Alone in her cell, Bela looked out of the window toward the mountains on the horizon. Maybe the vampires would prevail. They could fly, had no need to respect frontiers, and guns or weapons could not harm them permanently. But had the foul Germans taken on monsters who would destroy them in return? And how had mere mortals coerced vampires to their cause? Using the same threats they'd used on her? Except fairies were far more likely to succumb to the rigors of the camps than vampires. Maybe the vampires had joined of their own volition, to thrive on the carnage and the killing.
Bela could only guess. Just as she could only guess at the safety or otherwise of her kindred. Who knew if any survived? None possessed her strength of telepathic powers. Maybe they were all dead, but she dared not risk refusing to collaborate, just in case the Germans kept their word and did spare her family. (from Bloody Good, pages 15-16)
Bloody Good is the first book in a supernatural trilogy set in England during World War II that asks, "What if the Nazis had recruited vampires to perform some of their dirty deeds?" Obviously, Georgia Evans (a pen name for the author Rosemary Laurey) asks us to suspend belief, and if you are able to do so, Bloody Good offers a light, entertaining read on what normally would be a heavy topic.
Alice Doyle is a doctor in the village of Brytewood who lives with her grandmother, Helen. Helen claims to be a Devonshire pixie, and she's constantly encouraging Alice to let go of her firm grasp on science and recognize her own pixie powers. Alice is short-handed, having only nurse Gloria to help her care for the locals, children who evacuated London to escape the bombings, and the workers in a nearby factory, which likely is building things for the war effort but no one knows for sure. Peter Watson is a conscientious objector assigned as Alice's first-aid assistant, and his CO status causes Alice -- whose brothers are off somewhere fighting -- to immediately dislike him. The two are forced to work together just as strange things begin happening around the village.
Vampires are roaming the English countryside, and they are working for the Nazis. A fairy is held prisoner and used by the lead vampires (that's what I'm calling them, anyway) for her ability to telepathically monitor the whereabouts of the vampires on a mission for the Reich.
The story shifts between the locals of Brytewood to the vampires stalking them to the imprisoned fairy. Evans tells an interesting story of two people falling in love amid a battle involving supernatural creatures, from vampires and fairies to pixies, werefoxes, and dragons. (I wasn't expecting the dragons, but it was an interesting touch.)
Bloody Good isn't a literary masterpiece, but it's a fun read. The only drawbacks for me were the explicit sex scenes that did nothing to further the plot. They didn't bother me enough to stop reading the book, but if you're not into that sort of thing, consider yourself warned.
Evans resolves only a few of the issues that arise in Bloody Good, and my curiosity as to how it all plays out and my desire to revisit these characters (especially Alice's feisty grandmother, Helen) means I plan on reading the rest of the series. Bloody Awful is slated for publication in July, and Bloody Right will be published in August. Click here to read excerpts from all three.
Bloody Good definitely is a different kind of fiction book about World War II, but it still counts for the WWII reading challenge I'm co-hosting at War Through the Generations. This is the 10th book I've read for the challenge.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Bloody Good from Joan Schulhafer Publishing & Media Consulting for review purposes.