About the Book

Title: The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist #1)
Published: 2009

Cover Story: Out and Proud
BFF Charm: Yay!
Swoonworthy Scale: 0
Talky Talk: Words, Words, Words
Bonus Factor: Monsters
Relationship Status: I’ll Grow Old With This Book

Cover Story: Out and Proud

Sure, everyone on the train will know you’re reading a scary book, but this cover ain’t nothing to hide.

The Deal:

Will Henry has been the assistant to Dr. Pelinore Warthrop, Monstrumologist, since the untimely death of his parents. His life consists mostly of running to and fro, dispensing with the cantancerous doctor’s every whim. When a man appears on their doorstep with a gruesome tale and an even more gruesome specimen, Will Henry embarks on the first of terrifying adventures that await him as a junior Monstrumologist.

How did the creatures arrive in this sleepy little town in New England? Will the Monstrumologist be able to eradicate the infestation before they decimate the population of their natural prey: humans? And will Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop make it through these nights alive?

Yes, my dear child, monsters are real. I happen to have one hanging in my basement.

BFF Charm: Yay!

Yay BFF Charm

Maybe a BFF charm is not quite the correct gift to show my affection for Will Henry. So let’s try again:

Adoption Certificate: Yay!

BFF charm with teary eyes hugging a heart

Will Henry joins the shortlist of young orphans I would gladly call my own. (Which makes 3, total. The other youngsters I’d like to add to my family include young Harry Potter and Small Sam, from The Enemy.)

You will never meet a braver young lad, or one more deserving of a safe place to lay his head. Will Henry, you could have your own room at my house, and a dog to snuggle, and one very strict rule: that you should play. Also, I promise I’d never forget to feed you.

Swoonworthy Scale: 0

There is absolutely no romance in this book. And that is just fine.

Talky Talk: Words, Words, Words

Yancey’s prose harkens to the father of horror, in its methodical circumlocution. The pages are rich with exposition and adjective, and he succeeds where only Lovecraft before him did: executing a phrase that is at the same time tedious and horrifying!

Seriously, who else could set your nerves all atwitter while reading phrases like “and then I poured a cup of tea.”

Let me show you:

A door shook upon its ancient hinges as the denizen within hurled itself against it. We passed the profane monologist’s room, whereat he pressed his lips against the jam and unleashed a string of execrations worthy of the saltiest marine. The shrill, despairing cries for Hannah vibrated in our ears. I glanced up at the doctor’s face, seeking some sign of reassurance in this foul Babel of human suffering and misery, but he gave no sign. His countenance was as calm as a man strolling in the park on a warm summer’s day.

Another tool in Yancey’s repertoire is the ability to tell you what is going to happen in the next passage, giving the bare bones of plot, and then delighting and terrifying you as he unfolds what you already know is going to happen.

He grasped the handle of the trapdoor– what bitter irony lay in that name!– and flung it open with a dramatic flourish, like a magician opening a cabinet to reveal its remarkable heretofore unseen contents.

Bonus Factor: Monsters

Specimen A: Anthropophagi

7-9 feet tall, no heads, eyes in their shoulders, mouths in their bellies.

Relationship Status: I’ll Grow Old With This Book

I may not want to have this book’s babies, but we will definitely become gray hairs together, because in it I have found something both comforting and exciting. We are how family should be. We’ll never truly bore each other, even when it’s going on and on about something, and I just want it to take a breath so I can get a word in edgewise. As my husband once said to me: “You annoy and bore me less than anyone else in the whole world.”

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Simon & Schuster. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!). The Monstrumologist is now available.

Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.