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The Final Descent

Review

The Final Descent

Readers may recall a young Will Henry in the first book of the series, the award winning THE MONSTRUMOLOGIST, as a wide-eyed and seemingly innocent young boy who initially, against his choice, gets swept up in the world that is Monstrumology. Guided by the unflappable Dr. Warthrop, Will Henry has encountered deadly creatures, stared death in the face and witnessed horrors to which no child should be exposed. Despite this turbulent lifestyle, Will Henry has always managed to cling to Dr. Warthrop for companionship, support and even some semblance of family. There are greater horrors in the world, though, than so-called monsters, and the bond that ties Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop together may not survive the greatest horror yet to come.

"Author Rick Yancey didn’t hold back one bit in this satisfying conclusion to what I consider one of the most underrated series in young adult literature."

At first, it appears this horror may be the mythical T. cerrejonensis, a creature thought to be extinct due to its potent venom that kills almost instantly. However, when diluted enough, this venom becomes one of the most addictive drugs in the world, which draws the attention of every major crime boss around. Will Henry goes to great lengths to secure this prized possession for Dr. Warthrop, who immediately plans on presenting it at the conference of the Society for the Advancement of the Science of Monstrumology as his most prized find and the capstone of his career. Keeping it safe from prying eyes and hands, though, proves extremely difficult and Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop soon become embroiled in a conspiracy that runs so deep it threatens to shake the foundations of Monstrumology altogether.

Armed with little to no information, Will Henry is determined to get to the bottom of this threat and soon learns that he is up against much more than he can handle. Allies have always been scarce among fellow Monstrumologists, but Will Henry is shaken as he questions whether or not he can trust his own mentor, Dr. Warthrop. As more and more people start turning up dead, Will Henry takes matters into his own hands, but the real monster waiting in the shadows is even more terrifying than Will Henry could have ever imagined.

THE FINAL DESCENT shifts backwards and forwards from this fateful event as readers get small glimpses of both the beginning and what appears to be the end of Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop’s relationship. Their relationship was always built on shaky ground, as the Monstrumology profession is not for the faint of heart, but it also served as the only thing that kept both of them human. Death and horror, however, were there from the very beginning, and it quickly becomes apparent that death and horror will indeed be there at the end.

To say THE FINAL DESCENT left me unsettled would be an understatement. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading the bizarre, horrifying, creepy and unbelievable adventures of Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop from the very beginning, knowing eventually it would have to end, but I was still not prepared for the actual finish. Author Rick Yancey didn’t hold back one bit in this satisfying conclusion to what I consider one of the most underrated series in young adult literature.

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on October 23, 2013

The Final Descent
by Rick Yancey

  • Publication Date: September 10, 2013
  • Genres: Fiction, Young Adult 14+
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • ISBN-10: 144245153X
  • ISBN-13: 9781442451537