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The Final Descent (The Monstrumologist #4)

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,852 Ratings  ·  353 Reviews
Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop have encountered many horrors together—but can Will endure a monstrumological terror without his mentor?

Will Henry has been through more that seems possible for a boy of fourteen. He’s been on the brink of death on more than one occasion, he has gazed into hell—and hell has stared back at him, and known his face. But through it all, Dr. Warthrop
ebook, 320 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Vane J.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
It occurred to me … that aberrance is a wholly human construct. There were no such things as monsters outside the human mind. We are vain and arrogant, evolution's highest achievement and most dismal failure, prisoners of our self-awareness and the illusion that we stand in the center, that there is us and then there is everything else but us. But we do not stand apart from or above or in the middle of anything. There is nothing apart, nothing above, and the middle is everywhere––and nowhere.

Vane J.
Sep 03, 2015 Vane J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every human being... or any living creature, and dead ones too, for that matter.
Recommended to Vane by: William James Henry

Monster buddy read with Tash & Haley (August-September 2015).

It's impossible for me to say how utterly genius Rick Yancey is for writing such a conclusion for this series. I don't think I've ever read a book that has bended my mind the way this series, and especially this book, has. Only a mastermind like Yancey is capable of haunting me with the shadow of a book series for more than a year.

After this reread, some things finally snapped into focus. I was finally able to see what Yancey migh
Sep 01, 2015 ♛Tash rated it it was amazing
I take The Final Descent and what do I find at the bottom?

Indeed, my mind was blown nuked, I don’t even know how to begin to review the finale of The Monstrumologist series. I guess I’ll start with my expectations. I had a picture in my head of one last adventure for Will and Warthrop to bag a monster of legendary proportions. Warthrop dies, Will continues the craft, opens a school for Monstrumologist hopefuls, he names it The Pellinore Warthrop School for the Strange or something, he marries Li
Raymond Just
Dec 04, 2013 Raymond Just rated it it was ok
Oh dear, that was rather disappointing. The monstrumologist started so well four books back, but I have to say, this concluding volume has turned out to be the worst of the lot. The deft writing is still there, the pretty prose. But our intrepid, likable protagonist, Will Henry, is gone, replaced by cold-hearted enigma. His character has taken such a 180 between books that the change is jarring, and not for the better. He is no longer a character to stand behind and cheer for. And neither is any ...more
Crystal Cook
Sep 28, 2013 Crystal Cook rated it did not like it
*Spoilers ahead*
With a heavy heart I have decided that I can not give this book a rating higher than one star.

The good: Beautiful prose. Rick Yancey is one of those writers whose prose is absolutely poetic and breathtakingly beautiful. Reading his written word is a pleasure, he is a wordsmith of the highest caliber. Yancey's turn of phrase is absolutely compelling and emotive. Monsters. Yancey creates some truly horrific and completely believable monsters. The return of favorite characters. Na
Evelyn (devours and digests words)
There were no such things as monsters outside the human mind.

A clusterfuck of mindfucks is what this book is.

The finale to The Monstrumologist left me with more questions than answers and admittedly, with more fucking heart ache than ever. Rick Yancey has truly outdone himself this time.

Reading The Final Descent is like falling into a dark gap instead of a rabbit hole that (used to) lead one to Wonderland.

This book did not make me happy. At all.

Nearly everything and everyone I have come to
Rory Eggleston
Dec 04, 2013 Rory Eggleston rated it it was amazing
GUYS GUYS GUYS MY COPY ARRIVED EARLY. HOLY CRAP. This book is going to destroy me. Utterly.


I did. I'm dead inside now.

Also, even though we're basically the smallest fandom ever, I think we're also some of the most obsessive people when it comes to this series.
Paige  *an exploding fluffball* Bookdragon
“Human...I don't know what that word means...Tell me what defines it..

Well, I've been meaning to write a proper review for this one weeks ago, but I didn't know that it would take the death of a dear friend in order for me to be pushed into writing this review.

Oh well, life's shitty that way.

We all fucking lost someone or something over the years. It may be trivial things or important things but you still lost it. The Final Descent is a book about losing something. For those who have read and lo
Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
I cannot do this. I will not do this.

This book is like when a loved one lays dying in a hospital bed, sickly, washed-out, and hooked up to all sorts of machines. More specifically, this book is like when that loved one asks you not to remember them that way, but rather as the way they were when they lived.

