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Dreadful Company

(Dr. Greta Helsing #2)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  4,238 ratings  ·  501 reviews
Contemporary fantasy in the world of Strange Practice, starring Dr. Greta Helsing, whose family has been keeping the supernatural community not-alive and well for generations.

When Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead, is unexpectedly called to Paris to present at a medical conference, she expects nothing more exciting than professional discourse on zombie reconstructive sur
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 31st 2018 by Orbit
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Anonyma'am I highly recommend it. You'll get the background on the characters, more about their personalities and, besides, it's a really good book! …moreI highly recommend it. You'll get the background on the characters, more about their personalities and, besides, it's a really good book! (less)
Lindsay Same! I can't stand the new pronunciation. It sounds goofy now. I don't have any ideas about why it happened but I can commiserate.…moreSame! I can't stand the new pronunciation. It sounds goofy now. I don't have any ideas about why it happened but I can commiserate.(less)

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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  4,238 ratings  ·  501 reviews

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K.J. Charles
An enormously enjoyable urban fantasy heavily based in period pulp (any book where Varney the Vampyre is back and has anxiety is all right with me). Greta is a lovely moral heroine, her gang of vampires, demon, psychopomps in Led Zeppelin T-shorts etc are great fun, there's a delightful slow burn romance (plus an unexpected bonus for romance lovers), pacey adventure, a gleefully crap modern edgelord vampire villain in body glitter, and even a delightful riff on one of the greatest MR James stori ...more
Urban fantasy with heart would be how I'd describe this series - whatever happens, the overall sense of how things should be never changes, and the ultimate goal remains the same: right wrongs, help those who need it, and encounter all sorts of interesting monsters along the way.

This time the action takes place in Paris, and the best parts - both the Catacombs and the Opera House got to play a central role this time. Ruthven and Varney are still around, of course, and some other familiar faces s
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Despite the mixed reviews for Strange Practice, I ended up enjoying it a lot and was very excited for Dreadful Company. Ironically though, it’s now this sequel that’s making me feel a bit conflicted. It was a fairly good book, though perhaps not great. And I definitely thought the first book was better.

Dreadful Company picks up shortly after Strange Practice ended, once again following protagonist Greta Helsing, London’s
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an odd thing to say about a book about vampires, other monsters, and the medical doctor who specializes in treating their ailments, but I really like the vocabulary and many of the sentences in this book (as well as book one). The text is often ironic and the author had me laughing out loud at times when Greta commented on situations.
Greta Helsing gets kidnapped by a coven of vampires led by a rather nasty fellow called Corvin soon after she arrives in Paris for a conference. This bring
Kristin B. Bodreau
Sep 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this one as much as the first in the series, but it just didn’t connect. I still enjoyed it for the most part, but I missed Greta’s interactions with all of her monster friends. As she spent most of the story away from them, we had a lot less of the fun and loving way they all interacted.

I still enjoyed it enough to try to find a library copy of the third one, but I’m hoping that it improves over this installment.
Jul 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: zread-1-fantasy
Warning to fellow chocoholics: this book will induce insatiable cravings for pain au chocolate

insert drool here

Now that is out of the way....I'm not sure what to really make of this one. It has the same charming characters, some new cuddly monster friends, spooky tours of the Paris catacombs and cemeteries; it should have been a slam dunk. But alas, the majority of the plot and pacing were a bit....cumbersome? repetitive? dare I say, a wee bit boring?

Based on the strength of the first, I will
Shalini Nemo
I definitely prefer the original. I find this sequel lacklustre, and at 70-something percent, nearly DNF'ed. I only pushed on because I've already gone too far up the road, but it wasn't really reading so much as skimming.

Here's what worked:
I like seeing the old gang back. Grisaille is awesome, loved him. Varney's line about the wilting flowers was lovely.

Here's what didn't:
So few women and it's nearly a reverse nonsexual harem. Greta herself got really boring, and the only two significant fe
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Reread! “There was no home lost that might be found if sought.”

Greta is in Paris for a conference where she encounters true horror: a coven of poser vampires, as lacking in ethics as taste.

The horror. The horror.

I enjoyed the expanded characters, especially the French werewolf! This series has fuel for miles.

Give me more!
Sarah B
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm really shocked at how much I really loved this story! The cover image is kind of weird and I felt a bit unsure about the book because of it, but I'm really glad I had decided to go with this one for the challenge I was doing. The challenge was to read a book set in Paris and I admit if it wasn't for that I might not have picked this one up.

