Thursday, September 19, 2013

Who is the Real Monster?

The world of Pellinore Warthrop and Will Henry almost ended before the fans of the Monstrumologist and his apprentice fought back and demanded an ending. The Final Descent might not be the ending you pictured or hoped for, but was there any other way to end their story? Rick Yancey ends this phenomenal series with more devastating heartbreak than I was ready for. But for the life of a monstrumologist, you have to be ready for anything.

When a man seeks out Warthrop to sell him the greatest find in generations of the field of monstrumology, Warthrop assumes it is a fraud. But Will Henry takes it upon himself to check it out. What he finds is quite possibly the most terrifying and most ground breaking creature they have ever seen: the last of its kind. While still unhatched, the egg, stolen from its seller, must be cared for with the utmost of precision. Warthrop and Will Henry are brought back together through the care for the egg and the future implications such a find could bring them. But the damage to their relationship is too big for one find to cure.

Flash forward years. Will Henry finally returns to the man who made him what he has become, but what he finds is not the strong, confident, aloof Warthrop. Instead he finds a broken man surrounded by the horror he has wreaked upon himself. For all of Warthrop's determination in his field has left him broken and determined to find the end that he deserves- one without the love of another human being. The story of Will Henry and Warthrop didn't end with that egg, but the connection between them had never been so fragile. Warthrop's created the Will who now stands before him, but he can't bring himself to take credit for the man Will Henry has become.

If you have followed this series, you know you weren't ready for it to end. But I bet you also weren't ready for this kind of ending. Warthrop and Will Henry's story was too complex and tumultuous not to have a similar ending, but I could never have imagined the kind of ending Yancey gave us. It was gut wrenching. It ripped out your very soul, did a Mexican hat dance on it, stuffed it back in and sewed it up with a rusty spoon. I do not exaggerate, my friends. This was the most difficult ending to a series I loved that I have ever read. But it wasn't bad. Nope. Not at all. It was perfect. Heartbreaking, but the perfect end to their story. Yancey may have loved his characters, but he knew the proper way to end their story wasn't going to be all sunshine and tulips. Nope. It was going to be ugly, brutal, and awful. It was going to destroy them, you, and everyone in between. And it did. 

The biggest question in this book is who the monster really is. The easiest thing would be the incredibly poisonous thing ready to hatch from that leathery egg, but nothing with a Yancey book is easy. No, the monster was inside them all. Warthrop's monsters, or inner demons, were different from those Will Henry harbored, but both were hell-bent on destruction. We saw Warthrop struggle to love Will Henry in every way he could, even if that meant leaving him, throughout this series, but we always knew he loved the boy. Even when he showed it in the most counterproductive ways, he still always needed to make sure Will Henry was safe. But the man Will Henry grew into is the most terrifying thing Warthrop ever encountered, and for a momstrumologist, that is saying a lot. And Will Henry blames no one but Warthrop himself.

So, I have to say, if you want a pretty ending all tied up in a neat little bow, then skip this book. You are going to upset. But if you need to see the way Will Henry and Warthrop finally end, then you need to prepare yourself. This series ending was phenomenal and heartbreaking all swirled together like a miserable ice cream sundae. It made me grieve for these characters I loved so much, but I know a happy ending would have been too unrealistic for the lives they lived. I really loved this series, I am not happy to see it go, but it was hard to see how it ended. Still, it is just one more bit of proof in the large collection of evidence that Yancey is a genius. Pure Genius. 

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