Sunday, April 28, 2013

Rosy's scrawled book recommendation: The Undead series by Mary Janice Davidson

The Undead series
Mary Janice Davidson

Titles (so far)
Undead and Unwed (Book 1)
Undead and Unemployed (Book 2)
Undead and Unappreciated (Book 3)
Undead and Unreturnable (Book 4)
Undead and Unpopular (Book 5)
Undead and Uneasy (Book 6)
Undead and Unworthy (Book 7)
Undead and Unwelcome (Book 8)
Undead and Unfinished (Book 9)
Undead and Undermined (Book 10)
Undead and Unstable (Book 11)

Blurb (for the first book)

Betsy Taylor turns 30, gets laid off, is killed by an SUV and wakes up dead all in the same week. The vampire community is convinced she's their prophesied Queen. But she's not having any of it—she's got shoes to buy! And now the undead world is being turned upside-down by a Bela Lugosi throwback and her subjects expect her to take care of it! Why didn't she read the handbook? But her would-be consort, Eric Sinclair, is (annoyingly) ever-present. If only he wasn't so tall, dark, gorgeous...and undead.



ISBN (for the first book)


Rosy's scrawlings on The Undead series
This series has been described as "chic lit meets the undead" and it isn't far from the truth. There's some major fluff going on in the characterisation and the plot starts of mostly concerning Betsy's romantic status, which happens to be on the N/A side of things. But for all the fluff about shoes and romance there's quite a bit of darkness included. Betsy is in the unenviable position of being the Queen of the vampires, despite her protestations. On top of that she has to deal with letting go of her family who think her dead, of being forced into marrying a King whom she's likely to despise and of trying to retain even the smallest segments of her old life. On top of that she faces the worst side of vampirism, complete with mass murder, kidnapping, slavery and an all round general debasement of humanity.
The tone of the books, starting with these problems, only becomes darker and sillier at the same time. Betsy continues to be a light of cultural idiocy while being street wise-ish, obsessed with shoes and generally rebellious to all things vampire rules. And she often gets away with the maddest behaviour all because she is the Queen. Meanwhile, the challenges she faces become darker, more twisted and intense. Enough that Betsy's own personality and identity as the bouncy, happy shoe-loving idiot comes under threat. And from the most unlikely source. To achieve this the events of the books continue to spiral out of control, keeping the pace flowing quickly and the reader guessing just what is going to happen next.
The Undead series is bright and brilliant and a good choice for segueing from chic lit to paranormal fantasy. It bridges the gap beautifully and provides a little of the light chic lit genre trends with the darker paranormal fantasy trends. It is also a quick and easy read, meaning it can fill the place of chic lit for those lazy days or be great books to take travelling. While they are almost completely aimed at female readers they can be read by anyone, as long as the reader can put up with a ditzy but aggressive female protagonist. Nearly everything is seen through Betsy's eyes so be prepared for a major serving of girliness. On the other hand, due to the darkness in the plot and action there's not that much to put of the less girly readers or those not interested in chic lit. Especially when all the twists and turns become deeply psychological.

I'd recommend this series to: females who love romance, shoes, paranormal characters and light hearted stories with a dark edge.

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