The Monstrumologist

by Rick Yancey | Horror |
ISBN: 1416984496 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 2/19/2013
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, February 19, 2013
I found this fair-condition softcover at the Used Book Superstore, and as I enjoyed the book I was glad to have another release copy. It's allegedly a set of "found" journals containing the account of a professional monster-hunter and his young assistant in the late 1800's, as recorded by the assistant.

I really enjoyed this book! It presumes that some varieties of mythological monsters really do exist and are studied by a small group of scientists who call themselves monstrumologists. [They deal in creatures that, however fantastical they may appear or behave, are still natural creatures; Dr. Warthrop, young Will's employer, is especially disdainful of attempts to discover supernatural beings such as vampires. Though some books, such as Scott Westerfeld's Peeps, present a natural-history, non-supernatural version of vampires that even Warthrop might believe in!] The story is told by young Will, who, having lost his parents in a singularly awful accident, has taken his father's place as assistant to Warthrop, who tends to treat him like a machine when he isn't ignoring him. (He's not deliberately cruel, just so focused on his work that he doesn't seem capable of normal human interaction; we learn a bit more about his background during the course of this and the following book.) Will doesn't like him - in fact, in his journals he goes to great lengths to repeat that he does NOT love the doctor - yet he seems bound to him, and is unwilling to leave him even to be given a home and schooling more suitable to his age.

This story opens with the presentation of a bizarre corpse to the doctor in the middle of the night - a graverobber has found something so weird that even he can't set it aside. It turns out to be a monstrous creature with gaping jaws in the middle of its torso, a legendary species that came from Africa - so how, asks Warthrop, did this one wind up devouring a body in a New England graveyard?

The answer to that question will lead Warthrop and Will on journeys to scenes of carnage and to halls of despair, and will reveal some very dark secrets indeed. And the cost in lives will be considerable...

I enjoyed the difficult relationship between Will and the doctor, the lovingly-described details of the doctor's investigations, the description of a legendary being as a living creature with its own behaviors and habitats - it almost made me believe such things could exist {wry grin}, the detective work necessary to track down the creatures, and the tactical maneuvers needed to try to contain them before they killed again. The supporting characters included several interesting ones (though it doesn't do to get too attached to anyone but the main characters, as you never know how long they'll survive). And there's a guest appearance by a dashing, disturbing fellow who might just have had an infamous career in Whitechapel, London, a few years later...

Creepy and terrifying, fascinating, darkly humorous, sometimes touching - I plan to read more about Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop.

The series includes:

The Monstrumologist
The Curse of the Wendigo
The Isle of Blood
and the not-yet-published The Final Descent (due in September, and which I've already ordered!).

[There's a TV Tropes page for the series, rather brief so far but it may be of interest. And I enjoyed the unabridged-audio version of the book, ably narrated by Steven Boyer. Oh, and the author has a web site here.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Released 5 yrs ago (1/22/2014 UTC) at Nashua, New Hampshire USA


I'm adding this to the Teen bookbox, which will be on its way to its next stop soon. Hope someone enjoys this!

Journal Entry 3 by JennyC1230 at Woodstock, Georgia USA on Monday, April 14, 2014
This book returned in the Teens Shrinking Bookbox.
My daughter, RCOUFAN and I will look through and read/release or pass on the books in some way. Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 4 by JennyC1230 at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Monday, May 08, 2017

Released 2 yrs ago (5/8/2017 UTC) at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA


If you have found this book, welcome to Bookcrossing and thank you for taking the time to let us know about its journey. Feel free to enjoy the book and pass it along to a friend, neighbor, family member or co-worker, or simply leave it somewhere for another lucky reader to enjoy as you did! This book isn’t your type of read? No problem, don't feel obliged to read it, just be kind enough to help it on its journey.

Starting out in the Variety Genre Bookbox.

Journal Entry 5 by wingheartthumperwing at Hutchinson, Kansas USA on Thursday, June 08, 2017
Chosen from the Variety Genre Bookbox. I already have someone in mind for this. Lol!

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