Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Review: Menagerie [Menagerie #1] by Rachel Vincent

Title: Menagerie
Author: Rachel Vincent
Author Info: Website|Blog|Facebook|Twitter
Genre: Fiction, Adult
Series: Menagerie #1
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: 29th September 2015
Rating: 5 stars

Tell Me About It
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.
My Thoughts
I love Rachel's work, so when I saw Menagerie on NetGalley I knew I had to read it. I love the world it is set in, similar to other books that I love, where creatures of all shapes, sizes, and abilities live among humans, hidden away to save themselves from being subjected to testing, or murdered. Ever since the reaping, anything that isn't fully human is tested for thier humanity. Those failing the test are killed, sent for testing, or kept as sideshows in Menageries, to be viewed and ridiculed, tormented and used as entertainment

After fifteen years, Metzger's Menagerie is back in town, and although Delilah doesn't want to go, she accepts the tickets her boyfriend paid a fortune for, and goes with him and thier friends. But going to the menagerie reveals something that Delilah wasn't expecting. Delilah is against everything that Metzger's Menagerie stands for. Yes, these are dangerous cryptids, kept behind bars to protect humans, but they also have feelings, and seeing a young werewolf girl hurt pushes Delilah too far, and something is revealed that she never even imagined about herself.

As the story to Menagerie progressed a lot of secrets were revealed, not only to Delilah, but to the people involved in Metzger's Menagerie. Each time I thought we were going to get a straight answer, something new was thrown into the mix, and that only made even more gripping. Delilah was someone who I rooted for from the moment I began reading. What happens to her was not something I expected, but I admire how strong and determined she was to not give in, to keep on fighting no matter how much it hurt her or how humiliated she was made to feel. The identity of what Delilah is, is unknown till midway through. When it was finally revealed I have to admit it wasn't something I expected, but I love how it added a twist on the whole issue of humanity and genetics. How can a simple blood test really define who or what you really are?

The characters that we see within the pages of Menagerie grow on you, and no matter how much you want to hate some of them, they do end up changing you mind about their actions, especially Gallagher. I loved how vast and different the cryptids were. How they all had thier unique gifts that were put to good use for the entertainment of humans. Menagerie was a truly spectacular read with so much going for it that I don't want to spoil the surprises.

Final Verdict
Menagerie is a book that will stick with me for months to come, each book I read will be compared to this and will have a huge test to live up to the challenge. Menagerie is a must read for fans of Rachel, and is perfect if you like rooting for the underdog.

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