The Final Descent by Rick Yancey

the final descent

Author: Rick Yancey
Rating: 3.5/5
Protagonist: Will Henry
Other Characters: Pellinor Warthrop, Von Helrung, Lily Bates, Samuel, Mr. Faulk

Synopsis: In the fourth installment of Yancy’s Monstrumologist, we see an older Will Henry. Although, Pellinore is still guiding and mentoring him, he is now making his own decisions and mistakes. Faced with a tough situation, he must find a solution that will allow himself and Pellinor to live. The final book in this quadrilogy Will must finally make his ultimate decision, stay with Pellinor, or finally live the life be wants.

Review: I’m really happy that I’ve finished this series, its bittersweet, but it’s always rewarding to achieved such an accomplishment, for me anyways, since it takes me years to finish a series. So when I picked this up, I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to finish it in a day. It was so beautifully written that I remember now why I love reading his books and it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Now, I’m not really sure how to feel about the actual ending of the book or some of the details that Yancey included, but its still worth a read. As a conclusion to a series that, I’ve grown to love, its a fitting end to our Will Henry and Dr. Warthrop.

The Narration of this book is different than the other three. Yes, it’s still Will Henry, but where the other three is being told in the perspective of a young Will, this last installment is told in two intertwining stories of Will as a 16 years old boy, and a 35 years old grown man. I’m not really all that thrilled by the change of perspective, but since this is the conclusion, we also need to have an ending for our beloved Will Henry. Just a warning though, the finale of this story is no sunshine and rainbows, truth be told its actually quite confusing. Now, you have to know that one of the main reason why I love this series is because of this kind, selfless and amazing young kid who above everything he has gone through is still trying his best to be a good person. Time and time again he has faced evil and has assisted the doctor countless of times in his adventures and even ventured on his own with only his knowledge and wits. This is the Will I grew to love. Unfortunately, this is not the Will we get. I really hated what Yancey did to his character. He became an immoral and violent young man, which I would never have thought it would happen. Although the doctor’s actions are questionable at times, there was never a point where Pellinore risked the lives of other people. Will, yes, but even then he was still careful about his health and safety. This is were I get all muddled up. Where would Will get his cut-throat personality when the people around him has always been morally sound. I really can’t picture anyone, especially our protagonists acting in such a villainous manner and it is really out of character. Even some of Pellinore’s decision making came into question. I agree that his work always came first, but he has always been careful of situations that would be dangerous and risky. This is why I can’t imagine this ending to be very realistic and I feel that a different author has written the actions and motivations of both the doctor and his assistant. they are very different from the previous books and it as an unwelcome change.

As much as I enjoyed Yancey’s beautiful writing, I feel that this book was very rushed that the author included bits and pieces that contradicted some information that he had previously stated in his other books. This then made the book very confusing as I was reading it, but then again its been while since I read the first two that my mind might be playing tricks on me. Either way, there is still part of the book that made me read it over and over again to make sure I got it correctly and even then I was still uncertain of the actual outcome. This will be discussed further in the SPOILER section of the review.

I understand that all I’m doing is complain about the book, bit I did enjoy it as a stand alone. Not exactly an ending that I would have picked, but its a fitting enough conclusion to a great series. I wished that there would have been more monster hunting present in the Final Descent, but I think Yancey’s goal was to just focus mainly on the relationship of Pellinore and Will. Don’t get me wrong, there are still detailed encounters of Will’s hadnling with monsters, but I would have enjoyed another trip before the farewell. I also wished that the researcher had a more conclusive answer to his questions, which coincidentally enough are the same questions most readers would probably have, but I guess we will have to live with them being unanswered.

Although, I’m not all too happy with the contents of the final book of the Monstrumologists series, I’m not going to grieve about it too much because, like I said, this book was so well written, that you don’t really notice the inconsistencies. All I know is that this book made me remember just how much I love Yancey’s writing and that’s enough for me. It’s hard to say good-bye to your beloved doctor and Will, but their adventures are now a thing of the past.

***********************SPOILER ALERT!!*********************

Ending: There are three things I’m willing to reveal about this book. These information are actually very pertinent to the story and if read, the whole book will be revealed. So keep that in mind.

1. Von Helrung dies half way into the book by the hands of the Sicilian Mafia.

2. There are three confusing things about this book: (1) The question of Lily Bates life. The monster, which is a giant snake, has resided in the body of Lily. Will witnesses Samuel and the Doctor trying to extract this monster without killing her, but before the Monstrumologist headquarters crumble Samuel kills Lily due to his fear of the unknown. Then at the very end of the book we see Will talking to Lily during the funeral of her father. So if Lily is alive, who is the woman on the table? I’m really not sure, if anything it might have been Mrs. Bates, but in a description before the death, it was hinted that it was Lily Bates.

(2) In the first novel, the researcher indicates that Will marries a woman name Lily Bates. In this last book however, Lily and Will barely talked to each other. So are we to conclude that either Yancey forgot this detail or I made an assumption that was incorrect.

(3) At the end Pellinore dies because of a house fire. It is not hinted or even said that it was Will who committed this arson, but from his anger and previous violence, it could mean that he is the culprit.

3. The monster is a baby snake that can grow into and infinite length depending on where the snake is residing. The poison of this snake is very potent and can be used as drug substance, this is the reason many would want such a monster. In the end of the book we are brought to an old Pellinor who has hidden this monstrosity in his basement.

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