The Final Descent (Monstrumologist Series #4)

( 9 )

Overview

In their final horrific adventure, can Will Henry endure a monstrumological terror without his mentor? “Beyond a simple finale, this is a brave statement about the duplexity of good and evil, and the deadly trap in which all of us are snared” (Booklist, starred review).

Will Henry has been through more than seems possible for a boy of fourteen. He’s been on the brink of death on more than one occasion, he has gazed into hell—and hell has stared...

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The Final Descent (Monstrumologist Series #4)

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Overview

In their final horrific adventure, can Will Henry endure a monstrumological terror without his mentor? “Beyond a simple finale, this is a brave statement about the duplexity of good and evil, and the deadly trap in which all of us are snared” (Booklist, starred review).

Will Henry has been through more than seems possible for a boy of fourteen. He’s been on the brink of death on more than one occasion, he has gazed into hell—and hell has stared back at him, and known his face. But through it all, Dr. Warthrop has been at his side.

When Dr. Warthrop fears that Will’s loyalties may be shifting, he turns on Will with a fury, determined to reclaim his young apprentice’s devotion. And so Will must face one of the most horrific creatures of his monstrumology career—and he must face it alone.

Over the course of one day, Will’s life—and Pellinor Warthrop’s destiny—will hang in the balance. In the terrifying depths of the Monstrumarium, they will face a monster more terrible than any they could have imagined—and their fates will be decided.

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Editorial Reviews

Romantic Times Book Review
"The Monstrumologist series proves young adult literature is capable of being intelligent, thought provokidng, and horrifyingly dark."
VOYA - Jane Murphy
The fourth and final volume in the Monstrumologist series wraps it up in an inevitably dark and disturbing fashion. Readers have come to know Will Henry and Pellinore Warthrop, his mentor Monstrumologist, through all of their misadventures. The evil underlying the monsters throughout the series comes home to roost in Will himself as readers know it must. Fans of the Printz Honor-winning Yancey will find both satisfaction and disappointment in the conclusion. Twists and turns in the final story remind readers of the very beginnings. The point of view shifts in a rather confusing and labyrinthine manner. Readers must face Will's inevitable transformation and lament his loss of innocence. Fascination with yet another type of horrific monster gives way to the horror of the protagonist's change. A little bit of Mary Shelley, H.P. Lovecraft, Hitchcock, and Poe are brought to bear in this heavy tale. Fans will feel swept along by the story yet burdened by all the layers of blood and gore that have been endured throughout the telling of the story. Readers revisit Will's unfortunate childhood and his infection with monsters of his own—his father's legacy—in order to fully grasp the outcome. Devoted fans of the series and Yancey's other works will be sorry to see the intense bond between the main characters finally collapse under the sheer weight of all their monsters, leaving the reader bereft. Adults who love YA will enjoy this one, too. Reviewer: Jane Murphy
Kirkus Reviews
2013-09-01
The Monstrumologist quartet wraps up in a haphazard, patchworked finale. Even though Yancey offers a tone-setting disclaimer via an "editor's note" at the forefront of the novel that the manuscripts he "translated" into this work were "nearly indecipherable, physically as well as contextually," fans will still come away ultimately unsatisfied--possibly even feeling cheated--by this disjointed conclusion. In the main narrative (there are at least three), Will Henry, now 16, often drunk and colder than ever, helps Monstrumologist Pellinore Warthrop track down the T. cerrejonensis, a giant, snakelike critter that poisons its human prey then swallows them whole. At the same time, the novel also fast-forwards decades later to 1911, when Will returns to care for an elderly Warthrop and then reverts back to when he was first taken in by his employer. All this makes for a confusing read, and the future plotline serves as a spoiler to the central narrative. Also inserted are broken stanzas of poetry and italicized rants on the meaning of love and life that connect at a much more simplistic level than the earlier books. Still, parts of the novel are quite exciting and will induce just as much stomach-turning if not full-on gagging. At the end, the results feel rushed, as if Yancey were trying to quickly finish the job. Even the relatively anemic page count implies it. A fizzling anticlimax. (Horror. 14 & up)
starred review Booklist
* "It can now be said with assurance that The Monstrumologist series is a landmark of modern YA fiction...Beyond a simple finale, this is a brave statement about the duplexity of good and evil, and the deadly trap in which all of us are snared."
The Horn Book
"[The considerable risks Yancey takes] should thrill and horrify—in the best way."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442451537
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 9/10/2013
  • Series: Monstrumologist Series , #4
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 109,386
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL760L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Rick Yancey

Rick Yancey is the author of The Monstrumologist, The Curse of the Wendigo, The Isle of Blood, and The Final Descent. He is also the author of The Fifth Wave series. Rick lives with his wife Sandy and two sons in Gainesville, Florida. Visit him at RickYancey.com.

