leedock’s CBR-III Review #36-“The Curse of the Wendigo” – Rick Yancey

The second in a series and the first is reviewed here. The stuff of nightmares, to be sure, but beautifully written. Yancey describes these books as a “love story disguised as a monster story”. Very dysfunctional love. Very horrifying monsters.

When Dr. Warthrop’s mentor intends to address the Monstrumology conference with a call to embrace so-called “mythical” creatures in the arms of their scientific study, he begins to pen a rebuttal denying the existence of such creatures (vampires, zombies, werewolves). In his attempt to save his beloved science from illegitimizing itself with folklore, Warthrop’s defense takes him from his laboratory to the Canadian wilderness to the filth and corruption of 1888 New York. Always in tow is his young assistant, Will Henry, whose journals tell the story of “The Curse of the Wendigo.”

The professional becomes personal when the doctor is asked to find a missing fellow scientist and friend in Canada after he disappears while investigating the ravenous man devouring “Wendigo”, one of the mythical creatures in question. The race to save his friend becomes a struggle to define what is monster and what is man. Is the Wendigo a product of a man possessed by something monstrous and evil or is it really just the manifestation of his own darkness taking over?

As with the first book, the gore is aplenty here, but this time I was more prepared for it. With that shock value removed, this second installment was a purer read. The characters more heart breaking, the language even richer and the struggle more poignant. Great, great book and I look forward to reading the next one.

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