Showing posts with label MaryJanice Davidson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MaryJanice Davidson. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Me, Myself, And Why? by MaryJanice Davidson

Title: Me, Myself, And Why?
Author: MaryJanice Davidson
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Rating: WARTY!

Really poorly read by Renée Raudman.

(Not to be confused with Jennifer Ouellette's much more intelligent book of the same title, but entirely different subject matter.)

I read the first of this author's 'Undead and...' series because the title was hilarious, and I actually found it very entertaining despite some issues. The second one in that series was nowhere near as good and so I gave up reading her material, but then I saw this one in the library and decided to find out if I liked a new and different series any better. I didn't.

It was audio, which is good for me when driving, and it was short - I dislike long audio books - but I soon found myself skipping tracks trying to find a good bit (there weren't any), and gave up on this before even the first disk was done playing, because it was so god-awfully bad I couldn't believe it. The reading was poor to begin with, but even with the best reader in the world it would still have sucked because the writing was awful, shallow, tedious, frivolous, inanely rambling, and air-headed in the extreme. I literally could not stand (nor sit!) to listen to it any more.

There are other issues with it, including the entire premise of this novel. The blurb is one of the most misleading book blurbs ever written. Indeed, it's outright fraud. It mentions the main character's "sisters" Shiro and Adrienne, but they are not sisters, they are two other personalities of a woman who has Dissociative Identity Disorder. I thought I would be reading a book about three sisters sharing an apartment which sounded really interesting to me. I did not expect to get, nor did I want, a book taking potshots at people with unfortunate mental issues, and not in any edifying, educational, or loving way. (If anyone wants to actually write that three sisters novel of which I now feel robbed, I'd love to read it, BTW!)

Cadence, the main personality, works for a special division of the FBI which purposefully hires mentally-ill people because they're evidently fun to watch. Of course, that's not the reason given, but it's quite obviously the reason Davidson chose to write this book - to make light of people with such issues, and more than likely, serial killer victims to boot. My first thought, only a few minutes into the novel, and before I had any real idea what was really going on was "I sincerely hope the FBI doesn't have people like this working for them irl!"

I'm not on board with this kind of sloppy, amateur fan-fic style writing. Never will be. And I'm done with MaryJanice Davidson.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Undead And Unemployed by MaryJanice Davidson

Title: Undead And Unemployed
Author: MaryJanice Davidson
Publisher: Penguin
Rating: WARTY!

Why the second novel (or any novel) in a series would need a twelve-page prologue is as much as mystery as it is missed with glee by me; been there, skipped that, moving on to chapter one! I started out Liking volume one of this series. It wasn't spectacular but it was an ok read and it was a fast read. This one I started out pretty much the same way, but it went downhill faster than the first one did, to the point where it went beyond my ability to stay with it!

This series has run to some ten novels, so it can hardly be described as a failure. I liked the first one in the series well enough to want to see the follow-up, but in reading this follow-up now, I can’t say I have an interest in pursuing this series any further. I just didn’t like this sequel well enough - or at all after the first half of it. I started out thinking the story was OK, but after reading to about half-way through, it seemed to me it wasn't really going anywhere or showing me anything new or interesting.

It’s a really fast read, but I don’t feel involved with any of the characters and I don’t feel engaged in the stories which are being told. They're ok, and that's the problem, they're only ok, nothing special. They do beat the pants off the god-awful Charlaine Harris Southern Vampire series! I love the TV show, but the novels sucked worse than the vampires did. These novels are significantly better than that, but they're just not really my idea of a truly enthralling read, and the simplistic PoV in this novel finally started getting to me.

In this volume, Betsy Taylor, vampire queen, moves into a new home - which is a mansion - meets a little girl named Marie who, it's patently obvious, is a ghost, and Betsy is beseeched by her vampire acquaintances to take on the Blade Warriors, a church youth organization which is murdering vampires at the behest of some anonymous benefactor - or rather, malefactor. Betsy at first refuses to step up to her vampire queen responsibilities; that is until they attack her personally, and also attack a vampire friend she likes. In the end, there is no war: she makes friends with the vampire killers, overpowering their antagonism with tea and biscuits. This was amusing, but not really that funny and not really very entertaining - like I said, it was ok, but nothing special.

