Source: Quirk Books – Received in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Quirk Books
Edition: Hardcover, 208 Pages
Genre: Fantasy Horror
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository*
*I receive a small monetary kickback from Amazon purchases
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.
The Resurrectionist is what I can only describe as bizarre, but I truly mean that in the best way possible. It offers something that you don’t see a lot of for adults, and that’s a fictional “text-book” for fantasy creatures. You can find the ones for children called things like Wizardology or Dragonology, and while they are cool they lack the over all depth you might want. The Resurrectionist has that depth and even gives you a really engrossing biography of Dr. Spencer Black.
The actual story behind the The Resurrectionist is a blend of gothic horror and fantasy, and it blends the two in such a way that you’re both horrified and fascinated by the tale that unfolds over the course of 65 pages or so. Unfortunately it is a short tale, as it is painted as a look into the shadowy place in the past where not much info has survived, but it’s addicting and I really wish there were more. Especially after that ending! I wasn’t expecting a story when I came into the book so I’m pleased that I got more than i expected!
The drawings were the main draw for me and they did not disappoint. The level of detail is phenomenal and it’s so cool to the anatomical structures for the fictional creatures. Each section of drawings for a creature also comes with a little tidbit of info by Dr. Spencer Black on his research or the “history” of the animal.
This is the perfect table book for the not-so-normal house (like mine) where guests can sit down and browse through the drawings, or get hooked into the story itself. Quirk Books has given us yet another fantastically unique book.