Strange Practice: A Dr Greta Helsing Novel by Vivian Shaw
|Strange Practice: A Dr Greta Helsing Novel by Vivian Shaw|
|Reviewer: Olivia Tierney|
|Summary: An original concept that explores the supernatural world. Strange Practice is the first in a new fantasy series set in London. With exceptional character development and a riveting plot, it's definitely worth a read!|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 400||Date: July 2017|
I don't suppose it's worth trying to convince you it's too dangerous?
Not in the least.
Meet Dr Greta Helsing, a highly talented, well respected physician with her own specialised medical practice, known and adored throughout London for her great work… well, at least amongst the supernatural community. Greta is in fact a descendent of the vampire hunter Professor Abraham Van Helsing, but family relations with the undead have improved since then and she now spends her days carrying on her father's legacy treating vampires, werewolves, mummies, ghouls and the like. So early morning emergency calls are not uncommon; what is uncommon however, is a vampire's stab wound that won't heal.
As a cult of mysterious monks emerges from the shadows, leaving rosemary beads in their victim's mouth, killing both the living and the undead, London cries out for help. And Greta is determined to answer.As events escalate and the danger creeps ever closer, Greta finds she will have to use all of her unusual skills to ensure her clients safety and she'll need help from a team of unlikely allies.
Strange Practice surprises and delights. It's completely different from anything I've read before. It ticks so many boxes: action, mystery, suspense, an exciting and different world adjacent to our own to name but a few. But the greatest elements of the book are the characters. They shine. The personalities of Greta, Ruthven, Fastitocalon, Varney and Cranwell contrast superbly and leap off the pages – it really feels as if they're in the room with you. Their dialogue together is fantastic and will have you smiling and laughing. They form the most unlikely but brilliant team of a supernatural doctor, a vampire, a demon, a lunar sensitive, and a very ordinary human museum curator, which readers will love rooting for. Shaw puts her own spin on her supernatural characters, dispelling myths and creating new exciting (and very cool) powers. Our main protagonist, Greta, is extremely likable, and her narration is refreshing. Readers will admire her courage to face dangerous enemies, putting her safety behind those of her supernatural clients and through Shaw's writing will feel everything she does; love, joy, anger, frustration, and heartbreak. In short, it's a book that you can't help being emotionally invested in.
The plot takes a backseat to character development but that's not to say it's isn't exciting. It keeps you guessing throughout, worrying and fretting about whether your beloved characters will survive. The pacing is also on the whole great but I personally found there were times when the writing could have been more engaging without the detailed descriptions which I didn't seem to be relevant to the plot.
With that being said Strange Practice is definitely an imaginative and original book which is definitely worth checking out to explore a different genre. It's a great novel setting up a new and interesting team of characters who will no doubt embark on future adventures together with the next book in the series!
Many thanks to the publishers for providing the BookBag with a copy for review!
In terms of further reading, a great page-turner is A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. It's a brilliant novel set in modern times and revolving around witches, vampires and daemons.
You can read more book reviews or buy Strange Practice: A Dr Greta Helsing Novel by Vivian Shaw at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Strange Practice: A Dr Greta Helsing Novel by Vivian Shaw at Amazon.com.
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