Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
Narrator: Gabra Zackman
Series: Menagerie #1
Published by Recorded Books
Published on: September 29, 2015
Length: 10 hrs & 57 mins
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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.
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Rachel talked about this book during our worldbuilding panel at SF:SE a few weeks ago. It sounds amazing. I can’t wait to read it!
E.J. Stevens recently posted…Q+A with Dianna Love (Witchlock)
Not really my type of thing and I haven’t read much Vincent, but I might put it on my maybe list. 🙂
Stormi recently posted…Book Review: Dragonbane by Sherrilyn Kenyon
I really loved this book too. I haven’t written my review yet. I went into the book with only the knowledge that it was really dark. I mostly just skimmed reviews because I didn’t want to know much. Which mostly, people aren’t saying much, which I think is best for a book like this. It was a great book. I really loved it.
Melanie recently posted…Cover Reveal and Trailer Sneak Peek: Genesis, An Urban Fantasy Boxed Set (@PureTextuality)
I was on the fence about this book, but now after reading your review and Melanie’s comment I know I have to listen to it. Thank you!
BookaholicCat recently posted…CATS-ilicious Thursdays
I have liked some of her book in the past, but then again some I have not
blodeuedd recently posted…Steampunk Thursday: The Girl in the Steel Corset / Prudence
This book is an enigma to me! I could have sworn it was urban fantasy! My copy is waiting for me at the library, but now I kind of wish I had gotten the audiobook!
Amber Elise recently posted…Book Review: We’ll Never Be Apart
I already own a copy of this one and am looking forward to read it. It sounds like a good book and I have enjoyed Rachel Vincent her books so far. I only have heard that it’s dark so far and how the theme can apply to real life situations as well.
Lola recently posted…Lola’s Ramblings: What do you like to see in stories?
You had me with the Anne Bishop Others comparison.
kimbacaffeinate recently posted…If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones
So glad you enjoyed it, Carmel! Really loved this book 🙂
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