Undead and Unfinished (Book 9 of the Queen Betsy series)
Author: MaryJanice Davidson (website)
Publisher: Berkley Hardcover (July 6, 2010)
Inside Cover Description:
There’s only one thing Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor hates more than the threat of hosting a traditional Thanksgiving dinner (after all, how traditional is her family?), and that’s trying to get through the Book of the Dead without going insane. Every time she’s tried reading it she just gets blindsided — until this time, when the devil strikes a bargain. She offers Betsy a chance to get through the cursed (literally!) thing cover to cover and finally discover all its mysteries. There’s just one teensy little catch.
Betsy and her half sister, Laura, have to go to Hell. Just long enough for Laura to finally embrace her dark heritage (after a rebellious youth of charity work and teaching Sunday school) and make nice with her mother, aka Lucifer, by picking up such skills as slicing through time and the universe with a hellfire sword. While such things might sound fun, time travel is proving to be an alarming journey for Betsy and Laura. Not only are they interacting firsthand with their own family’s past, but in doing so, they’re dangerously impacting the future in ways they never anticipated.
Of course that’s what Mother wanted all along. Damn her.
I have loved every book in this series and I was very eager to get my hands on Undead and Unfinished. This book focuses mostly on Betsy, Queen of the Vampires, and her half-sister Laura, who also happens to be the Antichrist. The Book of the Dead contains the prophecies for Betsy and her time as Queen, but it makes her insane and evil when reading more than a page at a time. Meanwhile, Betsy’s sister Laura has been sick and dreaming of hell. Laura’s mom and a frequent visitor to taunt Betsy, the Devil shows up to offer a cure for Laura’s ills as well as a cure for Betsy’s madness when reading the book. All they have to do is visit hell and practice Laura’s unknown time travelling skills to get what they want.
As Betsy and Laura travel through time, they stop at important times in their family’s lives. Betsy is as ballsy and snarky as ever, while Laura errs on the side of caution and doesn’t want to mess up the time lines by interfering with past events. Classic time travel concerns, right? Along the way, Betsy realizes that she doesn’t know much about her husband Sinclairs’ past as well as that of his assistant Tina. You can clearly see Betsy make these life altering realizations along the way, akin to slowly pulling her head out of her self absorbed rear end. Laura slowly seems to be embracing her dark side throughout the stops as well. Maybe she isn’t as goody-goody as she seems?
When they wind up 1000 years in the future at the end of the book, I was very shocked by how the future versions of the characters have changed. MaryJanice Davidson has set a new course for the adventures of Queen Betsy, one where she must take an active roll in ruling her vampires as well as in her destiny. This book was as funny as usual, with the shoe and fashion observations as snarky as ever.
I give this work 4 out of 5 books. It could have used a little more of Betsy’s husband Sinclair, as well as friends Jessica, Nick, and Mark. A fun look at the past Betsy never thought to ask about while getting new insight to the inner workings of the Devil and Laura.