Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Undead And Unfinished Undead And Unfinished
by Mary Janice Davidson

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jan Butterworth
Katie Boyle

"I never would have gone to hell in the first place if the Antichrist hadn’t been fluent in Tagalog". Betsy Taylor returns! The story starts in Bloomingdales, where Betsy and Laura are shopping at the shoe sale. Well Betsy is. Laura still feels bad about flying into a psychopathic rage and nearly killing her sister and l trying to make up for it by bonding with her.

Laura is the Queen of the Vampires sister, a great kid who’s a student at U of M and also happens to be the antichrist. Laura and Betsy take a trip to hell and end up taking a trip through time, meeting people that have a connection to those who know Betsy in her current life.

The 9h book in the Undead series, this book started off light and frothy, reminiscent of the earlier books. There is a summary of events so far in the front of the book for readers unfamiliar with the series. I enjoyed the first half, especially the sacrifice of shoes! The ending was perfect, everyone was happy. Then I read the epilogue. I did not like it. If you like your endings happy and the characters and series to end with a happy note, stop at the ending. Don’t read the epilogue. Not an ending and wrapping up of the series I enjoyed.

This series always has interesting acknowledgments, this one is a separate short story about her assistant and very humorous.

-Jan Butterworth

MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead series has been described as Sex and the City with demons and vampires. It has always been funny, and in the beginning it did much to turn the idea of vampires on its head. Over time, though, the novelty wore off, and the lack of substance made reading the books less enjoyable.

With the tenth book in the series, Undead and Unfinished, Davidson changes that. Betsy Taylor, Queen of the Vampires, accompanies her sister to hell to visit the devil, her sister’s mother. Said sister was raised by a preacher and his wife, and has always been resistant to embracing her heritage. However, she is going insane because she won’t acknowledge it, so to keep terrible things from happening the sisters meet with the devil and engage in time travel.

This potentially meaningless pastiche of genre stereotypes is more than that, though—in my mind it raised questions about good and evil, the nature of evil, and the inevitability or otherwise of fate. Don’t get me wrong—there’s still plenty of fun in this book, and Betsy’s smart-aleck voice comes through loud and clear. But for those who want more, it’s there below the surface. The questions it raises are not unresolved in this volume, and I suspect some of them will be addressed in the next book, which will be out in the US very soon. After reading this one, I look forward to it.

-Katie Boyle

SFFANZ is a non-profit organisation and registered charity
designed to bring together fans of the fantastic in New Zealand

Contact us by email at: