Undead and Unworthy (Undead 7)
- Mary Janice Davidson
Publisher: UK – Piatkus
Nobody reigns over the undead with more savvy than her heroine Betsy Taylor, back to rule the nights as Vampire Queen and survive the days as a new suburban bride. But it's not all marital bliss. Betsy's husband, Sinclair, has been perusing The Book of the Dead, Betsy's being hounded by a ghost who's even more insufferable in death than in life, and a pack of formerly feral vampires has decided to pay an unwelcome visit.
I stopped reading this series a while ago as I found it a little repetitive after a while with far too many characters for such a small number of pages. However, a break is as good as a change and coming back after a couple of years means I was able to look at the series with fresh eyes.
Betsy is the vampire queen – able to go without blood for longer than other, take god’s name in vain, see and hear ghosts and some strange magical powers that allows her to be invulnerable to stakes and pretty much everything else people throw at her – and for some reason someone always wants to kill her. Not that she cares much – she just wants to go show shopping! This is very mucha a light hearted romp through the crowded urban fantasy genre. There are many similarities to a typical UF book: hot vampire lead – check, loyal but human best friend – check, heroine with mysterious, unknown powers that make her special – check, bad guys who are evil for the sake of it – check. But rather than heavy angst or soul searching Betsy and her gang seem to take everything in their stride with the focus more on the banter than any investigation or research.
The plot moves forward through conversations and heavy snarking at each other rather than action. And while I did enjoy the banter at first, I found myself missing character development and getting a little tired from all the talking. There are at least ten main characters and Mary Janice Davidson attempts to squeeze in some character development for at least four of them - but without explaining too much of what they were like before, during or after. This made it difficult for me to connect to any them – especially as for the most part the book is told in first person from Betsy’s point of view.
The short page count and easy style meant I whizzed through this book quicker than a teenager on a scooter on the pavement! There is minimal thought needed and while I wouldn’t add this series to my must read list, if I get the chance to pick up the next couple of books in the series on the cheap I would read them for some light hearted relief from my usual UF fare.
Recommended for fans of Victoria Laurie and Shanna Swendson. 6 out of 10.