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Dreadful Company (A Dr. Greta Helsing Novel Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Picking up shortly after where the first book left off, Greta is off to Paris to fill in at a conference for a friend who is under the weather. She’s not thrilled, but figures a few days in Paris and a night at the opera with Ruthven won’t be too bad. But when a little frog-like monster with a penchant for hoarding shiny things appears in her bathroom sink and later disappears without a clue as to how it arrived, Greta has a feeling the trip won’t be a simple one. The next night she’s confronted by another monster in her room, hairy but harmless. These lead her to seek out Alceste St. Germain, werewolf and paranormal guardian of Paris, only she’s kidnapped by a coven of vampires first. Their leader, Corvin, has a bone to pick with Ruthven and after Greta was spotted at the opera with him, Corvin thinks he’s found a way to get revenge on his long-time enemy.
What I love about Shaw’s books is the way she blends the paranormal world with our own. The “monsters” in her books, for the most part, are looking to integrate with or hide from human society. This coven is breaking the rules of polite society but feasting on the locals, turning new vampires and now kidnapping Greta. These aren’t books about humans vs. monsters – the local vampires and werewolves and other creatures in Paris aren’t happy about this rogue coven either. I enjoy how Greta and the paranormal community as a whole are on the same side.
Greta spends a large part of the book in captivity, but she still held my attention. There are even a few scenes where she’s able to demonstrate her professional abilities as doctor to otherworldly creatures. Plus the other characters get a chance in the spotlight and there’s a sort of subplot that centers around The Phantom of the Opera, which was neat. I also really loved the little swamp frog monsters. We’re introduced to more side characters, two of whom I found particularly interesting, especially their careers within in the paranormal community.
This series is a lot of fun and the focus on the found family theme is a comforting one. As Ruthven says:
“…you can make your own family, with the people you find along the way, and the home you will come to is the one you will build yourself.”
Dreadful Company is an excellent sequel to Strange Practice and if you’re looking for some modern paranormal fantasy, I highly recommend it. I’m excited to see where the series goes!
In the first book we meet Lord Ruthven, a vampire, one of Greta's oldest friends. We also meet
Varney, who is a vampyre, and the different spelling denotes a different species. Greta's world includes every type of supernatural being you can imagine. It is fascinating.
In Dreadful Company, the second book in the series, Greta is in Paris. With only a few days notice, she is filling in for a friend at an academic conference. Ruthven accompanies Greta for the first few days. From the start, things are a little off. Greta finds a Well monster in her bathroom sink, a 4th floor hotel room. Then a tricherpeton shows up under her bed. Both are not commonly found as they must be summoned by magic.
When Greta captures the attention of a of undead and unfriendly coven, her old friends and some new ones must hurry to find her before she is killed or worse. Meanwhile Greta, not one to be a damsel in distress, tries to save herself while taking care of those around her who need help.
The story is captivating and exciting. It kept me turning pages long after I should have been asleep. The character development is wonderful. The reader learns more about all the characters from the first book. The new characters are not two dimensional. They are people (or former people) that enhance the story and are a wonderful addition to Greta's world. One last thought, real vampires or vampyre do not sparkle.
Greta is in Paris for a very specialized medical conference when she’s kidnapped by an edgelord vampire with poor fashion sense and a lot of unhappy minions, kept in a dank catacomb, and fed on nothing but coffee and chocolate croissants. (The person tasked with feeding her isn’t very imaginative.) If you’ve read the first book, I don’t think it’s spoilery to say that her compassionate and earnest presence makes the sad minions begin to rethink their life choices.
Though I missed Greta’s interactions with her usual crew, that crew is present, just separated from her for most of the book. I still find her romance with Varney the Vampyre completely and utterly inexplicable given the chemistry between her and Ruthven, but Varney is very sweet, there are several likable new characters, and the general atmosphere of people supporting each other, caring for each other, and trying to do the right thing is still present. Also, there are a whole lot of absolutely adorable teeny monsters.
There is some death and violence, but this is overall an extremely cozy, comforting book that gives you hope for the world.