Book 39 of my 2016 Reading Challenge
read from April 12 - 20
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
Book 1 of The Monstrumologist series
Summary (via Goodreads)
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 starts the diary of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, 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.
A gothic tour de force that explores the darkest heart of man and monster and asks the question: When does man become the very thing he hunts?
Other than quickly growing tired of the doctor constantly saying, "Snap to!", I really liked this book and will definitely read the rest of the series. It was a simple but unique concept with lots of potential -- monster hunters are going to have lots of action and adventures, right?
I'm puzzled as to why this was in the YA section because it doesn't read YA to me. I would recommend it to a higher YA audience; not because of gore (there's not much) or adult content (no language or sex) but because of the subtle layers. It's from the point of view of a 12 year old boy so as he reports straightly what he sees, I could see other meanings in the doctor's behaviors and words that I don't think a younger child would pick up on.
A Few Quotes from the Book
"We have a duty this night. We are students of nature as well as its products, all of us, including this creature. Born of the same divine mind, if you believe in such things, for how could it be otherwise? We are soldiers for science, and we will do our duty."
"The simple chores and errands that filled my days were welcome reprieves from the nights' dark business, filled with unexpected callers and mysterious packages, midnight sojourns in the laboratory and pilgrimages to far-flung forgotten regions of the world where the natives had not suffered to be civilized to the point where they forgot to fear what might lurk in the dark. The everyday drudgeries of life were not so to me. After cataloguing the internal organs of a creature from a nightmare, washing the cutlery was a joyous exercise."