This is a four book young adult horror series, and is also one of the goriest and most exciting series that I have read for a very long time. It will bring you to your nightmares and leave you there to see how you fend for yourself, before bringing you back to the present.
It follows Will Henry the young apprentice to the Monstrumologist. Dr. Pellinore Warthrop is a scientist who is dedicated to the study of aberrant biology, or more simply, the study of monsters. When necessary he will hunt them down. Set in the nineteenth century with eccentric characters that will entertain and horrify the reader from the eerie beginning to the violent end.
Told in the form of thirteen folios that have been found in a retirement home these books are portrayed as real documents that have been given to the author, Rick Yancey, who is attempting to find any family of the lonely and disturbed old man who was once Will Henry. This format adds a layer of reality to the series that really emphasises that there are many things dark things in this world that are not understood and that the reader wouldn’t dare to dream of.
Each of the four books focuses on a different species of monsters. The monsters dealt with in these books are not ones that I had previously heard of and being a huge fantasy nerd I have heard of a lot. The scenes with the monsters are without a doubt my favourite in any of the books. I loved learning about them and the ways in which they behaved. I loved how Dr. Warthrop looked at them and studied them so scientifically.
Another aspect of this series that was fantastic was the array of eccentric characters. The variety of characters and their extravagance is highly entertaining and will keep you engaged and disgusted all at once. The obsessive Dr. Warthrop, John Kearns violent monster-hunter and the mysterious nightly callers with strange bloody packages are but a few of the cast.
The fourth book in this series is laid out in a very different format. I would mention this because it is a big change from the other books in the series. I am still conflicted as to how I felt about the last book. It was undoubtedly a dynamic ending, and it played hard on my emotions and changed the way in which I saw many of the characters. But it was DYNAMIC.
I will warn you on picking up this series if you are in anyway squeamish. There is gore and lots of it. While the gore in this series a large part due to the monsters, the later books turn towards a more heavy focus on human violence. If you feel that would put you off consider this your warning.
However, if you enjoy exciting hunts and adventures that will horrify and scare you if you want a series that will bring you from your comfortable armchair to a place I associate with nightmares then this is the series for you.