MaryJanice Davidson, Undead and Unstable

Posted June 29, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

Undead and Unstable (Undead, #11)Undead and Unstable by MaryJanice Davidson
Series: Undead / Queen Betsy, 11
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Eleventh in the Undead / Queen Betsy comic urban fantasy series revolving around Betsy Taylor, the Queen of the Undead and based in Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota.

My Take
The answers to a lot of questions are in this installment. I was beginning to think Davidson would never explain just how that skin became the Book of the Dead. Or just how Ancient Betsy evolved.

I absolutely cannot stand Betsy. An alternate title could be Queen of the Whingers. Christ, if she would just shut up and let someone talk…! Of course, then Davidson would have to find something else to put in there. How Sinclair puts up with her, I do not know. She must be really good in bed. She is definitely good for a lot of laughs. At her.

For some reason, dogs keep chasing Betsy in this story.

Okay, color me “stupid”, I am just not getting the whole “time is a wheel” thing. Nor do I grasp Creaky Me’s summing up in Epilogue 2.0. She’s rambling back and forth between timelines and…I’m just lost. Although I appreciate learning just why she did what she did to her husband. Of course, part of that is I just want to be finished with this book.

I like the characters (most of ’em) and the concept is interesting, but I can only take so much Betsy.

The Story
The household is still freaking out about Marc’s suicide and Jessica, Dick/Nick, Tina, and Eric have gotten Betsy’s promise that she won’t try to bring him back. Yup, ’cause that’s gonna keep Betsy from doing what she wants.

Only, she doesn’t bring him back. Marc just is. Back, that is. Hiding out in the attic, trying to keep busy. Playing with the recently-dead cat Giselle. So while Betsy is freaking on that, Laura is having her own bit of panic. How in the world is she going to tell Betsy about the Book of the Dead? By the time Laura gets her nerve up out at the puppy farm, Betsy is off and ranting, not letting anyone get a word in. At least, not until Satan shows up.

The silly part? She’s ranting because no one will tell her anything. The fact that no one can get a word in edgewise because she’s ranting doesn’t seem to cross Betsy’s mind.

To cap it off, the queen, who absolutely hates and despises Thanksgiving, has invited everyone for the feast with canned cranberries, canned sweet potatoes…I wonder if she can find canned turkey?

However, throughout the story, people keep dropping little nuggets in Betsy’s ear and eventually those nuggets actually get through.

The Characters
Betsy Taylor—do NOT call her “Elizabeth”!—is still fighting her role as queen of the vampires. I must say it’s really hard for me to remember that she’s thirty-years-old with her maturity level and extreme level of self-centeredness. Ancient Betsy appears in this past and is quite happy to nag and nag and nag at her Infant Me. Although being around Sinclair seems to give her the creeps. Dr. Taylor is her mother and frequently babysits BabyJon, Betsy’s baby half-brother (her dad and the Ant).

Eric Sinclair is her co-sovereign. He’s cool, classy, gorgeous, and, for some reason, absolutely obsessed with her. He does spend a lot of time in this one laughing his ass off. Tina is his girl Friday, has her own bullet-making set-up in the basement so she’s happy if not seen too often in this story, and adores flavored vodka…tomato, anyone?

Jessica is enormously pregnant—The Belly That Ate the World—and swears she’s not due until summer. Dick/Nick likes Betsy in this timeline. He’s still a cop and he still adores Jessica.

Laura is the Antichrist and Betsy’s half-sister—they share the same dad, but Satan is her mother. Seems Satan has been wanting a “temp worker of the damned” ’cause she wants a vacation. Satan, the Devil, Lucifer Morningstar, Lena Olin just keeps showing up and pushing, knocking, watching.

The bitchy werewolf, Antonia, is back from Hell where the Devil gladly gave her back to Betsy. You’ll love what she says to her old Pack! Yup, Antonia is back. Garrett the Fiend is much more with it in this timeline—tricksier—but still obsessed with knitting and crocheting.

Jon Delk has written a successful book about vampires and is currently on tour promoting it and the movie that will be made from it. It’s the start of a popular vampire revival! In this timeline.

The Cover
The cover is more Florida than the week before Thanksgiving in Minnesota. The base of the cover is a bright green to showcase the title while a deep crackled green background barely shows behind the artfully pixelated Betsy glancing at us over her shoulder. She’s wearing a green-black railroad-striped bustier or tube top and rhinestoned sunglasses that reflect a three-story brick house with porch and cupola (the mansion??), but what you really notice is her golden hair dangling in long corkscrew curls to her shoulder blades.

The title says it all about Queen Betsy—Undead and Unstable.

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