Saturday, October 24, 2015

#Saturday Review - Menagerie by Rachel Vincent (Urban Fantasy)

Series: Menagerie # 1
Format: E-Book, 432 pages
Release Date: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Mira
Source: Publisher via NetGalley 
Genre: Urban Fantasy

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 is the first installment in a brand new series by author Rachel Vincent. During what the author is calling the Reaping, human parents killed a million cryptid children, but allowed those who appeared human to live. Delilah Marlow is one of those children. She has lived as a human for the last 25 years but really doesn't know what she is. The only person who knows that she is different, is her mother Charity. Delilah's secret ends up being exposed in a major way after visiting Metzger's Menagerie on her birthday and seeing the injustices at how the cryptids are being treated first hand. 

Something happens to her in front of not only her best friends, and boy friend, but also the carnie operators like Gallagher, who watched as she changes in the blink of an eye. Jailed, then sold to Metzger's for entertainment purposes, Delilah is stripped of her rights and everything she owns. She is forced to perform as a sideshow attraction by carnies that have no compassion whatsoever for her circumstances. Delilah doesn't go easily into her captivity. She fights with everything she has. Though she resists vehemently, she learns from Gallagher, the handler who might be sympathetic to her cause, that Delilah has a higher purpose and he aims to assist her.  

I have absolutely nothing negative to say about this book. I love how different this story and world is to our own. I did have an emotional moment after a certain character dies unnecessarily in my opinion. But, I dare say that the story is bloody brilliant and really gets to the debate of what makes a person a person and how far society goes in order to round up those who are different. If a person has the ability to transform into something else, does she still remain truly human?  In this universe, lawmakers quickly took away those who were not humans rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This happens when yesterdays outrage becomes today's normality. Reactionary laws are never a good thing.

I absolutely loved Delilah. She gets her whole world torn to pieces, loses her job, and everything she owns because cryptids aren't actually human but doesn't give up. She refuses to accept defeat despite constant attacks on her by carnies who are nothing but rapists looking for a thrill, nor the fact that she doesn't have a whole lot of people to help her. I loved how she connects with others in the Menagerie including Rommily, who also gets her own narrative along with Gallagher.

Absolutely loved the wide range of paranormal creatures that Vincent uses in her story. There are werewolves, shape shifters of all varieties, mermaids, centaurs, succubi, sirens, and minotaurs to name a few. Loved that there wasn't all that much romance to muddy up the story. But, Gallagher is probably the most important character next to Delilah so I wouldn't be shocked to see some romance in the next installment. His actions change Delilah's life in a blink of an eye. His actions also helped Delilah rally her strength and determination to survive long enough to escape. 

I'll definitely be continuing THIS story until the end! There is so much more to come!

**I received this book for free from (Publisher) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**


  1. I loved this book two. It really left me wanting more. Great review.

  2. I agree, Shelley, this story was made of awesome, and I loved how Delhia had to question everything she thought she knew. Great review!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews