UNDEAD AND UNWARY
Queen Betsy Series #8
by Mary Janice Davidson
Hardcover/E-Book 320 Pages
Penguin/Berkley 7 Oct 2014
Recorded Books Audio 10:53 Nancy Wu (Narrator)
Available June 30, 2015: Mass Market Paperback |Pages 336
E-Galley provided by publisher for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own except as noted.
Even with Satan out of the picture and the Antichrist for a sister, Betsy Taylor has had a hard time maintaining “things below.” It’s not that she’s been shirking her hellish obligations. It’s just that her earthbound duties are so time-consuming—like a brand-new baby drama involving a pair of uncanny (okay, terrifying) toddler twins. And get this: Betsy’s dad, once so very dead, has been spotted in downtown St. Paul.
Now amid all this fire-and-brimstone jazz, Betsy’s very own flesh and blood have even more surprises in store for the vampire queen. And jolt by jolt, Betsy is soon to discover that there’s nothing as heartwarming as family. Yeah, like Hell.
Queen Betsy was one of the first series I read as a blogger. It was funny, it was sexy, it had snarky dialogue. Sometime ago, however, it seems to have stopped being all of those things. This makes me sad. Is anyone editing this writer anymore? See I’ve seen this series going off the tracks as the plotting seemed to become erratic, but then I thought she had managed not to derail entirely with the last book. Well, no, with this one the train has completely gone off the track.
There were entire pages of this book that made less sense than THE JABBERWOCKY. Either MJD’s characters, or the author herself has ceased being able to construct a proper sentence. I’ve heard MJD speak, and even chatted with her and she is an amusing, highly intelligent woman, so I don’t know what the issue is.
But I do know that, while the writer is vibrant the book are now just frantic rambles through the land of lost storylines. And, I thought there was an anti-Semitic comment about halfway through Chapter 24. I don’t have a finished copy but the galley I had referred to finally figuring out a vampire was Jewish, Betsy was, “…surprised his victim predilection didn’t tip them off.” I don’t see it as in context for character development. It was probably inadvertent, or just a stupid thing to write, but that is why there are editors. I wish I could tell you the reference was removed but my e-galley is uncorrected.
What I did like was that Betsy, who seems to grow in each book, but without overall effect, does seem to have a serious epiphany that seems to cause a lot of growth all at once. We learn that the nice girl, the pretty girl, is not at all nice, but thinks she is. And there are a couple of surprises.
Here’s a question: Where the heck is BabyJon, Betsy’s brother who she is raising? She refers to him a lot, but while we see Sinclair’s puppies and Jessica’s babies, we never see BabyJon. It’s possible it is explained in another volume in the series, and I missed it.
So here’s the deal: if you want to read this, you can expect a dialogue that feels like a cat chasing a laser spot. This is one you probably want to get at the library or book sale. I would never pay the asking price for this one.