Author: Rachel Vincent
Series: Menagerie #1
Genre: Fantasy/Commercial fiction
Page Count: 432 Pages
Published: September 29th, 2015 by MIRA
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.
Renowned author Rachel Vincent weaves an intoxicating blend of carnival magic and startling humanity in this intricately woven and powerful tale.
I actually hugged this book when it came in mail. Why? Because I knew I was about to fall in love with it, as I do with every other Rachel Vincent book I have ever read. She did it again.
Menagerie is very different from Rachel Vincent's other books, but that in no way detracts from it. Even though I knew going into it that Menagerie wasn't an urban fantasy or paranormal romance, I was still surprised by the lack of a MC love story, as I absolutely adore Rachel's romance plotlines in all of her other books, but again I found it didn't take anything away, if anything I found it amped up the importance of all of the other themes and plot points that needed their time in the spotlight.
The story follows Delilah Marlow as she finds out she's a monster, gets sold to a traveling circus and caged for being a monster, and discovers who the monsters really are. Her struggle to maintain her inner-self while being treated like a worthless animal is heart-wrenching and inspiring.
It is dark and twisty and kept me ravenous for more up until the last page. I was rooting for Delilah to overcome her captors while also fully experiencing the helplessness of her situation through Vincent's captivating voice.
I can't wait for Masquerade (Menagerie #2) to be released so I can dive back into this world.
Fav. Quotes (minus the spoilery ones):"We have psychos, too. People kill their coworkers. Kids kill their classmates. Parents kill their own children. Those people are every bit as monstrous as the worst cryptid predator you can point to, yet they’re human, just like we are.” Atherton and Pennington stared at me, and unease churned in my stomach. “There is no we,” the deputy said...
"I deal in morality, not in law."
"I said I don't enjoy seeing you suffer."