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The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist #1)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  14,133 Ratings  ·  2,301 Reviews
These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthorpe, a man with a most unusual specialty: mon
Hardcover, 434 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Popular Answered Questions

Cillian Ten It depends on what you find scary, Hina. I personally don't think monsters are frightening at all; still, The Monstrumologist managed to scare the…moreIt depends on what you find scary, Hina. I personally don't think monsters are frightening at all; still, The Monstrumologist managed to scare the shit out out me in a couple of scenes.
What this book is, is an unbelievably brilliant, creepy, gory, well thought out story.
That's what The Monstrumologist is. ;)(less)
Shaina Bradley I don't think I'd recommend this book to a children's audience. It's awesome and truly worth the read, but I believe it's too mature for younger…moreI don't think I'd recommend this book to a children's audience. It's awesome and truly worth the read, but I believe it's too mature for younger readers.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Maggie Stiefvater
Jul 04, 2011 Maggie Stiefvater rated it it was amazing
Soooo this one is about a rather particular Monstrumologist and his apprentice chasing headless man-eating monsters across Victorian New England.

Here are five reasons why you should read it:
1. These are proper monsters. They don’t want to make out with you or play you songs on their guitar while you snuggle on the sofa. They just want to eat you, except for when they want to insert their babies in your corpse so they have something to snack on as they incubate. Okay, it’s a little gross sometim
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Aug 30, 2015 Aj the Ravenous Reader rated it really liked it
Recommended to Aj the Ravenous Reader by: Vane, Tash, Paige and Evelyn

People who know me are very well aware that I wouldn't in a million years pick up a a horror-monster book of my own accord. But I have this personal reading challenge in which I am aiming to read at least one book recommended by each of my GR friends and I thought reading this would be like hitting four birds in one stone. But instead of birds, I would be hitting four intelligent, opinionated and not to mention, gorgeous young women's recommendation, for these four lovely ladies-Vane, Tash, Paig
okay, so monsters.

this reads like victorian teen fiction, only with more arterial spray. it's got all the trappings: it is long, and there are orphans and mad scientists, an evil madhouse director, and then there are monsters that eat people.

there is absolutely no crossover audience between this and twilight. the girls who swoon over edward's restrained bloodlust are going to be horrified by the multiple beheadings and the scene where a child is reduced to a fine mist of blood splatter-painting
Sean Gibson
Sep 10, 2015 Sean Gibson rated it really liked it
Before getting into any substantive thoughts on this book, I’d like to take a moment to note that if I made the study of monsters my life’s work, I’d come up with a much, much better name for my profession than “monstrumologist.” I mean, do proctologists call themselves “ass pokers?” Of course not—just because they have their hands up there all day doesn’t mean their heads are, too. See, cryptozoologists are smart—they figured out how to have a ridiculous field of study but make it sound fancy. ...more
Simona Bartolotta
Jul 20, 2016 Simona Bartolotta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-english
"Do you know why our race is doomed, Pellinore? Because it has fallen in love with the pleasant fiction that we are somehow above the very rules that we have determined govern everything else."

•First thing you need to know, plain and simple: rarely have I read such a skillfully and elegantly written book. And it takes a not insignificant amount of versatility to write a novel in 2009 and make it sound exactly as if it were written in the 19th century (and since I've read my fair share of 19th-ce
May 17, 2015 ♛Tash rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ♛Tash by: Vane J.
5 morally ambiguous stars and a fangirly, gify and, possibly, incoherent review.

Buddy read with my precious BookDragon.

Q: What do you get when you cross Supernatural and Sherlock?
A: Me

Yes, I am a shameless fan girl for both shows. Not even sorry, but it gets awkward for onlookers when I fangirl in public. I’ve been asked more than I care to count what are in these shows for me to completely lose my shit over them?

What indeed? I love both shows because they deal with mysteries and the macabre, th
Vane J.
Jul 22, 2014 Vane J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of horror that are not bothered by excess of violence and gore.

Original review posted on Books With Chemistry on February 2015, even though I read this for the first time on July 2014.

“These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed.

But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets.

The one who saved me … and the one who cursed me.”

When I first found about this book, I didn't quite want to read it. I was really hesitant to pick it up. I already had not-so-h
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
The Monstrumologist was an unforgettable read. I can't even imagine how Rick Yancey came up with this idea. I was completely horrified many times, as I read this book. This is a young adult book, but it's not one I'd recommend lightly to just any teen, or adult for that matter. Mr. Yancey doesn't hesitate to make this story gruesome and downright stomach-churning. Due to my biological/medical background, I have a strong stomach. It came in handy when I read this book. There were scenes that I wo ...more
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)
Jun 29, 2015 Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE) rated it it was ok
Recommended to Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE) by: Vane J.

