Monday, July 9, 2007

"Undead and Uneasy" by MaryJanice Davidson

Elizabeth "Betsy" Taylor, queen of the vampires, is up to her eyeballs in wedding plans. Her own, finally! She'll be marrying Eric Sinclair (aka Sink-lair), king of the vampires, in about 2 weeks. Only problem is that everyone seems to have disappeared, her intended included.

This is a bit of a different Betsy book than we've had in the past from Ms. Davidson. I think this is mostly due to the fact that this book really is all about Betsy - she's almost the only character on the canvas for most of novel. Her entourage of friends and family have all done runners, or as good as: she fights with her mother, her friend Jessica is in the hospital for yet another round of chemo, her doctor-roommate Marc has simply vanished, her sister is off the radar, her minion Tina is in Europe attending to vamp business, and her fiance is nowhere to be found after they have an argument. It's weird, and not in a good way.

This is the first time we see Betsy start to acknowledge her role as Queen, one that she never asked for and hasn't really wanted to step into. She knows that something is wrong, but she's not sure what, and this time, there's no one around to help her solve the mystery. She has to stand on her own two feet (granted, very well-shod feet!) and put her brain to work, a thing not often done by her. The surprising thing is that I like the new Betsy - she's still pretty flighty and all about herself, but she's also showing some signs of - gasp! - maturity. That's good. If you're writing a series, I don't think it works very well to have your character remain stagnant; they need to develop, especially in the "chick-lit" category. Otherwise, I, as a reader, lose interest. Witness my quick boredom with the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. Love her as an author, lost interest very quickly in that character.

This is still a quick read, and Betsy still has plenty of snarky comments to make. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next in her world, and am hoping that new, more grown-up queen is still around. Then again, she'd probably call me an ass-hat for even thinking such a thing!

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