I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
Narrator: Gabra Zackman
Series: Menagerie #1
Published by Recorded Books, Mira on September 29, 2015
Length: 10 hours 57 minutes
I really like Rachel Vincent, so I didn’t hesitate to put Menagerie on my list of must-read books. When I got a chance to review it for Recorded Books I couldn’t resist. I ended up loving Menagerie, devouring it in just two days.
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.
- Talk about a marvelously creepy, gripping intro! I forget if it was a prologue or actually chapter 1, but I was hooked by that intro immediately. I won’t spoil it for you though 🙂
- The characters were well done. Menagerie is told from the point of view of multiple characters and sometimes I find that jarring. In this case, I thought it served the book well. I got to know multiple characters a bit better and – this is my next point – served the plot really well.
- The plot had very few down moments. After that intro there was a little bit of a slow period in Delilah’s childhood that, quite frankly, I don’t think did anything for the book. But it didn’t hurt and was short. Other than that, it kept moving. Having multiple character viewpoints created tension because you saw where real complications were potentially approaching.
- The treatment of the menagerie was appalling. It really made Delilah’s situation more startling. But, for me, it also made me think. I’m not a circus fan (with animals at least) – I’m not much for locking animals up in cages. But seeing their life from the perspective of the animal just made me think about it that much more. Because Delilah’s circus was obeying the letter of the law… and wow it was bad! Anyway, I don’t think Rachel Vincent was trying to write a commentary and I bet I’m one of the only people to go there, but I did and I liked that it made me go there. I like books that make me think like that.
- Finally – the narration by Gabra Zackman was quite good. I don’t believe I’ve listened to her before, but her voice fit the characters quite well and she handled some of the less pleasant moments appropriately.
What didn’t work:
- I didn’t like the way the Reaping was explained – through the scene at the beginning when Delilah’s a child and then mostly through newspaper and news reports from the 80s at the start of each chapter. It was jarring and removed you from the action. It also was a little misleading, but I won’t explain why – to do so would spoil things for you.
- Sometimes Delilah’s thoughts and behavior were a bit of a stretch for me. Even though I could defend them to my mom, who listened with me (she was walking by as I started, got hooked and sat down to listen to the whole thing… so yeah, it’s good!) and got frustrated, but they needed defending, because they were a stretch. Point is… I was okay with the stretch, but it would have been nice if I believed it without having to explain and reason it out.
With how Menagerie ended, I’m really excited to see how it continues. I see lots of potential for more heart-stomping (yes more – Rachel Vincent is not afraid to go there!) and some excitement. Gah, why do I have to wait until 2017!>
Berls was pulled into Menagerie from the start! She's giving it 4.5/5 stars! Click To Tweet