Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: MIRA, 432 pages
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
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.
Creative, weird, freaky, dark, twisted, and disturbing…Menagerie is really good. The author has created a fascinating yet messed up world, although I still have a lot of questions about the history and how and why things are the way they are. Instead of info-dumping, the author slowly reveals this world through actions, conversations, and snippets from news stories, which I enjoyed but at the same time I just wanted to KNOW.
This is one of those books that's difficult to review because I don't want to reveal too much and there are some shocking twists and turns. Delilah is a strong main character and she goes through some horrible things. All of the "creatures" do and it's so sad what's happening to them but at the same time, when you find out what happened in the past, it sort of makes sense.
Know that this is an "adult" book, with Delilah being twenty-five years old and most of the other characters older as well. And if you're sick of cliffhanger endings, this book doesn't have one.
Posted by: Pam