Thursday, June 21, 2012

Undead and Unstable by MaryJanice Davidson

Synopsis: Betsy's heartbroken over her friend Marc's death, but at least his sacrifice should change the future--her future--for the better.  But it's not as if Betsy's next few hundred years will be perfect.  After all, her half sister, Laura, is the Antichrist, Laura's mother is Satan, and family gatherings will always be more than a little awkward.

What's really bothering Betsy is that ever since she and Laura returned from visiting her mom in hell, Laura's been acting increasingly peculiar.  Maybe it's Laura's new job offer: Satan's replacement down under.  Unfortunately, the position comes at a damnable price: killing Betsy, her own flesh and blood.

Over Betsy's dead body.  And for that matter, Marc's, too, since he's not quite as buried as everyone thought.  Now a war has been waged--one that's going to take sibling rivalry to a whole new level and a dimension where only one sister can survive.

My Review: I'm officially done with Betsy. Her constant ignorant chatter and her inability to concentrate was annoying but to have everyone in her life call her stupid or remind her that she's easily distracted by shiny things is beyond palatable. She thinks she's as dumb as a box of rocks. Her friends think she is as dumb as a box of rocks. Her husband thinks stuff too but loves her anyway. Not only has Betsy not grown over the course of 11 books it is apparent that she is sliding backwards. If Betsy was this stupid in book 1 I never would have read book 2.

The actual storyline was all of 3 chapters scattered throughout the book. The rest was filler where Betsy drinks smoothies or semi-mourns her cat or gets chased by dogs or gets arrested. None of which is actually pertinent to the plot.

The time traveling aspect is just silly as there are some events that were altered for the sake of humor but for the life of me I can't figure out how they happened. Nick is now Dick and throughout the book (and the last one) Betsy calls him D/Nick or Nickie-Dickie or some other annoying name. I have no idea how Betsy's visit to the past could have changed one of the character's names but having her repeatedly calling Nick, De-Nick annoyed me.

The writing itself seems chaotic. It's written from Betsy's perspective which is just awful. As I mentioned earlier she is easily distracted by shiny things so her mind wanders. We, as readers, are unfortunate to get to read about how she wonders what hair products so and so uses while that character is talking to her. In addition to this, one chapter opens up with something along the lines of 'and that is how I got arrested' but the end of the chapter before that had nothing to do with being arrested. The explanation of her arrest and the actions leading up to it are explained after the opening of that chapter.

In addition to this the book is not friendly to new readers. You cannot pick up this book and read it without having read any other Betsy Taylor books. Things are reviewed at the beginning of the book on what has happened thus far in books 1-10 but I found some things were not explained. For example why does Betsy call Satan Lena Olin? A new reader wouldn't know and it's not explained.

So, because of the lack of growth on Betsy's part, the lack of a decent plot, the fact that the book is trying to be funny to the point it isn't and the chaos like writing I doubt I will ever pick up another Queen Betsy book.

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