Undead and Underminedby MaryJanice Davidson (Website, Facebook)
Series: Undead #10
Published by Berkley, Penguin on July 5, 2011
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
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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.
I’ve finally gotten a break in my schedule to catch up on some series that I’ve loved and fallen behind on, so I picked up installment eleven in the Undead series by MaryJanice Davidson. I’ve really enjoyed most of the previous books featuring Betsy, a snarky shoe-loving vampire who reluctantly found herself the prophesized Queen of the vampires. She’s battled quite a few enemies along the way with her husband Sinclair and human best-friends, but the last few books have featured her run-ins and adventures with her half-sister Laura–who just happens to be the devil’s daughter and the Anti-Christ.
The last book, Undead and Unfinished, had Betsy and Laura time traveling to different points in their loved ones’ pasts as Laura tried to hone her new skills. Little did they know that not only did Betsy alter the course of everyone’s future by changing one little thing in the past, but someone slipped into the present with them in order to prevent the very bleak future from happening for the entire Midwest. Everyone’s lives are a bit different in this timeline’s present: Betsy’s best friend Jessica is dating cop Nick again, but here she’s pregnant and about to pop. The bigger surprise is that the ghoul Garrett is still alive and hasn’t died after his werewolf girlfriend died while protecting Betsy. And apparently, this timeline’s Betsy has promised Garrett that they can rescue his girlfriend from Hell, and he’s adamant about getting his way.
Betsy is her usual self: snarky, self-absorbed, prone to spacing out while she imagines little scenarios and tuning out those around her. It’s a miracle that no one’s killed her during one of these space cadet moments yet. What makes the book interesting is how Betsy reacts to the little differences in the people around her. She has a hard time dealing with her best friend being pregnant, Christian Leboutin not existing, clogs being stylish, and various other things she finds annoying.
I give Undead and Undermined a 3.5 out of 5. It was easy to slip back into Betsy’s sarcastic world after waiting a couple of years since reading book nine, but this books didn’t seem to cover much of a time frame–maybe a few days at most. This left me feeling like not much forward progression was made in the storyline, but at least I can just move on to book number 11 and 12 without waiting. There was a great summary of the story so far, which really caught me up on everything–especially after the previous confusing time travel book. While I enjoyed reading this book and it was a quick, entertaining read, I could have used some more substance to it. Hopefully books 11 and 12 have more depth while still bringing the laughs and snark I expect from this series.