Book Review: The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

a sasy book review

The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1)Title: The Monstrumologist

Author: Rick Yancey

Series: The Monstrumologist #1

Pages: 454

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Publish Date: September 22nd, 2009


Description From Goodreads

These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for more than forty years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphaned assistant to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, a man with a most unusual specialty: monstrumology, the study of monsters. In his time with the doctor, Will has met many a mysterious late-night visitor, and seen things he never imagined were real. But when a grave robber comes calling in the middle of the night with a gruesome find, he brings with him their most deadly case yet.

A gothic tour de force that explores the darkest heart of man and monster and asks the question: When does man become the very thing he hunts?


I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to find out about this series! I love horror and I don’t think there are enough great YA horror books out there, “The Monstrumologist” is one of the good ones.

I mean the study of monsters? What about that doesn’t sound awesome? Although there is so much more to the story than just the monsters….

Let’s Talk About The Plot:

I’m going to go ahead and warn you right away, this book is not for the faint of heart or the squeamish of stomach. While not an overly terrifying story, “The Monstrumologist” is most definitely a gory and bloody one.

I don’t know about you, but I love gore. Something about it makes books more enjoyable for me, I know I’m weird. This is one of the goriest book I’ve ever read though I mean it gets down right nasty. There were parts of the book where I was legitimately gagging it was so gross, but I loved it. I have one scene in mind (if you read this book you’ll know which one).

Plus the monsters themselves are so well done, not only are they absolutely vicious but they’re very intelligent as well. Nothing is scarier than a monster with brains let me tell you. Which reminds me they aren’t the only monsters in this book, we also have them in human form and to be honest I don’t know which were scarier. The acts committed by some of the people in this book were more horrendous than anything the monsters could have done.

I know what you might be thinking: monsters aren’t that scary. Trust me when I say these ones are. Yancey writes them in a way that is truly terrifying. He doesn’t just rely on the physical appearance of the monsters to be scary but their nature as well, which of course is eating people. Now to me, being hunted and getting eaten is scary.

While I found the entire story to be extremely interesting and hard to put down, I can definitely see some people getting bored with it. The writing gets a little tedious and slow at times but it’s worth it to keep reading, trust me!

There’s also TONS of suspense, which of course is required in any good horror book. Not that it’s a scary book in a jumpy sort of way, but more of a quiet horror. Still quite the terrifying book and I got chills more than a couple of times.

Also the sheer CONTENT in “The Monstrumologist” is amazing. Even though this isn’t a fantasy book I would say that it’s on par with fantasy-like world building. If monstrumology were a real science, Rick Yancey would have done his research excellently. Everything he wrote describing the practice of it and the monsters themselves is very believable. Which is part of why I thought the whole book was so fascinating.

Now The Characters:

Excuse me a minute as a completely fangirl over our dark, broody, mad scientist Pellinore Warthrop.

Yes, I think it’s hard to imagine anyone reading this book and NOT loving Pellinore. Although he is kind of an ass…..but we forgive him because he’s so……um I’m not really sure but he’s definitely unique. Not your typical swoon-worthy character but there’s just something about him. He’s insanely smart and very dedicated to is work, he also doesn’t shy away from anything. Being unafraid, of course is mandatory if you’re going to study monsters. There was one thing that bothered me about Pellinore though: the way he treated Will Henry at times. That poor child needs LOVE not orders!

Will Henry, the main character, is adorable. He’s a 12 year old kid and I have a hard time not thinking he’s adorable, he does everything Dr. Warthrop asks of him and all Will wants in return is acceptance and maybe a little love. My heart ached for him, I wanted Warthrop to LOVE him as his own child! I wanted it SO BAD.

Will Henry is also very flawed, what 12 year old orphaned kid under the care of a monstrumologist wouldn’t be? Will gives into weakness and he’s not without his fears making him a very believable and realistic protagonist.

The only other real character of note would be Jack Kearns, remember when I said there are human monsters contained within this book? That’s all I’ll say about Mr. Kearns.

There was a lot of emphasis on Will and Pellinore’s relationship, Yancey goes pretty in depth about why Pellinore treats Will the way he does. Which stems from how Pellinore’s father treated him, it really helped develop both characters in the story.

Which is another thing I’d like to point out, character development. The characters were very well developed and complex, we get to know them very well in this book. Rick Yancey did an excellent job making his characters feel REAL.

In Conclusion:

There was nothing not to love about “The Monstrumologist”, it had everything I like in a good horror book. It was an excellently written and I’ll be more than glad to continue the series.


Yes, yes, yes. If you’re a fan of horror and want a gory read then definitely look no further than this book! Even if you’re not a big horror fan this book is still worth a look, although if you’re squeamish maybe skip it altogether.


skull rating 4.5
Rating: 4.5

11 thoughts on “Book Review: The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

  1. Zezee January 16, 2016 / 2:52 am

    Oh I loved this one too. It’s so well written! I love how Yancey explores the different types of monsters we could encounter (even maggots (eewy that scene)) and also how fear both helps and hinders us. It’s such a great book. I like Pellinore as well with all his flaws. He actually reminds of Prof. Liedenbrock in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth in how excited he gets about his work and how intense he is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thesassygeek January 17, 2016 / 11:02 pm

      I agree 100% there is just so much depth to everything Yancey wrote in this book, it really is excellent!


      • Zezee January 18, 2016 / 2:00 am

        Yea, that’s what heightened my enjoyment.

        Liked by 1 person

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