Tuesday, 5 April 2011

The Monstrumologist: Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey

1st October 2010
Simon and Schuster Children's Books
448 Pages 
Review copy
Gothic Horror
Quite graphic violence at times with some suspense.

The monstrumologist Dr Wartrhrop and his assistant Will Henry are in pursuit ofthe ultimte predator, a creature that is neither alive nor dead, which starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh... the Wendigo.The doctor is convinced that no such beast exists, until someone from his past convinces him a Wendigo has captured her husband, and he and Will travel to the Canadian wildeness to discover the truth. They finally track down the man only to see him transform into a Wendigo and Dr Warthrop can no longer deny the truth behind the legend. But with the monster now on the loose, it's up to the monstrumologist and his assistant to catch the beast before it's too late...

The Mole's Thoughts

I decided a change of genre was called for and from fantasy to gothic horror certainly counts as a change.

Our hero, Will Henry, is 12 years old and as a result I would expect this book to be targetted at 10-14 year olds but am prepared to be corrected. The reason I mention that is that I think I would try to discourage my 13 year old from reading it (not ban her from reading it as I don't do censorship). The reason is simple, and maybe it's just me, I don't often dream but this book genuinely gave me bad dreams! But...

It starts slowly with an 'introduction' to Will Henry as an old man and his journals before we start to read one of his journals. I found the start a bit too slow and it would have been easy to give up but after a short while into the journal it was like we had engaged gear and it was difficult then to stop. The pace rises and falls and while sections have a little too much 'flowery' text and you want to skip paragraphs, you don't want to give up so you can find out what will become of everyone (trying to avoid spoilers here!!).

Some of the violence is quite graphic - perhaps made worse by my imagination and age (despite my boyish looks, I am no longer a teenager). I have read quite a lot of books with violence of varying degrees but I would say that this was the most violent and shocking for me. Yes, I have heard others say how frightening other books I have read are while I found them OK(ish).
Final Conclusion
Perhaps younger readers will accept the violence differently and it will have less impact than it did on me. I would say this book is very good - once it gets going - and would certainly recommend it to adult gothic horror fans. If your child does choose to read it, then prepare to get them warm milk during the night to soothe them back to sleep - but I'm sure they will enjoy it too.

Rick Yancey's site - showing the books he has written can be found here

Another book you may like is Mortlock by Jon Mayhew

1 comment:

Nayuleska said...

When a book gives you weird dreams, you know the writing behind it is powerful (it's happened to me before, which is why horror is not a top genre with me). Glad you enjoyed it!