Author: Rachel Vincent
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
Stand alone or series: Series
How did I get this book: Review Copy
Format: Bound ARC
What made me want to read it: I love urban fantasy and this seemed like an interested read.
When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger’s Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she’s forced to “perform” in town after town.
But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions”—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.
Menagerie by Rachel Vincent is dark urban fantasy at it’s best! Vincent immediately draws you into the alternate reality she created filled with mythological creatures living among humans, known as cryptids. These powerful creatures are stripped of their rights and thanks to the government are treated as property. Many of them sold to private collectors or carnivals. Delilah Marlow visits one of these traveling carnivals, Metzger’s Menagerie, when she find herself outraged by the horrible treatment of one of the menagerie’s attractions. The vile treatment she witnesses awakens her own inner beast and before she knows it, she is stripped of her human rights and sold Metzger’s to be their newest attraction.
Holy crap! Can you imagine one day just being taken from your family, stripped of your name, and your humanity? I would be horrified. I think Delilah handled it much better than I would. She’s understandably defiant, angry, and not afraid to let everyone around her know how she feels. I love that despite the situation she finds herself in, she never breaks. She remains strong and true to her beliefs that no matter the species everyone has the right to be treated humanely and with respect.
Menagerie is not just a fun paranormal read, although it is a very exciting and fast paced read. This disturbing and twisted tale is thought provoking and brings to light important social issues such as morality, human rights, and justice. The cryptids have no rights, so people can do whatever they want to them…with them. I won’t go to far into that though, I don’t want to spoil it for you. You need to read the book. Seriously, you really need to go read the book.
Menagerie is a book that I could not put down once I started reading. Vincent does an amazing job of creating a disturbing and corrupt alternate reality that immediately draws the reader into the story. I loved it! I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to immerse themselves in another world for a bit. Provocative. Thought-provoking. Twisted. You will not be able to put it down.
“If that girl was a monster, anyone could be a monster. That’s why the world was so terrified of another reaping. Because just like last time, humanity would never see it coming.”
“If monsters could look like humans, and humans could look like monsters, how could anyone ever really be sure that the right people stood on the outside of all those cages?”
“Welcome to the menagerie, where beauty and grace shine from every cage and peek from every shadow. You’ve never seen anything like the exotic wonders within, so keep your eyes open, ladies and gentlemen, because in our world of spectacle and illusion, what you see isn’t always what you get.”
Rating: 5 Stars!
**An Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book was provided by MIRA in exchange for an honest review.