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The Isle of Blood by Rick Yancey (audio)
(Monstrumologist, book #3) Unabridged audiobook on 12 compact discs, 14.5 hours. Read by Steven Boyer. Recorded Books, c2011. 9781440736575. (Borrowed from the public library.)

Will Henry's folios continue to bewitch and befuddle transcriber, Rick Yancey as he attempts to confirm or deny their veracity. One thing that emerges from this installment is Will Henry's growth. He has been indispensable to Dr. Pellinor Warthrop these last few years, witnessing scenes that no child should witness, assisting in grotesque procedures, forgoing sleep, food  and school. One might argue that he is being abused. In fact, in this book, Lily Bates' mother feels that he is and sets about trying to take him in and enroll him in school. Will Henry is tempted, but, alas, his loyalties lie with the doctor. This, despite the fact that his egomaniacal foster parent fell for the fawning of an English visitor named Arcwright (spelling? I read with my ears). But I am getting ahead of myself.

The doctor and Will receive a package via a hysterical British slumlord, who is convinced that he was poisoned by one John Kearns and that Pellinor Warthrop has the antidote. Kearns has delivered the offspring of the "Holy Grail of Monstrumology" to Warthrop and instead of wondering why Kearns would do this, as Will Henry does, Warthrop sets about readying to pursue the Typhoeus magnificum in its lair, the island of Sucotra. But not before some stomach turning scenes and revealing dialogue between Will and Warthrop. 

This is by far the darkest book so far. And possibly the best. However, I recommend that anyone new to the series begin with The Monstrumologist in order to appreciate Will Henry's growth. Sure, this is horror and there's plenty of gore, but there's plenty of ethical and philosophical dilemmas for the more thoughtful reader. There's also a cameo appearance by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

As usual, Stephen Boyer's performance is nothing short of amazing. His voices are unique and consistent. He seamlessly switches from narrative voice to characters' voices. I just love his clipped Dr. Warthrop voice. Pitch perfect. 

I was happy to hear that there will be more books. Apparently, the series wasn't selling enough and were to be discontinued, but fans expressed displeasure. It's a wonder to me why the books don't do better. They're scary, gory and so, so smart. 

Believe me, I don't choose to read horror. I read it so that I can recommend the books to my students who do like horror. I am addicted to this series.