’t really work. There is a lot of mention of Antonia dying, but she came back to life at the end of Undead and Undermined. And Marc had just died and was not yet a zombie (spoiler alert). I’m glad I had already read the next book in the series or else I would be pissed and confused about that point. Other than those issues, the book was cute and slightly entertaining. Overall definitely not one of my favorites but was an ok read.

Link to author webiste: http://www.maryjanicedavidson.net/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-at-Door-MaryJanice-Davidson/dp/0425243117/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1416666186&sr=8-4

2014 – Book #101

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The hundred and first book I read in 2014 was Undead and Undermined by MaryJanice Davidson. This is the tenth book in her Undead/Betsy Taylor series. I finished this book on 11/9/14. I rated this book 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5. This book picks up almost immediately after where the last book left off. Betsy and Laura have returned from hell unscathed and Betsy is determined not to let the future she saw become the future that actually happens. She will forewarn her friends and family and she will prevent disaster. Of course first she and Sinclair must have lots of sex before she can tell everyone what’s up and what she learned on her travels.

First thing Betsy notices (it’s hard to miss) is that she’s currently in an alternate timeline. Garrett is still alive, and not only are Jess and Nick (who goes by Dick now I guess) still together, Jess is pregnant! Fortunately that’s just about the biggest differences between this timeline and the last one Betsy was in so she is still the vampire queen, and Sinclair is still madly in love with her. Oh and I forgot one of the other biggest differences is that Christian Louboutin (famous shoe designer, Betsy has about a dozen pairs of shoes by him) no longer makes shoes in this timeline, and instead Betsy has about a dozen pairs of velvet clogs (barf).

Unfortunately, someone seems to have tagged along on Betsy and Laura’s travel back to their own time. The Marc Thing from the future pops up in Betsy’s kitchen while she is debriefing her fellow house-dwellers.They manage to tape The Marc Thing up to a fridge with about eight rolls of duct tape. Unfortunately, while they’re still trying to figure out what to do with The Marc Thing, Betsy and Laura end up in a pretty nasty fight and they tumble on back to hell. Betsy ends up tumbling through and ends up in Chicago and gets hit by a car.

Overall I very much liked this book, as I do all the books in this series. I especially liked the idea of alternate timelines and how Betsy affected her own past and future when she messed with the past in the last book.

Wkipedia page about Christian Louboutin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Louboutin

Link to author website: http://www.maryjanicedavidson.net/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Undead-Undermined-Queen-Betsy/dp/B007F7R9G4/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1415662918&sr=8-1

2014 – Book #98

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Unfortunately I was not able to read the whole Undead series during the month of October for my Spooky Series Reading Challenge. That may have been over-ambitious on my part considering the amount of work that has been piling up this month (this is my second-busiest season of the year) but I tried and I will continue to finish the series over the next month. You can never really fail at reading, so I consider my first reading challenge to be a great accomplishment overall and it was fun! And so, the ninty-eighth book I finished in 2014 was Undead and Unfinished by MaryJanice Davidson. This is the ninth book in her Undead/Betsy Taylor series. I finished this book on 11/2/14. I rated this book 4.75 stars out of a scale of 5. This book picks up about two months after where the last book left off. The dreaded month of November is upon Betsy’s household and as usual she is avoiding anything and everything to do with the horrid month (Betsy has some intense opinions about November).

Betsy decides to teach her sister a thing or two about Hollywood’s version of the Antichrist, and together they watch many of the cinematic versions of Laura. Laura admits to being curious about her biological mother but its only after Laura wakes up naked in a public area that Betsy decides she’s going ot have to hike up her big girl panties and take Laura down into hell. And since Sinclair is being such a distant, cold jerk, there couldn’t be a better time for Betsy’s little field trip to hell.

When they arrive they learn that the lesson for the day for Laura is going to be time travel. And off Laura and Betsy trot to travel through time and space. Apparently since Laura is half human she needs physical contact with a blood relative (Betsy) until she gets the hang of doing the traveling on her own. And since Betsy is the one she’s punching in the face, they end up following a path of times in the past that end up being meaningful to Betsy’s life. Like seeing Sinclair when he was a little kid, and making sure that Tina turned Eric after Eric’s family died. Apparently Betsy’s interference was necessary in many ways to keep the time stream operating as she knew it, and one bonus thrown in that she was able to fix something she wished she could undo.

Overall, the idea behind this book can be a little unbelievable if you think too hard about it. Why did Betsy have to go back in time to fix it so that things happened that should have already happened? And why was that one bonus thrown in that she made it so she never bit Nick? And why did she only get to go to the future for one stop, and why was it so unbelievably sucky? I personally loved the story line to this book, it was different, it kept me interested, and it had plenty of twists and turns along the way. I saw on Amazon that a lot of people were upset about the direction of this book but I thought that it was a great addition to the series.

