Friday, December 11, 2015

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

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.



Menagerie is about a young woman that's made out to be a monster and sold to the traveling "human/cryptid circus". She's locked in a cage and left to ponder what she is and how she can save those around her. The more she learns about the others, the more involved she becomes. Gallagher, her handler, is stern and professional, but as she wears him down she sees that he just may be the key to freedom. 

This book had a way of pulling me in and captivating my every sense. I could see the scenes being played out in my mind, hear the harshness in Gallagher demands, taste the stale cage air, and feel the emotions seeping from the pages. I felt committed to the words and devoted to the characters. The more I read, the more I fell deeper into the dark story. 

The Menagerie world is not for those with a weak heart. There is abuse, rape, and just plain ugly hatred. Beyond the broken facades are people searching for freedom and their families. Each cryptid is hurting and the bruises on the outside aren't nearly as painful as the inner ones. What you have to come to terms with while reading is the fact that without all of the ugly you wouldn't get the beautiful. It truly was an epic read that is going on the top of my 2015 favorites list for sure!

*Note* To the people uneasy over the "no romance" thing... You have to consider the setting and the plot. Open up your eyes in the darkness and find the love within in the cracks. I strongly prefer romance in my reads and this one met all of my cravings. I found the romance in subtle gestures and genuine acts of kindness. So if you're thinking about passing on this one due to a lack of romance... Be real and give it a chance. I think you will find yourself quite pleased with how everything unfolds.

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