It has been two difficult years since Will Henry was taken in by the “self absorbed lunatic”, Dr. Pellinore Warthrop. Two years to observe this “genius enslaved to his own despotic thought…driven by demons as formidable as the physical monstrosities he pursued.” Poor Will Henry. He is now thirteen years old and serves as the obsessed doctor’s research assistant, cook, maid, manservant, laundryman, and errand boy, as well as his secretary and comforter-in-chief during Pellinore’s gloomier moments. And the doctor is in one of his gloomiest moods ever.
Despite Will Henry’s attempts to comfort his master and guardian with raspberry scones, and local gossip from the newspaper, Pellinore can’t be coaxed from his melancholy. He is a Philosopher of Aberrant Natural History after all, a Monstrumologist held in the highest esteem by his peers in the Monstrumologist Society. The torpid life he has settled into may kill him before a monster does.
But the stale air of boredom is cleared out when someone whom Pellinore had hoped to never see again knocks on the front door. She is Mrs. John Chanler, a woman of such incomparable beauty that she strikes Will Henry nearly dumb with her grace. She has come to the doctor for help. Her husband and onetime best friend to the doctor himself has disappeared into the snowy wilds of Canada’s boreal forest , looking for a creature that is thought by many and by Pellinore especially, to be only a myth. It is a demon that gets hungrier the more it eats. And it chooses human flesh and blood to sate its exponential appetite.
In this follow up to the Monstrumologist, Will Henry’s relationship with his guardian begins to open as he discovers small secrets of the man’s past. Dr. Warthrop, a man of stone and ice had once hoped to be a poet and yes, that poetry had been inspired by the loveliest of muses. One who has reappeared after many years. And Will Henry, now two years an orphan, begins to see that there is someone who cares for him after all.
This is a book filled with witty observation, clever dialog, and a lustrous
vocabulary that turns its many horrors into gemstones and displays them in dark eerie cushions of poetry. Rick Yancey has created yet another book that is frightening and funny all at once. He brings his characters to life by branding them into the reader’s heart.
The language in this book is richer than the language used in The Monstrumologist. Readers will want to savor every sentence, especially if they are writers themselves. But whether you are a writer or not, this book is another page turner that may cause you to miss your bus stop or skip dinner. With a read like this though, who needs food?
The Yaroos! Team has given this book a 5 star Rating, our highest rating. This book has been included in our Gold Standard category.
Review by J.Taylor