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Read an Excerpt

The Final Descent


I reach for the end, though the end will not reach for me.

It has already reached for him.

He is gone

while I, locked in Judecca’s ice,

go on and on.

If I could name the nameless thing

My father burns, and living worms fall from his eyes.

They spew from his sundered flesh.

They pour from his open mouth.

It burns, my father cries. It burns!

His contagion, my inheritance.

If I could face the faceless thing

From the fire’s depths, I hear the discordant duet of their screams. I watch them dance in the final, fiery waltz.

My mother and father, dancing in flames.

If I could pull the two apart

If I could untangle the knot

Find one errant strand to tug

And lay out the thing from end to end

But there is no beginning nor ending nor anything in between

Beginnings are endings

And all endings are the same.

Time is a line

But we are circles.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2013

    Compared to Yancey's first 3 books, The Final Descent was all ov

    Compared to Yancey's first 3 books, The Final Descent was all over the place. I hardly could keep up and my favorite character [Will Henry] has been totally ruined. I mean, I understand that as an adolescent and an adult, he would not be the same loyal servant but it just seems to me that his character changed drastically. It was as if it Will was a completely new character. Most of the time, I didn't even know what was happening and had to reread pages or whole chapters even--if I want to call them chapters. Seriously, what the heck was going on with the "chapters"? I love the first three books. Yancey's writing style is so beautiful and sophisticated. I truly felt like I was reading actual books! If that makes sense. I was really anticipating this one and The 5th Wave but it just feels like Yancey has completely and totally downgraded. Sorry Yancey but these last two books that you have published [The Final Descent & The 5th Wave] were complete trash. And I really hate saying it so bluntly but, honestly, as poorly written as they were, there is no better word than that. Trash. :( 

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013

    Lost

    Yancey lost me at the very middle of the book. I have no idea what the ending was, what happened to any of the characters. The idea of having to reread this sad excuse of a book to better understand it, gives me nausea. What happened Yancey? How can his first three books be amazing, intellectual, and CLEAR reads and this last one be complete garbage? It doesn't make sense that he even set it up the way he did (with the cantos and the chapters) because it is completely different formatting from the other books. If he thought he was being clever then he totally failed. Yancey, Yancey, Yancey. What are we going to do with you?

    Tsk, tsk.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2013

    I'm not sure what's going on with Mr. Yancey but I agree with An

    I'm not sure what's going on with Mr. Yancey but I agree with Anonymous that his last two offerings( The 5th Wave and the Final Decent) were terrible. Usually Yancey's prose are beautiful but the writing and the switching perspectives from past to present were confusing and difficult for the reader to keep up with. I also couldn't stand Will Henry in this book. I didn't even recognize Dr. Warthrop. I felt so embarrassed when I recommended this book to friends because I went on and on about the series only to find that the final book was a waste of time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    Honestly, Yancey's writing is still as wonderful as ever, but he

    Honestly, Yancey's writing is still as wonderful as ever, but he could have definitely presented the events in a clearer manner. Of course, it's clear from reading the editor's comment in the beginning that such misunderstandings were to be expected, but I really would have liked better clarifications between each canto/chapter. I couldn't understand the chain of events as nicely as I had wanted to because the cantos were divided like chapters, and this posed problematic as some cantoses interrupted another and overall it just turned out to be a very messy read for me. I still enjoyed the book despite it being (much to my disappointment) significantly smaller than the first two installments, and I wish that the series hadn't ended yet, or that the last book had, at least, been better set up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Perfect ending to a perfect series!!!!

    Perfect ending to a perfect series!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2013

    Loved it

    Loved it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2013

    The last few chapters were unclear and confusing. A very disappo

    The last few chapters were unclear and confusing. A very disappointing ending to a wonderful series of books, discourages me from rereading the first three.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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