Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review: The Monstrumologist

The Monstrumologist is the story of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthrope, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters.  In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real.  But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet.
(- Synopsis from Goodreads)

The book is written as the diary of William James Henry who has recently passed away in a nursing home at the age of 133(!). Mr. Henry has no family to claim his belongings and so his journals are given to a local author of strange events. The Monstrumologist is the first three volumes of his journals.

Title: The Monstrumologist
Author: Rick Yancey
Series: The Monstrumologist (Book 1)
Publication Date: 2009
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 434
Where I Got It: Books-A-Million, Concord, NC
Dates I Read It: October 13-21, 2013
Number of Stars: 4.5/5
Read For: Halloween!

This book was a delight to read, especially this time of year with Halloween right around the corner! Halloween is my favorite holiday and now that I am past my months-long reading slump (huzzah!), I knew I was ready for a good, captivating, and spooky book to get me into the spirit of the season and boy did I ever pick a good one! The Monstrumologist was not only a spooky story, it was also an engaging tale of the human condition. I savored this book right down to the last page. Yancey has a gift for keeping his reader entertained through the entire ride. There was so much about this book that I liked but most of all I loved how flippin' gory it was! There was monster blood and pus and flesh eating and severed limbs and all of my favorite things! At times it was increasingly difficult to believe that this was a book aimed at young adult bibliophiles! This is because of the gore, yes, but more so of Yancey's elaborate  yet eloquent, writing style. The novel is set in 1888 and much of the language and verbiage of the book reads as a novel of this era would.  I feel like it could be over the heads of younger readers and would hesitate to recommend it to anyone in their early teens (and younger, of course).  
I am not one to be easily scared by a book, especially a book about monsters. Ghosts? Yes. Demons? Oh hell yes. Monsters? Not so much. That being said, this book really spooked me out! I attribute this fact to Yancey's uncanny ability to world-build.  The setting was very believable and realistic. If you are good at suspending your disbelief while reading, like I am, then you can really find yourself believing that monsters do exist! 
The only complaint that I could have about this book is that it was a tad bit too long for me. I thought that some of the scenes were a little overdone and that maybe 50 or so pages could possibly have been shaved off. This is only book one of a trilogy and I am very excited to read the rest of this series! The next book is The Curse of the Wendigo which excites me more than the Anthropophagi that we were dealing with in this book; I'm a little more familiar with Wendigos from my days of Charmed watching! (The season one episode The Wendigo is my favorite episode of the entire series!)
If you are looking for a super spooky Halloween read then I can't recommend this one enough!

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