If this book was a landscape, it would be the Sahara desert : perhaps beautiful from a distance, but so fucking dry that I wouldn't want to stay there more than 1 hour. I stopped at 67%, because there's just so much boredom I can take.

Lack of ... interest. What's the point of this? Oh, here's a monster. Look, his teeth are in his belly. This is a *insert Latin name to appear clever*. How wonderful. Now, you can eat your porridge, but just so you know, these creatures are invading New Jerusalem
A note: I promise the follow is actually a review and not my application for the position of President of the Rick Yancey fan club.

"There are times when fear is not our enemy. There are times when fear is our truest, sometimes only, friend.”

"…for only a mad man believes what every child knows to be true: There are monsters that lie in wait under our beds.”

When I was younger I never believed in monsters.
I like to think it was because even then I was a little clever clogs who knew that monsters
Paige  Bookdragon

EDIT: 1/20/2016:

I'm so sorry for this recurring review. I did a reread with this one and I didn't even put my updated review. I was furious with the momentary disappearance of my old review and at the same time, I was hooked with Twitter.. (follow us btw, )

My review was gone and if not for Tash who gave me a link to my original review, I wouldn't have any review to this wonderful book all.

So here's some cookies and hot fafa for Tash:


Now that I'm done wi
Evelyn (devours and digests words)
'Yes, my dear child, monsters are real. I happen to have one hanging in my basement.'

This should have come with a warning that says READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED printed in bold and stamped on the very first page.

Because man, this was hella bloody. I kid you not.

See, I have a not-so-secret part of me that digs violence and gore in books and movies, so I was practically foaming in the mouth when I learned (through Vane's kick-ass lengthy review) that the story is about chomping, man-eating monste
Oct 06, 2015 Masooma rated it really liked it
Recommended to Masooma by: Vane J.
4.5 stars

Like the lion, it uses its claws as its primary form of attack, but unlike the large mammalian predators, it does not attempt to kill its prey before it begins to feed. More like the shark or an insect, the Anthropophagus prefers living flesh.

The Anthropophagus are horrendous creatures who live and thrive on human meat. They are African natives but somehow, mysteriously, have reached New Jerusalem where our hero, Will Henry resides and serves in the Harrington Lane. In this house, also
Neil (or bleed)

adult image

I agree with Frosch. This book is yucky. By yucky, I mean totally gross and stomach-churning. With the book's graphic and vivid descriptions of the gory and bloody scenes, I can always hear my stomach complaining and twisting not of hunger but of disgust. If it can speak I know my stomach will beg me to stop reading this book.

The Monstrumologist is a great book. I know I got bored with the first half of this book because the writing and I didn't get so well but I thought it was go
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
This book was quite the pleasant surprise.

I didn't really know what to expect when I first picked it up. I had heard of it a couple of times before––and maybe I'd seen it at the library and previously thought about reading it. I just recalled being told that this book was really graphic and frightening. So I was just like, "Well, here goes nothing!"

Within about twenty or thirty pages, I was already feeling a bit sick to my stomach. Let's just say, this book just got right into the gory stuff. An
Raeleen Lemay
Aug 15, 2011 Raeleen Lemay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book wasn't great for me. Going into it, I was expecting lots of different monsters creeping and crawling everywhere and tearing people apart, but that didn't happen so much. The monstrumologist and his assistant, Will Henry (our narrator) focus on one type of monster and are basically trying to deal with a massive population of them and figure out where they came from.

And that's pretty much it.

The plot lacked pizzazz, and I didn't feel like I was reading anything of importance at any given
Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
"I had a thought, dear, however scary
About that night, the bugs and the dirt
Why were you digging?
What did you bury
Before those hands pulled me from the earth?

I will not ask you where you came from,
I will not ask and neither should you."

-Hozier, 'Like Real People Do'

The doctor is in!

What to say about this book? I have a lot to say, actually, but right now I have that wonderful feeling of total satisfaction that you get from finishing a book that had all the right stuff in it- plot, writing, chara
Liz Janet
Oct 02, 2014 Liz Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
This book is considered a young adult horror novel, and in 2010 it became an honor book of the Printz Award, so it is easy to say that it’s literary excellence.

“He knew the truth. Yes, my dear child, he would undoubtedly tell a terrified toddler tremulously seeking succor, monsters are real. I happen to have one hanging in my basement.”

It all begins when a grave robber discovers an Anthropophagi (monster) with an eaten girl, and Will Henry and the Doctor must begin to uncover what has happened a
Actual rating: 3.5 stars.