The Monstrumologist series has been such an incredible ride, full of growth and beauty and pain and horror. I want to remember it as being as fantastic as I know it is, not the way The Final D
Apr 30, 2015 Ivy marked it as the-list
Snap to, Mr. Yancey, snap to! Please and thank you.
Karina E
Jan 13, 2015 Karina E rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Confusing, all over the place, jumping between 3 different stories, the characters turn into basically cold-hearted murderers from page one, there is so much missing between this and the third book. What the hell happened to the boy from book 1-3?! I simply didn't get parts of the story apart from the over all confusion about the characters.

I feel like I missed/skipped an entire book. This was so weirdly different. I'm still confused as to what the point of this story was.
This series started o
Sep 17, 2013 Valeri marked it as on-my-shelf-waiting-to-be-read
Shelves: that-rare-find
8/27/13 edit:
It's coming out next month! I've been on and off the summary page several times this week already, willing the days to move faster. I NEED MY MONSTER FIX! Have you seen that cover? It's delicious!

Original text:
The fact that the last book is taking two years to write makes me want to throw myself at a Wendigo and then let the good doctor just hack me up to "save" me. The torture is great. There isn't even a cover yet to fuel any wild speculations about what new horrors are next. What
Jan 16, 2014 Lucie rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.


OMG!!!!!! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Haley Nguyen
(Update September 4th, 2015)


(Click for actual and highly readable reviews from these two reviewers!)

***Absolutely IRRELEVANT Rambling Alert!!!

Okay... I think I'm ready to bring back the justice this mind-fuck of a book deserves.


No. I lied. I'm not. Not one bit. I'm too poor of a writer for that.


But I'm afraid just a few words from my original "review" wo
4.5 stars

At first, it was just about the story of this peculiar little boy with a most peculiar profession: he aided the only person he had in his life, for better or worse, in the hunting of monsters - real, terrifying ones whose existence were a cruel joke from God, a reminder than humankind was not special, that they ruled nothing.

Then, the lines began to blur and a war between what's real, what's not and what we want it to be broke out in that little boy's life.

Shortly after that, there wer
Tommy Hancock
Jun 15, 2015 Tommy Hancock rated it really liked it
I hate you, Rick Yancey. And I love you for making me hate you for writing this.

It was different. It was ugly. It was beautiful. It was sad. It was kind of perfect.

The only reason I rate 4 stars instead of 5 is that it felt abrupt to go from the 3rd book to this one. A bit of a detachment from the smooth transitions the other books made.

Still, one of the more unique series I've ever read. I highly recommend.
Oct 14, 2013 Erikka rated it liked it
This one was a bit existential for my tastes. I think teens would hate it, honestly, because if you are reading simply for an adventure and a linear plot, this book does not provide.

Yancey again displays his gorgeous use of language and turns of phrase, but their beauty is surface deep; they sound pretty together, but often have little to no meaning or are repetitive. I also felt the suspense and horror of the first three books was lacking--not completely gone, just not quite up to par. The few
It's hard to know that you are about to read the last book in a series. A series that isn't very popular and for the most part not many people have heard of it. Those who have read it are rabid fans and completely loyal to the story of William James Henry and Pellinor Warthrop. With a heavy heart I review this last book in the series knowing this will be the last time I am able to hear/read about Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop.

Have you read the first 3? Probably not and if you did I already know yo
I don't know how to feel about this finale. (view spoiler) ...more
Stella  ☢FAYZ☢ Chen
September, 2013?

But hey! It's the same month as Patrick Ness' More Than This

Sep 05, 2015 Harlee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I love this series. I. LOVE. THIS. SERIES. The end of this book is heartbreaking!
It is so odd knowing what happens to our protagonist from the very beginning but not knowing the how, the why, and even, THE WHO? This series is written from the author's take on a set of journals he is given by a senior citizens home looking for any family or friends or anybody they can contact over the death of a Mr. William James Henry. The opening chapter and the end chapter of each book is in the perspective of
Jun 10, 2014 Donald rated it it was ok
The Final Descent by Rick Yancy was a remarkably disappointing conclusion to The Monstrumologist series. The publishers may have had the right idea initially canceling his contract after The Isle of Blood. Admittedly I would still have been disappointed not to know how Will Henry's story ended but I would have gotten over it. It would have been preferable to where I find myself now.

In this final installment the author takes the likeable character that was Will Henry and corrupts and twist him un
Everley Sharp, the Clankinist
Well...this is the 200th book on my to-read shelf. Does that deserve a party? Well, where Will Henry is involved, I'm quite certain something needs celebrating. That boy is as dour as flour.

Haha, see what I did there? I rhymed, that's what I did.

