For only a madman believes what every child knows to be true; There are monsters that lay in wait under our beds.
Monstrumology, the study of monsters. Twelve year old Will Henry is the orphaned apprentice of Doctor Warthrop, a dedicated monstrumologist. Will is used to the late night visitors arriving on the doorstep with odd parcels to be delivered, but this late night visitor brings them the body of a young girl entwined with the corpse of an Anthropophagus. Anthropophaus are headless monsters exceeding seven feet in height whose razor-sharp teeth are in their torso, their eyes are located on their chest, their diet consists purely of human, and they are supposed to be extinct in this part of the world. It is soon realized that there is a colony of these monsters and Dr. Warthrop tries to not only to understand how they arrived here, but also sets out to destroy them.
Yes, my dear child, monsters are real. I happen to have one hanging in my basement.
I was not expecting such a gruesome, gory, and violent book as this turned out to be. The cover looks almost whimsical in nature, and although the synopsis doesn't exactly describe kittens and rainbows it doesn't really hint at the bloodshed and graphic details that this book contains either. It rather surprised me, although pleasantly surprised if I may hint at my darker side ...
Will Henry was a quiet narrator, and referring back to when I read the Sherlock Holmes series I muse upon the fact that he may just be there as a way for us to see the story unfold through his eyes, a gateway if you will. Same as Dr. Watson's role in the Sherlock Holmes series. I may be wrong, and his role may become a larger one as the series progresses.
Dr. Warthrop reminds me of a combination of Sherlock Holmes and the television character Dr. House (which is no surprise considering that Dr. House was based on Sherlock Holmes's character). Given his cold nature, his seemly uncaring for others, and a all consuming mission, you would think that his character would be a unlikable one ... but I actually kind of like him. You see flashes of his human side, his compassionate side, throughout this book.
Rick takes mythical creatures as they are and doesn't change a thing about them, just incorporates them into his story. I love that. The Anthropophaus in this book are as the myths describe them.
I loved this book. The monster hunting, the studying of monsters in general, it all reminded me of the television series "Supernatural". It was exciting, it was scary, it was full of suspense.