Home       About Me       Review Archive

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: The Isle of Blood (The Monstrumologist #3) by Rick Yancey

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: September 13, 2011
Pages: 558
Source: Bought
Rating: 4.5 Stars

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.

In short: The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey supplies yet another terrifying monster, but most importantly, provides the reader with thoughtful and developed characterization.
Will Henry and the Monstrumologist are back and this time the monster they are hunting is the Typhoeus magnificum, the father of all monsters. Infection caused by the magnificum results in zombie-like humans, whose skin rots and grows protruberances, and whose appetite becomes insatiable, often leading the individual to consume their own bodies if no human meal is in reach. It is a terrifying and disgusting monster - and I would expect no less from Rick Yancey, who in the past has brought us the likes of the Anthropophagus and the Wendigo.

As well done as the horror aspect and the monsters are in The Monstrumologist Series, the real life aspect and the characters are truly what makes these books, which I fear is not something I've sufficiently gotten across in my previous reviews for this series. After all, if all these books entailed were monsters and gore, they really wouldn't have very much substance at all and I would have no interest in reading them. As it is, the character development in The Isle of Blood was the best part of the novel, with both Will Henry and the Monstrumologist evolving significantly, yet naturally.

One thing that I love about this series are the cameos of real life historical figures. Jack the Ripper and Bram Stoker have significant roles in The Monstrumologist and The Curse of the Wendigo, respectively. In The Isle of Blood, Jack the Ripper is back in all his horrible and cruel glory. Arthur Conan Doyle also takes part in the story during a critical scene. It's super fun to see the many ways Rick Yancey comes up with to somehow integrate these cameos into the story.

Though I did have some minor problems with the pacing, The Isle of Blood is a magnificent addition to the Monstrumologist Series. I know I mention it every time I write a review for this series, but they really are some of the best written books I've ever read. The imagery created with Rick Yancey's words  is achingly beautiful. Add to that the fact that the writing just seems to get even better - more poetic - with each book, if that is even possible. I'm already looking forward to the newly announced fourth book in the series!

Previously, My Reviews for The Monstrumologist and The Curse of the Wendigo.

Other Review:
aleeza reads and writes

Author Links:

*Read as part of the YA Series Challenge


  1. I really need to read this series! I love well-developed characters and it sounds like this series has some amazing ones. I'm so glad to hear there is a 4th book in the series pending, is it no longer going out of print? I thought I read before something like that was happening with these books.

  2. I'm so happy to hear there will be a fourth book! You make this series sound so fantastic. It really seems like it has it all: Engaging plot, developed characters, beautiful writing. What am I waiting for???

  3. Wow!! this series seems to be holding the awesome pretty well. You make me want to read it each time I read your review,s though I'm a wuss and horror isn't really my thing.


    Awesome review.

  4. Nice! It's so awesome that this author is consistently churning out amazing books. Now that it's near Halloween, I should try out the first book in the series, huh? :P

  5. My first reaction is "ew...gross," at your description of the monsters. Would you say this is more a scary or icky type of book? I do like the incorporation of real life historical figures though.

  6. Bram Stoker in a significant role?! How cool is that!!

    Though these new monsters you've described do sound truly horrific, they seem like they'd be the easiest to get rid of. Just stick them in a room and watch them eat themselves. Problem solved, eh?

    Been wanting these ever since you pointed them out to me. And I'm so happy the series will continue!

  7. A fourth book? Nice! I'm glad you've enjoyed the series so far. I'm really anxious to get started on this series.

  8. Eww ... eating yourself sounds very gross. I think I'll wait until my brother gets older and give this series to him to read since I'm sure the monsters and gore will appeal to him. In the meantime, I'll try and push it at my guy cousin.

  9. I've seen this one around, but I never actually had a chance to pick the series up. My brother would like this one... though I'm not so sure about the 'eating yourself' part...

  10. Jenny: S&S cancelled the series even though the author's plan was to have 4 books. And then, in an unprecedented move, S&S reversed their decision after a fan campaign to support the author. Unprecedented move because a publisher has never reversed their decision before! Pretty awesome.

    Small: Well, I'm not entirely sure this book is for you, I have to say. From what I know about you from your reviews, you do seem to dislike slower paced books so I wonder if you'll enjoy this one... I think you should definitely give it a try though!

    Alex: Heh, it's most definitely not for everyone. I didn't even think it would be for me, really. Glad that I can almost sort of change your mind :)

    Lauren: It really is a great time for it! Nothing like reading a book that has some of the most terrifying monsters I've ever heard of for All Hallows Eve.

    Alison: I would say both scary and icky... maybe more icky at times. Think Stephen King gore.

    Missie: Ha! Yup, that would handle them just fine. The only problem is getting them in there. I hope you find that you enjoy them if you do try out the series. They are definitely unlike any other YA series out there right now. No romance with a dreamy paranormal being here.

    Jessica: The fourth and the final one! I hope you like it! Like I've been saying, it's not for everyone but I think some people will find that even though they think it's not for them, they may actually find the opposite to be true!

    Zahida: Yup, disgusting. Good for you for pushing books onto your guy family :) I would imagine that guys would be more inclined to enjoy this read more than girls.

    Hafsah: Hey, if you think you absolutely wouldn't like this one, then that's cool. It's not for everyone. You should try it out on your brother though :)

  11. Sad to say, but I haven't actually come across this author or this series before. Might have to rectify that, asap! I love the idea of Rick flipping known monster myth on its head to create something new. There's a reason we all love urban legends, and I especially love seeing new interpretations of them!


  12. I love that about him too. In The Curse of the Wendigo, the monster is a vampire-like creature. But scarier and not kissable. Most original version of a vampire I've ever read!

  13. thank you!!! for this!!! new follower here!!!!
    thank you!! I mean it...even if I don't win you completely rock for doing this!!!divorce papers