So this comes out a week after my birthday, or is now scheduled to come out a week after my birthday, in 2013. Please reschedule it to a week earlier, please reschedule it to a week earlier. I would love to have the next installment in one of my favori
Feb 17, 2015 Absinthe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This is the final crescendo to the Monstrumologist series and it is darkly beautiful. The metamorphosis of the protagonist is complete, and he is what his Doctor has made him; hard and manipulative, passionate and cruel. Honestly, this series was never really about monstrumology, but rather humanity and what it means to be human, what it means when the line between human and monster is blurred. The Final Descent was the perfect non-ending to the series (I say non-ending because it leaves the rea ...more
Jess Faraday
Dec 14, 2014 Jess Faraday rated it it was amazing
The two main criticisms people seem to have of this book are (1) the change of focus from a monster hunt to a philosophical journey and (2) the change in the main character. I'll add the complexity of the book's construction, including unannounced time shifts and contradictory events. These criticisms are absolutely valid, but IMO these things are what make the book a fitting end--a crown--to the series.

There are two Will Henrys in this book--one a teenager who has not yet left the "home" of the
Wendy F
Darkness has always been the theme of the series, but in The Final Descent that darkness is taken who a whole new level.

We are vain and arrogant, evolution's highest achievement and most dismal failure, prisoners of our self-awareness and the illusion that we stand in the center, that there is us and then there is everything else but us.
But we do not stand apart from or above or in the middle of anything. There is nothing apart, nothing above, and the middle is everywhere-and nowhere. We are n
“To hell with all of you...To hell with monsters and to hell with men. There is no difference to me.”

I was wrong. In my review of The Isle of Blood, I said that Yancey better dial back the introspection for the final installment and give us more monsters instead. However, The Final Descent is far from the tightly woven monster hunts of the first two books, and it is deathly brilliant. But maybe Yancey did give me what I wanted. He gave me monsters. Just not in the shapes I was expecting.

Will Hen
Lauren Stoolfire
Brilliant way to finish his equally brilliant and wonderful Monstrumologist series! There is no other way I could imagine Will Henry's story ending after the build up from the first three books in the series; as much as it pains me to say it there was no way either of them could have gotten a happy ending. In this installment, I began to realize more and more about the characters and the further I descended with Will Henry the more I was able to understand his insistent statement that "time is a ...more
Emily Rose
Feb 06, 2014 Emily Rose rated it liked it
Hmmm... This finale is a lot to digest and I'm not sure how I feel about it yet.

This book is dark. Emotionally, this final chapter in The Monstrumologist series is the darkest yet. Prepare for a mentally exhausting read.

Rick Yancey's marvelous writing style was still present in this final installment. His prose alone is half the enjoyment in these books.

The Final Descent delves even more into philosophical ideas, which I love. Parts of this book seemed like the ramblings of a mad man that is bo
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who the hell was will henry? 3 62 Mar 02, 2014 07:30PM  
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aka Richard Yancey

Rick is a native Floridian and a graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago. He earned a B.A. in English which he put to use as a field officer for the Internal Revenue Service. Inspired and encouraged by his wife, he decided his degree might also be useful in writing books and in 2004 he began writing full-time.

Since then he has launched two critically acclaimed series: The Ext
More about Rick Yancey...

Other Books in the Series

The Monstrumologist (4 books)
  • The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)
  • The Curse of the Wendigo (The Monstrumologist, #2)
  • The Isle of Blood (The Monstrumologist, #3)

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“It occurred to me. . .that aberrance is a wholly human construct. There were no such things as monsters outside the human mind. We are vain and arrogant, evolution's highest achievement and most dismal failure, prisoners of our self-awareness and the illusion that we stand in the center, that there is us and then there is everything else but us. But we do not stand apart from or above or in the middle of anything. There is nothing apart, nothing above, and the middle is everywhere - and nowhere. We are no more beautiful and essential or magnificent than an earthworm. In fact - and dare we go there, you and I? - you could say the worm is more beautiful, because it is innocent and we are not. The worm has no motive but to survive long enough to make baby worms. There is no betrayal, no cruelty, no envy, no lust, and no hatred in the worm's heart, and so who are the monsters and which species shall we call aberrant?” 10 likes
Human...I don't know what that word means...Tell me what defines it. What sets it apart? Are you going to tell me its love? A crocodile will defend her brood to the death. Hope? A lion will stalk its prey for days. Faith? Who is to say what gods populate an orangutan's imagination. We build? So do termites. We dream? House cats do that on the windowsill...We live in a shabby edifice...hastily erected over a span of ten thousand years, and we draw he flimsy curtains to hide the truth from ourselves.” 7 likes
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