Title: The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey
Published: September 13th, 2011 by Simon & Schuster
Format: Audio book (14 hours and 29 minutes); narrated by Steven Boyer
Challenge(s): Support Local Library
Grade rate: A
When Dr. Warthrop goes hunting the "Holy Grail of Monstrumology" with his eager new assistant, Arkwright, he leaves Will Henry in New York. Finally, Will can enjoy something that always seemed out of reach: a normal life with a real family. But part of Will can't let go of Dr. Warthrop, and when Arkwright returns claiming that the doctor is dead, Will is devastated--and not convinced.
Determined to discover the truth, Will travels to London, knowing that if he succeeds, he will be plunging into depths of horror worse than anything he has experienced so far. His journey will take him to Socotra, the Isle of Blood, where human beings are used to make nests and blood rains from the sky--and will put Will Henry's loyalty to the ultimate test.
Another amazing addition to the Monstrumologist series! I am so happy to have read The Isle of Blood, Rick Yancey is a very talented author. You can find my reviews for the previous books, The Monstrumologist here and for The Curse of the Wendigo here.
The Isle of Blood starts a couple of months after the end of the previous book, and it finds our unstable hero, Dr. Warthrop, and our reluctant narrator, Will Henry, facing a new mystery in the form of a
Typhoeus Magnificum, delivered to their house. This expertly crafted nest of human entrails is believed to be the creation of the Magnificum, The Faceless One of a Thousand Faces, a myth among mostrumologists and sort of the ‘holy grail’ of aberrant biology. So starts their new adventure that goes from New York, to England, to Venice and halfway around the world to the Isle of Blood.
It is very interesting to me how the characters have grown from the beginning of the series. Pellinore Warthrop, once a completely hateful characters (at least to me), has grown to become an almost paternal figure for Will. Although he does leave him behind, he does so because he believes it is the best for Henry. His reluctant love for Will is fun to watch. On the other hand, I am quite worried about the changes in Will Henry. Not only does he seems to have an unhealthy connection to Dr. Warthrop, but also has become more callus, more cynical, and with much less regard for human life. It is really worrisome that Will was unable to adapt to a perfect family life when it was offered (if it were me, I would have dropped the doctor in a heartbeat!). I really have no idea where the story might go next and I hope Mr. Yancey finds a way to gives us a glimpse of what like was like for Will after and a way to recognize the dear doctor.
As you can probably tell from my rambling about our main characters above, that the characterization is truly a work of art. All the characters are so alive, with distinct personalities and a unique voice. Johh Kerns becomes a human monster, Lilly Bates such an interesting and unusual young lady, Mrs. Bates is an incredible force of nature to do what is ‘right’.
The plot is marvelous, Mr. Yancey’s imagination knows no boundaries. The pacing is slower than the previous books, especially the time that Will and Dr. Worthtop spent separated; in addition, this book is not as ‘bloody’ as the previous two. The most incredible gift of the series is the writing. I cannot tell you how outstanding it is, so instead I will share a bit of it:
“You may have fallen long ago over the edge of the world, John, but I have not. Not yet anyway. To show mercy is not naïve. To hold out against the end of hope is not stupidity of madness. It is fundamentally human. Of course, the child is doomed. We are all doomed; we are all poisoned from our birth by the rot of stars. That does not mean we should succumb like you to the seductive fallacy of despair, the dark tide that would drown us. You may think I’m stupid…a madman and a fool, but at least I stand upright in a fallen world.” – Dr. Worthrop talking to John Kerns
This series is not for the weak hearted (or weak of stomach for that matter), but if you can handle the gore, the blood and the monsters, it is, in short, a work of art. I cannot wait for The Final Descent, the last book in the series; but alas, wait I must since it is not due until September of next year.
About the cover: I like the cover. I like the big “M” for monstrumologist and the font on the dark background. It brings the eye to the creepy, faceless creature in green reaching out to the reader. The tree represents the Isle of Blood and I take it these birds represent death.
Have you read this series? Would you give it a try? Do you like to read horror books?