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Vivian Shaw

Autor(a) de Strange Practice

6+ Works 1,531 Membros 69 Críticas 2 Favorited

About the Author

Vivian Shaw was born in Kenya, but lived in England until the age of seven. Her family then moved to the United States. She earned a BA in art history and a MFA in creative writing. Her career has included working in academic publishing and development. She writes fan fiction using the name mostrar mais Coldhope. Her novels include Strange Practice, and Dreadful Company, which are books in the Dr. Greta Helsing series. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Includes the name: Vivian Shaw (author)

Image credit: Publicity photo from author website.


Obras por Vivian Shaw

Associated Works

Uncanny Magazine Issue 20: January/February 2018 (2018) — Contribuidor — 13 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



It's a shame that I feel I have to give this book 2 stars - the idea (a freelance necromancer on the NTSB payroll) was good and was right up my Dresden-Files-loving-alley but the execution just did not work for me.

First of all, the italics used in the book were just completely out of control. Kinda like in my opening paragraph. The following is an excerpt with italics true to the book. I understand italicizing to emphasize and italicizing to indicate internal thoughts, but this, to me, is excessive. And I swear there is not a single page in this book without two words italicized. I'm not going back and checking though.

Dooley is still on the phone, bless him, and I pick it up in shaking fingers and cut him off in mid-exposition.
"Dools," I say. "I know what has to happen. I know what we have to do."
"What the fuck are you talking about, we," Dooley demands. His voice has a weird wavering high note in it I don't remember hearing before. It's almost interesting , or it would be if I didn't feel so deadly fucking sick and scared and tired.
"Not you," I qualify, thinking again stapled, thinking linked. "But I think I do have to."
"Do what?"

I get it, the italics might be nitpicky. But for me it was just one more issue I had and frankly the easiest and quickest for me to point to in this evolving rant.

A more appropriate criticism and arguably a larger issue (although overusing italics is apparently a trigger for me) is that the narrative voice is annoying. Teal, another reviewer, made the comment "A glib, smart-alecky 1st-person male character who the author tries (but fails) to portray as cool and funny was the default narrator..." and I just can not help but emphasize how much the author failed in the attempt. The narrator wasn't the smart-alecky friend you roll your eyes at. The narrator was the person you stop inviting over because they're so annoyingly not funny (or cool). Is that harsh? That feels harsh. But true.

My last issue is going to be entirely hidden behind spoiler tags because it's a MAJOR SPOILER. I stuck with the damn book because a) it was short and b) despite how annoying both the writing (italics) and the narrative voice were I was invested in learning what happened to the Boeing/FedEx 737 flight at the bottom of the Pacific. We never do. In fact, somewhere around halfway through writing this, I think Shaw realized that they didn't know what happened themselves and decided to switch veins and pursue a new mystery. For which we also don't actually get a resolution. We also don't get a resolution to a third mystery that was referenced many times (what actually happened to ghost friends flight?). This entire novella was an exercise in cliff hangers. And this is perhaps my biggest issue and biggest annoyance. By the end of the 130 page book we have 3 (maybe 4) loosely connected "mysteries" that Shaw has laid out for us, and maybe this will be a series and the cliff hangers are intended to hook me...but I don't particularly care to find out anymore.
… (mais)
soup_house | 1 outra crítica | Apr 9, 2024 |
Really fun fantasy with a great premise and characters.
mmcrawford | 44 outras críticas | Dec 5, 2023 |
Devin Stacy works as a freelance necromancer for the National Transportation Safety Board, contacting deceased plane crash pilots to investigate why they crashed. He’s currently being haunted by the pilot of a crash he couldn’t solve and he doesn’t know why … until a lot of creepy plane stuff starts happening.

I really loved this little novella! Devin is a great character, the mystery is very spooky, and it’s delightful to watch it be solved by some guys who are good at their jobs. I really hope she writes more about these characters.… (mais)
norabelle414 | 1 outra crítica | Nov 14, 2023 |
I liked but did not love this book about a Doctor to the monsters. Given that this book includes vampires, I was expecting and or hoping to like it more.
Bebe_Ryalls | 44 outras críticas | Oct 20, 2023 |



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