Dreadful Company: in which Greta finds some good dreadful company

Dreadful company book review

What is this about?: Greta Helsing is in Paris for a conference when she finds herself in the middle of a feud between A vampire named Corvin and Ruthven, whom he absolutely hates. Also there’s a subplot about reality changing that is less exciting than it sounds.

What else is this about?: Greta is officially the Cinderella of this paranormal world, with all manner of paranormal creatures flocking to her. Characters in the previous book fare better than the characters introduced in this one I must admit.


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 surgery and skin disease in bogeymen — and hopefully at least one uneventful night at the Opera.

Unfortunately for Greta, Paris happens to be infested with a coven of vampires — and not the civilized kind. If she hopes to survive, Greta must navigate the darkest corners of the City of Lights, the maze of ancient catacombs and mine-tunnels underneath the streets, where there is more to find than simply dead men’s bones

I keep forgetting that Dreadful Company and indeed this series is actually set in modern times, and not a couple of hundred years ago – and this just from how characters speak in this series. It’s utterly charming I must admit, though there are points that I wish they would just get to the point of something rather than a rambling sentences that have a point at the end somewhere.

So what’s good, Greta?

Greta is kidnapped by Corvin, a vampire with a couple of decades spent getting his hate on for Ruthven and a clash they had years ago. Seeing Greta with him in Paris means she’s the perfect kidnap victim to get his revenge and kill Ruthven, but Corvin didn’t reckon on, well,  Greta.

And by that I mean, she finally gets a chance to shine on her own, without having the paranormal creatures around her come to her rescue. She is resourceful and ever the doctor, even in the face of vampires who’ve decided that body glitter is a staple of their vampirehood. I commend the author for not making a sparkly Edward joke.

I enjoyed revisiting these characters that I loved from the previous one, and seeing them show definite character development since the last book.

… and what’s not

There are two plots in this book – Corvin kidnapping Greta and everything that comes with that action, and another involving reality being messed with big time. Both dovetail nicely in the end, but this book would have been a tighter read if one plot had been chosen over another and focused on.

I found the main plot with Corvin and Ruthven far more interesting for it helped showcase Greta as the marvelous character she is. However the subplot was a distraction, with too many new characters who were charming, but nonetheless new characters I found it really hard to be invested in when Greta is kidnapped and being held hostage by a group of sparkly vampires who would kill her given half a chance.

Thing is, the reality subplot is the one that’s going to carry over to book three, and I’m not entirely sure I understand it all that well after reading this one.

I would have preferred this book focus on that, with the Greta kidnap plot being far more minor than it was. As it is, as much as I liked what the kidnap plot did for Greta, Corvin and his body glitter in the end were just lame.

It’s a mixed bag this one – charming but in need of much more focus.


  • I’m a little bit concerned about the plot for this one as I’ve seen mixed reviews about it. I already own it and will be reading it.

    • Verushka says:

      I need to find more reviews for it I think. It really wasn’t what I expected at all — but give it a go. Would love to know what you thought of it.

  • Jen Mullen says:

    I’m tempted by this one, and I do like the cover. Will check some reviews, but it does sound interesting.

  • Kelly says:

    I absolutely love that cover! That alone would have been what drew me into purchasing but it sounds a little messy unfortunately with two major narratives within the one storyline and introducing so many secondary characters. I can see what the author was hoping to achieve but with so much going on, readers can’t really develop connections with characters and end up just not caring. I’m glad you were still able to enjoy this though Verushka, will you be continuing on with the next installment?

    • Verushka says:

      This series does have some lovely covers, AND the author does have a skill at writing completely charming characters. I’m going to put it down to being quintessential second book where too much is happening and hope third one is more focused — so yes, I think I’m going to see this one through 🙂

  • Lark says:

    I still need to read the first book in this series. Someday. I hope. If I don’t forget about it again. ;D

  • You had me at vampire with body glitter ? Seriously though, this sounds like a fun series that I might want to try. Glad Greta got to stand out a bit more on her own this time!

    • Verushka says:

      LOL, I thought you might enjoy that — though it’s the ones without body glitter that prove more interesting! Yeah, one of the strengths of this book definitely is Greta having time to shine!

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