Adult Book Review: Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
Series: The Menagerie Series
On Sale: September 29, 2015
Adult Fiction \ Paranormal \Mythological
432 pages, Hardcover
Source: Bought
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

From New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent comes a richly imagined, provocative new series set in the dark mythology of the Menagerie… 

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.

"If monsters could look like humans, and humans could look like monsters, how could anyone ever be sure that the right people stood on the outside of all those cages?" 

Menagerie is such a great read for its combination of fantastical elements, dark themes, and a heroine who does not quit.

Metzger's Menagerie with its creatures that seem to be straight out of mythological imaginings, both exotic and macabre, creates a setting where your typical traveling carnival is now home to such mythics as Minotaurs, Mermaids, Djinn, and Kelpies. First in a new series, Rachel Vincent pulls back the circus tent's curtains and takes readers behind the scenes into a dark and brutal world of the Menagerie.

If the essence of your (what others believed) humanity was gone, and your possessions stripped from you, what aspect would you retain of being human, if any at all?

Menagerie is such a compelling read because of its themes it weaves together. The most obvious one and the one that's sure to cause many roller coaster emotions for readers is the loss of Delilah's freedom when she is captured and forced to become a live exhibition in Metzer's Menagerie. Told through Delilah's voice as well as interspaced accounts from other Menagerie members, the story becomes an intense, page-turning read. The dark and gritty, first-hand account she gives readers into the exploitation of the Cryptids, the other fantastical "attractions" in captivity, is sure to elicit strong emotions of horror, fascination & wonderment, and finally hope.

Delilah is an amazing, multifaceted heroine - one that is intelligent, fierce, and determined.

She's spent her whole life believing she is human, but one night at the Menagerie changes that. She is something neither the Cryptids nor humans recognize, a sort of anomaly, one that the owner of Metzer's wants to brutally use in his quest for the ultimate traveling zoo of oddities. I could not put the book down as she is stripped of all the layers one associates with humanity, and it is within the stark and beautiful Menagerie,  through the members she shares a bond with, that she finds a new purpose for the strange "gifts" she has. 

A fierce heroine finds her home among the worlds strange and mythic. 

And the Menagerie will never be the same once Delilah Marlow steps inside - A fantastic start to a new series!! Readers looking for a story with dark fantasy trappings and a mix of the mythical and paranormal will find plenty to compel them to enter Rachel Vincent's Menagerie.