by Rick Yancey
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 threatening 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.
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
The characterizations of our main peeps, Will Henry and the unforgettable Dr. Warthrop who is so well-written as to be utterly human, is without fault. The Anthropophagi are just downright weird, and vile, and appear to be undefeatable (is that a word??). The often repeated phrase, "Snap to, Will Henry!" became a much-loved and expected mannerism of Dr. Warthrop who, on a genius level, lacks many social graces and emotional entanglements. Poor Will Henry, an orphan boy who is practically enslaved to Dr. Warthrop, views his savior with both love and hate. Excellent.
So, you may be wondering, why only 3.5 stars? Let me tell you.
The book started off very, very slow. While the writing is superb on a technical level, it really dragged for me on an emotional level, especially the first half. It's filled with heavy prose, and gobs of detailed description. I admit, this is a matter of personal preference, so while this writing didn't appeal to me, it will (and does) appeal to many others.
The second half of the book moved at a much quicker pace, with lots of action, mysterious figures, unresolved pasts, and sordid twists. If the entire book had been written in this manner, I would have enjoyed it from start to finish.