The Monstrumologist quartet wraps up in a haphazard, patchworked finale.
Even though Yancey offers a tone-setting disclaimer via an “editor’s note” at the forefront of the novel that the manuscripts he “translated” into this work were “nearly indecipherable, physically as well as contextually,” fans will still come away ultimately unsatisfied—possibly even feeling cheated—by this disjointed conclusion. In the main narrative (there are at least three), Will Henry, now 16, often drunk and colder than ever, helps Monstrumologist Pellinore Warthrop track down the T. cerrejonensis, a giant, snakelike critter that poisons its human prey then swallows them whole. At the same time, the novel also fast-forwards decades later to 1911, when Will returns to care for an elderly Warthrop and then reverts back to when he was first taken in by his employer. All this makes for a confusing read, and the future plotline serves as a spoiler to the central narrative. Also inserted are broken stanzas of poetry and italicized rants on the meaning of love and life that connect at a much more simplistic level than the earlier books. Still, parts of the novel are quite exciting and will induce just as much stomach-turning if not full-on gagging. At the end, the results feel rushed, as if Yancey were trying to quickly finish the job. Even the relatively anemic page count implies it.
A fizzling anticlimax. (Horror. 14 & up)