|Title: The Monstrumologist
Author: Rick Yancey
Series: The Monstrumologist #1
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Horror YA
Reviewed by: Julia
Good – A fun read with minor flaws. Maybe read an excerpt before buying.
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 eating her, Will’s world is about to change forever. The doctor has discovered a baby Anthropophagus—a headless monster that feeds through a mouth 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.
It’s always entertaining when a book gets a physical reaction out of me, and THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST caused many a gasp and flinch as twelve year old Will Henry faced monsters and threats of both the physical and mental variety. While I enjoyed the grizzly, realistic science that is monstrumology, other details in the story were so gross and dark and disturbing that I sometimes dreaded reading further.
I picked up this story expecting it to be paranormal YA, but the macabre tone had me struggling to identify the target audience. This book will appeal to urban fantasy fans, but only those who don’t mind dipping their toe into the horror section as well. As much as I love a good ghost-story shiver, THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST jumps right past that line to heart-pumping, what-was-that-noise terror and stomach-turning, gross-out details.
As dark as this story was, however, don’t be fooled into thinking it is all about gore. THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST has beautifully written characters, and the emotional bleakness of the Will Henry and his companions’ lives was just as visceral and affecting as any of the monsters they faced. While this book falls at three bats due to my own anti-horror bias and for a scene that uses a woman as monster bait (Are you kidding me with this?!), I would unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind a little gore in their camp fire stories.