paranormal · Reviews

Strange Practices by Vivian Shaw

Rating: 4 out of 5.

If you are a fan of vampire lore you have heard the name Vanhelsing before. Usually the name is more involved with hunting vampires, but in this urban fantasy you have a Vanhelsing helping all kinds of supernatural beings. Dr. Greta Vanhelsing specializes in caring for all kinds of creatures but this time, she gets pulled into a battle between good and evil…well, in a sense. You see, there is this sect of monks going around killing humans and monsters a like and she kind of ended up in the crosshairs.

This book has had a lot of mixed reviews but I must admit that I did enjoy it. Yes, it was a little slow in the beginning but it made up for it with some of the more action packed sections of the story. There was also sections of medical jargon from Greta that made it a little “meh” at times and the language was very formal which made it a little hard to imagine in present day. Honestly, the way they spoke made me think along the lines of 1800s and then they would talk about a cellphone or 3d printer and it would remind me of the time period we were supposed to be in. If memory serves they even mentioned Jack the Ripper, so honestly you can’t blame me for forgetting the time period that the book was set in. These reasons are why I could not give this book 5 stars, and honestly battled only giving it 3 and 1/2. So, why did I decide that it was going to receive 4?

Well, just because it ultimately really enjoyed it and I definitely want to read more books by Vivian Shaw. The world building she made was very interesting. The friendships in the book were fantastic and I kind of wish that Ruthven (one of the first vampires) and Fastitocalon (a demon) were my friends. The way that they slowly peeled away at the truth was really interesting. It is what kept me coming back for more. Plus, learning about these different beings and how they operate was interesting…and the ghouls! All I have to say is rat tail coat! They were all just so unique, you can tell that Shaw really took time to imagine how each being would be if they lived in our world. Oh, and the evil monks…their origin story seemed totally valid. I mean you never know what a restless spirit can do if they found the right group of people to reveal itself to.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It had a nice blend of the regular world and the super natural one. It wasn’t super creepy or anything like that (it wasn’t meant to be) but it was still a good read for October. It had vampires, demons, ghouls, and so much more. Plus it had a strong female lead, and we all know that I am a sucker that. Is this book for everyone? I don’t think so. But if you are looking for a quick read with a touch of the supernatural give this one a try.

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