Menagerie (Menagerie – 1) by Rachel Vincent
(Excerpt from Goodreads) 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.
Delilah Marlow visits Metzger’s Menagerie. While there she is taken back with the treatment of a werewolf girl and gets so worked up that she ends up sinking her claws into the handler. Delilah is then accused of hiding as a human since cryptids have no rights and is then purchased and added to the Menagerie. Since cryptids have no rights, Delilah is treated horribly. She is abused physically and mentally. But the more Delilah is there, the more she learns about the other attractions. Although she can’t help herself, she is going to do whatever she can to help the others.
I love Rachel Vincent’s books. So when I got a copy of Menagerie, I couldn’t wait to get reading. This is a very dark book, which I loved but might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Delilah is stripped of everything, even the clothes on her back. She is locked up and forced to perform for the show and face all kinds of torture. But no matter what, they won’t break her spirit and she keeps fighting. I have to say that I was leery of Gallagher but I came to love him the more I read. He is the one shining spot in all the darkness.
Although this book is dark yet really good, it makes you think about more than just the story. What would happen in real life if something like The Reaping or other events happen? Society doesn’t have a great history of being understanding to others that don’t fit in. And sadly it has a history of the darkest of all human behaviors being used in such times.
This is a great story that will make you think about so much more than just the story. It is dark and gruesome but believable. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.
I received Menagerie for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.