The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist #1) by Rick Yancey

» 17 January, 2016 » Reviews » 7 comments

The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist #1) by Rick YanceyThe Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
Series: The Monstrumologist #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on September 22nd 2009
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror
Pages: 454
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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4.5 Stars

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 Warthorpe, 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 read this book in late October and early November because I was still craving a Halloween-themed read (The Diviners hadn’t satisfied me!). This one was recommended to me by a few book friends I trust (Crini, Maraia, and Sebastian – I’m looking at you!) and I’m so glad I listened to them because this was a perfect Halloween read for me. I was a little apprehensive at first because I haven’t heard the greatest things about Rick Yancey’s 5th Wave series, but after enjoying this book so much I plan on giving The 5th Wave a try!

Plot and Writing

I say this was a great Halloween read, but it didn’t make me jumpy or scared to be in the dark or alone. It did give me some creepy vibes (it’s about monsters after all), but the way it really got to me was by grossing me out and making me picture things in my mind that I wish (to this day) I never imagined. The writing is very descriptive and I was seriously disgusted multiple times in this book (almost threw up a little in my mouth at least once). A few of my deepest fears were imagined through the descriptive writing in this book and I still can’t get some of the images out of my mind. You would think this would be a reason to NOT like this book, but I feel quite the opposite. It was so much fun and I’m so impressed that a book could make me feel this way.


The story is from the perspective of a 12 year old orphan who is apprenticed to a (slightly crazy) doctor of monstrumology. I found the whole concept of monstrumology to be fascinating, although I didn’t immediately connect with Dr. Pellinore Warthorp. My feelings towards the doctor did change by the end of the book though. View Spoiler » Will Henry, on the other hand, I fell in love with immediately. Will’s situation is touching and he’s just a kid trying to survive in a crazy world full of monsters. He grows as a character in this story and I look forward to seeing his continued growth in the rest of the series.

In Summary

Despite the fact this book wasn’t the type of scary I was expecting, I enjoyed the experience immensely! It was just what I needed. I recommend this book for those looking for a creepy read with a historical and paranormal setting – just be forewarned that it might make you want to throw up haha. I’m now very intrigued to read more of Rick Yancey, including The 5th Wave series (especially with the movie coming out!) but also the rest of this series. I look forward to reading the sequel this October – I think I’ll make it an October tradition.

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7 Responses to “The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist #1) by Rick Yancey”

  1. Maraia

    I’m so glad you liked this! I’m really surprised that people have a crush on Pellinore Warthorp, so I’m even more curious about the rest of the series now, haha. Maybe we can buddy read?!

    Have you seen the illustrated edition of the book? I read the ebook, but I saw some of the drawings, and they were really cool! (Also creepy, lol.)

    I actually really liked The 5th Wave, which was a surprise, since aliens aren’t really my thing. It seems to be a very hit-or-miss book, though.

    • Jade @ Bedtime Bookworm

      Yes, buddy read please!! I was pretty surprised at that comment too because he wasn’t very… attractive in this book LOL. So you haven’t read the other books in the series yet either? I didn’t know there was an illustrated version! I totally want to check it out now – the copy at my library didn’t have illustrations. Maybe i’ll swing by the book store to see if they have any copies I can flip through (that’s what bookstores are for right? looking at books you won’t buy? LOL). I hear the audiobook of The 5th Wave is really good so I have it on hold from the library. Can’t wait for my turn 🙂
      Jade @ Bedtime Bookworm recently posted…Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh BardugoMy Profile

      • Maraia

        Nope, just the first. It will be fun to buddy read it. 🙂 I think the illustrated one is a German edition? I’m not entirely sure. But I definitely go to bookstores to look at pretty books I’m not going to buy, hahaha. Oh, that’s good to know about The 5th Wave audiobook. I have it on hold, too, because I want to re-read before the third book comes out, but apparently we’re not the only ones who want it. The list seems never ending. 😛 Speaking of which, I saw that you finally got The Nightingale! \o/

  2. Sebastian

    I’m so glad you liked this and also that I’m among the book friends you trust! 😀 I can totally see why this was a perfect Halloween read for you even though the books are not really creepy.

    I was actually a bit surprised that there was so much gore in these books, regarding the fact that it’s a YA series.

    You can definitely look forward to the sequel(s), I liked the second book even more than the first one!

    Too bad you guys don’t have the illustrations of the German editions, there are really amazing and fit perfectly to the story!

    Oh and you should definitely also try “The 5th wave”, I love this series just as much as the Monstrumologist books and can’t wait to get my hands on the last book of the trilogy!
    Sebastian recently posted…[Top 10 Tuesday] Top Ten Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBRMy Profile

    • Jade @ Bedtime Bookworm

      Thanks so much for recommending it 🙂 And of course I trust your book opinions! I’m glad you liked the second better – I’m planning on reading it this Halloween, making it a tradition LOL. I want to see these illustrations! I didn’t realize it was just in German editions, bummer! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed The 5th Wave .Maria says she enjoyed it too, so that makes me hopeful! I heard the audiobook is good so I have it on hold from the library right now. I can’t wait to read it and then see the movie when it comes out on DVD or on some streaming site. I don’t want to see it badly enough to go to the theater LOL, I rarely see movies in the theater anymore. It’s so overpriced these days!
      Jade @ Bedtime Bookworm recently posted…Siege and Storm (The Grisha #2) by Leigh BardugoMy Profile