Sunday, January 18, 2015

Review- The Resurrectionist by E.B. Hudspeth

  The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black

Genre: Science Fiction/Horro
Hardcover: 208pgs
Published by Quirk Books
Source: From publisher for review
Add It // Buy It
Rating: 4/5 

Philadelphia, the late 1870s. A city of gas lamps, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages—and home to the controversial surgeon Dr. Spencer Black. The son of a grave robber, young Dr. Black studies at Philadelphia’s esteemed Academy of Medicine, where he develops an unconventional hypothesis: What if the world’s most celebrated mythological beasts—mermaids, minotaurs, and satyrs—were in fact the evolutionary ancestors of humankind?

The Resurrectionist offers two extraordinary books in one. The first is a fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black, from a childhood spent exhuming corpses through his medical training, his travels with carnivals, and the mysterious disappearance at the end of his life. The second book is Black’s magnum opus: The Codex Extinct Animalia, a Gray’s Anatomy for mythological beasts—dragons, centaurs, Pegasus, Cerberus—all rendered in meticulously detailed anatomical illustrations. You need only look at these images to realize they are the work of a madman. The Resurrectionist tells his story. 

There are some things that just sound better together. For instance, a lab notebook of a 19th century doctor sounds like a fun thing to explore, but if you add in the promise of mythical beasts it sounds even better. This book is beautiful and so well crafted. Quirk Books never fails to impress with the lovely way they put their books together. The content is also very interesting.

The journal section is a story that might keep you up at night. This biography of Spencer Black has quite a bit of the macabre atmosphere to it.  It is also a little gory if you are squeamish so be warned. Overall the story reminded me a lot of The Island of Dr. Monroe. The creep factor is that high. However, this story is much shorter (less than 70 pages) and left me with even more questions. The abrupt ending and many loose ends is where this book lost a star.

Section two, aka The Codex Extinct Animalia, is stunning and captivating. I spent a long time staring at all the detailed anatomical drawings. All of the creatures drawn in this book had great detail and thought put into the sketches. I was really impressed with the illustrations. I think I'll be able to go back through in the future and enjoy the illustrations even more.

My advice: Check this book out! It is really neat.


  1. Hmmm...I'm always up for something that's a little weird! I'll have to check this out.