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 #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