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Menagerie ❰EPUB❯ ✰ Menagerie Author Rachel Vincent – 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 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 uite ordinary world But under the macabre circus big 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 grotesue 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.

About the Author: Rachel Vincent

Note Though Rachel's blog entries are cross posted here she does not freuent Goodreads The best ways to contact her are FB Twitter or her Wordpress blog PLEASE DO NOT SEND HER MESSAGES HERE SHE DOES NOT CHECK THEMA resident of Oklahoma Rachel Vincent has a BA in English and an overactive imagination and consistently finds the latter to be practical She shares her workspace with.

10 thoughts on “Menagerie

  1. Emily May Emily May says:

    If monsters could look like humans and humans could look like monsters how could anyone ever really be sure that the right people stood on the outside of all those cages? 3 12 stars If it wasn't for the slightly messy and rushed ending this would be a solid four stars One thing is sure about Ms Vincent she knows how to keep you on the edge of your seatMenagerie presents a paranormal alternate reality that is unlike anything I've ever read It's creative it's fantastical but the most notable thing about it is just how convincing it is Vincent is skilled at taking the unbelievable and making you believe in it And that makes for a story that is compelling infuriating and scaryIn this world a wide variety of supernatural creatures all known as cryptids have no fundamental rights They are imprisoned collected for private use exploited and mistreated They cannot own property or hire a lawyer In the eyes of the law they are less than animals And Metzger's Menagerie is a travelling carnival where you can go and look upon these caged creaturesWhen Delilah Marlow visits the carnival she witnesses the injustices suffered by the cryptids everything from mermaids to minotaurs The cruel treatment sparks a rage that brings out a monster lurking under the surface of Delilah's human appearance a monster even she didn't know existed Suddenly accused of being a cryptid living in hiding Delilah begins to lose everything People think they are masters of the universe because they'vre conuered the skies and the seas and the heavens Because they can kill with the press of a button and speak to anyone else on the planet any time they like But there are things older and wiser than humanity Things powerful and significant Love and loss and birth Pain and bliss Vengeance Vincent builds up the story excellently It is creepy and awful Imagine one day discovering you were something else a something that stripped you of all human rights and property In Menagerie it is completely believable And it is frightening to realise how helpless Delilah isFrom then on Delilah's life gets worse We meet an array of fascinating characters and some of the most despicable Delilah must try to salvage some dignity stay alive and figure out exactly what she is before it's too late I have to issue a warning there is violence and rape in this book The latter is not graphic but still may be upsetting The violence on the other hand does get uite graphic and gory While I think older teens may be able to enjoy Menagerie it is clearly aimed at adultsBut I really enjoyed it It's a fast paced engrossing and thrilling bookBlog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Pinterest

  2. karen karen says:

