Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A book and a blanket - part 1

Today I read on Ms Misantropia's blog about an event named " A Book & A Blanket", where Marfi Bradford invites everyone to discuss and review a book for every Tuesday of November. I might be a tad late on the train, but I'd still like to participate. Not to win the promised book and blanket, but rather to talk about a subject dear to my heart.

I love reading, Ever since I learned how to read, I was a huge nerd and book worm. I remember my mother taking out the electrical fuse to stop me from reading late in the night as a child. Which didn't stop me on bright nights, were I just switched from bed to window board and continued reading by the moon light! ^^ Now as an adult, I still read a lot. I average on 2 books per week although it can be 4 in one weekend and no books for several weeks...

I love being comfy on the couch or in bed and drinking hot chocolate or tea and having a new imaginary world on my lap! I'm going to review a book series today which is still ongoing but held me captivated from reality for quite some time:
"The Monstrumologist" by Rick Yancey
 The series is about a reporter who investigates about a strange old man named Will Henry who appears at a nursing home and only owns the clothes on his body and some old diaries. The reporter claims to publish the text of the diaries in order to find potential family members - but also because the diaries speak of a hidden science called Monstrumology which is about hunting and analysing what "normal people" would call - well - monsters. Each novel contains one diary, a total of six are mentioned in the beginning, although the author was only able to publish 4 novels. Which means one more for me to read... Let's hurry up here! ^^

In the first novel "The Monstrumologist", Will Henry looses both his parents and moves in with his fathers former employer, the Monstrumologist and doctor Pellinore Warthrope. He starts writing this diary in in 1888, when he was 12 years old. The Monstrumologist gets handed a fresh specimen of Anthropophagus -a headless monster that feeds through a mouth in its chest- and soon discovers that the may be a serious infection of the downtown area.

In the second novel "The Curse of the Wendigo", both Dr. Warthrop and Will Henry go on a rescue mission for an old friend of the Monstrumologist. John Chanler is missing on the hunt for Homo vampiris, the vampire, which he seeks to find in form of the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, in the Canadian wilderness. Warthrop is sceptical and doesn't believe in the Wendigo/Vampire, but learns that some surprises can happen even for experienced scientists like him.

In the third novel "The Isle of Blood", Dr. Warthrop leaves Will Henry behind to hunt for the “Holy Grail of Monstrumology”. He is send a nest of the “Typhoeus magnificum”, a unseen monster which is the number one hunted for in the ranks of Monstrumology. His new assistant Arkwright takes him to London while Will Henry stays in New York and for the first time experiences something like a normal family life. But soon, Warthrop gets lost on the hunt and Will Henry and Warthrop's former mentor van Hellrung try to save him.

I won't talk to much to avoid spoiling the storyline for interested potential readers, but the series blew me away. They are advertised as youth reads, but I strongly suggest them only for people with a strong stomach and nerves. There is a lot of suspense and scientific talking, monsters and gruesome deeds by humans are describe in detail, so they might not be for the weak of heart!

I really liked how the monsters are seen from a scientific perspective. You learn about their looks, their past and behaviour. There is a lot of Latin name dropping, but most of the names are really funny when translated.
The relationship between Dr. Warthrop and Will Henry is another focal point of the novels. Dr. Warthrop is a difficult personality to say the least, depressed and self-centered but manic in bouts of research. WIll Henry is a naiv and poor boy who in the beginning looks up to Warthrop and follows each and every "Snap to, Will Henry!" quickly. But in the later novels, the dynamic shifts and Will Henry grows more adult and independent while Warthrop finds out how depended he is on Will.
There is also a lot of suspense when the Monstrumologist hunt for their "prey monsters", but the monsters themselves stalk the scientists. There are also plenty of interesting side characters who often find unsuspected and gory ends. In the end, I can only recommend the series and will now head to the last novel "The Final Descent" which I just downloaded on my Kindle...


Incipient Wings said...

this sounds so incredible interesting.
I'm very excited to read these this year:)
I was like that as a child...sometimes reading things I wasn't supposed to, as they were beyond my years.
thank you so much.
looking forward to these!

DogsMom said...

You did a great job of getting us interested in checking these out.
Since hanging out with more book bloggers I have rekindled my interest in YA novels. They are not as tame as those I grew up with.

Magaly Guerrero said...

I'm taken by the title of the first book. The Monstrumologist, I had to type it and say it aloud. I love how it sounds. I might have to give it a go.

Stay warm and read lots ;-)

MindLess said...

@ Incipient Wings: Thanks for stopping by! I also borrowed books from my mum's closet and read them although they would have better suited me some years later. But I was just too curious!

@ DogsMom: Thanks! I agree that young adult books today can sometimes be more intense and society critical than grown up literature. But there is a lot of trash in both as well...

@ Magaly Guerrero: Thanks, you too!

Ms Misantropia said...

I'm glad you found the challenge :)
I am usually not much for fantasy series, but this sounds interesting.

MindLess said...

@ Ms Misantropia: Thanks for bringing it to my eyes! ;) I never read Swedish horror (or much horror besides Lovecraft and King), but I will definetively try your recommendations.