by E.B. Hudspeth
Age Range: 16+
Grade Level: 10th Grade
Publisher: Quirk Books
This is two books in one. The first is a biography of the fictional scientist, Spencer Black. It contains his journal entries, letters, and pictures of his early work. The second books is a book written by Dr. Spencer Black. It contains the anatomy alone with his commentary about mythological creatures.
The thing about this book that struck me the most was the art. Throughout the book there was art made by Dr. Black. It was all beautiful at the least, and horrifying at the most. The overall vibe is this book was very eerie, and it brought a sense of dread to its reader. The amount of work that was put into making this book was insurmountable. I cant even imagine how long the author spent on this book. The biographical half of the book was very eel done, and it was very interesting to read. Usually, biographies are very boring, but the story of Dr. Black's life was fascinating. The second part of the book, The Codex Extinct Animalia, was beautiful. The commentary on the creatures was interesting and was very well made. Overall, this book was very nicely crafted, and one that I would be very willing to recommend.
- Like I already stated, the art in this book was perfect and enhanced the feel of the book. Without the pictures, the book would be pointless since half of the book is dedicated to drawings. All the art was very stylized and fit in with the time period that the book was set in.
- The way that you got to know the scientist was marvelous. You really got to see how he thought and what he believed (no matter how bogus his beliefs were). It was evident how everything in his life took an extreme toll on his mental and emotional health which led up his final letter.
- The way that the author integrated the journal entries and letters into the biography was very good. It didn't seem jumpy or forced, and the biography seemed like something that you would actually see in a bookstore.
- The ending was exactly what the book needed. It wouldn't have seemed at all real if it didn't end like it did since Dr. Black was slowly losing his mind and becoming a very stereotypical mad scientist. It was the ominous and unsettling ending that you would have expected from reading the biography.
- I didn't think there was enough commentary in the second part of the book. It was mostly pictures, and although I really did enjoy it, it could have used more word. I am saying that because it just felt lacking due to the ratio of word pages to picture pages.
- This was not a big deal at all, and it did not at all contribute to my rating, but in the way that the species were named there was a mistake. They put the species as the genus and the species descriptor. The binomial nomenclature uses the Genus and the species descriptor to name a species. The author shouldn't have put both under species.
The Language: I don't think this book said one curse word.
The Violence: This was a very violence book. It talked a lot about dangerous surgery, and inhumane treatment of many animals.
The Sex: None
The Drugs: Talk of opium addiction.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and honestly it would be more difficult to make a dishonest review than a truthful one.