The Curse of the Wendigo (Monstrumologist)

The Curse of the Wendigo (Monstrumologist) - Rick Yancey I remember when I read The Monstromologist. It was about midnight and I read it in a few hours and was absolutely petrified. I don’t usually read horror books simply because… well they’re not very scary. I don’t get scared easily and I usually find the settings to horror books rather contrived. But these, oh boy, these are something else. First off, if you’ve not read The Monstromologist it would really be no issue in picking up this book. While it is the sequel, everything is basically explained well enough that you can grasp the characters right off. There is also little to no mention of the exploits that went on in the first book, so really it stands on it’s own perfectly well. With that said, if you’ve not read The Monstromologist go and do it this instant because it’s bloody freaking brilliant, and then read this one because it’s bloody freaking brilliant as well. The date is 1888 which right off is just brilliant because it’s such a brilliant time period for monster stories to take place. Basically, this would make a brilliant steampunk vamped movie (I’m just saying. The stories themselves aren’t steampunk, but oh. Oh. You can imagine them being so and it’s pretty brilliant) Will Henry is the assistant to the enigmatic doctor Pellinor Winthrop, monstromologist and all around stereotypical mad scientist (to an extent). In this book the doctor receives a visitor from a lady caller (which in itself is a bit of a miracle, as Will Henry states that that has never happened before) imploring the doctor to help her missing husband. Doctor John Chanler, went off into the Canadian wilderness to search for the Outiko, the Wendigo, the Hunger. A creature that perpetually starves as it feeds. As it eats the more it starves forcing it to constantly be hunting, constantly be feeding, constantly be killing. However, this Wendigo, to Doctor Winthrop, is a myth no more real than vampires and zombies. It’s not a scientifically proven monster like the ones that the Doctor studies. So, he refuses to go on a search for Muriel's husband because he is obviously dead, however not by the hands of this fictional beast. This plea for help comes in the wake of the doctor receiving news that his former master and tutor is attempting to have mythological creatures like the Wendigo and the vampire put into the monstromoligist’s lexicon, thus putting the science of monstromolgy to nothing more than fairy tales and horror stories. However, because of some past ties to Muriel and her husband, Winthrop packs up himself and Will Henry and off into the Canadian wilderness they go. Basically, what ensues is a terrifying account of things much darker and much more deadly than the doctor can scientifically reason (although scientifically reason he does the entire time). The story is just brilliant, plain and simple. The writing is just stunning. For me, I find that this time period is really difficult to achieve properly without it sounding a bit fake. Every inch of this book just reads like it’s coming straight from the hands of someone who lived through every moment of these terrifying encounters. It’s narrated perfectly. Every bit of it, the detail which at times becomes nauseatingly gory but in the same instant can be incredibly poetic. I just love it every bit of it. The characters to are simply fantastic. Pellinor Winthrop is a tortured, self consumed doctor who goes from very cold and very uncaring at the beginning of the book to someone who is altogether very very human. Honestly, he’s easily my favourite character in the book. He’s so very well described, he’s very real. Will Henry, the dear narrator and protagonist, is such an interesting character. He says very little during the course of the book but sees everything. He doesn’t need to be actively involved in every conversation because he’s recounting it perfectly. This is easily some of the best first person narration I have ever encountered. It’s brilliant. This book is kind of like what you would find when reading Frankenstein or Dracula. That perfect mixture of terror, horror, and setting. The setting just gets me. I love the time period, I love New York in that time. I love that we got to see not only the wilderness, but New York and the higher ways of life. It was just fantastic. It was dark, and horrifying, and beautiful. This story is simply brilliant. It’s just bloody brilliant. Easily one of my favourite books ever along with The Monstromologist. I desperately need the next book. Right this instant.