Review – Strange Practice

Posted December 14, 2017 by Nicky in Reviews / 8 Comments

Cover of Strange Practice by Vivian ShawStrange Practice, Vivian Shaw

If you’re looking at the cover and expecting some sort of Victoriana setting, that’s actually misleading. It’s set in modern London, and modern technology actually plays a significant role in all of this. It’s also utilised sensibly in that people pick up the phone and call each other rather than running around helplessly after being attacked — the characters do get separated at times, but not in situations where just pick up your phone would be the answer, something I find irritating in some urban fantasy when it isn’t dealt with.

So the plot: Dr Greta Helsing is the heir to a medical practice for supernatural creatures, treating everything from decaying limbs for mummies to sore throats in Banshees. There’s a whole community of supernatural creatures living among humans, and Greta happens to be one of the people they’d consider allies. Surprise, surprise, someone doesn’t like that, and so she gets entangled in a larger plot against supernatural creatures of all sorts.

I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed her drive to help people, and I enjoyed the characters around her — including Lord Ruthven and Varney the Vampyre, a demon who is not actually evil, ghouls who might have odd eating habits but are really pretty harmless… I enjoyed the group dynamics, too. In the end, I just had fun reading it, and immediately wanted the sequel (which isn’t out yet, alas). It was a lot of fun, from the concept (the monsters’ doctor) to the characters (Ruthven in particular) to the epic note during the ending (featuring a particularly important mythological character).

Rating: 4/5

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