Reading Level: Adult (appropriate for young adult and older)
Genre: Fantasy/Graphic Novel
Size: 192 pages
Publisher: Quirk Books
Date: May 21, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Copy from Publisher for Review
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review from Quirk Books in exchange for an honest review. It was a very creative and well done fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black. The drawings in it are fantastic and the story itself comes off as absolutely believable, fascinating, and disturbing.
This book is actually two books in one. The first book is called The Life and Writings of Dr. Spencer Black. This is a biography of the fictional Dr. Spencer Black. It starts with his childhood as the son of a brilliant surgeon, proceeds to tell of his own early successes as a surgeon, and then finishes with his increasingly disturbing ravings and experiments. The second book is The Codex Extinct Animalia. This book covers Dr. Black’s notes of various fantastic species and includes incredibly detailed diagrams of their musculature and bone structure.
This is a very well put together book. The quality is amazing, the pages are thick and high quality, the drawings within are amazingly detailed.
This book reads as an incredibly convincing biography of Dr. Black. Dr. Black starts out on a quest to cure human deformities. This story is told from a narrator’s perspective but also includes large sections of excerpts from Dr. Black’s journal. It is a fascinating story that is fairly believable.
I was impressed that the author comes up with a very reasonable theory on why Dr. Black descends into to the madness he does. It is an absolutely engaging and very persuasive argument for the theory of human evolution. Of course the whole thing has a bit of a fantasy twist to it. The book also gets fairly disturbing as Dr. Black descends into madness and reminds a bit of The Island of Dr. Moreau.
The Codex Extinct Animalia has brief, yet well done, summaries of the various fantastic animals Dr. Black supposedly found. The drawings are stunningly detailed and beautiful. The diagrams of bone and muscle just as intricate with scientific naming of all of the bones and muscles included.
Overall this was a fascinating and unique book. I enjoyed the story of Dr. Black and found it to be engaging and engrossing. The Codex was full of amazingly detailed drawings that were fascinating to look at. This book is one of those wonderful curiosities and would make an excellent coffee table book. I will definitely be checking out future works by Hudspeth.