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The Monstrumologist Paperback – July 20, 2010

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Product Details

  • Series: The Monstrumologist (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (July 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416984496
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416984498
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (220 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

With a roaring sense of adventure and enough viscera to gag the hardiest of gore hounds, Yancey’s series starter might just be the best horror novel of the year. Will Henry is the 12-year-old apprentice to Pellinore Warthrop, a brilliant and self-absorbed monstrumologist--a scientist who studies (and when necessary, kills) monsters in late-1800s New England. The newest threat is the Anthropophagi, a pack of headless, shark-toothed bipeds, one of whom’s corpse is delivered to Warthrop’s lab courtesy of a grave robber. As the action moves from the dissecting table to the cemetery to an asylum to underground catacombs, Yancey keeps the shocks frequent and shrouded in a splattery miasma of blood, bone, pus, and maggots. The industrial-era setting is populated with leering, Dickensian characters, most notably the loathsome monster hunter hired by Warthrop to enact the highly effective “Maori Protocol” method of slaughter. Yancey’s prose is stentorian and wordy, but it weaves a world that possesses a Lovecraftian logic and hints at its own deeply satisfying mythos. Most effective of all, however, is the weirdly tender relationship between the quiet, respectful boy and his strict, Darwinesque father figure. “Snap to!” is Warthrop’s continued demand of Will, but readers will need no such needling. -- Daniel Kraus --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"This gothic thriller will appeal to kids who like scary with high brow Dickensian writing...Yancey builds the action towards the climactic cemetary scene while also deftly handling the changing interpersonal dynamic between the doctor and Will. REaders who enjoyed Yancey's Alfred Kropp series...won't want to miss this one. Recommended."--Library Media Connection

"Yancey takes...gore and thrilling new levels in this sophisticated tale."--School Library Journal

"This story is gothic horror at its finest and most disturbing. A cross between Mary Shelley and Stephen King, the tale will force readers to stay up late to finish and then remain awake, afraid to shut off the lights...The richness of the language, the strain of wry humor, and the perfectly drawn characters make it a marvelous read...This book is perfect for readers who want their nightmares in a literary package."--VOYA

"This has all the elements of the best Victorian mystery and horror...Readers who like their horror truly horrible and yet archly distant and peppered with ecstatic Victorian-scented comments on the woes of the human condition will jump right in and not emerge until the last relieved gasp."--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Rick Yancey is the author several books for adults, including The Highly Effective Detective. He is also a produced playwright and former theater critic. He lives in Gainesville, Florida with his wife and three sons. Visit him at

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#67 in Books > Teens
#67 in Books > Teens

Customer Reviews

The story is well crafted and the writing is beautiful.
All in all, the book was one you couldn't put down, and was a very easy, enjoyable read.
The author is very talented in his writing and the characters seem very real.
M. frost

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

310 of 312 people found the following review helpful By Kathy O'Gorman VINE VOICE on September 27, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a grandmother, somewhere between menopause and death, and my usual selection of books would never include a monster book (except for the Twilight series maybe), but this was a free book for Kindle, so I downloaded it. Late one night, I finished "The Help" (excellent) and just opened this to prove to myself that I didn't like it, and I could delete it from my Kindle. I read a couple of pages, then a couple more, and before you know it, my husband is going to bed and I'm sitting up, scared to death and can't stop reading. Oh, it's gross, it will make your skin crawl at times, it's totally creepy. It's definitely not the kind of book you should read sitting up alone at night with hubby already gone to bed, but I loved it. I'll probably have nightmares for a long time over this, with the cold mist of the fog over cobblestone streets and unthinkable things that go bump in the night.
The surprise was the writing style. I didn't expect eloguent language, talented writing, page-flipping suspense, but it delivered all of that. So don't rule this one because you don't think this would be your cup of tea. It just may be.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Ken C. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Rick Yancey's throwback gothic horror novel, THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST, takes its readers back to 1888 New England where young Will Henry narrates the strange tale of his master, Pellinore Warthrop, and their "search and destroy" mission against a bloodthirsty pod of monstrous killers called anthropophagi. These creatures are headless (though not thoughtless), vicious (though not foolish), and gourmands of human flesh (though not averse to mere animal flesh, if no human cuisine is on the menu). The creatures' mouths, located in the stomach-area (how direct!), are not unlike a great white shark's. Perfect for eating, in other words -- wholesale.

