The Curse of the Wendigo (Monstrumologist)
3 journalers for this copy...
The story picks up on the lives of Will and the Doctor, and introduces some new characters, including a woman who turns out to have been the love of the Doctor's life - sadly for him, she preferred his best friend. Now she seeks the Doctor's help in finding him, as he's gone missing on an expedition into the Canadian wilderness while in search of the Wendigo, a legendary monstrous spirit that devours humans - and/or causes humans to go mad and devour each other. [There's also the introduction of the Doctor's mentor, some of his companions at the society of monstrumologists, and the mentor's precocious (and mostly obnoxious!) young niece Lily, who takes a mischievous interest in Will.]
This story gets very dark very quickly, with our heroes in deadly danger - and with scenes of the most horrifying verbal abuse of Will by the Doctor (who's never been a nice guy, but he really crossed the line here). Later on we get some strong indications of his true regard for Will, but he's so emotionally hamstrung that this only comes out during moments of extreme peril...
One amusing/odd aspect of this story is that Doctor Warthrop, a professional monstrumologist who avidly seeks evidence of a variety of creatures, from viruses to humanoid abominations, that most people would consider mythical, flatly refuses to believe in such supernatural beings as vampires - or wendigos. He doesn't even seem to accept the possibility of naturally-caused syndromes that would resemble the mythical creatures, a closed-mindedness that seems out of character. (His main objection seems to be a rebellion against the idea that a human could magically transform into a bat or a sky-walking spirit, but he seems to take his disbelief too far for a scientist.)
As the story unfolds, Warthrop and Will go through several kinds of hell (some of it inflicted by humans - the police are not gentle when questioning suspects, even small boys), and other characters suffer even worse fates. It's a dramatic story and a frightening one, and I liked it very much (even as I cringed). The relationship between Will and Warthrop is as dysfunctional as they come, and while part of me acknowledges that Will would be better off in a proper home and away from his mercurial master, I can't help thinking that they do need each other...
[See more about the series on the author's site here. And there's a TV Tropes entry for the series - but beware of spoilers!]
*** Released for the 2014 Spook-tacular Halloween Challenge. ***
Certainly there are some things about the past that it's sad we've lost..but Chapter 23 should be required reading for anyone who's tempted to romanticize everything about this era - life in New York City at the time had quite a few significant drawbacks!
I'll count this as my Canada read for kiwiinengland's 2015 Around the World Reading Challenge.
Origami snowflake designed by Canadian Joseph Wu. Diagrams available on Joseph's website; larger photo here.
the hunger isn't what
it's trying to tell you.
Of course, it's only too easy to find someone who wants to read them. So off they go! ;)