The Final Descent (The Monstrumologist)
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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.
spilling the contents of its gullet onto the damp, hard-packed earth, I knew what I would find, knew to the core of my harsh, cold, merciless self what he had done and to whom he had done it, apple-cheeked, fair-skinned, ready smile, and you bastard, you bastard, what have you done? What have you done? There was her apron, torn and bloody, and a piece of her calico dress and the remnants of the ribbon that held back her hair. Long tangled strands of it clung stubbornly to the skull, a light
unblinking. Beside me the monstrumologist let out a long-held breath. “Behold: the awful grace of God, from which wisdom comes!” SIX Behold the awful grace of God. The lambs in the old stable bleated plaintively, and their blank black eyes twinkled in the washed-out winter light. It wasn’t hunger that drove their cries; they were well fed, flawlessly plump; each head appeared too small for its round body. They weren’t hungry; they were frightened. I was a stranger. An interloper. Their
stopped at the height of the span. I stepped down carefully. Ice crunched beneath my boots. High above the river the wind screeched, and the rain drove nearly sideways and scraped the skin like icy sandpaper. Isaacson was waiting impatiently for me at the back of the dray; for him the night had been too long already. At least it will end for you, I thought bitterly. He took one end of the first crate and I the other, and we shuffled sideways to the rail. We could not see the water below, but we
late,” I gasped. The smell of death loitered in the room. The cold held it still. “You said it was too late. Too late for what?” “There is no way out,” he whimpered. “I cannot kill it—it is the last of its kind. I cannot return it to the wild—how could such a thing be accomplished?” “You could give it away. There are a hundred universities and—” “No!” he cried, striking his fist upon the floor. “Never! It is mine! It belongs to me!” “Does it?” I knelt beside him. His hands were folded up,
and I am not.” “Which? Not God or not you?” He snorted and flicked a skeletal finger at my face. “Both.” “Well, you have looked better. What has happened to you?” Suddenly I was very cross. “What has happened here? I hired that girl to cook and clean for you—can’t think of her name now . . .” “Beatrice,” he said. I give him a look: Is this a joke? But he wasn’t smiling. “I sacked her.” I nodded, inwardly seething. Something had come loose again, the dark, unwinding thing. “Of course you did!