Beauty, Terror, Love, and Despair

The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey


First Look:

Creepy and pretty–I love these covers.

This is the 3rd book in a series.  Unavoidable spoilers for the first two books in the series below!!!

Jacket Copy:

When Dr. Warthrop goes hunting the “Holy Grail of Monstrumology” with his eager new assistant, Arkwright, he leaves Will Henry in New York. Finally, Will can enjoy something that always seemed out of reach: a normal life with a real family. But part of Will can’t let go of Dr. Warthrop, and when Arkwright returns claiming that the doctor is dead, Will is devastated–and not convinced.

Determined to discover the truth, Will travels to London, knowing that if he succeeds, he will be plunging into depths of horror worse than anything he has experienced so far. His journey will take him to Socotra, the Isle of Blood, where human beings are used to make nests and blood rains from the sky–and will put Will Henry’s loyalty to the ultimate test.


There is one more in the series, out last September.  I both look forward to it and dread it.

Worth Reading?


The beautiful thing about these books is how just about any kind of reader can find something to love about them.  There’s action, horror, history (with historical figure cameos), psychology, complicated interpersonal relationships (not romantic), suspense, beautiful & engaging writing, philosophy, disgusting descriptions, and just the tiniest hint of romance.

Notable Things:


Monsters!  Naturally enough, the series called “Monstrumologist” has terrifying monsters in it.  No, really, so much.  You don’t even know.


Complicated relationships: in many ways, Will Henry is Watson to Warthrop’s Sherlock, and their interactions are fascinating.  I tried to explain the relationship here several times, before realizing that it’s something that must be shown and not told–which is part of what makes Yancey so brilliant, because he does it so well.


Psychology: seriously, they should use these books as a primer for “show, don’t tell”.


Philosophy: Yancey is a genius, and we’ll just leave it at that.


Basically, everyone should read these books.  I could wish that they had never been marketed as teen (although in many ways, it’s fitting), so that they would be on the same shelf as King and Lovecraft.  I could wish that Simon & Schuster had not decided to end the series after three books (four, after vigorous fan campaigning).  I could wish that they hadn’t been lost among all the trendy paranormal romances that were coming out at the same time as them.

But all I can do is tell everyone about them, and try to get the word out here: these books are fantastic!  I give them (and this one in particular) 7/5 stars.


Borrowed from work, but only because the ones we had were those weird British paperbacks which have covers that wrinkle almost as soon as you touch them.  I want a hardcover!


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