Grave Importance is the final book of this trilogy, in which Greta Helsing finds herself invited to become the interim medical director of an exclusive facility in France: Oasis Natrun, the spa-and-clinic location for a particularly exclusive sort of customer… mummies! She needs to deal with delicate operations, treat ancient TB infections, and deal with pesky infestations in somebody’s mummy wrappings. Oh, and her patients are frequently experiencing a weird draining, something that makes them woozy and lacking in strength. Nope, no one has any idea.
Of course, it’s not just a medical mystery: Ruthven and Grisaille meet two strange beings in Rome, and a certain amateur enthusiast collector of Egyptian antiquities is getting younger all the time. Fass isn’t having a good time of it dealing with the Monitoring and Evaluation department… And of course, you guessed it, all these things are somehow linked.
I couldn’t believe I took so long to pick this up; once I did, it was everything I wanted. The romance between Greta and Varney remains adorable, Grisaille is the best unsuitable boyfriend, Ruthven is still everything, and I love the entire found family they’ve built up… and all the weird little touches like the fact that screaming skulls are a real thing, but they’re mostly not a problem, and a young screaming skull mostly just squeaks.
I just. I love it. I love the idea of treating medicine for monsters seriously; I love Greta’s dedication to her work; I love her bizarre found family’s shenanigans, including a heist.
Now, I didn’t quite jive with it all. I was a bit put off by the ending; I don’t want to spoiler it for anyone, but I felt like the solution to all the problems was a little… pat. In a sense, it’s been foreshadowed in the first book, if I remember rightly… but it just didn’t quite come off, for me. I like Varney, but it was all A Bit Much.
That said, I love 95% of this book, even the bits that hurt, like Greta trying to doctor angels in a makeshift demonic clinic. I could honestly start rereading this trilogy again right now and I’d be entirely happy to steam through it all in one go, without stopping. There’s something profoundly comforting in the love and caring of these books, something profoundly hopeful. Awful shit happens and people still care. Gah. It’s the best.