    this is my first rachel vincent booki'd heard good things about her but always from readers who like urban fantasy or that kind of YA fantasy romance that i'm just not into this book sounded like a departure from her usual style and i've had a lot of luck with sideshowcarnival novels this year so when i saw it listed as a giveaway on the reading room i figured might as well and then there was WINNINGbut i did not expect to love it as much as i did because yeah it's pretty much urban fantasy BUT it's urban fantasy with all of the romantic elements removed which since it's the desultory romancey bits i don't usually dig in urban fantasy is like getting a box of lucky charms that is ALL MARSHMALLOWSit takes place in an alt version of our world where cryptids and human cryptid hybrids walk among us or they would walk among us but because of a few bad apples and some regrettable genocide any creature even remotely supernatural can be legally hunted down and killed outright thrown into unregulated facilities for study or punishment sold to wealthy most dangerous game types to be shot for sport or put into traveling circuses to terrify and delight a freuently hostile audiencedelilah's living in oklahoma in a bit of a rut and restless about it when she receives a well intentioned but clueless birthday present from her dull boyfriend brandon tickets to metzger's menagerie where she finds herself an uncomfortable spectator to all manner of caged shifters oracles minotaurs selkies werewolves ifrits etcdelilah's always been fascinated by cryptids but in the biologicalmythological way than the let's put it in a cage and poke at it with a stick way and on this occasion she witnesses such cruelty towards the caged and starved creatures that the injustice causes her to respond with a uite inhuman display of outragewhich comes as uite a shock to the staff the caged cryptids delilah's boyfriend and bestie and delilah herself who had no idea she was anything other than human all these 25 years and suddenly the freedom she has enjoyed her entire life her plans for the future her relationships and prospects and the very basic comforts of life are no longer rights to which she is entitled now that she is legally a monster all she has is a 4 x 6 steel cage in the menagerie her wits her simmering anger and her stubborn refusal to submit; she's a dangerous combination of a woman with a big mouth no self defense skills and no civil rightson top of the emotional turmoil of being caged and put in a position where anything can be done to her with impunity delilah gets to experience further depersonalization because while it's clear she is not uite human her actual species remains unidentified so it's all mystery and action and creature fantasy and cage rage and alliances and manipulation and it's just a fun and completely addictive book which sounds odd for a book about a woman imprisoned like a beast but it's got were cheetahs so ppbblltt i devoured most of it in one huge chunk without even meaning to i'd intended to just curl up with it for a little bit but then i became so consumed with the atmosphere and the mystery of what could she beeeee?? and then it was like when you set those boundaries for yourself like okay i will have just one bite of pudding but it goes down so smooth you have another and then another and before you know it there is no pudding for anyone else and you get kicked out of the grocery storeto me it was a fantastic combination of an original storyline a setting that's been delivering for me all year secondary characters with all sorts of cool powers and traits and a heroine who is reasonably badass and fierce without becoming just a cliché of that type of heroine Get her processed then put her on the row Tomorrow start breaking herHis instructions echoed in my headBreak me? Like a stick for kindling or like a pony for riding? Break me like a date or like a heart or like a promise? In the end it wouldn't matter I had no intention of being brokeni definitely appreciate that for the most part vincent resists the temptation to make historical precedent references to slavery or concentration camps and that she tells her own story without relying upon comparisons to real world atrocities to give her situations weight i see the complaints of others but i personally loved the multiple POVs because although yeah yeah the voices sounded very similar the perspectives themselves were drastically different determined by how much information the characters had their individual experiences and backstories and their actual physical limitations to communicating what they know which leads to a lot of delicious frustration and was one of my favorite parts along with all of the seeeeeecrets and yeah there are some implausibilities and things left unexplained but the major uestions have been answered it ends in the perfect spot where someone who doesn't like it enough to pursue it into the second book has enough closure but where people like me who are going to be ALL OVER that second book have a lot to look forward touestions and uibbles and actual spoilers so back offview spoiler her mother's death was way too rushed brandon and shelley abandoned her pretty uickly right? some friends i thought atherton would have been a bigger part of the story after that strong sympathetic openand i assume these are things that will be addressed in the next book but where is elizabeth??? and what's that crybaby been up to? what is the significance of orphans?? because that was a weak payoff for such a drawn out puzzle so there had better be to it hide spoiler

  3. Rachel Rachel says:

    Hey guys I just wanted to let everyone know that with MENAGERIE coming out soon Sept 29 2015 I'm seeing lots of reviews and shelving of the book here on GR Unfortunately lots of people are shelving it as YA and MENAGERIE is NOT YA Nor is it romance My publisher classifies it as fantasycommercial fictionWhile MENAGERIE addresses some very serious issues I tend to return to in my work it is a very different kind of book than I've ever written It's not simply one woman's storystruggle The scale is much larger than that and the stakes are both personal and expansive Here's what Publishers Weekly had to say about MENAGERIEAn alternate world where cryptids protohuman hybrids are second class citizens provides the perfect context for this deftly told dark fantasy which reflects on what makes humans human Oklahoman Delilah Marlow who was raised as a human shows a cryptid side that she never knew she had She’s stripped of her rights and forced to perform as a sideshow attraction in a traveling carnival whose human handlers often act bestial than their charges Though Delilah resists her enslavement she learns from Gallagher her gruffly sympathetic handler that she has a major role to play in cryptid culture As depicted by Vincent Delilah is magnificent in her defiance of injustice and the well wrought background for her world sets the stage for her future adventures in this captivating new fantasy series Oct