It was at that point, and in the next few pages that I found I couldn't engage with the material. It didn’t draw me in or make me want to find out what would happen next. The problem with this story, I think, in a nutshell is that Betsy is never in any danger, never has any real problem, and there is never any real conflict, no problems to solve, nothing to worry about. It’s more like a child's story ("Betsy the Happy Vampire") than a story for the age group Betsy is actually in, but the graphic depictions of adult life, and vampire life, of course mean it isn't a child's story at all, and that unholy combination simply doesn’t work. It’s very childlike in its simplicity and fruity goodness, and it inevitably becomes sickly, like eating too much of a rich desert. If you put a cream filling in a cake and eat a slice, its wonderful, but if you remove the cake and try eating only the cream filling, after the first taste, it’s nasty. That's how this novel is - all cream filling and no cake! I have no choice but to rate this one warty!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson

Title: Undead and Unwed
Author: MaryJanice Davidson
Publisher: Penguin
Rating: WORTHY!

Here's an author not ashamed to have a dot net address, nor ashamed to have fun and poke fun. I normally detest vampire novels, but I couldn't resist this title! I got into this first volume (of what has become an extensive series) quite easily, and although I found some parts of it odd, I found most of it is very entertaining. The main protagonist is Elizabeth Taylor (no, not that Elizabeth Taylor), and her perspective on life is both feisty and amusing, as well as deliciously irreverent. She definitely has a peculiar PoV, and a distinct view of her place in life.

Or should I say: her place in death? One frosty night, she steps out to retrieve her cat from the middle of the street, whilst simultaneously forgetting to check for random vehicles sliding into her on the ice and propelling her into a tree. She wakes up in cheap clothes in her coffin and can't understand what happened; it's not so much the coffin which bothers her, but the cheap clothes...! At first, she thinks she's a zombie and tries to kill herself to complete her journey to Heaven. She fails. A little child leads her into the knowledge that she's actually a vampire, but she has a hard time accepting that because she shows none of the standard vampire allergies: to garlic, to churches, to holy water, to Christian crosses. She does have heightened senses, increased strength, and a great thirst, but she also controls that admirably.

She's infuriated that her detested stepmother stole her shoes and goes to retrieve them, thereby revealing to her family that she's a vampire. No one seems to think that's a big deal: not her father, nor her mother, who is living elsewhere, nor Jessica her best friend, who has bought her house and car and gifted them to Betsy so she can have a life. Or a death.

Betsy is lured out by a call from someone who seems to know all about her circumstances, and who promises to bring her up to speed on vampirism, but she's abducted before she can get there, and taken to the lair of "Nostro" in a cemetery, who is such a stereotype that she can't help but snort laugh after laugh at him. He's infuriated, but he can't stop her walking out. One of those who appeared to be in Nostro's crew, a tall handsome man by the name of Sinclair accosts her as she leaves, and though she finds him hot, she detests his behavior and throws him through a stone cross.... When Betsy gets cross, she really gets cross.

On her way home she encounters a suicidal doctor, Marc, about to pitch himself off a roof, so she tells him her story and talks him out of it. He promptly becomes her house-mate. It's supposed to be temporary while he finds himself a place to stay. Now we have all the trope demographics covered: Jessica is black and Marc is gay, while Sinclair, the buff vampire, is courting Betsy to garner her help in defeating the evil Nostro, and Betsy holds out until he gives her ten pairs of designer shoes, and then she's all in while still, er, keeping Sinclair out!

To cut a short story shorter (and not give away any more spoilers), I rate this a worthy read. Betsy is sneaky, sly, snarky, spunky, and hilarious. I love her attitude, and I enjoyed the plot. I plan on reading at least one more in this series to see how that goes, but I don't know if I'd want to read ten of these. That sounds like too much of a good thing.