I read Rachel Vincent’s duology, The Stars Never Rise earlier this year and came across Menagerie and figured I’d give the audio book a go.
Menagerie by Rachel Vincent takes place in a world where Cryptics, anyone not entirely human, are hunted and abused. The story follows Delilah Marlow, who used to be human until she visits a renown traveling carnival, Metzger’s Menagerie, and enraged by the injustice wrought on the Cryptics, she transmutes and a beast she never knew she had is let loose.
Not knowing what she is or what she is capable of, Delilah is sold to the Menagerie, where she is to become a caged exhibit. Caged alongside her are werewolves, shifters, trolls, centaurs, sirens and more. And soon, bound by captivity, Delilah comes to care for her fellow cryptics. But Delilah craves freedom and refuses to give in to the demands of the menagerie.
Delilah is forced to train with Gallagher, her handler, captor and potential ally. But Gallagher isn’t entirely what he seems. Who can Delilah trust in a world that has stripped her of every human right? Will she be able to tame her inner beast or will she let it loose for good? More importantly, what is she? Will Delilah gain her freedom or will she become another broken member of the menagerie?
This was an interesting story. I’ve had a soft spot for carnivals and circus’ ever since I read The Night Circus. It is just such a dynamic setting for a story and perfect for mixing fantastical elements. And in terms of interesting, this one did deliver.
I have to admit–I was a bit bored at first. The story didn’t really capture my interests until Delilah was actually a captive of the menagerie. I was also appalled by how many references to rape and trading sex for favors there were. Thank goodness this is an adult book because if it were labelled teen, I’d have a real problem with it.
This book is meant to set the stage for it’s sequels. There are some storylines that were mentioned but not fully developed and there were others that I thought would develop but were literally killed off. The ending was a bit rushed as well.
I did like this book even with it’s flaws. It was haunting and dark and speaks to injustice and the fair treatment of others. Many of the characters were intriguing and I would be interested in seeing how they progress in subsequent books. There are a lot of great supernatural elements that appeal to me as a reader… a sense of fascination for the unknown.
Overall, this was an entertaining audio book. There were some cringe worthy parts but other then that not bad. 3.5 stars from me.
That’s all for now!