REVIEW: Undead and Done (Undead #15) by MaryJanice Davidson

Genre: Humor / Vampires
Pages: 304 (hardcover)
Reading Level: Easy
Rating: 4 / 5

Summary from Goodreads

Vampire Queen Betsy Taylor continues her rule in Hell in the scorchingly funny finale to the Undead series from New York Times bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson.

It had been a well-kept secret for centuries, but now the existence of vampires is all over the news, thanks to Betsy Taylor’s half sister (and the frustrated former Antichrist), Laura. Life for the undead will never be the same, and it’s up to Betsy to do some damage control. But her interview on the local news doesn’t exactly put out the fire. It more or less pours kerosene on it.

With all the added attention on supernatural beings, the werewolves are more than a little agitated (never a good thing) and demand that Betsy gets her interview skills, and her family, in order. And while things go from bad to worse in the world, Hell continues to be hell—especially when Betsy’s new parole program becomes about as complicated as you’d expect.

With a PR team launching a vampire-friendly campaign, the devil at large and out to make trouble, and mermaids on hand to see who falls—and how hard—the end isn’t just near. It’s here. And if anyone knows how to go out with a bang, it’s the queen of Hell.

A worthy end to a series I have enjoyed so incredibly much.

Even though there are story lines that I really would have loved to read more about, ahem evil future Betsy who skins her husband to make a book out of him, Undead and Done finished out the series nicely.

Vampires are now out in the open and the Queen of the Vampires must launch a public relations campaign to dispel all the myths and stereotypes that have plagued vampires for millennia. And if things are going to be wrapped up for the fifteenth and final installment of the shoe obsessed, ditsy blond queen, a few loose ends will need to be addressed – Laura’s and Betsy’s father as well as Laura herself.

There are many things about this series that I love; in the interest of brevity, I will only convey a few. The first is that in this final installment, I may have found another quote to add to my list of favorites-

“Hey, be careful! Don’t bend the pages; you do not want to mess with the Dakota County librarians.” They were super pleasant and helpful… right up until you damaged a book. Then it was a bit like “I am become death, destroyer of worlds.” I mean, they didn’t do that work because the pay was so great. There wasn’t a librarian on the planet who was in it for the money. It was strictly out of love for books.

When I can, I volunteer at libraries. It was at one such position that I did something I never thought I would do – I tore pages out of books. This particular library was not allowed to resell, donate or give away books that were taken out of circulation. One day, I was provided a cart of books and tasked with tearing out the page of each book that contained the bar code and then tossing the books into the recycling bin. The involuntary expression on my face must have been priceless because the librarian who tasked me with this job said, “Maybe you’re not the right person for this.” I quickly responded, “No, no. It’s okay. I’ll do it.” It was torture. I completely relate to this quote.

Second, in an online book group in which I participate, a member offered a distinguishing characteristic between literature and fiction. Literature can be fiction but literature has deeper meaning, intellectual talking points, etc.; literature is ‘more.’ Although fiction is not devoid of talking points and discussion, it doesn’t require the intellectual interpretation that literature does. For example, 1984 is literature; Twilight is more likely to be considered fiction. Obviously, the line is subjective and not always clear, but I am confident in stating that the Undead series safely falls within the category of fiction. And while I love, love, LOVE literature, from time to time, my brain really needs a break. Undead is such a wonderful, entertaining read and is the perfect story for an audiobook, which brings me to –

Finally, audiobook is not my preferred format; it’s not even desirable. The only reason I listen to audiobooks is because I am a multitasker and get bored easily if listening to music while working out, walking or doing chores around the house. Another reason, and probably the most important reason, I steer clear from audiobooks is that I want to mark passages or take notes when reading and I can’t easily do this with audiobooks. Therefore, I select audiobooks based on whether or not I think it is the type of book that will make me want to take notes. An overwhelming majority of audiobooks I select are ‘entertainment only’ stories. That’s why there are very few quotes in my reviews of this series.

With that said, I am glad I listened to this series. Nancy Wu is the narrator and she defined Betsy for me. The further I got into the series, the more I thought that Wu had completely nailed Betsy. In addition, Wu is amazing with the different voices for other characters. I look forward to listening to books written by other authors that Wu also narrated to find out if it is mostly her or mostly the writing.

I recently recommended the Undead series to a friend who is driving cross country and wanted something to listen to while she drives. So far, it’s a winner. For those who want to get into the vampire subgenre or like vampire stories but don’t want to get too serious, this is a great gateway series. Honestly, quite a bit of the story could have been dropped into a different context and it would still work, but I’m glad it is about vampires, otherwise I may have never picked it up. If you want a mostly light, sometimes laugh out loud read, give Betsy a try.

Review by Christina
May 27, 2017

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