So this story obviously takes place in Paris. It is about a lady doctor who treats monsters. Yes, you read that right, monsters. Including vampires and ot
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f-sf-for-adults
Ohhhh I love this book (and as much as I truly, deeply enjoyed the first book in this series, I think this one is even five times better - a huge step forward). I love the Parisian setting and the way Shaw brings together Phantom of the Opera callbacks along with werewolves and vampires and demons and more, but most of all, I love the compassion, the humor, the sheer sense of coziness throughout, and the intense and powerful theme of found family. The villain is hilariously horrible in every per ...more
Dreadful Company was a nice follow-up to Vivan Shaw's excellent debut novel Strange Practice. Was it enjoyable? Overall, yes. Was it as strong as the first book? Not quite.

For me, the main draw of the Greta Helsing series is the supernatural doctor stuff. It is so original and Greta is a very capable doctor - basically, if you enjoy Peter Grant's policing-with-a-side-of-spellcasting in the Rivers of London series, then Greta Helsing as a doctor to the not-quite-dead is likely to appeal to you. T
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved the first book of this series so much I immediately dove into the sequel and I have no regrets for binge reading them and going off my reading schedule for this one. It’s such a wonderful follow-up.

One of the things I loved most about the first one was the characters, and that remains true here. Greta is still the focus in this one, but she’s off on her own (mostly) for a conference in Paris when she meets up with some of the bad elements of the city’s supernatural community. Finding her
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, vampires
Reviewed for The Bibliophibian.

I was so excited to get this, and then I didn’t want to be over, and took longer than I should’ve to actually finish it. But while I was reading it, I was mainlining it: chunks and chunks of it all at once. I find Vivian Shaw’s writing just really easy to read, and it helps that I adore the characters. I was sad that there wasn’t more of Fass in this book, and I didn’t love some of the newer characters as much (Grisaille, but that’s obvious; Emily needs more develo
Lauren Stoolfire
Dreadful Company by Vivan Shaw is an awesome sequel to Strange Practice. I absolutely love this author's style. Her combination of urban fantasy and classic gothic horror is exactly up my alley. How she works in Varney the Vampire among others, and even a variety of French classic since a good deal of the action is set in Paris, into the modern urban fantasy is so cool. Greta, Ruthven, and Varney are all fantastic characters to follow, especially since we've already had the chance to get to know ...more
Karen Wellsbury
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, but this was better.
I think maybe because the main characters - Greta, Varney and Ruhven are more familiar and fleshed out, maybe because Greta is so bloody capable and funny, and maybe because of the well monsters and the Whistle monster. Either way I loved this.
I particularly enjoyed the warmth of the friendships and the burgeoning love between Greta and Varney, and also how the gang rallied around Emily and Grisaille (former bad vampire) .And on
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This picks up a few months after the first book, it's interesting to see where things have gone since that story ended and how the characters have changed or grown. The same warmth and humour is present in the writing and the sense of a wider much more complicated hidden world we saw a glimpse of in the first book is expanded upon a little.

This is everything you could want in a sequel, the same writing and fun from the first book, the characters developing nicely and a nice new story.

Oh and Spar
God, do I love this series. If you like Ben Aaronovitch's RIVERS OF LONDON series, but find at times that the writing gets a little too abstract and strays from the point (as I sometimes find when reading them), this series is the perfect antidote. It's got everything I could want in a book with a few minor quibbles. I don't have a very coherent review other than: I loved this. ...more
BAM Endlessly Booked
A book for all Seasons: related to this season

To be continued in 2019-a series I have not finished
Tara♥ {MindforBooks}
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tara♥ {MindforBooks} by: Karen Wellsbury

This was absolutely fabulous and I loved everything about it. I was just so entertained and it was funny and I adore all the characters are their development and I'm so happy I have another one to read. I think I'll have to save it for a bit later in the month because I don't want to finish with Greta and the team just yet. Seriously though, what fun!!
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy.

