The novel Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson was recommended by a co-worker, who is a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse series, like me. She explained the story takes place in the same “vampire world” as Sookie (meaning the vampires have similar powers). Since I finished all the Sookie novels (even the new one released May 5, Dead and Gone) I was eager to try a new vampire series. She did classify her recommendation by saying it was vampire chick lit, so I was warned (I’m not that big of a chick lit fan but will read if it’s a compelling story).
Warning: I will reveal spoilers. Also, if you are a fan of the series or novel, you probably won’t like my review because I will admit; I’m going to be a little harsh on the main character. Consider yourself warned.
The UK cover of Undead and Unwed
The story is told in a first-person narrative by our protagonist, Elizabeth “Betsy” Taylor. Yes, her name is Elizabeth Taylor. I can only assume the author choose the name for comedic reasons, but to me it was a little over the top.
The story starts with Betsy describing the worst day of her life, the day she died. Spoiler alert – she rises as a vampire.
As she describes her life and we learn more about our heroine, I realize I don’t like her. Betsy comes across as self absorbed, vain, not too bright, and arrogant. Now, I’m sure the author meant to portray her this way because she beats us over the head with Betsy’s materialism and daftness (she refused to fight against the vampires who are trying to kill her until she's bribed with expensive shoes). As the story continues, I grow more and more annoyed with Betsy, almost to the point that I don’t think I’ll even finish reading the book. She annoys me with her need to always “talk back”, her unnecessary use of profanity (I’m not a prude, but don’t cuss just for the sake of cussing) and how she refuses to listen to logic. Seriously, her decision making process is ridiculous.
My favorite vampire is Eric Northman, in the Sookie Stackhouse series, played by Alexander Skarsgard on HBO's True Blood
After Betsy becomes a vampire we realize she isn’t like your typical vamp. The hunger for blood doesn’t consume her (she can go days without drinking), sunlight doesn’t burn her, holy water and religious paraphernalia doesn’t harm her. Her odd vampire status brings her to the attention of other vamps. Similar to the Sookie Stackhouse series, two vampire factions are at “war”.
My mental picture of Betsy, the chick from the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic
This novel didn’t bring any real nuance to the vampire world. The author basically turned Paris Hilton into a vampire. And to be honest, I don’t like the real Paris Hilton and the vampire version, I dislike even more.
The novel continues with Betsy being annoyed with all vampires (even the ones who try to help her), one vampire faction trying to kill her and the other trying to get her to join their side. I won’t give away the ending but I’m sure you can predict what happens.
Now, I can only recommend this novel to someone who:
- Doesn’t get annoyed easily
- Who really enjoys chick lit
- Needs a quick vampire fix
The author MaryJanice Davidson with her shoes (photo from her website)
If you like Dead and Unwed, you might also like the rest of the books in the series:
I will admit, part of me wants to read the rest of the novels since I read the first one (if I start something I like to finish it), but I keep remembering how annoyed I was at the main character. Of course, I was annoyed at times with Sookie Stackhouse, the main character from the Southern Mystery series (she makes stupid decisions at times), but Charlaine Harris’s story is a lot more compelling and her vampire world sucks me in. The Queen Betsy novels aren’t new or that compelling to me. But with that said, I might just download the rest of the books for my new kindle!