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The Monstrumologist, or The Terror Beneath

by RedBird


I'm not usually a fan of horror novels. In fact, I generally avoid them. However, when my friend pressed me to read The Monstrumologist, I quickly became engrossed in a deliciously gruesome and wickedly smart tale of monster-hunting and intrigue. Written by Rick Yancey, it is the story of twelve-year-old Will Henry, the apprentice to the monstrumologist Dr. Pellinore Warthrop. He and his mentor make it their work to study and sometimes exterminate things that we would think of as monsters, but which Warthrop describes as being natural organisms that science has overlooked. When the two are presented with the grisly findings of an old grave robber, they set off to investigate a plague of monsters the like of which has not been seen in North America.

The story itself was intriguing enough to draw me in, but along with the exciting and often gore-filled plot, the writing itself is something beautiful and worth reading. The book is written in a grand nineteenth-century style, somewhat of a mixture of Dickens and Robert Lewis Stevenson. Given this, one might expect that the reading might be a little slow, but the combination of the adrenaline-pumping plot and the lyrical writing makes for a quick read.

The monsters themselves, known as Anthropophagi, are quite fascinating, and Yancey has come up with a whole list of biological attributes and behaviors that make it seems very possible that these terrifying beasts could be real. They are headless humanoids that have their faces on their chests, complete with lidless black eyes and gaping maws that would be better suited on a shark. Interestingly, the Anthropophagi are based on accounts of Pliny and Homer. In Othello, Shakespeare mentions them, as well. Also, the name means "people-eater." Oh yes. Did I mention that? The only thing they'll eat is human.

In short, this book, which is definitely not short on viscera, is worth a read, if you have a strong stomach and love of gothic horror.

Needless to say, I won't be walking near any grave yards anytime soon.


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Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:22 am
RedBird says...



Well, the first focused more on action and scary moments, but the second was more about character building, so I loved it even more than the first. That's just me, though.




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Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:47 pm
shiney1 says...



I read the sequel as well, but in y opinion the first is better.




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61 Reviews


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Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:19 pm
RedBird says...



I just read the sequel, The Curse of the Wendigo, which is even better than the first, which is saying something...




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Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:00 am
JapaneseNinja wrote a review...



I have read this book as well, and your paragraph is so convincing I might just read it again! i really like how you give just enough detail to the reader without spoiling the important parts of the book. You might consider using quotes though, such as the ones from Dr. Warthrop. My favorite would be, "Snap to Will Henry!" but I don't have the book, so I can't cite it.

In summary, I really like the way you can convince people to read books, and I hope you can keep it up!





We are all broken. That's how the light gets in.
— Ernest Hemingway