Review: The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction Age Level: YA Series: The Monstrumologist #2 Pages: Hardcover - 444 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Age Level: YA
Series: The Monstrumologist #2
Pages: Hardcover – 444
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

“It is called Atcen…Djenu…Outiko…Vindiko. It has a dozen names in a dozen lands, and it is older that the hills, Will Henry. It feeds, and the more it feeds, the hungrier it becomes. It starves itself even as it gorges. It is the hunger that cannot be satisfied. In the Algonquin tongue its name literally means ‘the one who devours all mankind.”

As apprentice to Dr. Pellinore Warthrop, Will Henry has lived a life dedicated to the pursuit of monstrumology: the study of monsters. But when Dr. Warthrop is informed that his old mentor, Dr. Von Helrung, is trying to prove the existence of the mythical Wendigo, He Who Devours All Mankinda creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, Will’s world is plunged into fresh turmoil.

Will and Dr. Warthrop must traverse the desolate wastelands of Canada…and in the process, may discover a truth far more terrifying than even they could have imagined, 

Printz Honor-winning author Rick Yancey returns to the world of The Monstrumologist with theis stunning Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist that explores the deepest, darkest reaches of the world – and of man’s heart. 


“There are things that are too terrible to remember, and there are things that are almost too wonderful to recall.”

I’m keeping up the warning I posted for the first book – if you are squeamish then this is not the right series for you. These books are horrific and gory – so please do yourself a favor and turn away.

I’ve been putting off writing my review because I knew I’d spend more time re-reading sections then actually writing, or should I say gushing. And because I’m lazy… but that’s besides the point.

If every sequel could be like this, I would be in heaven. It wasn’t just better than the first, it improves and elaborates on it. Everything I liked about the first book is included and the issues I had with it don’t appear.

Omigosh I love the writing. It is not overly elaborate but each sentence begs you to look deeper and uncover some hidden meaning. It allows you to create a vivid image of the story and see inside every character.

The characters continue to be brilliant. Will Henry, who I adore, Dr. Warthrop who is flawed to perfection and all the minor characters who are as real as the main ones. There is not a doubt in my mind when I’m reading that these characters couldn’t exist. Will Henry continues to be the most perfect narrator ever and his interactions with the Dr. are so perfect. I read half of the book with a smile on my face because all the feels! And we can’t forget about Lilly, though I’m not sure what to make of her yet.

I’d hoped to learn more about Dr. Warthrop in this book and I ended up getting to know him better that I could have possibly imagined and connected with him in ways I’d never thought possible.

The plot and monster are so completely different then what the characters faced in the first book that it was entirely separate adventure. Will and the Dr. travel all the way to north-western Ontario and then to New York which was liberating after spending so much time in New England last time. New York is not described as glamorous but as a dirty city where immigrants are treated like crap.

The scenes in the Canadian wilderness take place in the winter when nature is at its harshest and most vindictive. Of course there are blizzards and snow drifts, but also the mysterious Wendigo. It is a spirit that calls to men and turns them into creatures that feast on human flesh as they slowly starve. It is the great yellow eye that lures men into the wilderness, the voice on the wind that calls your name.

It is the kind of monster that is easy for skeptics to deny it but is definitely very real. Lodged in mythology as usual, the Wendigo is a Native American legend, though the quotes at the beginning of the novel are replaced by newspaper clippings.

The Curse of the Wendigo has a plot that is complex and more spiritual than physical. It is more than just a hunt for a monster, but is an adventure both of the typical kind and of the soul. As a result of this, the story is a lot more philosophical and dips into some pretty heavy topics. I almost feel the need to read it again to understand it fully.

I still didn’t care for the prologue or epilogue. I don’t get the point of them and think they subtract rather than add to the story.

Highly recommended.

Other quotes:

“We have gone far in our public places to push death aside, to consign it to a dusty corner, but in the wilderness it is ever present. It is the lover who makes life. The sensuous, entwined limbs of of predator and prey, the orgasmic death cry, the final spasmodic rush of blood, and even the soundless insemination of the earth by the fallen tree and crumbling leaf; these are the caresses of life’s beloved, the indispensable other.”

“As long as you draw breath anywhere -here or ten thousands miles from here- I will love you. I can’t help loving you, so I choose to hate you…to make my love bearable.”

Check out the rest of The Monstrumologist series!

The Monstrumologist – Book #1

The Isle of Blood – Book #3

The Final Descent – Book #4

wendigo 1

 wendigo 2

Have you read this book? What did you think? 


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