Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Plot Summary:
William Henry, assistant to Dr. Pellinor Warthrop, has seen too many things that a twelve-year-old should never see, do, or hear. In fact, William is "indispensable" to the Warthrop, which means that he cannot survive without him. One late night, a grave robber appears before Warthrop to show him that something horrific lay in his buggy and only Warthrop can identify it. When the grave robber brings the "thing" in, Warthrop immediately identifies this gruesome creature: Anthropophagi. The doctor is completely amazed that this creature still exists; more importantly, the fact that it is native to Africa, and is living in New Jerusalem, makes this finding even more intriguing since this creature cannot swim. In order to find out how this creature came ashore Warthrop must figure out how many of them exist, where this one was hiding, and who, or what is responsible, for their appearance.

Critical Evaluation:
Yancey provides an incredibly chilling and scary story that draws an unusual, but plausible comparison between the actions of monsters and people desperately fighting for survival.Although the Anthroprophogi eat humans, they eat because they have to survive. Moreover, they are called abominations since they consume human flesh, but the past proves that humans are also guilty of devouring their fellow man in order to survive (i.e., Donner Party). Just like Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, Warthrop is obsessed with the oddities of the world that he not only risks his own life, but that of his apprentice. For William, he has literally grown-up around the madness of Warthrop that he finds himself desensitized; however, with the discovery of the Anthropophagi, all of his fears break the wall that he has built up in his soul and mind. This book is not just a scary tale, but a warning of  how obsession, narcissism, and ignorance can not only destroy lives, but bring down the world. Lastly, Yancey clearly conveys that even though nightmares are not real, the very world we live is filled with more frightening things than we could every dream of, especially when people matters into their own hands under the guise of "the greater good." Readers will not be able to put this book down and some of them, unfortunately, will need to leave  the light on before going to sleep.

Information about the Author:
According to Rick Yancey's website, he had always wanted to be writer since he was very young. He earned his Bachelor of Art in English at Roosevelt University, in Chicago. After graduating, Yancey returned home to Florida where he started teaching and worked in the the theater (para. 1). Eventually, he ended up taking a job with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and worked there for ten years, which inspired his memoir entitled "Confession of a Tax Collector." The Wall Street Journal has praised his memoir calling it one of the five best books on taxes.

Yancey is also author of the Alfred Kropp Trilogy and the Teddy Ruzak adult mystery series that have quite a following and his titles have been nominated for prestigious awards. Monstrumologist is Yancy's first young adult series and the second book of this series, The Curse of the Wendigo, is available for libraries to purchase. Lastly, Monstrumologist was also selected as a 2010 Michael L. Printz Honor Award.

Teen Horror

Reading/Interest Level:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to Monstrumologust:

  • 2010 Michael L. Printz Honor Award
  • Starred review Booklist (09/1/2009)

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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