William James Henry always claimed was born in the year of our Lord 1876.
He passed away, in a nondescript nursing facility, in 2007. The observant amongst you will note that at the time of his death, he professed that he was 131 years old. Two mysteries, then. How had he lived so long? And how had he ended up a shadow of a man, who would do nothing but repeat his name and year of birth, before falling silent.
Those of us who've read the Monstrumologist series by Rick Yancey have been waiting some time to find out the answer to both. While I'm yet to get my hands on the Isle of Blood, and therefore can't say if it answers question one, I have a strange feeling that it may be left open, as it was at the end of the prologue to Curse of the Wendigo, with just a suggestion that may or may not be true.
Sadly, we appear to have a premature answer to question two.
So, what vile force send Will Henry prematurely into retirement? What foul creature could take a man who, even as a young boy, fought valiantly by the side of Dr Pellinore Warthrop, and reduce him to someone capable of just a couple of sentences? A rogue Anthropophagi? A vampire or zombie, determined to make light of Warthrop's belief that they were nothing but bogeymen to scare children with?
No, the terrible creature which appears to have dealt a mortal blow to the Monstrumologist himself, and to have left his assistant in this state, is that two-headed beast with the Latin name of Simonnus et Schusterrus.
Or, as you may have heard of it, Simon & Schuster. Yet, I hear my readers cry, surely this cannot be? Did not Simon and Schuster raise the Monstrumologist and his assistant? Were they not helped out into the world by the polycephalic colossus?
Indeed they were. But, having given the world two such people, Simon and Schuster have decided to take them back. Announcing after book 3, the Isle of Blood, there will be no more of Henry and Warthrop's tales to thrill, delight, and educate younger readers about life in the nineteenth century, they have instead chosen to adopt a replacement, the perhaps better-looking - but nowhere near so captivating - Hilary Duff.
Hey, if you were in Will Henry's situation, wouldn't you be somewhat lost for words as well?
As typing this call for arms, I hear good tidings! A group of the species known as bloggerus bookitus - the common book blogger, like me - were able to band together to shelter the Doctor and Will. On seeing the amount of these small, but fearless, creatures who were willing to stand up to it, Simonnus et Schusterrus reconsidered its decision and welcomed the Monstrumologist back to its nest.
A fairytale ending, indeed.
If you'd like to thank the creature for sparing the Monstrumologist and his young assistant, could you take a couple of minutes and head over to Stephanie Reads where you can find out how to say thanks to Simon and Schuster AND get an entry into an international giveaway of signed copies of the first three books in the series!
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