Link to author website: http://www.maryjanicedavidson.net/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Undead-Unfinished-Mary-Janice-Davidson/dp/B004R07A1G/ref=tmm_hrd_title_2

2014 – Book #97

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**SPOILER ALERT**

As this book is a continuation in a series, some items are discussed in this blog post that reveal plot twists in previous books. Read at your own risk.

As part of my October spooky series reading challenge, the ninty-seventh book I read in 2014 was Undead and Unwelcome by MaryJanice Davidson. This is the eighth book in her Undead series about vampire queen Betsy Taylor. This is the series I will be focusing on this month for my Spooky Series reading challenge for the month of October. I finished this book on 10/26/14. I rated this book 4.75 stars out of a scale of 5. This book picks up about one week after where the seventh book left off. Antonia died in order to save Betsy’s life, and now Betsy is having trouble dealing with her grief over the matter. Not only that, but when she calls Michael Wyndham to inform him (Michael is the leader of Antonia’s wolf-pack) he requests that Betsy come to Cape Cod with Antonia’s body and also to discuss exactly how this has come about.

Basically the werewolves are all pissed. Apparently everyone is blaming Betsy for Antonia’s death even though the werewolves’ lack of acceptance with Antonia (she was a little “different”) is what drove her to leave for Minnesota in the first place so the blame should honestly be a little shared. And as if Betsy weren’t beating herself up about it enough already, she loved Antonia and is fairly devastated by her death. Anyways, so Betsy, Sinclair, Jess, and BabyJon stomp off to Cape Cod to answer a few rude werewolf questions.

While they are in Cape Cod, Betsy and Sinclair start noticing that everyone is acting a little weird around BabyJon. Derik gets really freaked out every time he sees the baby, and Michael is ignoring the baby as if it doesn’t even exist. Betsy starts to think there is some wrong, and when a teen changes into a werewolf for the first time and takes a bite out of BabyJon, her suspicions are confirmed. Meanwhile back at the homestead, Laura is losing her gosh-darned mind and has trapped Tina somewhere. Marc is trying to reason with her while sending garbled acronym-filled messages to Betsy that she can’t interpret.

I’ll say pretty much the same thing I said for the first book here, overall obviously I love this book or else I wouldn’t be re-reading the whole series. I can’t say enough good things about this book and this series. I very much liked this book, it was well-paced and I was interested throughout the story. I thought it was interesting that this book was almost like a tv cross-over special between the Undead book series and the Wyndham book series. Loved this one, would definitely recommend!!

Link to author website: http://www.maryjanicedavidson.net/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Undead-Unwelcome-Queen-Betsy-Book/dp/B005X4AQDE/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

2014 – Book #96

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As part of my October spooky series reading challenge, the ninty-sixth book I read in 2014 was Undead and Unworthy by MaryJanice Davidson. This is the seventh book in her Undead series about vampire queen Betsy Taylor. This is the series I will be focusing on this month for my Spooky Series reading challenge for the month of October. I finished this book on 10/25/14. I rated this book 4.5 stars out of a scale of 5. This book picks up about two months after where the sixth book left off. Betsy and Sinclair are settling into their lives as newlyweds. One night Garrett arrives and says that he’s been feeding the other Fiends his blood because he’s been feeling sorry for them. Apparently because they’ve been feeding on his blood though (which also contains the devil’s daughter’s blood and Queen Betsy’s blood) they became slowly aware of their surroundings and their predicament.

And apparently they’re very mad at Betsy. Like murder-on-the-mind kind of mad. And the Fiends are all on their way to the mansion to kill Betsy, following Garrett home to figure out where it was that Betsy lived. Normally Betsy and Sinclair would stay and fight but they don’t want to endanger the lives of Jessica and Marc (their human roommates) so they escape through the underground tunnels, since apparently there is an access in the basement of their house. So they hide out for a little bit while they get the whole story from Garrett. The Fiends really want to kill Betsy and they will bulldoze whoever gets in their way, as Marc finds out later in the story.

While all this is happening, Nick has also enlisted the help of Betsy to assist him in finding a serial killer. Apparently someone has been cleaning up the streets and killing all the bad guys that there isn’t enough evidence against to prosecute. Nick seems to think that it is possibly a rogue cop doing the killings. When Jess finds out that Nick is using Betsy in such a way though, she is beyond mad. And when Nick finds out that Jess won’t go stay somewhere else for a few days while this Field thing gets sorted out, Nick is beyond mad too.

I’ll say pretty much the same thing I said for the first book here, overall obviously I love this book or else I wouldn’t be re-reading the whole series. I can’t say enough good things about this book and this series. I very much liked this book, it was suspenseful and thrilling and I loved the plot twist at the end that connects the two story lines. Love this series, I can’t wait to get started on the next one! And I am very excited to see what happens in the new book in the series (lucky #13) that I haven’t read yet!

