cover image Undead and Unsure

Undead and Unsure

MaryJanice Davidson. Berkley Sensation, $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-26343-3

The 12th in Davidson’s Undead series (after Undead and Unstable) lives down to its wishy-washy title, crossing snarky pop-culture references with solemn religion. Betsy, queen of the vampires, has killed Satan, the mother of Betsy’s half-sister, Laura (yes, that makes Laura the Antichrist). Now Betsy wants to mend fences with a belated Thanksgiving. With his newfound tolerance for sunlight, Betsy’s handsome and dangerous husband, Eric, is giddy with happiness. Less joy-inspiring is Betsy’s best friend’s pregnancy; in fact, Betsy feels nothing about it at all, which only registers as strange after Laura kidnaps Betsy and abandons her in Hell. Davidson’s writing remains zippy and fun, but it almost entirely lacks substance, and the religiosity that seeps in toward the ending (“ ‘Come along,’ I told the Antichrist. ‘Come pray with me’ ”) is as jarring as reading that the commanding, soulful, and hunky king of the vampires baby-talks to puppies. Even diehard fans will struggle to love this episode. Agent: Ethan Ellenberg, Ethan Ellenberg Agency. (Aug.)