Menagerie

  • by Rachel Vincent
  • Narrated by Gabra Zackman
  • 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Genre bending story

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. ~4.5 Stars
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- RabidReads "Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger"

Dark story but good

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd recommend it to those who enjoy contemporary fantasy type of stories.


What did you like best about this story?

The relationship between Delilah and Gallagher was hard to understand at first. I wasn't sure I really liked him, but as the story progressed he grew on me. He and Delilah each had their roles to play under the circumstances (don't want to spoil anything). Nothing happened in the book that could be considered romantic and there was an unusual power balance with their relationship that evolved quite a bit by the end of the novel, but I would like to see something deeper develop in future books.


Which scene was your favorite?

The end was my favorite part and I will definitely be looking forward to the next novel in the series. Most of the criptics really grew on me and I can't wait to learn more about them.


Any additional comments?

I should warn that this book starts really slow and there isn't a lot of action in it. Expect a whole lot of world-building to set events up. It is also very dark with torture, abuse, and severe neglect featuring throughout the story. For some people, this will be difficult to get through. I almost gave up on it, but I was intrigued enough with the characters and story to push through. The ending and what may happen next made it all worth it. This is the kind of story that stays with you and makes you think about what humanity really is. What really defines an animal or monster?

Also, the narrator was fantastic. She did a great job of giving the wide cast of characters unique and individual voices. Her pacing was also excellent. I could definitely listen to more of her work.

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- Mistress of The Dark Path "Suzie"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-29-2015
  • Publisher: Recorded Books