It took me a while to finish my latest read, The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey. Why, you ask? Well, it’s a very creepy book, at times horrifying, and I could not bring myself to read it at night. Since I work all day, that left only a few short hours each week to devote to this particular book, and I had to follow it up in the evenings with lighter fare. I scare very easily, and this book, which read like a memoir, really gave me the willies.
Young Will Henry is the assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, a monstrumologist, or one who studies monsters. Will’s father was previously Dr. Warthrop’s assistant, and, after a fire killed his parents, the job was passed on to Will. Will has grown accustomed to the calls in the dead of night, the mysterious packages, and the study of things believed to be pure myth. He encounters more than expected, though, when a grave robber brings a gruesome find to Dr. Warthrop’s door. It is the corpse of a young girl, and a monster known as an Anthropophagus is wrapped around her and appears to have been devouring her.
Will is not prepared for the journey this find will take him on. He and Dr. Warthrop must find out where this beast came from, if there are others, and when they will kill again. They travel to a graveyard and an asylum in search of answers, but the answers they seek are unexpected and unsettling. The answers may also be too late. These monsters are hungry, and nothing will stop them from killing again. Dr. Warthrop enlists the help of an old “friend” to assist in the extermination of the Anthropophagi, but the lines between hunter and hunted become blurred. Who is the real monster?
While The Monstrumologist scared me a bit more than I would prefer, I think it’s definitely a good book. It is uncomfortable at times and forces the reader to think about morality and what he/she would do if placed in similar situations. What makes something or someone a monster? It’s not always clear.