  4. Mary Beth Mary Beth says:

    But if monsters could look like humans and humans could look like monsters how could anyone ever really be sure that the right people stood on the outside of all those cages?This is the first book in the Menagerie Series and this one is a winner It is a dark fantasyDeliah Marlow visits a carnival and something happens really bad and she gets arrested She thinks she is human but what happened at the carnival made people believe that she was a monster She is then sold to Metzger who owns the carnival and circus She is now his property and she has no rights She is padlocked onto a wagon and treated like she is a monster They call them cryptids She is stripped of her worldly possessions including her own name as she's forced to perform in town after town She is on display Other displays at this carnival are mermaids minotaurs gryphons werewolves and kelpies They all are very strange creatures but they all share a bond by being kept in captivity and all are in cages The uestion is what kind of cryptid is Deliah since she looks so human? She turns out to be very specialI really loved the character development of the characters They were all done so well Deliah never gave up she fought and tried so hard to get out of captivity She was so stubhorn Ginivieve and her Dad I felt so sad for My heart really went out for them Gallagher for some reason I disliked in the beginning but near the end I began to like him I thought all of the cryptids were all done so well and they made the storyThis book was so good and it had a different plot and was so different than any book that I have read It was very creative It is a dark and gritty fantasy If you like dark and gritty then I think you will really love this book I can't wait to read book 2 and already have it on hold on Overdrive

  5. Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin says:

    MY BLOG Melissa Martin's Reading ListMY FIRST FAVORITE BOOK OF 2016Okay on with the review In this traveling circus there are all of these beautiful cryptid creatures they live in horrible conditions You only have a few that are really dangerous Some stuff went down way back when the government stripped all cryptids of their rights they were under no protection even the hybrids They were treated so horrible in this place I couldn't hardly stand it I loved almost all of the characters well the good ones but my favorites were Delilah Gallagher Claudio the werewolf his daughter Genevieve Eryx the Minotaur So on Delilah's 25th b day her boyfriend got her tickets to go to see the circus two of their friends came along Delilah was going to go into a crypto veterinary school but she dropped out because the only jobs were performing experiments on them she wanted no part of that While the group were looking at the different creatures Delilah felt sorry for them when one of the keepers started shocking little Genni so she would come out of the dark Delilah went off I mean off She turned into something she took care of that dude BUT this caused all sorts of problems for her she was taken into custody freaked out as she had never done anything like that before had blood work all kinds of things done her mom finally told them she was an orphan that's all I'm going to say about that Delilah ended up in the filthy cages with the other cryptids since they didn't know what she was Gallagher was the only person nice to her he was her keeper She was supposed to perform for the crowds like all of the other poor creatures No one cared about these creatures but it made me so sad at the things that were done to them They were starved beaten raped you name it There are a couple of the evil people that got their just rewards in such wonderful ways I could have jumped for joy and my inner Hulk was very happy At some point we find out what Delilah is but I am not telling you you have to read the book you have to read the book anyway then we find out someone else is something else too Gus can express my thoughts when finding these two things out See below ↓Delilah set up some things to save all of the creatures for them all to have their freedom I was so proud of her This book is just so good I hope if you haven't read it you will I hope you love it as much as I do but if you don't that's okay too

