I had an opportunity to read an advanced copy of the first novel in a new series for teens in July. This is the review I wrote for it:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
If I had only two words to describe “The Monstrumologist” by Rick Yancey, they would be “deliciously creepy.” I had not read a horror novel in some time, and I had almost forgotten the thrill of wondering what will happen next, yet almost being too afraid to turn the page!
The book seemed, to me at least, to be almost a cross between a Young Indiana Jones adventure mixed with Stephen King. (Heavy on the King.) The story, set in late 1880s New England, is told from the perspective of 12-year-old Will Henry who is taken in by his parents’ employer, Dr. Warthrop, after their deaths. His life irrevocably changed, he becomes the apprentice to the monstrumologist, or monster hunter. Though the people in the town think the doctor is just an eccentric recluse of sorts, the monsters he hunts are all too real. And when a grave robber comes to their door late one night, with a shroud-wrapped creature in his cart, Will Henry is thrust headlong into a horrifying hunt to find the others… for where there is one, there are more. And they are very, very hungry.
The story is extremely graphic in its horrors, with detailed descriptions of death, mutilation, blood and gore… stuff any horror fan will love. I don’t think I would recommend this to younger kids, but older teens who enjoy the thrill of the macabre will love it. It’s the kind of book you’ll want to read in the dead of night, under the covers with a flashlight. The monster itself is unique and not one I was familiar with, but is written about in such detail that the reader is left with no doubt as to how truly horrifying it is.
The journals of Will Henry, as read in “The Monstrumologist,” tell only one tale of his adventures as an apprentice monster hunter. I, for one, cannot wait to read more!