Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Curse of the Wendigo

The Curse of the Wendigo

Rick Yancey
Fiction  Series
For ages 14 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2010   ISBN: 978-1416984504

Will Henry has no illusions about his master, Dr. Pellinore Warthrop. The man is antisocial, sometimes cruel, and completely self absorbed. The doctor is also dedicated to being a monstromologist, his chosen profession. When the doctor hears that Dr. von Helrung, his old mentor, is  talking about proving that a mythical creature called the Wendigo exists, he dedicates himself to writing a paper condemning Dr. von Helrung’s actions.

Then the doctor gets a visitor, a woman called Muriel Chanler. This in itself is very strange because women never come to see Dr. Warthrop, but what is even stranger is that Dr. Warthrope decides to help Muriel. Apparently her husband John - who is an old friend of the doctor’s - went to a remote part of Canada to look for the Wendigo at the request of Dr. von Helrung.. John is now missing, and the lady wants Dr. Warthrope to find her husband for her.

At first, Will Henry is excited to be going into the field on an expedition. How wonderful it is to travel beyond the “quaint confines of the Massachusetts countryside.” Soon enough though he discovers that hiking across the wilderness in Canada is no trifling matter. With a Mounted Police sergeant as their guide, Dr. Warthrope and Will Henry make their way to a place where a local shaman lives with his tribe. It is hoped that he will have information about where John Chanler might be.

When they get to the camp, the shaman refuses to answer their questions, but Dr. Warthrope still manages to find John Chanler hidden in one of the tents. For some reason, the people in the tribe want to keep John with them. They think that he has become a Wendigo, a man-eating monster that never stops hunting its victims. Dr. Warthrope scorns the superstitions of the shaman and his people, and he insists on taking John back to his wife. It is only when John in back at home in New York City, the Dr. Warthrope realizes that he has made a terrible mistake.

This second monstrumologist title is just as thrilling, and at times terrifying, as the first one was. Further secrets about Dr. Warthrope are revealed, and the reader is drawn further into the mystery of who Will Henry is and what happened to him.