Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Isle of Blood

A bizarre blood nest arrives at Pellinore Warthrop's house with the power to change people into cannibalistic monsters. It's a creation of the Holy Grail of monstrumology, the Faceless One. Of course Warthrop is going to rush off to find it and possibly capture it along with his new eager apprentice, abandoning Will Henry without a word. After months of absence, Will Henry receives word that Warthrop is dead, but he knows something isn't write. He and a ragtag band of monstrumologists and friends will rescue Warthrop. Then it's a race to get to the Faceless One first before others who would use it as a weapon instead of for study and monstrumological advancement.

Rick Yancey's Monstrumologist series is one of the best teen horror series I've ever read. Each book brings something slightly different while all feature fantastical and realistic monsters. This installment takes our heroes around the world: the US, Venice, England, Egypt, and Yemen. The fantastical monsters are horrific and transform people into mutated, cannibalistic monsters with the possibility of passing on the condition to someone else. Infected people may not even know they are sick because even the disgusting blood nest sent to Warthrop can infect people with a touch. These monsters have super strength, extreme bone growth, and insatiable lust for flesh, even consuming their own when they've eaten everything around them. This is a different creature than I've ever seen and it's frightening.

The human monsters here can be just as horrific as the fantastical ones. Throughout the novel, Russian government agents are dogging Warthrop's and Will Henry's every step. They show in no uncertain terms that they are willing to murder to get what they want. Jack Kearns although at times an ally is very unpredictable and could turn around and kill them whenever the mood struck him. Will Henry assumes some darkness of his own. He's abandoned by Warthrop at the beginning of the novel and has to choose between a conventional teen's life or the dangerous life of a monstrumologist. He predictably chooses the latter. The life he's chosen changes him forever in profound ways, first when he's forced to kill humans for survival, but then when hebecomes more willing to kill people for what he perceives to be the best. He doesn't come out of this installment unmarked inside and out.

The Isle of Blood continues an amazing story with pitch dark horror and fantasy, advanture, friendship, danger, and a bit of humor. This installment has the most humor with Pellinore being committed and having his friends pose as his family, ineptly weaving a convoluted story to release him. I'm a little disappointed that there's only one installment left with a very final title. I don't want one of the best horror series ever to end.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

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