Nancy O'Toole's Reviews > The Monstrumologist

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
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's review
Apr 05, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction, young-adult, horror
Read from March 22 to 30, 2012

After witnessing the horrific death of his parents, Will Henry finds himself serving as apprentice to The Monstrumologist, a doctor whose specialty is studying the monstrous predators that sit above humans on the food chain. Horror hits close to home when the body of an Anthropophagus, a headless creatures with a gaping mouth filled with dozens of razor sharp teeth on its chest, is found in a local cemetery. Unfortunately, this creature is not alone, and it will take all of the Monstrumologist’s knowledge, plus the alliance of a hunter with questionable morals, to destroy them all before they devour the town.

The Monstrumologist is a creeptastic tale of horror and historical fiction that takes place in a small New England town in 1888. The story is told through diary entries from Will Henry, a young boy thrust into the terrifying world of Monstrumology. Perhaps what I enjoyed the most about this book is the strength of the characterization. As someone who has become jaded with the horror genre, thanks to disappointing offerings from Hollywood, I found this really satisfying. In the novel, all of the characters come off as very complex. I think this is what makes the relationship between WIll Henry and the doctor so interesting. The doctor may have done Will a kindness in taking him in after his father's death, but he’s actually rather cruel to the young boy, due the fact that he himself does not know how to deal with kindness. Despite this, Will remains intensely loyal to the man who rescued him from the orphanage. This made me think a lot about where loyalty comes from, and the impact that kindenss can have on others.

The Monstrumologist is a very dark book, filled with horrific scenes (especially the ones on the ship) that in any movie format would certainly be R-rated for the buckets of gore it produces. As a stark contrast, I found the writing to be quite beautiful at times. The style occasionally feels very scientific. The Anthropophagi are treated like creatures that could exist, and the cold, very scientific way that the doctor describes them are almost makes the book even creepier, as it makes their existence seem almost plausible. Despite it’s dark moments, the book also possesses a nice amount of humor, although interestingly the character that was the most likely to get chuckles out of me one page was just as likely to get looks of horror the next.

The Monstromologist is a satifying, well written work of horrow by Rick Yancy. The author does a great job on building tension, and giving you characters that really enhance the reading experience. I plan on reading further into the series soon.

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Reading Progress

03/22/2012 page 48
11.0% "For a book club. So far, I like it"
03/23/2012 page 118
26.0% "Fascinating by the scary bits, and the unique relationship between the two leads."
03/25/2012 page 294
65.0% "Not sure when this happened, but somewhere along the line I fell in love with this book."
03/29/2012 page 393
87.0% "Been so busy lately that I have not had the time to read or review. Hope to finish this up today."
03/30/2012 page 454
100.0% "Just finished this last night. Really, really enjoyed it. Review coming soon."

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