Review: Menagerie by Rachel Vincent (Menagerie #1)

Note: This ARC was provided by Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

“Welcome to the menagerie, where beauty and grace shine from every cage and peek from every shadow. You’ve never seen anything like the exotic wonders within, so keep your eyes open, ladies and gentlemen, because in our world of spectacle and illusion, what you see isn’t always what you get.”

Delilah Marlow may have preferred to celebrate her twenty-fifth birthday in a place other than being surrounded by cages and wagons housing Metzger's Menagerie, a traveling exhibition of creatures used solely for entertainment and profit. When she witnesses the abuse handed down to one of the creatures, a side Delilah never knew existed comes to the surface as she seeks retribution for what she saw. But now, she finds herself locked up and forced to become one of the menagerie's new acts. Held captive and touted as nothing more than a monster, Delilah wishes for nothing more than to escape and she finds an unlikely ally in her handler, Gallagher. But when Delilah's true calling comes to light, she will have to choose between her own freedom or that of the creatures of the macabre carnival that see her as their only hope.

I've never read any of author Rachel Vincent's other works before, but what an introduction to both her writing and her new series Menagerie was! She created this fantastical world within what we would consider normal surroundings along with a cast of vividly described characters who were simply fascinating. Once you enter the world Delilah resides in, it's difficult to look away, almost as if you were actually standing in Metzger's Menagerie and trying to not be mesmerized by everything around you. The story is dark and haunting and there are moments that make you cringe. These creatures are treated as if they weren't worthy to be treated humanely simply because they weren't human, yet the actual humans were more inhumane in their behavior, making them more than qualified to be locked up in cages forever.

Delilah Marlowe is a captivating female lead character. Her world as she knows it is thrown completely off its axis and she's left with no other choice but to adapt to her new circumstances. Yet, she never allows herself to be broken, barely bending even when she knows it'll be more beneficial for her. Her compassion for others remains even as she's stripped of almost everything else. Her relationship with Gallagher captures your attention because it's one that makes you curious as to what truly is going on between the two of them and how it will play out as the series continues. There were certainly far more surprises than I was expecting as the book went on, and I couldn't help but wonder what stories the other creatures of the menagerie were waiting to tell. Menagerie was an enchanting five-plus-starred read and a 2015 favorite. ♥

Release Date: 29 September 2015

Date Read: 29 September 2015

Learn more about Rachel Vincent here.

Purchase Menagerie on Amazon | B&N | Kobo.


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