In 1888 New England, young orphan Will Henry serves as an apprentice to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, a scientist who practices the secret practice of monstrumology, or “the study of life forms generally malevolent to humans and not recognized by science as actual organisms, specifically those considered products of myth and folklore.” In this series opener, Will and his master are on the trail of a hidden pod of Anthropophagi, a race of muscular albino headless monsters who wear their over-sized obsidian eyes on their shoulders, their shark-tooth filled mouths on their stomachs, and their tiny brains in their crotch. Though they originated in Africa, somehow these horrific beasts have managed to cross the pond into the New England states, and are now running amok in the countryside, tearing off heads and sucking down the entrails of their human victims while they still draw breath. Will and Dr. Warthrop don’t only have to find a way to stop them, they must also solve the mystery of how and why they got there in the first place to prevent others from coming—and breeding—and EVOLVING. Friends, I can barely contain my morbid delight at having discovered this delightfully gruesome book! Yancy’s bloody tale, written in a delicious Victorian gothic style, is just gory and disturbing as the early Stephen King I devoured as a teen while still being a cracking good yarn between explicit scenes of dismemberment and disembowelment that leave nothing (and I mean NOTHING) to the imagination. When not running for his life from headless freaks trying to open one of his major arteries, soulful Will Henry contemplates the meaning of life, death, and his complicated feelings about his single-minded caretaker, making this a much deeper read than your average run of the mill horror pulp. But violent and bloodthirsty it is, and if Goosebumps and Coraline are more your speed, then this graphic gore-fest is not for you. I can’t even give you an excerpt here, just in case you come back and blame me for your nightmares. (And even though I haven’t slept very well the past couple of nights, I just CAN’T WAIT to read the next one!) This is YA horror at it’s stomach-churning finest, heading further down the dark path that Lauren Myracle paved with the creepy Bliss. Go ahead and read it—if you dare!
The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy