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Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Curse of the Wendigo (The Monstrumologist #2) by Rick Yancey

While attempting to disprove that Homo vampiris, the vampire, could exist, Dr. Warthrop is asked by his former fiancé to rescue her husband from the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, and which has snatched him in the Canadian wilderness. Although Warthrop also considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and rescues her husband from death and starvation, and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo.

Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied?

This second book in The Monstrumologist series explores the line between myth and reality, love and hate, genius and madness.

Released: October 12th 2010          Pages: 444
Publisher: Simon & Schuster          Source: Library

I tried to find a GIF that would adequately express the things I felt upon finishing this book.  This is as close as I came:

Okay, so I wasn't screaming.  Captain Jack here looks like he's screaming because of something unexpected that just happened.  My expression was probably more one of quiet horror.  And some anger at Rick Yancey.  As in "Congratulations, author.  You've just made sure I won't be able to sleep tonight.  Way to go." 

Rick Yancey has this awesome--and kind of terrifying--ability to describe something completely horrific and disgusting, but make it poetic.  I'm sitting there, reading along, when I come across some lines that make me think this: "This is beautiful--wait, he's talking about entrails."  This writing style magnifies whatever scary things happen, in a weird way.  And there is no lack of scary things happening.  It's not the haunted house type of scary, where things jump out at you.  It's more of a "How could anyone ever dream up a creature like this?"

Even if it is a bit disturbing, the writing style is still lovely.  At times, the word choice is simply gorgeous, and Will Henry's first-person narration keeps readers involved and engaged, as well as in-tune with what's he's feeling.  This second book leaves Will Henry with quite a few things to feel, and that comes across nicely. 

Will Henry and the doctor's character development is, if anything, more complex than the first book.  As it should be.  When a series progresses, it needs to keep upping the stakes.  This tends to be the downfall of movies like Iron Man 2, which, if anything, lowered the stakes of the previous movie.  It's also a major part of why Iron Man 3 was success--now Pepper, the woman he loves, is also at risk, which raised the stakes much, much higher.   That one-upping is happening with the Monstrumologist series, as well.  So far, at least.  Like with the last book, I love the dynamic between Will Henry and the doctor, and am looking forward to seeing that relationship progress. 

I enjoyed this book, even if I was a little freaked out at the end.  It's full of action, and has awesome writing, no matter what the author is describing.  Will Henry is a likable, sweet character, and I could connect with him.  I'm really liking this Frankenstein-esque series so far, and I'll be reading the next book for sure.

Similar Books: It has a huge amount in common with Frankenstein--similar characters, setting, ideas, and writing style.  It's also reminiscent of This Dark Endeavor and has supernatural creatures in an old-fashioned setting like the Matt Cruse books
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