While Yancey's YA gem is undeniably a "plot book," it is also blessed on other fronts. The characterization, for instance, is excellent. The key characters are not cardboard, but real, with traits both admirable and abominable. Dr. Warthrop sometimes lets science get in the way of his humanity, but he's nothing compared to the dashingly dangerous Jack Kearns, a fellow monstrumologist called into the fray when it is learned that there is not just one, but many, anthropophagi living beneath an otherwise tranquil New England cemetery. Kearns delights in the hunt, and the more dangerous, the better. The trouble is, he'll stop at nothing to accomplish his goals and, to him, the laws of church and state are more a source of amusement than reference.

The novel also features a convincingly Victorian style, what with its more advanced vocabulary and numerous allusions to Greek mythology. Both doctors are cool under pressure (and pressure abounds in this creepy book), bringing to mind the unflappable Sherlock Holmes.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Mindy VINE VOICE on July 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Alright, alright, so I exaggerate as I am still wearing pants as I write this. However, this book did give me a fright and I had trouble sleeping for several nights due to it. Now granted, I get scared easily. The first time I saw "The X-Files" I had trouble sleeping too so maybe I'm not as stout of heart as others when it comes to these things. But this book creeped me out so I will say it is not for the faint-of-heart since there are *many* gory descriptions and events.

At 432 pages, it is not a book to breeze through considering the author's writing style can be meandering at times. While some ruminations were profound, others were long winded and made the text boring. The story was slow for the first 100 pages but picked up really quickly. Still, once the action was established I could not put it down.

The characters were multi-layered, the plot was interesting, the monsters scary and the ending was satisfying. I'm trying to think of another book to compare it to, or at least to say, "If you like (blank) then this book is for you" but I just can't. This book is truly unique.

I did not give this five stars as I am trying to reserve that for books that I want to read again the moment I finish them. So to be more precise, 4.5 stars. This is obviously the first in a series and I look forward to reading the upcoming books.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By RPK VINE VOICE on July 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Monstrumologist is one of the creepiest, goriest and most thrilling YA-intended novels I have read recently. Rick Yancy, creator of the popular Alfred Knopp series, has really outdone himself with this gothic masterpeice.

The premise reminded me a lot of Joseph Delaney's popular Last Apprentice series (if you haven't read them, check them out-they are a lot of fun!) in which a young boy is fostered by a local doctor after the death of his parents and becomes an assistant to him. In this surprisingly creepy first novel, we are thrown into the utterly visceral world of pre-turn of the century New England.

Yancey has written such a well thought out, realistic view of life in the late 19th century that you can't help but almost FEEL the grime and filth of that era. There are moments in the story that are so filled with realistic descriptions that you almost feel clauserphobic. You can literally almost smell the cloyingly pungent scent of rotting flesh at times!

Will Henry is our main character...A young boy of twelve who serves as an apprentice for Doctor Warthrop, the town of New Jerusalem's eccentric monster-slayer. Of course, the Doctor's monster hunting title is hush-hush and the locals of the town just take him to be a crazy scientist of sorts...but his huntings are 100% real and VERY scary!

This was a fantastic new entry to the world of horror and I definitely recommend it to fans of The Last Apprentice or even Stephen King. Honestly though, I am quite surprised that it IS intended for young adults since the violence and gore are so extreme at points. There are some fairly graphic scenes of dismemberment, mutilation, and typical blood and gore fare that come with monsters ravaging human flesh.
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