Fans of gore with a humorous twist will revel in this book, heavily laced as it is with all manner of slaughtering and mayhem, topped off with quips and asides. Evie Wilder had always been aware of her severe ‘diabetes’, unfailingly taking the medicine prepared by her mother to alleviate her symptoms-until the truth made its presence known as she morphed into a werewolf. Her sister Kate, always aware of Evie’s nature, had cared for her since her werewolf parents had been killed and Evie had become a part of the family.
When the girls’ mother disappeared they resolved to find her, tracking her down to a vampire lair headed by the psychotic Ashton. They accrue an entertaining group of vampire/werewolf characters along the way and full-throttle Buffy the Vampire Slayer action builds to a shattering and triumphant climax as their mother is rescued and the monsters are either reduced to dust or humanised.
This is all standard – though cleverly written – full on supernatural action, where decapitations and exploding bodies are de rigueur and, eventually, the good guys win. However, O’Loughlin makes space for other experiences so that the carnage almost never overwhelms and the novel is richer for it. The dual narrative is cleverly handled by the sisters, Evie and Kate, revealing their characters and clearly delineated. There is love interest – heterosexual and LBGTQ – but this is woven into the righteous destruction narrative so that it never compromises the main theme. What shines through most strongly is the love between the two sisters, protective and committed.
Humour is snappily delivered and the deep dive into 80’s vampire nostalgia is unerringly maintained. O’Loughlin consistently delivers laugh out loud lines, juxtaposing them with the most bloodthirsty passages to great effect.
Big Bad Me both exhausts and entertains and fans of the genre will be delighted by the ending, which seems ripe with promise for another foray by the vampire hunters.