Snap to, Will Henry!!

You know you want it. Buy it. Now.
The 19th century. We're talking the Gilded Age, New York. Science!! Freezing tenement slums, brightly-lit antechambers, fisticuffs. Drays and hansoms. Puff sleeves for the ladies, frock coats for the men. And that literature. Ohhhh, the literature. Lush. Words so thick they cloister the space like cigar smoke, leather and male pomposity in a Fifth Avenue smoking room.

Now. Add to that Rick Yancey's 12-year-old monstrumologist's assistant, Will Henry. Arcane sciences. Stilted passions. A rising dread, cloying shadows. A khorkhoi. The Victorian sensibility and its delicious, shivery blend of horror. Ohhhh...

In it arises the most gleefully ghoulish depravity. A shambling monster with a lisp. DUDES. IT LISPS. As it tears out your eyes. As its fangs rend the tender flesh of your heart with an exquisite pop. This glorious juxtaposition of the Victorian with the macabre drives, absolutely drives, Rick Yancey's THE CURSE OF THE WENDIGO.

Finished it yesterday. And I put it down with a sigh, mentally licking my fingers as I polished it off. Gorgeous. Universally-themed. With breathtaking writing. A marvelously complicated, aging monstrumologist. "Snap to, Will Henry!" And that achingly lovely, desperately doubting Will Henry himself. If you haven't read the Printz Award-winning THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST, go get it, read it. Now. I'm waiting. Done? Good. Now get THE CURSE OF THE WENDIGO (a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize).

Me? I'm anxiously awaiting Yancey's upcoming THE ISLE OF BLOOD, the next in the series. Awaiting it like a valet awaits your dripping gloves as you peel them off, stamping the dirty snow from your boots. Awaiting it like the butler waits for you to accept a freshly-ironed newspaper and repair to the drawing room. Awaiting it like you wait, frozen in place, head cocked, for that strange sound from the hall to identify itself.

"Jennings?" you murmur, but the butler has disappeared. Your valet has already removed your valise and has vanished up the servant's stair. Behind you, the tufted shadows distort the narrow hall and the house rears up, long and black, around you.

There it is again. That sound. A scratching? No--what is that damnable noise? And where has everyone gone? Taking up the lamp, you peer into the clouded gloom of the stairwell. You square your shoulders, try to ignore the palsied dancing of your nerves, and descend, step by groaning step, into the blackness. "Jennings?" you call again. This time, something answers. With befouled breath, reeking of the grave, into the coarse whiskers of your mutton chops. There is something on the stair. Behind you.

Ahhhhhh.....oh my god. 19th-century horror. YA. With a twist. I love you, Rick Yancey.

9 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt | March 7, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Adding it to my list. :D

Vicki Tremper | March 7, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Man, Zoe, you have a way with words! I wouldn't consider myself a fan of horror, but you made that sound so good I had to add it to my TBR list.

-Vicki
www.vbtremper.wordpress.com

Roland D. Yeomans | March 7, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Zoe, you do have a way with words. I believe you may enjoy RIVER-MARKED by Patricia Briggs. It is her latest Mercy Thompson book. And if you haven't read any of Mercy's adventures, then you should really treat yourself to the first in the series : Moon Called (a poor coyote shifter/VW mechanic caught in a world where everything you read in the Brothers Grimms turns out to be true.)

Have a great week, Roland

Alleged Author | March 7, 2011 at 9:53 PM

This sounds like a definite "add" to my list!

lbdiamond | March 9, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Wow, sounds like a great book!

Lydia K | March 9, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Monstrumologist has been on my TBR list... I needed this reminder to move it higher in the pack.

Nate Wilson | March 10, 2011 at 12:55 PM

How did you know I had mutton chops? Or that my butler's name was Jennings?

Sometimes you scare me, Zoe. You and your befouled breath.

Matthew MacNish | March 10, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Awesome. I love this time period. It makes me think of words like foetor and eldritch, which blogger is trying to say aren't words. They are blogger, they are.

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