The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey

“It feeds, and the more it feeds, the hungrier it becomes.  It starves 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’.”

I am so glad that I’m done with these two books-this one and The Monstrumologist.  I spent three days unable to do anything else but read them.  The books followed me to the dog park, the bathtub, to work and kept me awake way, way too late.  I want to be done thinking about them, because they are really intense!  I love a book that grips you, but these were almost too scary for me to stop looking at.  I just had to finish them, so they could stop torturing me.

Poor Will Henry, the apprentice.  He and Pellinore Warthrop, the monstrumologist, are back again. This time, instead of hunting Anthropophagi in New England, they are trooping through isolated woods of Canada, searching for another monstrumologist, who happens to be the former best friend of Warthrop.  He  disappeared when searching for the (supposedly) mythical Wendigo.  The wendigo preys on humans, propelled by an insatiable desire for flesh. The natives they encounter are shaken, warning the pair of the danger stalking the woods.  And where has all the wildlife gone?  There’s not a squirrel or a bird in sight.  While they don’t find the wendigo,  they do find the lost colleague of Warthrop’s, but he is a sick and broken shell of the man he used to be.  Will Henry is afraid that the wendigo is real, but Warthrop is still convinced that it is nothing but a fiction, created by frightened minds, and that his friend has just fallen ill from the exertion of the journey.

Warthrop’s insistence that the wendigo doesn’t exist puts him at odds with the community of monstrumologists, who feel that the wendigo should be included in list of known species.  The professional disagreement takes Warthrop and Will to New York, where a conference on the subject is to take place.  However, at the same time, something unspeakable is preying on the citizens, and striking terror in the hearts of the tenement-dwellers.

Just like its predecessor, this is a dark and chilling tale.  I’m not sure which of the two is more gory; let’s just call it a draw.  However, if horror is your thing, Yancey is a master storyteller.  The plot is fast-paced, creative without being unbelievable, and very frightening.  After I finished The Monstrumologist, I went directly to the library to get the second installment.  But like I said, I’m glad it’s over and ready to read something that doesn’t make me afraid to turn off the lights, or shudder with disgust.

Happy Reading!

Author’s website:

Yancey, Rick.  The Curse of the Wendigo. Simon & Schuster, New York: 2010.  424 pp. Ages 16 and up (Graphic descriptions of gore, horror). ISBN: 9781416984504.  When I say gory, I’m not kidding.  And the 16-year-olds reading this book should be brave and level-headed, as well as iron-stomached.

If you like this book, (and you’re an older reader), I think it might be time to move on to the real heavy-hitters of horror.  You might want to try Stephen King’s books, or check out the classics, like Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

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