Novel – The Monstrumologist [REVIEW] – When Does Man Become The Very Thing He Hunts?

Goodreads Rating: 3,89/5
Author: Rick Yancey
Genres: Horror, Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical, Fiction

The Monstrumologist

This is one of the birthday gifts which I haven’t read for a few years ago. The first time I bought this novel when I went to a Japan Festival in my city and it really sucks how the event didn’t run smoothly. Considering reaching home with regretfully, why not stop at the bookstore and look for a good book to read? Well, Rick Yancey’s The Monstrumologist” is the most books that draw my attention from the cover and the background of the contents of the book. As Will Henry once said that monsters are real and he’s going to have one hanging in his basement, this is one of my personal favorite gothic-horror I like best. It’s about how you can understand the two conflicting views: a dark and bright side possessed by every other creature, in particular, the monster. This book almost has everything from horror, psychological, thriller, adventure, drama, and the dark side of humanity.

Monstrumologist is someone who studies the existence of a monster including anatomy, the way they live, their characteristics, and their behavior. In a nutshell, Monstrumologist is a science that studies the characteristics of monsters or is usually said by specialists monsters. It opens with a prologue in modern times about an unknown person wants to study a journal by Will Henry himself, an orphaned assistant who works beside Dr. Pellinore Warthorpe, a Monstrumology. This story opens with a variety of experiences from Will Henry itself, how he saw firsthand the figure of the most terrible form ever existed and learned the most important lesson in his life, who’s the real monster here: the human or the monster? It’s inconceivable, Will Henry’s experiences in seeing first-hand stories that he didn’t wanna see like how he learned the origin of the monster, how he learned to sacrifice the person he loved, or how he could fight the monster himself with a childish-body with just a basic acknowledgment.

The prologue and epilogue took a point of view from the unknown person, someone without a name who tried to research the journal but didn’t believe what was he just read. Everything he studied could be just a shadow or imagination of Will Henry but, no one knows. Will Henry is considered as one of the people who have dementia after being more than 100-years-old and finally dies in his sleep without leaving any evidence in his journal. Except for the epilogue and prologue, the book takes the setting of the story in the 19th century precisely in America, New Jerusalem. At the time, Will Henry was 12-years-old without father and mother. Together with Dr. Warthorpe, various kinds of subjects and research he was to become the successor of the doctor himself.

I once said that the relationship between teacher and student personally seems like “The Ancient Magus’ Bride.” Besides, there is no intimate relationship between these two characters. Their background could be said to be the same as their experiences of not having parents or a family for their place. In a nutshell, their relationships seem to contradict their characteristics, be egotistical but never betray each other. Mutually they sometimes angry but never to leave each other. Will’s perspective on Dr. Warthorpe deviated quite a bit how he saw the figure of the mad scientist with a weird look that sometimes amazed him because of his experiences and history recorded in his book while Dr. Warthorpe is a selfish person, a mad scientist who is so insane with the monsters but in his deepest heart, he cares a lot.

When talking about monsters or something like that, this seems like “Tokyo Ghoul” or Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” or the movie version, “Blade Runner” directed by Ridley Scott. The novel tells how an inner story about the monster itself from various views. Some chapters explain one of the characters tell of his worst experience when confronting the monsters, causing only he the only survivor was with his friends died. In the end, he became one of those people who was so forgotten because he died in peaceful ways. Another view says that the monsters live like humans. They bathe, eat, care for their children, and other things related to what humans do. The glimpse I got was also how the monsters protected each other. In one chapter, Will Henry confronts one of the monsters lying on the ground in a weak circumstance but looks delicate inside. The monsters in this book are also not told from supernatural views or those which cannot be taken by logic but how these monsters are told with objects, a real creature but hard to understand.

The monster or rather, Anthropophagi, contains disgusting mucus, the eye which lies on their shoulder, the mouth in their chest along with canines are ready to face its prey is a nightmare you don’t wanna get. However, these monsters are told with a logical way of how to beat them. More precisely, it’s so violent and disgusting, full of blood, etc. but told with a context so the reader doesn’t find it pointless. The most douchebag antagonists who also caught my attention in this book was John Kearns, one of the monster hunters from England like Dr. Warthorpe but is so different and more vicious than the doctor. He is an anti-hero, always talking about the philosophy which is true, how he sacrifices someone to reach his desire humanely. In the end, this character with no names is the most terrible compared to the Anthropophagi.

There are some words which so complicated and difficult to understand but the context was easily drawn. Almost all of the use of these words is so old-fashioned, the use of Middle-English is complicated. The book finally seems like classic novels but this one is so different in several chapters, I find it boring because of words that are too banal. Rick Yancey describes the pattern of writing and background with his thick gothic-horror impressions in the world of monsters yet fiction. Sometimes, some parts are difficult for me to imagine by myself and sometimes, I’m out of the track just because of one movement with a writing pattern as I said earlier. The rest of it may be that’s the only minor problem in this novel. There is nothing else and everything looks ordinary yet as long as it’s still interesting, I still keep up to follow the plot.

5 Star

Various references including William Shakespeare, although just a little as I have found in this book. “The Monstrumologist” is a complex story between two species: the monster and the human. Who are the infamous ones? In addition, this is about the intricate relationship among the teacher and the student such as a father and child with a background who both had a dark experience that had existed. There are various twists I got in this book, emotional moments in it, and relationships which are so complex but it told in a logical way from the two characters. Reasonably, “The Monstrumologist” is a gem I just got, a horror story mixes with a thriller, psychology, drama, action, and any genres.


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