Book Review: Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw

While I looked for necromantic literature, this book kept popping up, and I checked it out. There was a lot to like about the book: the unusual setting of a monster doctor, seeing something we ultimate think evil in a good, normal light, and who doesn’t like a bit murder and mayhem, but…

Unfortunately, there is a but. The book’s story and characters felt thin, and some of it read like wish fulfillment like with the 400-year-old vampire Edmund Ruthven felt unreal and smooth like melted ice cream and as uninteresting. But this is the first book in the series, and like with most the tone and characters get tuned as the story goes on. And to add on, I’m not a big fan of the ending, and I’m not talking about the epilogue. It felt too easy and without true cost for the characters.

There is potential in the series despite my complaints. There is a right mood. The concept of monster healing is fascinating and not overdone in the fantasy/urban fantasy literature. Because there is a real big world of mythology to choose the patients from and not only sticking with vampires, demons, and ghouls. And I’m a sucker for stories where monsters are the goodies and have more depth than the basic division of good and evil. Maybe it is because I think the rebels and the outcast are the ones that show us what the world is actually like and can bring something new into the world that the usual square box.

Thank you for reading!

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