A pseudo-Victorian novel set in 1888, The Monstrumologist has the same rather over-wrought style of that time period and is chock full of orphans, including our protagonist Will Henry. But this is very much a product of the twenty first century, being much more direct and much more graphic than the standard Victorian novel.

On full display is the mad scientist stereotype. The doctor whom Will Henry serves is depicted as amoral, pursuing scientific knowledge without much r
WOO HOO! This book kicked butt. It was gruesome and kind of terrible in certain parts to read (it gets bloody and gory) and when you realize some of these characters are just terrible human beings you kind of despair, but it is exactly what you want in a horror book. It took me a minute to realize why this was Young Adult (YA) too (the main character is 12 during the course of the book) since there are so many grown adult things happening in this book. I really would not let a kid under the age ...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Yes, my dear child, monsters are real.

2.5 stars. This was a perfect Halloween pick. It's really too bad I didn't read Monstrumologist in one sitting. I probably would have appreciated it more if I had. The world was inventive and the tone was deliciously spooky, which I liked. But I had trouble picking the book back up after taking a break because it read on the slower side.
This is not a silly kid’s book about monsters that nobody would find scary. It’s not a B-movie. It’s not for the easily frightened or squeamish. What it is, is one of the best horror novels I’ve ever read (and I’m including adult books here, too), genuinely scary, fascinatingly gross, and psychologically complex.

Will Henry is the orphaned apprentice to Dr. Warthrop, a brilliant but emotionally distant scientist who studies monsters. The case starts out simple enough – a grave robber brings to Dr
Khanh (the Grinch)
I'm not bothered by gore, I love it, and I think I've been so desensitized by blood/explosions/murder from exposure to movies and books from an early age that I am largely unaffected by it now. That said, I do not think a child would be immune to such horrors. Will Henry, the protagonist, is a 11/12 year old orphan, who has been brought in to be the slave to Dr. Warthrop. Now, you could call him Dr. Warthrop's ward, guardian, adopted father, but all that would be false. Dr. Warthrop is ice-cold, ...more
Neal Shusterman
Nov 08, 2011 Neal Shusterman rated it really liked it
Thrilling, well told, and very, very dark. I listened to this book on Audio, and found I could not stop listening. I was still tuned in at the wee hours of the morning. I was surprised at how very dark and grotesque some of the descriptions were -- especially considering that this is a young adult novel, but the literary quality is so strong, it doesn’t detract from it. It felt like something Poe might write if he lived today.
It's hardly been two months since I've last read this, but I can't help myself any longer!
Buddy reading it this time though :)
Oct 25, 2010 Megan rated it liked it
The Monstrumologist is a literary fiction YA horror which also happens to be a Printz Honor.

What? You wanted more than that for a review? Hmm… The Monstrumologist is well written (yes, yes many people describe it as literary fiction and of course there is the Printz thing.) And it is fantastically gory and bloody (always a plus in horror novels.) Finally it describes a particular adventure of twelve year old orphan Will Henry as he partakes in a hunt for the deadly and ferocious anthropophagi.
4.5 to 5.0 stars. An excellent, well written story with great characters that are nicely developed and a fantastic plot that is tightly constructed and NEVER boring. A victorian, horror/mystery story with a "lovecraftian" feel to it. Has all the attributes of a great series and I hope there is a sequel. Highly Recommended!!!
Nima Kohandani
Jan 30, 2016 Nima Kohandani rated it it was amazing
درنهایت سؤال من بعد از پایان این کتاب صریح در توصیفش از مرگ و کشتار و بالاتر از همه حقیقت انسان اینه که
هیولایی، هیولاتر از انسان هم داریم؟

کتاب شوکه کننده بود و خارق العاده

Paige  Bookdragon
Please see my other review here.
Jul 21, 2010 Tina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, best-2011, horror, ya
Original post at One More Page

The main reason I bought The Monstrumologist last year was because of the cover. I thought it had a very good and creepy design, and the title's font made it seem like someone was whispering it to you -- "The Monstrumologist". I didn't really know what it was about, but I relied on the Printz medallion on the cover and believed it was good. Every time I see this on my shelf I felt like someone was whispering to me, but I never got around to reading it for so many re
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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 Curse of the Wendigo (The Monstrumologist, #2)
  • The Isle of Blood (The Monstrumologist, #3)
  • The Final Descent (The Monstrumologist, #4)

Share This Book

“There are times when fear is not our enemy. There are times when fear is our truest, sometimes only, friend.” 79 likes
“He knew the truth. Yes, my dear child, he would undoubtedly tell a terrified toddler tremulously seeking succor, monsters are real. I happen to have one hanging in my basement. 59 likes
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