Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
Narrator: Gabra Zackman
Series: Menagerie #1
Published by Recorded Books
Published on: September 29, 2015
Length: 10 hrs & 57 mins
Amazon | Book Depo | Kobo | B&N | GoodReads
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.
I knew precisely two things about this audiobook going in: Rachel Vincent wrote it, and she published a blog post stating that “MENAGERIE is not urban fantasy, nor is it romance, nor is it YA.” And, that was enough to hook me because 1. Vincent can write! And 2. I wanted to sample this genre bending story first-hand.
I’ve read a couple of reviews that have compared it to Anne Bishop’s THE OTHERS series, and that’s not too far off base, albeit not 100% accurate either. It’s dark, life after The Reaping made sure of that, and has an alternate universe vibe to it because of the strain between humans and Cryptids. Delilah Marlow’s tale is particularly poignant because she’s free one moment, only to be trapped behind bars the next with fewer rights than a household pet and her injustice unfolds live before our eyes.
A lot of the details were fuzzy, but I have to assume that that was intentional on Vincent’s part, not to mention the added bonus of cranking up the intrigue. The specifics will most likely come in time; however just knowing that there are thousands of varieties of Cryptids to explore, that the grisly specifics of the 1986 catastrophe are forthcoming, and that Team Vengeance is only in its preliminary stage has me riled up for the next installment.
Gabra Zackman was an excellent choice as far as narrators go. Her audiobook repertoire is quite broad which most likely came in handy when she concocted all of the voices for the large cast of characters. Her tone was appropriate when it came to the less than pleasant aspects of this novel, and her pacing echoed the author’s writing well which left little doubt that listeners got to experience the story as Rachel Vincent intended.
To-may-to, to-mah-to—call MENAGERIE whatever you like, as long as you read it.
Was this review helpful? If so, please vote for it on Amazon or like it on GoodReads!