Book Review #5 – The Curse of the Wendigo

I’m going to try to make it a habit to do positive reviews for the most part. However, tonight I don’t really have any other YA to discuss. Since I read a lot of other things outside of YA, my field is somewhat limited. Which is why I’m reduced to reviewing this…thing. Before I start, a disclaimer…I do not like the horror genre. Sure, I read Bruce Coville when I was nine, but I somehow doubt that counts. Why was I even reading the book if I don’t like the genre you ask? Because I thought it was steampunk instead of gothic horror. And, oh, the pain when I discovered it wasn’t…*sobs*

The first beef I have with Wendigo is the level of goriness. I didn’t sleep for the next two nights after I read the confounded book! Two nights! And I’ve been in a cadaver lab twice, done extra credit dissections in school, and been in Youth Group with a nurse fond of sharing work stories. That should tell you something about the level of detail Rick Yancey puts into his work. He has a disconcerting way of creating word pictures in your mind that you just can’t unsee, regardless of how much you want to.

Secondly, I got the impression that Yancey is one of those authors that loves to read his own words, and therefore uses a lot of them. Even when they don’t need to be there. Beyond the description (*shudders*), there was a vast amount of exposition that didn’t appear to have a point other than the author trying to share every single facet of his characters. And when I’m wondering where exactly the cannibalistic monster is going to eat someone again, I don’t care much about Professor Whatshisface’s loneliness or his relationship with his assistant.

I will admit that it was a good plot that held the reader’s attention outside of the exposition chapters. The suspense was palpable and very good throughout the book. Also, the setting was impeccable as far as capturing the atmosphere of the late 19th century and the attitudes of an era caught between old superstitions (which just might be true) and encroaching science (which isn’t very helpful).


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