Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Resurrectionist

The Resurrectionist
E. B. Hudspeth

Albert Einstein once said, “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” I think that's true for most people; we love anything to do with the supernatural, the paranormal, anything that falls outside the rigid lines of science. It makes us feel comforted, knowing that everything isn't all rules and guidelines, that there's still room for exploration and adventure. The desire for the mysterious is escapism in its purest form.

But science too can be beautiful in its intricate, wonderful way; it builds connections between things thought unrelated and provides a powerful way to understand our universe. These two forces, the known and unknown, are balanced masterfully in The Resurrectionist. The book starts with an idea: what if all mythical creatures (or at least the anthropoid ones) were ancestors of modern humans?

Hudspeth takes this conjecture and runs with it. The fictional biography of Dr. Spencer Black is masterfully done, touching on real-world events but leaving just enough open for the reader to enter the story fully, rather than just read an account of it. Dr. Black feels real, acts real, and we are with him until his tragic end.

However, while the writing in this book is entertaining enough, it is the artwork that really stands out. Accompanying the pseudoscience are fully realized anatomical drawings of several beasts of lore, including satyrs, sphinxes, and merfolk. The art is nothing short of astounding—skeletal and muscle diagrams mesmerize the eye and bring the creatures closer to life than they have likely ever been. I cannot praise the book highly enough; even casual browsers in the bookstore will find themselves entranced by the oneirataxic imagery. The Resurrectionist is quite likely to be one of the most highly-regarded gems of 2013.

- Robert Green

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