There are a lot of mixed reviews for this book out there, happily though I had not read any of them beforehand, I hadn’t even heard of this book, the cover alone just jumped out at me while I was on my lunch break on a snowy afternoon, just look at how amazingly gothic it looks!
Dr. Greta Helsing, is a medical practitioner for the secret supernatural community that reside throughout London. She and a few undead pals team together to take on a crazed and murderous cult group dressed in monk robes.
The monks were interesting antagonists with layers that we got to explore within the narrative, the crazed monks burn away their sins leaving them horribly scarred, I imagined them looking a bit like unmasked Deadpools, you know? Like a lone ballbag swinging in the wind? Horrible to imagine and even worse knowing that these monks may not be entirely human…
Greta herself as a character I felt was lacking a little bit of depth, which is a real shame as I thought the premise was set up so we could have a really deep and complex main character, for example when we begin to discover the reason Greta dedicates so much of her life to healing the monstrous, the reason she states is because it’s what her dad did and that there’s no one else who can do it…except for her two medical friends and another supernatural GP up the road from Greta’s practice… okay, I may be focusing on this point a little too much but bare with me, for a large portion of this book Greta was extremely worried about not being able to help her patients, It’s even said later on in the book that Greta should not be put in dangers way because she is irreplaceable, yet when we go back to the surgery Greta’s colleagues seemed to have managed just fine without her and no patient was left unattended, I just didn’t feel like there was much jeopardy with this area of the story.
Oh well, this is but a small critique to what is otherwise a bloody good read, the book gripped me from the start and I really fell in love with some of the characters such as Fass and Ruthven, and I am so hoping to delve more into their backgrounds in the second novel due to be released later this year. Honestly, please go out and read this book, I found myself watching the clock at work waiting for the commute journey home so I could find out what was going to happen next.
I really loved the pacing of this story, it had me flicking through the pages as if someone was going to take the book away from me, I couldn’t get enough of it. There were no ‘boring’ bits where the action seemed to dry out, it goes from 0 to 100 in chapter 1 and keeps you thrilled throughout.
The world that this book introduced to me is one I want to go exploring head first, I would like to see more of the hidden supernatural world that we caught glimpses of in this introduction and I want to feel as though the next time I’m walking past St.Paul’s I may catch a glimpse of a Ghoul wearing rat hides lurking in the shadows… a phenomenal debut novel from Vivian Shaw and a marvellously monstrous series to come i’m sure!