Sunday, November 8, 2009
Just in time for Halloween...
Kidding :). I do actually know Halloween is over, of course. But thanks to Rick Yancey, we can have monsters all year round.
I just finished reading The Monstrumologist. I hadn't heard of this book, or the author, until a few weeks ago when he came to visit a library in my home town. I was really bummed that I couldn't go hear him speak (my kids and I were all sick) because any chance to listen to a successful writer in your genre--whether you know him or not--is a good thing.
Now, after finishing, I'm really, really bummed I didn't get to hear him!
The story takes place in the confines of a journal, left behind by a man who has just passed away, with no relatives to claim his possessions. A man who claimed to be 130 years old.
Will Henry was orphaned at the age of eleven, and taken in by his father's former employer, a monstrumologist, Dr. Warthrop. A year later, in 1888, a grave robber comes calling on the doctor in the middle of the night, bearing a gruesome find. Will Henry has witnessed many horrible things during his year with the monstrumologist, but nothing has prepared him for what he sees when the "package" is unwrapped.
Soon, Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop are on the hunt for a vicious and blood-thirsty species of monster--with two goals in mind--discover how the beasts arrived, and kill every last one of them before the town becomes a human buffet.
This book is every bit as gory as a Stephen King novel, although I've never read a King with this particular style (or lack of foul language and crudeness). You'll go back in time with the tone of this book. It's flowery descriptions give the feel of the period, but the author holds the reins just enough so that the reader is not frustrated by antiquated language. Perfectly balanced. And the characterization is superb.
Just don't read it alone, late at night. And you may want to make sure you have an empty stomach as well ;).