Read The Monstrumologist Online

Authors: Rick Yancey

Tags: #Northeast, #Travel, #Fiction, #Ghost Stories (Young Adult), #Other, #Supernatural, #Scientists, #Monsters, #Horror tales, #Apprentices, #Diary fiction, #Horror, #Horror & Ghost Stories, #Orphans, #Michael L. Printz honor book, #First person narratives, #New England - History - 19th century, #Juvenile Fiction, #Business; Careers; Occupations, #Fantasy & Magic, #United States, #Diary novels, #People & Places, #Action & Adventure - General, #Legends; Myths; Fables, #Orphans & Foster Homes, #Family, #Action & Adventure, #Fantasy fiction, #Science Fiction; Fantasy; Magic, #General, #Horror stories, #Children: Young Adult (Gr. 10-12), #New England, #Children's Books - Young Adult Fiction

The Monstrumologist

BOOK: The Monstrumologist



To Sandy

An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division

1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2009 by Rick Yancey

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

is a trademark of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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Book design by Lucy Ruth Cummins

The text for this book is set in Adobe Jenson Pro.

Manufactured in the United States of America

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Yancey, Richard.

The monstrumologist / Rick Yancey.—1st ed.

p. cm.

Summary: In 1888, twelve-year-old Will Henry chronicles his

apprenticeship with Dr. Warthrop, a scientist who hunts and studies

real-life monsters, as they discover and attempt to destroy a pod of


ISBN 978-1-4169-8448-1

ISBN 978-1-4391-5261-4 (eBook)

[1. Supernatural—Fiction. 2. Monsters—Fiction.

3. Apprentices—Fiction. 4. Orphans—Fiction.

5. New England—History—19th century—Fiction.] I. Title.

PZ7.Y19197Mon 2009



mon•strum•ol•o•gy n.

1: the study of life forms generally malevolent to humans and not recognized by science as actual organisms, specifically those considered products of myth and folklore

2: the act of hunting such creatures

The Androphagi [
] have the most savage manners of all. They neither acknowledge any rule of right nor observe any customary law… . [They] have a language all their own, and alone of all these nations they are man-eaters.

The Histories of Herodotus

It is said that the Blemmyae have no heads and that their mouth and eyes are put in their chests.

—Pliny the Elder,
Naturalis Historiae

… another island, midway, live people of stature and ugly nature, which have no head and their eyes on the back and mouth, crooked as a horseshoe, in the midst of the breasts. On another island, there are many people without heads, and which has the eyes and head in the back.

Wonders of the World

Gaora is a river, on the banks of which are a people whose head grow beneath their shoulders. Their eyes on in their shoulders, and their mouths in the middle of their breasts.

Hakluyt’s Voyages

To the west of
are divers nations of
and of those
without heads.

—Sir Walter Raleigh,
The Discovery of Guiana

Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances,

Of moving accidents by flood and field,

Of hair-breadth scapes i’ the imminent deadly breach …

And of the Cannibals that each other eat,

The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads

Do grow beneath their shoulders.



June 2007

The director of facilities was a small man with ruddy cheeks and dark, deep-set eyes, his prominent forehead framed by an explosion of cottony white hair, thinning as it marched toward the back of his head, cowlicks rising from the mass like waves moving toward the slightly pink island of his bald spot. His handshake was quick and strong, though not too quick and not too strong: He was accustomed to gripping arthritic fingers.

“Thank you for coming,” he said. He released my hand, wrapped his thick fingers around my elbow, and guided me down the deserted hallway to his office.

“Where is everyone?” I asked.

“Breakfast,” he said.

His office was at the far end of the common area, a
cluttered, claustrophobic room dominated by a mahogany desk with a broken front leg that someone had attempted to level by placing a book beneath it and the dingy white carpet. The desktop was hidden beneath listing towers of paper, manila file folders, periodicals, and books with titles such as
Estate Planning 101
Saying Good-bye to the Ones You Love
. On the credenza behind his leather chair sat a framed photograph of an elderly woman scowling at the camera, as if to say,
Don’t you dare take my picture!
I assumed it was his wife.

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