While Dr. Warthrop is attempting to disprove that Homo vampiris, the vampire, could exist, his former fiance asks him to rescue her husband, who has been captured by a Wendigo—a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh. Although Dr. Warthrop considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and performs the rescue—and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo. Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, and whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied? This second book in The Monstrumologist series explores the line between myth and reality, love and hate, genius and madness.
The Monstrumologist series books are really, really charming. After reading the first I was looking forward to the second and I was not disappointed.
Warthrop is still kind of a douche. Perhaps a slightly less endearing douche than he was in the first book, but somehow you can’t help but want more of his exploits. Will Henry is still a totally awesome kid. Loyal, brave, and strong.
This time, Dr. Warthrop and Will Henry set off for the Canadian wilderness in search of the husband of Warthrop’s former fiance, who has himself headed to the wilds in an effort to prove the existence of the Wendigo, a mythological cannibalistic creature. And their adventures are harrowing to be sure (and also somewhat gross in a lot of cases). There are some rather graphic descriptions of killing and flesh eating, so if that kind of thing bothers you, be forewarned. It didn’t bother me a bit because I am a terrible, terrible person.
In this entry into the series we also learn more about the structure of Monstrumology – it has its own society and apparently they are prone to brawling, which made me giggle. We also get some horror celebrity name dropping – Bram Stoker makes a brief appearance, and there is a character named von Helrung who I strongly suspect is an allusion to van Helsing.
As with the fist book, the highlight of The Curse of the Wendigo (other than the monsters, of course) is the relationship between Warthrop and Will Henry. They have an interesting dynamic as opposite personalities bound to one another through duty and loyalty.