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Grave Importance

Narrated by: Suzannah Hampton
Series: Dr. Greta Helsing, Book 3
Length: 11 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (397 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A charmingly witty fantasy adventure in the world of Strange Practice, starring Dr. Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead, who must solve a dangerous medical mystery at a secret French spa for mummies.

Oasis Natrun: a private, exclusive, highly secret luxury health spa for mummies, high in the hills above Marseille, equipped with the very latest in therapeutic innovations both magical and medical. To Dr. Greta Helsing, London's de facto mummy specialist, it sounds like paradise. But when Greta is invited to spend four months there as the interim clinical director, it isn't long before she finds herself faced with a medical mystery that will take all her diagnostic skill to solve. 

A peculiar complaint is spreading among her mummy patients, one she's never seen before. With help from her friends and colleagues - including Dr. Faust (yes, that Dr. Faust), a sleepy scribe-god, witches, demons, a British Museum curator, and the inimitable vampyre Sir Francis Varney - Greta must put a stop to this mysterious illness before anybody else crumbles to irreparable dust...

...and before the fabric of reality itself can undergo any more structural damage. 

Grave Importance is the third Dr. Greta Helsing Novel - perfect for fans of Neverwhere and V. E. Schwab.

Dr. Greta Helsing novels
Strange Practice
Dreadful Company
Grave Importance

©2019 Vivian Shaw (P)2019 Orbit

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not quite as good as the first two books

Vivian Shaw is one of the most original and entertaining authors around. I find her books fantastically amusing and her characters very likable. This book (the third in the series)seemed to get lost in its 3rd act.

A lot of the books written real estate was given to an interesting character and the theft of an antiquity she has loaned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. After the object is stolen (to help the lead character with a diagnosis) the character just lets herself die shortly after. The character that took up so much space in the story seemed to only be added to make the theft of the object happen.

The most insulting and weird part of the art collector character is what happens to her when she dies. In the story she keeps herself looking good through stealing the energy off of objects of empowerment, When seeing the impact of her actions, she reverses that energy and turns into a decrepit, liver spotted and emaciated woman....she's only 65, not 105! (Perhaps it's because I live in California, but most 65 yr olds look 40 here). It made me think the author was 19 years old and has a very distorted image of aging.

MS Shaws characters involve many interdimensional creatures and beings that include demons, vampires, and werewolves that her lead character treats as a doctor. In the middle of the third act a born again Christian undertone gets inserted into the plot that did not work for me. I'm not sure if it was an attempt to chill the far christian right that might push back against her books or if it was a pushy editor forcing her ahead of her own writing deadline but it comes across as someone else's voice. If I was not such a fan of Shaws work I would have lost interest. I pushed through but did not find the ending nearly as satisfying as her earlier work.

The first two books in her series, Strange Practice and Dreadful Company, are brilliant and I would still recommend Grave Importance for the characters you love and their own evolution for continuity in future books.

4 people found this helpful

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Wicked good blend of science, history, and imagination!

Excellent book and series! // I don’t recall exactly what made me grab the first book of this series...Audible sale?...but I am SO glad I did. I’ve enjoyed all three immensely. Good writing, wonderful characters, and a world within our own that is just fascinating. Ms. Shaw seamlessly blends science, history, and her “wicked good” imagination into a set of fun, clean adventure novels with a touch of romance. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic Story!

I became a Vivian Shaw and a Dr. Greta Helsing fan last year. Loved the return of all the characters. If you love the first two, you will enjoy this. I hope this isn't the last story about Greta Helsing, but I think it is :( This is a great series for anyone that loves the supernatural, sci-fi , and mystery.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent story!

I've loved each of these books. The main characters are pretty well-developed, the writing is good, the narrator has a lovely voice, and the story is completely entertaining. I love being able to step into a story that takes me out of the ordinary world and this does just that. Greta's world is very like our own world but with a large heaping of paranormal that tickles the imagination. Highly recommend all the books!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Mummies and the end if the world

Angles attacking angles, hell fighting for heaven and vampires who offer prayers to avoid the apocalypse. what more could one want. Tour de force!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not really a Helsing Novel

While this book contains all the delightful characters we know and love, it has the same pace and style of the first two books it just isn't about our main characters. While in the catacombs beneath London and Paris our characters were the driving force, the thing that really pushed the world back from the brink this book lacks that agency.

Don't get me wrong the book has everyone and they are all involved in the plot, but they are passengers on this trip. None of the movements that drive the plot are something that our heroes overcome really. I don't want to spoil things but I can tell you Greta simply does not save the day, she really isn't all that vital to the day being saved. We don't have daring rescues or medical mysteries solved. We don't have Greta saving someone's life through guts, or quick thinking. In fact none of our characters get in any real conflict and while their actions are key in the final act it is not because of who they are, anyone could have made the choices our heroes did in the final scenes and likely had s similar outcome.

I still enjoyed the book. I love the whole cast of characters and the writing as always is crisp and delightful. But the story elements here seemed too epic, the conflicts too removed and the characters mere observers more than the driving force.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love this series!

Love Greta; love Varney, & the other characters. Narration is perfect. Great stories. I’m entertained. Looking forward to more.

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Absolutely gorgeous!

I've always loved the strange world of Greta Helping, and this third volume vastly outdid any expectations I may have had. The story's details are hilarious to me, such a "normal" presentation of the underworld, demons, angels, vampires... all just people like us. With unusual abilities and requirements. Beautiful writing.

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Another winner

I love, love, love this series and this book didn't disappoint. This is such a unique and well thought out book. Hats off to Ms. Shaw. I can't wait for more.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not as good...

Sadly, I did not find this book as interesting as the first two, which is disappointing.