DREADFUL COMPANY doesn’t learn from the missteps of the first novel. Too many side characters overwhelm what could have been a simple plot: that Greta Helsing is missing and must be found. Although I’m never a fan of damsel in distress storylines, I was looking forward to seeing Greta separated from Ruthven, the charming joie de vivre vampire from the first novel. Greta didn’t get a chance to shine in Strange Practice and I was certain that pulling her
Ziggy Nixon
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Sir Terry Pratchett and/or kickass leading ladies
4+ stars! Another exceptional read from Vivian Shaw!

I'm not one to generally go along with the sort of Hollywood-esque praise (you know: love love kiss kiss, let's do lunch DAH-ling) that is oft included in the small-case, roman-numeraled pages of new books. However, I am going to borrow some comments describing 'Strange Practice' that work just as well for 'Dreadful Company', allowing for the whole time-space continuum bits that I'm no doubt violating for doing so! 'Dreadful Company' is indeed
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the first book in the series but this second one really delighted me. Even though it's fully situated in the urban fantasy genre, with magic, vampires, monsters and supernatural creatures of all kinds, it’s a cut above the usual. It’s partly the characters, and partly the writing (of course the characters are an expression of the writing, but it’s worth emphasising both).

Greta Helsing, a doctor who also treats supernatural creatures, is smart, capable and kind, as are the members of he
☼Book her,   Danno☼
I thought the first book in this series, Strange Practice, potential and though I DNF'd it I thought I'd try book #2.

Alas, I've abandoned Dreadful Company too. The story line is more interesting and the characters are better than in the first book but the style of writing just isn't my cuppa. If for no other reason than it moves slowly and arcanely--amusing without actually being funny.

I remember the first book as being YA but apparently I was mistaken. The F-bomb is dropped frequently and the
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Last year, Strange Practice, the first in this ongoing series, was one of my unexpected delights, so much so that it was one of my 'favourite five' Fantasy novels of the year. It shouldn’t be a surprise then that I was really looking forward to this one.

Dreadful Company begins pretty much where we left things at the end of Strange Practice. If you remember, Dr. Greta van Helsing, daughter of the more-famous van Helsing, is a physician to those who live in the shadows. As part of her work she enc
Adri Joy
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dreadful Company builds on the strengths of the first volume in the series, delivering another solid urban fantasy adventure.

Dreadful Company is the second novel from Vivian Shaw in the Dr Greta Helsing series, following last year's Strange Practice. Readers who follow a fair bit of fanfiction may have already come across Shaw's works in the Homestuck, the MCU and Star Wars fandoms as coldhope. This background puts Shaw in a strong position to bring some of the most interesting aspects of transf
Soukyan Blackwood
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dracula-mentions
all reviews in one place:
night mode reading
skaitom nakties rezimu

About: Ghosts are haunting Paris. Some missing legs, others – arms. Some are even missing their heads. But then, there’s those catacombs down below, so no surprise, you’d say. And yet, why now? Answer, apparently, is classic and simple: there’s a coven of vampires down below, making a nest. Even ghouls moved out, be it due to arguments with new tenants, or too loud music. And from there, thus, they spread their reign of
Falynn - the TyGrammarSaurus Rex
In further evidence of my contrariness, most reviewers seem to have loved Strange Practice & not enjoyed Dreadful Company as much. I, on the other hand, thought Strange Practice was interesting but flawed and somewhat "choppy" in its scene jumps, but I thought Dreadful Company was written with much more assurance and control.

However, as with book 1, it is a bit of a sausage-fest. There are hints of interesting female characters other than Greta, but we see very little of them. In Book 1, it was
Doctor Science
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A lot of this is really beautifully-written, especially the descriptions of Paris. It's also a book about a kind person being competent, which I really need right now. Partway through I realized I was smiling because I was just so happy to be a reading a good book about people I like. I'll now have to re-read the first book -- I don't recall liking it quite this much, but it wasn't such a horrible day in RL when I read it. ...more
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The first book in this series is one of my favorites ever, and the second book is no different. Vivian Shaw takes plenty of my favorite classic stories and a lot of very good stuff from her own very good brain and blends it into the perfect story. Nothing makes me happier than a new story with Greta and I can't wait for book three. ...more
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really a three-star effort that I'm raising to four stars because of three kinds of creatures this author has invented.

First the whistler, summoned with a special whistle that our heroine Greta Helsing finds. It must always be covered with cloth, so no one knows what one of them really looks like. To summon it, you lay out a large enough piece of cloth, make the whistle sound, and in a little while something starts forming under the middle of the cloth, raising it up till there's a small but str
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