The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey focuses on the gruesome and dark adventures of twelve year old Will Henry, the monstrumologist's apprentice. Monstrumology is the study of monsters and Will lives with the town's elusive doctor of the field. When the narrative opens, Will Henry is awakened in the middle of the night by a knock on the door that will change everything and put all that he holds dear at risk. A gravedigger arrives with the body of a young woman that has been brutally attacked by a member of an exotic species: the headless, human eaters, Anthropophagi. The discovery that the monsters are in America is a stunning revelation that even shocks the doctor. The search for the previously foreign species begins and suddenly, Will Henry is on a quest to seek out and study the monsters, and when they attack his town he becomes part of the hunting party.
The Monstrumologist is a well-written and well-thought out story. The plot, as fantastic and unbelievable as it seems initially, actually seems plausible and the author's unique style of writing draws you into the life of Will Henry immediately. Will is a believable character as well as one that readers will identify with even in his bizarre situation. Will's friendship with the doctor is also interesting and complex,as well as evolving throughout the story. The mood is an ominous one throughout the novel; you can sense that there are twists coming your way but somehow don't expect them when they finally reveal themselves. The novel is written as a journal and it maintains that feel all through. The characters are dynamic and interesting, especially those of Will Henry and the doctor. The aspect of the novel that is the most remarkable is the author's attention to detail. There are many squirm inducing scenes in this novel and it involves plenty of gruesome and horrific descriptions. The language is effective and the detail makes the reader feel very much a part of Will Henry's unsettling saga. This is not a book for the squeamish but if you enjoy a fun, horror-fantasy novel then this is most definitely a must read and a story you will not soon forget.
Reviewer City, State and Country: San Diego, CA U.S.A