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The Final Descent

(The Monstrumologist #4)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  3,068 ratings  ·  496 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
Audiobook, Unabridged, 7 pages
Published 2014 by Recorded Books (first published September 10th 2013)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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Vanessa J.
Jul 30, 2014 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 Vanessa 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 might
Brigid ✩
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.

Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Crystal Cook
*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
Raymond Just
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
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 k
Rory Eggleston
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 27, 2015 marked it as abort-mission  ·  review of another edition
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
Paige  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
Jul 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Snap to, Mr. Yancey, snap to! Please and thank you.
Caidyn (he/him/his)
This review can also be found on my blog!

CW: general gore

I finished reading this book drinking wine as black as blood in the moonlight. And I think that is a fitting way to finish this series.

When I read books, I don’t always have visceral memories of reading books. Usually, I don’t even remember where I read a book. But I distinctly remember reading this one for the first time. I got it from the library and I waited until I had nothing going on in my life. Then, I went to my local coffeeshop an
Jan 09, 2015 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
Apr 18, 2012 marked it as on-my-shelf-waiting-to-be-read  ·  review of another edition
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
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
So I definitely wasn't as disappointed with this book the second time round as I was he first time I read it, I think now that I'm older I'm much more able to understand the viewpoints of the characters better and understand their actions.

I'll start with the parts I loved, firstly I found Will's new found confidence and humour to be very refreshing because I felt in the other books he was very serious, and this character development I think was very much needed especially considering he is now 1
Oct 10, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Anish Kohli
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE . It literally Blew Me Away.

I cant say that I will be able to sum up what an awesome book this is in a review but I dare say..RICK YANCEY might be a worthy contemporary to DAN BROWN.

Also, a fair warning to any one who's been reading this series and has/about to pick up this part for some closure... DONT . This book will not provide any sort of closure. If anything, it leaves you with more questions than it answers. But that doesn't make it any less brilliant.

It final


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" wouldn'
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fitting ending, I guess...
But I'm not that impressed or shocked because I saw it coming since book 2. I can pretty much guessed what's going to happen next, and what the twists will be.

The writing style is kinda poetic and oh, does it make you think about life and death!
Well-penned, Rick Yancey!
I don't know how to feel about this finale. (view spoiler) ...more
Tommy Hancock
Jun 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ha-tbr-2017
I honestly don't know what to make of this final book in the series. I enjoyed the three previous books but this book was such a mess that I'm rethinking it all. I feel cheated of a real ending. No other way to put it. I wish I had stopped at the third book. ...more
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Stephen the Librarian
“Beginnings are endings
And all endings are the same.
Time is a line.
But we are circles”
(excerpt from The Final Descent)

The haunting and tragic conclusion to The Monstrumologist series opens with a broker seeking out Dr. Warthrop in order to sell him the greatest find in human generations, the keystone of all things monstrumological—T. cerrejonensis, a highly venomous reptilian creature thought to be extinct for over a century, the last of its kind—but Warthrop dismisses it is as a fraud without
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
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
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
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
I have to admit that at first I was not impressed with this, the last and final installment of The Monstrumologist series. In attempt to wrap things up, Yancey is all over the place, forcing the reader to pay close attention. It's not just that you go back and forth between the present and the past. It's that you go back and forth between the present, the past, the past's present, and the past's past.

At one point I even thought, "Ah, he's already moved onto another series and is just cranking t
Mar 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook

While it was not the strong finish I hoped for, the story stayed true to the atmosphere & emotions set in the first book.
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I honestly have no idea how to talk about this book without spoilers, but here goes. This final book has the author Rick Yancey disgusted (we also get a foreward) due to him finding out the truth about Will Henry and the doctor. And at times we are told as readers to turn back, but if you don't, you have no one but yourself to blame.

We now find three Will Henry's in this book. We find Will Henry at the age of 16 still in service to the doctor, Will Henry I think at least 40 years old (due to the
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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 Ex

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?” 18 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.” 13 likes
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