Link to author website: http://www.maryjanicedavidson.net/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Undead-Unworthy-Queen-Betsy-Book/dp/0425221628/ref=tmm_hrd_title_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414262920&sr=1-1

2014 – Book #95

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As part of my October spooky series reading challenge, the ninty-fifth book I read in 2014 was Dead Over Heels by MaryJanice Davidson. This is a collection of 3 novellas, one of which is book 6.5 in her Undead series about vampire queen Betsy Taylor. This is the series I will be focusing on this month for my Spooky Series reading challenge for the month of October. I finished this book on 10/23/14. I rated this book 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5.

The first novella in this book is Undead and Wed: A Honeymoon Story. This story takes place only a few days after where Undead and Uneasy left off, Betsy and Sinclair are married and have ventured off for their honeymoon. What they don’t suspect however, is that Betsy’s best friend Jess and Jess’s boyfriend Nick are waiting at their hotel in NYC for them. Jess seems to think that this is the perfect time for Betsy and Nick to become bestest friends (Nick hates her guts for past events). But while they’re all staying at the hotel, kids start turning up dead, bled dry by vampires. I think the whole premise of Jess showing up on Betsy’s honeymoon is a little unlikely but other than that this was a fun story and a good addition to the Undead series.

The second novella in this book is Survivors. TV star Con Conlinson ends up stranded in a one man boat in the middle of the ocean. After two days he is thankfully helped by a silver mermaid who feeds him, drags his boat to an island so he doesn’t die, and telepathically calls to another mermaid to get a rescue team to come get Con. The funny thing is that Con was the star of a survival show, but he never would have survived another day if it weren’t for the mermaid, Ree (Reanesta). This was a cute story and I like the other mermaid books that MJ writes.

The third novella in this book is Speed Dating Werewolf Style Or, Ow, I Think You Broke The Bone. This book also takes place a few days after the end of Undead and Uneasy. Cain was one of the werewolves that Michael brought to Minnesota with him to try and find Antonia. Cain hadn’t seen many of her Pack members in years, so teaming up with them to take on the vampire queen really brought it home that many of her Pack members that are her age are now settled down with “pups” of their own. Cain decides its time for her to settle down and find a mate, and she enlists the help of her good old friend Saul. Short story made even shorter, Saul has been in love with Cain forever and she was just too dumb to realize it. To be honest I found this story to be a bit predictable and boring. It was cute just not my taste. 

Link to author website: http://www.maryjanicedavidson.net/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dead-Over-Heels-MaryJanice-Davidson/dp/0425219410/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1414148725&sr=1-3

2014 – Book #94

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As part of my October spooky series reading challenge, the ninty-fourth book I read in 2014 was Undead and Uneasy by MaryJanice Davidson. This is the sixth book in her Undead series about vampire queen Betsy Taylor. This is the series I will be focusing on this month for my Spooky Series reading challenge for the month of October. I finished this book on 10/22/14. I rated this book 4.5 stars out of a scale of 5. This book picks up about 3 months after where the fifth book left off. Betsy’s wedding is fast approaching and about four weeks before the wedding everyone disappears. And then Betsy’s father and stepmother die in an awful car crash and she is left to face their funeral for the most part on her own.

Betsy’s best friend Jessica is dying of cancer, and Jessica’s boyfriend Nick (who Betsy had previously had a little blood-crazy episode with when she first turned into a vampire but then they erased his memory of the incident, or so they thought) confronts Betsy and tells her to turn Jessica into a vampire and save her or he’d unload a bunch of bullet’s into Betsy’s head. Once Betsy gets over the shock that Nick has remembered what happened, she lets Nick know that she’s already tried that route and Jessica turned her down.

Sinclair has been missing for two weeks and Betsy thinks that he’s just in a snit because he doesn’t want to go through with the wedding ceremony. Sinclair seems to think that they’re already married since that’s what the Book of the Dead says, but Betsy wants the ceremony she’s been planning since she was a little girl. Kind of hard to do when the groom just up and disappears though. Once Tina finds out that Sinclair is missing, Betsy realizes that maybe she should be a little worried. As much as Sinclair doesn’t want to go through with the ceremony, its really not like him to just disappear for a couple weeks. He’d fight about the ceremony, not passively just not show up. Turns out Betsy probably should’ve been worried a little sooner.

I’ll say pretty much the same thing I said for the first book here, overall obviously I love this book or else I wouldn’t be re-reading the whole series. I can’t say enough good things about this book and this series. I think this book might be one of my favorite in the series so far. I love how Betsy overcomes the evil in the end of the book and what she does right after that, it was unexpected and a bit thrilling. Stay tuned for more adventures though as I try to read through the rest of the series this month. Going to take a Herculean effort since there are eight more books to go (7 and a collection of novellas). Great series though and I love reading it so it’s fun! I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who’s looking for a good laugh.