Tired of ads?
Join today and never see them again.
The premise behind the whole book is that the story of Will Henry is being posthumously transcribed from his journals by some anonymous author. These first three journals (Folios I, II, III) include the story of Will Henry's battles against the Anthropophagi, ravenous, man-eating creatures.
Our story opens when Erasmus Gray, a down-on-his-luck grave robber, comes calling in the dead of night because he's found an abomination—a dead Anthropophagus curled around the body of some poor dead girl. He knew immediately it was a case for the eccentric Dr. Warthrop who specializes in the macabre and bizarre.
The Doc is like a kid with a new toy. Will Henry assists the gleeful doctor in performing a necropsy of the creature, in the process performing a crude abortion of its living offspring from the girl's corpse. Yuck.
Unfortunately, the beast's presence in the graveyard signifies that there are probably more. The Doc, Erasmus, and Will Henry go into the cemetery to investigate, and only the Doc and Will Henry come out. It's a full-scale Anthropophagus infestation in New Jerusalem. Dun dun dun…
While trying to ascertain exactly how the Anthropophagi got to New Jerusalem from Africa, Dr. Warthrop and Will Henry go to Motley Hill Sanatorium to interview Captain Varner on a lead from one of Dr. Warthrop Sr.'s journals. Turns out he's the one who transported the creatures on his ship The Feronia at great personal cost. He's been rotting in the asylum ever since, under the criminally negligent eye of Dr. Starr. He dies a horrible death.
Dr. Warthrop and Will Henry return home only to be awoken early the next morning. They've been summoned to witness the horrible deaths of the Stinnet family, who were attacked by Anthropophagi in the night. Constable Morgan, going off the testimony of the only survivor, knew Dr. Warthrop was the only one who would know what to do.
Will Henry helps Dr. Warthrop interrogate Malachi Stinnet, the boy who managed to escape the vicious attack on his family. He's… not doing so well.
Later that day, Constable Morgan discovers that Dr. Warthrop knew about the Anthropophagi's presence before the attack on the Stinnets, and he wants answers. Malachi just wants Warthrop dead. Will Henry calmly diffuses the situation, and Warthrop comes clean about everything he knows so far.
Dr. Kearns, the specialist that Warthrop summoned, arrives. He's a smooth-talking enigma of a man who really enjoys killing Anthropophagi for a living. He helps Dr. Warthrop and Constable Morgan assemble a small crew to deal with the Anthropophagi problem quietly.
Will Henry and Malachi, despite their young age, help the menfolk carry out the Maori Protocol, which is an awful, but proven, technique for slaughtering the creatures they're after. They are mostly successful, but somehow the alpha female and a few juveniles evade capture. So now they have to go down into the Anthropophagi's den in order to kill the matriarch and her remaining progeny.
Will Henry, Malachi, Dr. Kearns, and Dr. Warthrop go down into the tunnels via the entry in the Warthrop Mausoleum (yup, Dr. Warthrop Sr. had quite the secret). Shenanigans ensue: We find out exactly how dastardly Dr. Kearns is, Malachi sacrifices himself, and Will Henry ends up saving the day by killing the matriarch Anthropophagus. Yee-haw.
A few days later, Dr. Kearns, Dr. Warthrop, and Will Henry go back to Motley Hill to get some final answers out of Dr. Starr. They learn the full story about how Dr. Warthrop and his partners imported the Anthropophagi in order to conduct experiments with eugenics.Dr. Kearns kills Dr. Starr, and we're not even a tiny bit sorry about it.
Dr. Kearns wisely takes his cue to vanish, and life begins to get back to normal for Will Henry. At his monthly check-up Dr. Warthrop confirms that his B. arawakus infestation is stable, so he's at no risk to die like his father—at least not yet.