Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Undead and Undermined Review

Undead and Undermined by MaryJanice Davidson

So this is what being dead feels like. Vampire queen Betsy Taylor has awoken in a Chicago morgue, naked as a corpse. Her last memory is reconciling with her husband, Eric Sinclair, after a time-traveling field trip, including an indirect route to hell (literally), with her sister, Laura. Now she’s Jane Doe #291, wrapped in plastic with a toe tag. Betsy can’t help but wonder, what in hell happened?

Grabbing clean scrubs, Betsy hits the pavement and heads back to her St. Paul mansion to find that her family and friends have been frantically searching for her. And not one of them can explain how she ended up dead and naked - not to mention, in Chicago - until Betsy realizes that she and Laura didn't time-travel alone. What followed them had a wicked agenda: to kill Betsy in a time when she was still young and vulnerable and end her future reign as queen.

But it's not just Betsy's future that's taken an unexpected detour. Everyone in her circle, alive or undead, is feeling the chill. Betsy can't let the unthinkable happen. It would be a day in hell if she did.

3 out of 5 stars

Undead and Undermined is book 10 in the Undead series.

Betsy has made it back from hell. Because of her time travels, the timeline she lives in was altered and there are some major changes. She never bit Nick, now Dick, when she was changed and now he and Jessica are happily expecting a baby. Garrett also did not die after the death of Antonia and he reminds her that she promised to bring Antonia back from hell. There are problems, too. Laura had hidden the Book of the Dead and won't give it back and future vampire Marc has followed them home.

It's been a while since I read book 9 and, luckily, there was a handy "The story thus far" at the beginning of the book. There was also a note from the author that said that book 10 was the 2nd book in a trilogy within the book series... so I'm holding out hope that the series will shift direction again into something I like more. I used to love the Queen Betsy books but, especially book 9 and this one, have really fallen off.

Betsy's still the same ditzy blonde. If you liked her before and have not given up on the series yet, you'd like her about the same. Her internal dialogue is constantly going off on tangents, which isn't a problem when the story has more substance.

The biggest problem with this book for me was that it seemed like a jumbled mess. It took place in maybe 24 hours with too many things happening at once. Most of the internal dialogue is Betsy freaking out about the same things over and over even when they have nothing to do with the situation at hand. I'd much rather have less happening with more coherency, especially if a large portion of the book is taken up with Betsy sex life and her internal tangents.

I am still going to read the Undead series because I'm invested in Betsy and the story. I just no longer preorder them or buy them at hardcover price. It makes me a little sad that I don't love them anymore, but I don't dislike them either. I do hold out some hope.

*Picture and description from Goodreads

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