Sunday, February 6, 2011

There's a Science for Everything

Author:  Rick Yancey
Summary:  These are the secrets I have kept.  This is the trust I never betrayed.  But he is dead now and has been for more than forty 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 begins the journal of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, a man with a most unusual specialty: montrumology, the study of monsters.  In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real.  But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet.

The Dish:  It's frightening to think there's something out there that uses humans as fodder.  Granted, people are attacked by various known species throughout the year, yet when it is a creature unknown, a creature that even preys upon the recently deceased, it can make the blood curdle and the heart shudder.  But that is why one turns to an expert on the subject of the unknown...namely a monstrumologist.

When I first saw this book, I was intrigued by the title and pulled it off the library shelf.  The summary sounded even more interesting and I just had to read it.  Let me tell you, dear readers, the story written therein is something.  And it is that something that I cannot quite put my finger on to describe.  The elements that Yancey has pulled together into one single story are remarkable.  I am reminded of several films and books in reading The Monstrumologist including the sand worms from Tremors, the doomed ship that carried Dracula's coffin from  Transylvania to England's shores, most of all the idea that it is what in the dark that will take your breath away...literally.  

In showing readers a rare creature as the Anthropophagi (from the Greek meaning "people-eaters"), it is easy to see how Yancey was able to draw the attention of his audience, including me.  I had to know what they were after reading the summary and how they related to this story of a boy taken in by a man of the most unorthodox of sciences.  Anthropophagi are the worst of our nightmares and I think in exploring something unique that goes bump in the night, Yancey delivered a round of chills to readers.  Even when the pace of the story slowed, I had to keep reading to know just how these Anthropophagi had come to America, where they truly originated from, and what Dr. Warthrop and Will Henry would have to do in order to control and exterminate them.  I would recommend this novel to anyone who has ever had an interest in the unknown, anyone who has ever wondered what else might be with us in "our" world, or just anyone who enjoys a good thriller.

What obscure, or lesser-known, creatures have you encountered in books you've read?


  1. This looks great! I love scifi thrillers!
    I especially like Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. The monster in that is so creepy-cool!

  2. I've been meaning to check out that book. :) I remember seeing it on your shelf but never took the time to pick it up. Another one to search for in our system, I suppose.


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