Review of UNDEAD AND UNAPPRECIATED by Mary Janice Davidson (see her website)
Berkley Sensation, July 2005
She may be queen of the vampires, but Elizabeth (Betsy) Taylor gets very little respect. She's certain her official 'consort' manipulated her into sex just so he could be king of the vampires, the vampires working at the bar she 'owns' hate her 'no bloodsucking or killing sheep' rules, and her father stops by to make sure she won't actually be coming to the baby shower for her soon-to-be-born half-sibling, despite being invited. When he accidentally lets slip that Betsy's stepmother had, and gave up, a baby, Betsy resolves to find he lost sister--a goal made more urgent when consort Eric Sinclair informs her that the 'Book of the Dead' claims that her sister is both Satan's daughter and fated to take over the world.
Resolving not to be taken by surprise again, Betsy reads the Book of the Dead and becomes temporarily evil, attacking her best friend, semi-raping Sinclair, and trying to kill Sinclair's sidekick, Tina. She recovers from the book's power, but convincing her lover and her friend to forgive her seems impossible. When she finally meets her half-sister, she discovers that she actually likes the young woman--and that she's truly sweet. This is the spawn of the devil?
Coming to terms with the mistakes she made, learning more about her sister, and resolving her conflicted feelings toward Sinclair are tough enough challenges. Dealing with the restless fiend George, and the rebellious bartenders at her bar threaten to push her past her limits. Still, as long as she has the right shoes, Betsy knows she can somehow prevail.
Author Mary Janice Davidson (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Davidson) continues the charming story of an air-headed woman turned queen of the vampires in a charming and silly story. UNDEAD AND UNAPPRECIATED ducks the important questions it opens (to what extent did Betsy's 'evil' actions reflect a part of herself rather than merely the impact of the book? was the mass violence in the fight scenes at Betsy's bar, Scratch really the only solution to this problem), but Davidson's high-quality writing, vivid characters, and fast pace make UNAPPRECIATED a hard book to put down.
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