Release Date: May 30, 2017
Genre: Fiction / Romance / Paranormal
In this riveting sequel to New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent's acclaimed novel Menagerie, Delilah Marlow will discover that there is no crueler cage than the confines of the human mind…
When their coup of Metzger's Menagerie is discovered, Delilah and her fellow cryptids find their newly won freedom brutally stripped away as they are sold into The Savage Spectacle, a private collection of "exotic wildlife." Specializing in ruthless cryptid cage matches, safari-style creature hunts and living party favors, the Spectacle's owner, Willem Vandekamp, caters to the forbidden fetishes of the wealthy and powerful. At the Spectacle, any wish can be granted—for the right price.
But Vandekamp's closely guarded client list isn't the only secret being kept at the Spectacle. Beneath the beauty and brutality of life in the collection lie much darker truths, and no one is more determined than Delilah to strip the masks from the human monsters and drag all dark things into the light.
Spectacle is the second installment in author Rachel Vincent's Menagerie series. The story picks up (3) months after Delilah Marlow and the rest of the cryptids from Metzger's Menagerie freed themselves via a nearly bloodless coup. Remember I said nearly bloodless. It really doesn't take all that long for things to go sideways. Especially when Willem Vandekamp and his Savage Spectacle (SS) sycophants show up show up at Metzger's and captures Delilah, and nearly everyone else.
Savage Spectacle is a slap in the face for Delilah and the others who fought so hard to be free of their cages. Savage Spectacle is a place where they collar the cryptids with needles that can damage ones spine. They separate the cryptids into different categories, and put the females (shifters, anthropomorphs, sirens, Naga, nymphs, and Oracles) all together. There are zero children involved. They rent out cryptids to those who are into the kinky and can afford to pay. They strip them down, tell them how they can dress, what they are supposed to eat, and to top things off, they force hygiene adherence on everyone without any exceptions.
Vandekamp has created ways to keep cryptids in line. The collars can shock, paralyze, mute, and stop them from shifting. Vandekamp even uses entertainment as a lure for the rich and famous to enjoy themselves without worrying about the public finding out. He pits cryptids against each other in a coliseum like environment where they are forced to fight to the death. He uses the females for servers, and entertaining the rich men and women, while his wife doesn't just sit in the background being his partner in crime.
Delilah is a unique character. No matter how hard Vandekamp or his sick and twisted wife Tabitha try, they can't get a fix on what Delilah's tell is. Readers know that Delilah is human, but if you missed it from Menagerie, then you also know that she has another side to her. A side that is the wrathful justice of vengeance. A side that is supposed to right the wrongs. Delilah really finds herself in a dark, twisted, and yes, vulgar situation where she is treated like an animal. But, she isn't the only one.
Vincent alternates her story through a few other characters as well. Characters such as Rommily (oracle), Vandekamp, and of course, Gallagher. I am not one who needs trigger warnings, or safe spaces to read this book. If you need that particular warning, then please avoid this book at all costs. I am one who acknowledges that a certain segment of our population is sick, twisted, and disturbed. Some may be our friends, or colleagues, or even our family members.
I recognize there are those who will jump up and down and claim this story parallels what Josef Mengele did at Auschwitz to the Jews, and therefore why Vincent uses the SS designation for the villains in this story. Are there situations that cross the line? Of course there are. Telling a story sometimes takes guts and the willingness to go where there are no safe spaces, or coloring books, or soft music playing in the background. Vincent's ending once again leads to yet another path in the already entertaining and brilliantly
written series. Delilah's determination to keep her family together is why I keep coming back to this series. She won't just walk away from anyone, or leave them behind. She will fight until her last breath if that is what it takes.