Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Curse of the Wendigo

Yancey, Rick. The Curse of the Wendigo.
In this sequel to the fabulous Monstrumologist, Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop are back. This time, they travel into the Canadian wilderness to find Warthrop's friend and colleague, John Chanler, another Monstrumologist who has gone to study the wendigo and is reported missing by his wife, who is a former love of Warthrop's. Chanler is found, but he is very ill, and bringing him back is fraught with travail. Still ailing, the entire group goes off to a conference in New York City, where Chanler does not improve. His incessant hunger, as well as his anger, are clearly evident but ignored, with horrible and gruesome implications.

Strengths: Beautifully written, with gorgeous language. This makes the scenes even more grotesque. Will Henry, Warthrop, and even Chanler are complicated but sympathetic characters, and I watched their progress with horror.

Weaknesses: This was also a rather gross book, and I'm a little leery of handing it to students. In the first, we had great monsters that would brutally murder people; in this one, it's almost human monsters who peel the faces off of people and are motivated by love gone wrong. Why does this human element make the horror more objectionable? The anthropophagi tearing peoples innards out was okay, but not the slow torture that the monsterized remains of Chanler inflicts on people he knows.

I'm also irritated in the change in covers. The new one is nice, but doesn't match the original. Sort of like how Artemis Fowl has reissued all the covers, so now all of mine match but number 7. This is just a cruel thing to do to librarians, who tend to be slightly anal retentive about this sort of thing.

1 comment:

  1. This book has been setting on my beside in my "to be read" pile for too long. This is just the push I need to go for it this weekend. I absolutely loved the first Monstrumologist book. Can't wait to sink my teeth (no pun intended) in this second book!