Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: September 22, 2009
These are the secrets that I have kept. This is the trust that 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 keep 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 girl and the 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 that is threatening to overtake and consume our world before it is too late.
The Monstrumologist was not my typical read. Now, you’re probably thinking “oh, she doesn’t read horror” but the thing is that I do read horror. The Monstrumologist is more in a class of its own, though. I feel it’s important to preface my review with saying it’s not my usual read because it kind of backs my “it was interesting, but not in a bad way” opinion.
Let me start out by saying I’m honestly not sure I’d watch a The Monstrumologist movie simply because the book had me jumping out of my skin at times so what on earth would a movie do for my poor nerves? For some reason, going in I really didn’t think it would scare me that much. I mean, it’s just made up monsters, right? Oh, but that’s where I was wrong. Yes, the monsters are fictional (as far as I know), but the book is set up in such a way that you really start to believe it’s real.
The story starts with a preface from Rick Yancey himself. He tells of how he came to have in his possession the journals of Will Henry and that the journals are in fact what the story is made up of. The fact that the story is introduced by the author coupled with the journalistic writing makes everything feel all the more real. I kept imagining I could see shiny black eyes staring back at me out of the dark, for goodness sakes!
At times I found myself cringing from the bloody gore, but it was so much more than just gore. All the characters were so complex from Will to the Doctor. Will was such a deep character struggling with some serious stuff on the inside. I mean, he often questioned whether his guardian was also the killer of his parents. I can’t even imagine what that would be like, especially coupled with such a gruesome job as the apprentice to the monstrumologist.
The Nutshell: There is blood, guts, and gore all up in The Monstrumologist, so if that’s not your thing, turn away now. On the other hand, if you think you can soldier through all the grossness then by golly please do so. This story is so much more than a bedtime horror story. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of horror, but it also has feelings, just not the lovey-dovey kind :P
Pages: 434 (Yep, this is a big one)
Series: The Monstrumologist #1
Rating: Direct Hit