Home > Book, Book Review, Horror, Reviews, Young Adult > Book Review – The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Book Review – The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

January 18, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Book Description:

These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for nearly ninety 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, orphan and assistant to a doctor with a most unusual specialty: monster hunting. In the short time he has lived with the doctor, Will has grown accustomed to his late night callers and dangerous business. But when one visitor comes with the body of a young girl and the monster that was feeding on her, Will’s world is about to change forever. The doctor has discovered a baby Anthropophagi–a headless monster that feeds through the mouthfuls of teeth in its chest–and it signals a growing number of Anthropophagi. Now, Will and the doctor must face the horror threatenning to overtake and consume our world before it is too late.

The Monstrumologist is the first stunning gothic adventure in a series that combines the spirit of HP Lovecraft with the storytelling ability of Rick Riorden.


Wow, The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey is totally bloody brilliant – an amazingly well-written (if gory) romp through a Dickensian horror universe, peopled with memorable characters and monsters (both the fantasy creatures Anthropophagi & ‘civilized’ men hiding the monsters within), that totally captured my attention and imagination from the first page onward. For the lucky people who managed to download this for free (when Amazon gave it away for free once upon a time), don’t let this languish in your Archive pile like I did. Start reading it now! 🙂

Just a short word of warning though – I’m not exactly sure why this is a children’s book (from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing) since I’d like to stress that yes, the writing style is very literary, but make no mistake about it, this is a horror book in the best traditions of a horror story set in 1888 New England. The author Rick Yancey does NOT shrink away from depicting death, blood and gore – and given that this is a book about the adventures of the 12-year-old assistant-apprentice Will Henry and his mentor/guardian ‘monstrumologist’ Dr. Pellinore Warthrop investigating the case of an infestation of marauding man-eating anthropophagi – there is more than enough bloody mayhem in the story that may be upsetting for sensitive kids. Rick Yancey is a bit wordy, but in his hands, I could see and smell and feel the death and destruction at the hands of these mythical creatures, and in particular, there is a scene in the book that I really found hard to go through (I was totally heartsick while Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop slowly went through a house after an anthropophagi attack).

The best thing about the story though are the characters, from the young hero of the book (the lonely orphan Will Henry who seems so subservient, but who has more heart, courage and backbone than everyone else combined), the scientist ‘monstrumologist’ Dr. Pellinore Warthrop (pompous, cold and overbearing, sure, but still with that streak of inherent decency & real affection for his young charge), the chilling monster-hunter Dr. John Kearns (a dashing, charismatic but psychopathic antihero who gets his results without a care for human cost) and even Malachi Stinnet (the shell-shocked but determined sole survivor of an anthropophagi slaugher) … I could go on and on about all the unique characters we meet – from the village constable, to the loathesome director of an asylum, even the ghostly reach of Dr. Warthrop’s dead father … really brilliant complex characterizations.

As I’ve said earlier, once I stared reading The Monstrumologist, I literally couldn’t put it down, and I was always at the edge of my seat worrying about the characters’ safety (and sanity) and yet having loads of fun at the suspense … I am highly recommending this book, and I can’t wait to start reading the second book from the series The Curse of the Wendigo!

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey is available on Amazon as a Kindle edition ($8.99), Hardcover ($12.95), Paperback ($9.99) or Audible edition ($20.99).

The eBook is also available for $8.99 on B&N Nook, Kobo books and Borders.

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  1. January 20, 2011 at 5:35 am

    This was one of my favorite books I read last year (I think it was last year?), but it totally scared the crap out of me in some parts. I was surprised at it being a YA book, too– it seems more like a teen/adult book, even discounting the gory bits.

  2. January 26, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I loved, loved The Monstrumologist 🙂

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