Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Undead and Unfinished by MaryJanice Davidson

Synopsis: Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor is having a tough time getting through the Book of the Dead -- until the Devil strikes a bargain. She offers Betsy a chance to finish the cursed (literally!) thing, and finally discover all its mysteries. There's just one catch... — Betsy and her half-sister Laura have to go to Hell long enough for Laura to embrace her dark heritage (after a rebellious youth of charity work) and finally make nice with her mother, aka Lucifer. That means interacting with their family's past. In doing so, they're impacting the future in ways they never anticipated. Of course that's what Mother wanted all along. Damn her.

My Thoughts:In this book Betsy goes to Hell. Literally. She agrees to go there so her sister can ask her mother, The Devil, some questions. What then happens is Betsy and Laura (who is now being referred through most of the book as Antichrist) goes on a romp through time (which apparently is now one of Laura's hellish talents). I thought much of the hell part seemed to drag. I felt as if I were being dumped upon with a crap load of information which is just silly considering this is not the first book in the series but the 9th.

Betsy's trip through time was interesting though. I thought her jump into the past was helpful not only to learn more about her husband and first in command Tina but it was an eye opener for Betsy. She is really starting to notice how shallow and self centered she really is. I found that by learning more about Sink Lair I like him a whole lot more too. Tina too for that matter.

As far as the book as a whole, I felt that the situations at the beginning of the book, which actually set up the last part of the book, was obvious in it's attempt to manipulate the storyline. I know that all writers do "manipulate" their story lines to produce the outcome they want but it should not be so obvious in my opinion. I also absolutely, I detested (is that worse than hate?) the epilogue. I was just complaining about the fact that Betsy just isn't maturing as quickly as I would like but Davidson may have gone a little overboard with the learning maturity part. After visiting the past Betsy then visits the future. She meets the future her who is now 1000 years old. What happens, especially in the epilogue, is just ridiculous. Not in a self centered Betsy way but in a MaryJanice Davidson kicked my puppy way. I know she has introduced a new story arc, hence the new covers and several acknowledgement pages telling us readers that there is a new story arc happening. But honestly she took a series that was silly and fun to someplace dark and depressing. It was happening before the epilogue but really it's the epilogue that is the puppy kicker.

So, do I love that Betsy has learned something on her trips to hell, the past, and the future? Yep. But I also hate what is in Betsy's future with a passion. Which may be the point MaryJanice was making. Her next book comes out in July and I am really torn on if I want to read it. I may have to see where Davidson is going with this new arc so I probably will.

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