Strange Practice (Dr Greta Helsing #1) by Vivian Shaw

My rating: ★★.5 /5 

If you ever think that YA tackles one of the most stereotypical vision about vampires, you are going in for a complete opposite direction in this Van Helsing retelling. All the facts about vampires we know are demystified.

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We are introduced to the main character, Greta Helsing, who’s human but is descendant from one of the most prestigious family of doctors. They are known to practice medicine and help the supernatural creatures.

plotandsettingI love the setting, in late 1800s, where a murderer who mirrors Jack the Ripper still roams the streets of London. At the same time, one of Greta’s closest friend encounters a mysterious vampyre  who’s been stabbed in a suspicious way by a group of people wearing monk hoodies. After the attack, his skin is burning and the wound looks nothing like Greta ever sees before.  Here begins a search for the purpose behind that act and if the group will ever target another supernatural creature. 

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I love the idea of a doctor of supernatural creatures and the murder vibes who remind us of the old vampires anime.

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However, I had a problem with the main character and I think part of the writing is responsible for it I feel like the author created a character without putting further thoughts on how she should be portrayed and too much focus on everyday facts about vampires and history. She doesn’t have any depth to her character . The writing style also seems childish to me. We are dealing with dark and murders here but why do I feel like I’m reading a child novel with a villain who’s going to do no harm? I didn’t feel the suspense or thrilling sinister feeling I was expecting from a plot that is supposed to scare you or at least make you feel something.

I think one of the author’s biggest purpose is to show us that vampires were misguided by the media and a lot of historic facts were false. Although I enjoyed learning about it, I felt it was kind of snobby to rub it in our face that we don’t know anything about vampires. After all, they are fictional creatures popularized by literature and media, no one really knows anything about them.

A big thank you to Hachette for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! 

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15 thoughts on “Strange Practice (Dr Greta Helsing #1) by Vivian Shaw

  1. Tammy says:

    I’m reading this right now and I kind of see what you mean. It’s sort of a “gentle” vampire story and there isn’t a whole lot of suspense. It’s definitely different from what I was expecting.

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  2. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    I keep seeing this book cropping up!! I do like the sound of the world building, but I’ve heard similar things about how the mc isn’t as well fleshed out as she could be :/ Also, I get what you mean about “revisionist style” myths- I tend to prefer retellings that embrace the original more than ones that tell me “ughh you got it all wrong!” 😉

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