Study Guide

Malachi Stinnet in The Monstrumologist

By Rick Yancey

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Malachi Stinnet

"Lemme at 'em!"

Malachi Stinnet is the sole survivor of a brutal attack on his family, and as such, he is driven by an overwhelming desire for revenge. Sure, he's also pretty sad and traumatized, but before he can process all of that he just wants to kill as many Anthropophagi as he can get his hands on.

At the onset of the Maori Protocol, Will Henry can hear Malachi begging for a chance to kill:

"Can't see, can't see!" Malachi muttered in frustration, swinging his rifle to and fro. He scooted forward, as if he actually intended to rush the flames, hop the trench, and take the fight directly to the things that had slaughtered his family. "Just one. Please, God, just one!"  (11.220)

His desperation makes him foolhardy. He continuously volunteers to put himself at risk in order to fight the creatures, which makes us wonder which is more appealing, revenge or his own death?

The answer to that question comes in the final showdown between Malachi and the alpha female. She has burst from the ground beneath Malachi's feet and is savagely attacking him, pulling him down into her gaping maw. Malachi is reaching toward Will Henry, beseeching him—but not in the way Will Henry thinks:

I had misread Malachi's true desire, which had nothing to do with rescue. Unlike Erasmus and my father, Malachi did not want deliverance. He had never wanted it. It was too late for that. 

Again he frantically jabbed his finger at the bag. I picked it up and flung it into his arms, and in mute dismay watched him pull out a grenade. He clutched it to his chest, hooked his finger through the pin, and then with bloodstained teeth Malachi Stinnet smiled triumphantly at me.

He closed his eyes; his head fell back; his expression was one of complete peace and acceptance. He disappeared by degrees, first his arms and chest, then his neck, until for the last time his eyes came open, staring into my mine, unblinking and unconcerned.

"For Elizabeth," he whispered.  (12.318-12.321)

All Malachi wants from Will Henry is for him to help him die avenging his family's gruesome murder to the greatest degree.

"I ran."

One of the reasons that Malachi is so driven by his need for vengeance is because he is consumed by guilt. He feels that he could've somehow saved his sister Elizabeth from her terrible fate at the hands of the matriarch Anthropophagus. And even though everyone reassures him that he couldn't have done anything differently, he can't stop thinking about the fact that he ran to save his own life.

In fact, right after everything went down, the doc tries to ask him what happened, but Malachi doesn't answer until the doc volunteers the fact that Will Henry is an orphan, too. From then on the two boys bond over their shared agony of having saved themselves.

"Will Henry is an orphan," Dr. Warthrop said.

Malachi asked me, "What happened?"

"There was a fire," I said.

"You were there?"


"What happened?"

"I ran."

"I ran too." His expression did not change; the impassive visage remained; but a tear trailed down his hollow cheek. "Do you think God will forgive us, Will Henry?"  (8.118-125)

Malachi then fights for his right to kill the man-eating beasts to alleviate some of his guilt. He believes that if he can just have his vengeance then maybe his conscience will allow him to forget how his sister Elizabeth died (but we all know that's not how it works, right?).

"I will not leave," avowed Malachi angrily. "I am not a boy, and I will not leave."

"I won't have it on my conscience, Malachi," the constable said, not unkindly.

"Your conscience?" Malachi fairly shouted. "What of my conscience?"

"Absolutely!" Kearns laughed. "You should have stayed in that room so she could rip your head off your shoulders after she was through breaking every bone in your little sister's body. What kind of brother are you?"  (11.104-11.107)

We can't help but agree with Dr. Kearns just a little bit here. Sticking around wouldn't have done anything other than get Malachi killed, too, but Malachi is going to continue beating himself up over his actions nonetheless. So when he dies fulfilling his need for vengeance, we can only hope that his guilt is eradicated as well. R.I.P.

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