Rachel Vincent certainly has an imagination to rival J K Rowling!
Length: 432 pages Published: 1 October 2015
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.
So the first thing I want to mention is the cover for this book. It is absolutely stunning and really is a must have for your bookshelf!
I’ve been an avid fan of Rachel Vincent for a few years now and have always loved her style of writing, I’ve never quite been able to put my finger on just what it is that turns her stories from good to amazing, but what I do know is Menagerie has all of it and more!
So much imagination has gone in to the writing of this amazing world. So many different creatures are in this story and not just mentioned in passing but who play active roles.
Delilah seems to have quite a weak character at the beginning of this story, she has a strong opinion of the way the cryptids are caged and treated with no human rights, but yet won’t do anything to change that. Rather than facing it she ignores it, and even attends the Menagerie on her birthday, because she felt obligated to her boyfriend. As the book progresses though you see another half to Delilah in her furiae, a half that I must say I really loved.
One of the other things that I loved about this book is how Delilah will do what needs to be done, if someone deserves to be hurt or even killed she will do it herself or allow it to be done without remorse, although the side of her that allows this to happen is the furiae getting justice for her fellow captives.
Another crucial character in this story is Gallagher and throughout the first half of the story I just could not understand him, he was different from all the other staff at the Menagerie but still seemed to have a dark side. Of course towards the end of the story his origin is revealed as well as his intentions, but I’m still lingering on whether he has any romantic feelings towards Delilah? I’m even more uncertain on how Delilah feels about him, because even as he is on his knees explaining and pledging, her thoughts stay on the matter of him freeing her, which of course anyone would want, but she had no personal thoughts towards him. It was the only thing I felt was slightly off, because I was wanting them to fall in love from the very beginning!
All in all I LOVED this book, the world needs to read this story, if only to find their humanity again.
Rachel Vincent is a former English teacher and an eager champion of the Oxford comma. She shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who’s been her # 1 fan from the start. Rachel is older than she looks and younger than she feels, and she remains convinced that writing about the things that scare her is the cheapest form of therapy—but social media is a close second.