Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Curse of the Wendigo

The Curse of the Wendigo
by Rick Yancey
The Monstrumologist, book two

While attempting to disprove that Homo vampiris, the vampire, could exist, Dr. Warthrop is asked by his former fiance to rescue her husband from the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, which has snatched him in the Canadian wilderness. Although Warthrop also considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and rescues her husband from death and starvation, and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo. Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied? (description taken from

I have to say that I was really pleasantly surprised by this book. When I accepted it for review I didn't realize it was the sequel to The Monstrumologist. I had really wanted to read that when it came out, but kept hearing how gruesome it was, so decided to skip it. When I then realized that I was going to listen to the sequel, I have to admit that I was really nervous that I would not be able to get all the way through it.

I was amazed, though, as I started listening, at how much I love the style that Yancey writes for this series. It is written as if he is investigating the events in Will Henry's journals to prove that they really happened. He reports whole portions of the journals and these are done in the vernacular of 1800s New England. What a wealth of vocabulary!! I love words. I pride myself on not only knowing a lot of words, but of being able to understand the meanings of many words I do not know from the context in which they are used.... Yancey not only gave me a plethora of new words, but also reminded me of words I had not used recently! I loved it.

I think that this step away from today's common language, along with a very matter-of-fact delivery in the narration of the book, allowed me to get through some parts that were very gruesome. In fact, a lot of the visceral action happened so fast that my brain couldn't really process the disgust before we were moving on.

I am not normally a horror fan, almost at all. I tend to avoid this genre, but I have to say that I was absolutely compelled to finish this book. I did not at all regret reading it, and I may even go back and read the first in the series. Very well done!

Full disclosure: Audio book sent for AudioFile review

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