I am going to read this for Horror Aficionados Fear Challenge for October. I was happy to read the follow-up to book #1 which already freaked me out a lot. In book #2, we focus on Doctor Warthrop's past and how the science of monstrumology is dealing with a potential take over with hunting fictional beings (according to some) like the wendigo.
Once again the story starts out with Yancey trying to find out what he can about an old man named Will Henry who died. Reading through his journals, he decides that after publishing the first three (book #1) he will read another stack and see what he can find out about him. Then the story is told from Will Henry's point of view.
Will we know is still dealing with the actions in book #1. He now has a strange new disease that ended up causing his father to take his own life. The doctor has become more absent minded and strange and is focused on the upcoming meeting of the Society to go against his former mentor's hypothesis that creatures like the wendigo, vampire, and zombies are not real. When Warthrop's former fiance comes to plead for his help in rescuing her husband (he has gone in hunt of the wendigo in Canada) he and Will Henry are off to rescue him or recover his body.
I thought the whole fight between science and myth in this one was very well done. I can see why Doctor Warthrop fought against including something like the wendigo, vampires, and other things in the list of things monstrumology looks into since based on things from book #1, there are literal things that will rip you limb from limp. However, the doctor's disbelief and just plain this is not real at all in the face of what he was seeing, was so frustrating. I wanted to shake him a lot.
We have Will Henry who will still fight besides the doctor whenever he calls who is struggling with the fact still it seems that the doctor does not really love him, except when we readers can plainly see it.
We get introduction to several new characters. I really didn't like the character of Muriel Chanler. She is described by Will as so beautiful. But she is also in a subtle way manipulative of Will and seems to want the doctor to be alone and unhappy because she went and married someone else (because of his response to her about a question that takes a really long time to come out). The character of Abram von Helrung definitely made me think of Van Hesling (Dracula) and I think that was on purpose. I did not like his creepy niece at all. I really wanted Will to smack her. Repeatedly.
The character of John Chanler, Doctor Warthrop's former best friend was a pitiable and scary person at the same time. I won't get into him much because of spoilers.
The writing in this one is just as gory as it was in book #1. Be warned, there are discussions of body remains, human flesh, and even child murder. After a while though you just wonder what else is coming your way, and it is even worse.
I thought the flow was good in this one. The initial parts I thought were a bit slow to set up. But when Doctor Warthrop and Will Henry went to Canada in search of John Chanler, things picked up and didn't let up until the end of the book.
The ending definitely leaves again the question of who is Will Henry. Is he a liar that did not experience the things he did in his journals. Either way I hope that the secret of who he was is resolved in books #3 and #4.