Author: MaryJanice Davidson
Genre: Chick Lit/ Paranormal
Stand Alone/ Series: Book 5 of Queen Betsy series
Summary: Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor already has plenty on her plate. For one thing, next week is her birthday — the big 3-1 in human years, and one in undead years. (Yes, she bit the dust on her birthday last year.) On top of that, she still has wedding plans to finalize — and it’s not helping that the prospective groom is avoiding anything to do with it. And then there’s her decision to stop drinking blood — something she has yet to share with Eric Sinclair, her fiance — who also happens to be the vampire king…
So the last thing she wants to deal with is uninvited guests, even if they happen to be the powerful European vampires who have finally come to pay their respects the week before her birthday. Some of them don’t want Betsy as their queen and will do anything to get ride of her. As if turning thirty last year (not to mention dying) hadn’t been traumatic enough. And trying to give up blood is making her really cranky…But who has time to sulk? Well, Betsy does.
Why did I read the book: : I like this series and read all of them so far.
The Queen Betsy books have become my “in between” books: for those moments when I just finished a particularly intense book and I need something light; or when I have a couple of hours to kill before going to bed and I don’t want to start a longer book which I know I won’t be able to put down before I am done with. So Queen Betsy it was for me, last Thursday night – it took me less than two hours to read it and let me tell you, they weren’t the best two hours of my life.
I have reached a point in this series that I am reading them merely because I care so much for the characters – Betsy herself, and her friends Jessica, Mark and Tina and her consort Eric Sinclair. Especially Eric Sinclair, he still does make me sigh. If I didn’t care for them so much I am not sure I would still be reading the series. I mean, plotwise there isn’t a lot going on. I guess you could say each book could be called “ a Few Days in the Life of the Undead and Unwilling Queen of Vampires”. So let me see, what was the problemo of the jour?
European vampires that finally decided to come over to check upon the new Queen and finally make a decision of whether to swear allegiance or not: all depends on how Betsy behaves . oopsie maybe we shouldn’t hold our breaths – Betsy is not the most clever cookie in the pot is she? And yet, our of sheer luck and perhaps some growing up over the past few months, she may be more comfortable in her Vampire shoes.
Other than that, there is the much important matter of the surprise birthday party that she knows is coming and the very unhappy news that her friend Jessica is seriously ill – perhaps Betsy can do something about it – but how?
I don’t think I remember any laugh out loud moments in this one but that’s ok. I was still mildly amused. There is an inside joke that I think is perfect to describe these books. Betsy has been interviewed by a friend in the previous book and the interview has become a book which is about to be published. The book within the book is called Undead and Unwed and it has received the following critical comments: “abrupt transitions make for a rollicking ride all the same” and “low on plot but high on fun”. MaryJanice Davidson therefore, knows what she is about and we on the other hand know what to expect. Mindless entertaining for a couple of hours.
Sometimes it’s all we need.
Notable quotes/ parts: The book opens with the following sentence uttered by Garret (the fiend who used to be called George) : “there’s a zombie in attic”. Betsy ignores the warning she received from Garret and from ghost Cathie throughout the whole book because she can’t bring herself to believe that zombies are real. One day, she goes to the attic thinking she is about to stumble on her surprise birthday party but she has a nasty surprise instead – a living nightmare. It a very intense moment, I don’t think I ever saw Betsy so scared and so vulnerable, not even her usual wits come to her. It is a scene of sheer horror and there is no one around. She must face the fear and kill the creature and after that, she jumps into Queen mode and resolves a few of the pending issues that she kept pushing aside. Well done, Betsy.
Additional Thoughts: I was torn about mentioning this or not as I am all for supporting the writers but is it me or these books are overpriced? This particular volume, which had about 200 pages, cost £10.99! And it is not even hardback! Isn’t that a tad expensive?
Verdict: For the established fans, I guess it’s a must. This is a fun, quick read.
Rating: 6, good.
Reading next: : Tigerheart by Peter David