by Nicky Peacock
‘With his amazing organisational skills, Lyle had arranged for all the humans in Hope nad Glory to donate a pint of blood a month.’
The title of my contribution today is in no way meant to be a political or racial statement! In my wholly unexpected (well, unexpected by me, at any rate) exploration of the teen horror market, I have been reading the second book in Nicky Peacock’s series, featuring Britannia, the vampire with a liking for humans.
As I mentioned in my review of Bad Blood (https://bookheathen.wordpress.com/2016/02/04/a-vampire-with-heart), Brit likes humans not simply for the sustenance they provide. She actually likes them, and goes out of her way to be nice to them. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that females vampires are, at least in this series, quite rare. Apparently the Elders (similar to Stephanie Meyer’s Volturi) have old-fashioned misogynistic ideas and discourage their creation.
Bad Timing begins where the first story leaves off. Recovering from a setback, which leaves her stranded in Blackpool, Britannia resumes her task of rescuing as many humans as possible from the zombie plague infecting the United Kingdom. One group of survivors is trapped in a zoo, another in a shopping mall, and our kick-ass heroine gathers them together to await the arrival of her friend Tate with the Irish ferry.
Male vampires may be predictable; Britannia certainly isn’t. She creates a diversion by releasing the undead zoo animals from their cages and goading them to attack the once-human zombies. This gives her time to allow her charges to reach the quay and onto the ship that will transport them to Tate’s and Lyle’s safe haven in the Irish Republic.
‘When I was finished they were a twitching mass of mismatched limbs on the ground and I had well and truly been converted to using an axe.’
Unfortunately, Brit does not escape unscathed. During her encounter with the malodorous zombies, she is badly bitten. However, instead of turning, she wakes up to discover she is immune to the zombie plague – to understand why, you’ll have to read the book – and thus has a new weapon to help defeat it.
On arrival in Ireland, and being reunited with Tate, Lyle, Nicholas, Jack and other vampire friends, Brit learns that, in order to prevent the zombie infection spreading, the United States intends to nuke Great Britain. (Well, maybe my title is just a little bit political!) The scene is set for a last minute race against time to stop them setting off the bomb.
Bad Timing is another highly original and fast-paced novel with a cast of colourful characters, plenty of gore and lots of disintegrating body parts. As well as the original cast, we are introduced to some new players, both human and vampire, and to new strains of being which seem to be neither one thing nor another. Nicky Peacock has a way with characters’ names and has given us this time not only Tate and Lyle but Mariah and Ichabod. Maybe we will learn more about the last mentioned in the forthcoming ‘prequel’ entitled Traitor’s Gate.
I would have liked to have read more here on the love/hate relationship between Britannia and Nicholas, and maybe just a bit more development of the characters Tate and Lyle. However, that said, Bad Timing was just as much fun to read as the first book in the series.