Bloody Awful continues the story of Brytewood, a cozy English village that is secretly home to several supernatural beings. Brytewood’s inhabitants, both human and Other, face an ongoing struggle as German bombs fall from the sky and Nazi vampires infiltrate the town itself. It’s the characters that make this series compelling. I had issues with Bloody Good, but wanted to keep reading to find out what happened to the people I’d “met.”
I enjoyed Bloody Awful more than I did Bloody Good. This is partly because the copy editing is vastly better. There are a few typos and continuity errors, but overall, Bloody Awful is much more polished editing-wise and reads more smoothly as a result. Another reason I liked Bloody Awful better is that I knew what to expect. The romance would be the most prominent aspect of the plot, and it would be whirlwind. The vampires would be a little anticlimactic. The characters would continue to be lots of fun.
Bloody Awful focuses on Gloria Prewitt, who is a nurse and secretly a werefox, and her budding relationship with Andrew Barron, who runs the munitions plant on the outskirts of Brytewood. Meanwhile, another Nazi vampire has arrived with a dastardly plan and has set himself up as the town baker. Gloria and her friends must stop him before he can unleash a deadly attack on the village.
As before, the World War II setting is vividly drawn. The reader gets a feel for how people must have felt, going about their daily business but never knowing when an air raid might shatter their lives.
I still have some issues with these vampires. I like that they’re honest-to-goodness bad guys rather than sexy antiheroes, but I’d like them better if they were a little more menacing. As it is, they bumble too much to be truly scary. In Bloody Awful, there’s a scene where a vampire has one of the “white hats” unconscious and at his mercy, and suspects she may have vampire-slaying powers, but does he try to kill her? No, he hatches an elaborate scheme to publicly embarrass her. I think he should have spent more time reading The Evil Overlord List.
Still, this series is worth reading for its setting and characters. I’ve already started Bloody Right, and so far it’s the best of the three.
Brytewood — (2009) Publisher: While the sounds of battle echo through the sky, a lady doctor has more than enough trouble to keep her busy even in a sleepy hamlet outside London. But the threat is nearer home than Alice knows. German agents have infiltrated her beloved countryside — Nazis who can fly, read minds, and live forever. They’re not just fascists. They’re vampires. Alice has no time for fantasy, but when the corpses start appearing sucked dry, she’ll have to accept help where she can get it. If that includes a lowly Conscientious Objector who says he’s no coward though he refuses to fight, and her very own grandmother, a sane, sensible woman who insists that she’s a Devonshire Pixie, so be it. Indeed, whatever it takes to defend home and country from an evil both ancient and terrifyingly modern…