Doctor Warthrop goes hunting the "Holy Grail of Monstrumology" leaving Will Henry alone for the first time. But what hurts the most is that Warthrop doesn't go alone, but takes with him his new eager for hunting assistant, Arkwright. Will Henry doesn't cope well with his doctor's decision and when some months later a letter arrives declaring him dead, Will knows that he needs to go and find him.
This third book in The Monstrumologist series was slightly different. Of course there was the hunt, the monsters and the gruesome descriptions we all love, but it was more about the characters than the hunt. Which proved to be very interesting.
The book starts with a scene we waited to read since book one, if not mistaken, with the poisoned man sent by Jack Kearns to deliver a package to Warthrop in exchange for the antidote for the Tipota poison that runs in his veins. Well, if you read the book or if you happen to speak Greek, then you know how funny this is.
So since chapter one, we find Warthrop deep in a situation that thrills him, since he has finally a clue for the greatest monster in the history of Monstrumology. The rot of stars. And he doesn't hesitate to go hunting. The need to find that moster overwhelms his judgment, and cloud his mind. So he is reckless and pretty soon finds himself trapped. And we do know that Warthrop is not an easy man!
On the other hand, we follow Will Henry who is alone in New York, forced to follow a simple life that he neither choose nor like. He goes to museums, goes shopping and takes baths, he plays chess and spends time with Lily. Those things may be perfect for a young boy at his age, but for Will, is like a nightmare. He is used to wake up by Warthrop's shouts, demanding to help him examine some specimens that was found or someone sent to him to examine. That's why Will tries to find his lost life and his doctor whom he lost for two painful months.
Due to the separation of those two, the book is a bit slow paced and it picks up at the end but it's very interesting to watch the change that occurs. There is character development. Will Henry grows up and he grows up fast. He gets irritated with Warthrop, talks back to him and he isn't afraid to speak his thoughts. There are also some other stuff about Will Henry that will trouble you, but I'm not gonna spoil it!
I enjoyed this book, I find Rick Yancey's writing very compelling and his voice lulls me into the story where I can travel along Warthrop and Will Henry in Socotra and Aden, New York and even Venice.But what I love the most is those thoughts that Yancey plants in our heads about humanity, ego and life. What are we and what we truly are?
Cheers to the next one but until then, here are some of the quotes I loved.
"There are only three real causes of death, Will Henry. The first is accidents-diseases, families, wars, or like what befell your parents, The second is old age. And the third is ourselves-our slow suicides. Show me a man who cannot control his appetites and I will show you a man living under a death sentence."
"The cruelest aspect of love is its inviolable integrity."
"Do you contain the fire or does the fire contain you?"
"To show mercy is not naive. To hold out against the end of hope is not stupidity or madness. It is fundamentally human."
"There is something is us that longs for the indescribable, the unattainable, the thing that cannot be seen."