  6. Chantal (Every Word A Doorway) Chantal (Every Word A Doorway) says:

    Menagerie is one of those books that completely split my opinion Some things I thought were great others had me barrowing my face in my hands with frustration But first thing’s first The book’s concept is uniue and intriguing and I am happy to say that the execution didn’t make me think differently The plot is fresh and that combined with the fact that this novel is devoid of romance makes Menagerie stand out from other generic books from the genre But if monsters could look like humans and humans could look like monsters how could anyone ever really be sure that the right people stood on the outside of all those cages? Menagerie starts out with a bang It is set in a paranormal alternate America in which various supernatural creatures – known as cryptids – exist These cryptids although sentient beings and sometimes completely human looking have no fundamental rights and are killed mistreated tortured and imprisoned They are seen as nothing than property Metzger’s Menagerie is a travelling carnival which houses such creatures under inhumane conditions uite creative don’t you think? But what really amazed me was how real and convincing the setting is Rachel Vincent made me believe that this world exists that any moment I could go to the zoo and look at minotaurs hear sirens and touch mermaids The idea is both compelling and scary at the same time So we have Delilah Marlow our protagonist who is gifted tickets to go see Metzger’s Menagerie for her 25th birthday She has never liked the idea of cryptid imprisonment but decides to go anyway When she witnesses the torture of one of the encaged creatures Delilah’s rage is sparked and she loses control committing an act that has horrific conseuences We watch as Delilah’s life gets turned upside down how all her rights are taken and in an instant she becomes less than an animal to society The author did a commendable job depicting Delilah’s horrors and evoking the suffocating conditions under which she must now live Delilah’s helplessness was palpable and it added a driving force to the entirety of the novel What was I if I had no name no friends no family no job no home no belongings and no authority over my own body? What could I be? Besides the solid world building I also thought the pacing was great Every time I started getting bored something would happen to shake things up There is no info dumping or unnecessary description only what is needed to understand the story and be pulled into the worldHowever there were also numerous things I disliked about this book The characters First and foremost I didn’t feel attached to any of the characters I felt for Delilah at the beginning despite her being a bit of a hypocrite and seeing her fight to retain some scrap of dignity broke my heart She is very fierce and stubborn and didn’t just stand by watching others dehumanize her These aspects of her character made it easy to root for her Break me? Like a stick for kindling or like a pony for riding? Break me like a date or like a heart or like a promise? In the end it wouldn't matter I had no intention of being broken As time went on however Delilah started getting on my nerves There are many moments when talking back and sticking up for yourself is appropriate but there is also a line where pride becomes stupidity Delilah crossed that line all the time She had no sense of self preservation She’s also very much a special snowflake but I’ve come to expect that from this genreThen we have Gallagher who if I’m being honest I didn’t like AT ALL He annoyed me to no end I’ve been trying to figure out what it was about him I didn’t like but I can’t seem to put my finger on it I just found him to be grating and inconsistent and his silly “my word is my honour” repetition did nothing for me When it comes to the side characters I think they were done well enough I felt sympathy for the imprisoned cryptids though we aren’t told enough about them to truly make me care and the menagerie workers were appropriately despicable But again I didn’t feel a lot of attachment towards any of them even poor little Jenny The reveals The other big issue I had is very difficult to explain Basically I felt that there was a lack of foreshadowing that made the novel less suspenseful and the “reveals” seem cheap There is this big mystery about how nobody knows what Delilah is Then suddenly we are told But there was no way for us to guess what she was The reader cannot figure it out by himself because the world was never fully established We know that mythological creatures exist but we don’t know the extent Where are the limits? What is real and what is lore? Delilah could be anything and that really took some of the fun out of the mystery It was like the reader was just being served the answer on a silver platter without having to work for it This wouldn’t have been a big deal if it had only happened once but Rachel Vincent builds the entire story on the basis of these reveals and they just lacked impact view spoilerIt was the same thing with the reveal of Gallagher’s true identity Yes there was foreshadowing that he was Fey the whole “I always tell the truth” was a giveaway but how were we supposed to know what type he was? And then there is the relationship between Romilly I listened to the audio is that how her name is spelled? and the minotaur Were there any clues or did I miss something? Oh and the fact that one of the sirens had a husband? So random hide spoiler

  7. Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller says:

    455 stars I am very very happy with this book

  8. Carmel (Rabid Reads) Carmel (Rabid Reads) says:

    Reviewed by Rabid ReadsI 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 handI’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 eyesA 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 installmentGabra Zackman was an excellent choice as far as narrators go Her audiobook repertoire is uite 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 intendedTo may to to mah to—call MENAGERIE whatever you like as long as you read it 45 Stars

  9. Alyssa Alyssa says:

    OKAY I AM FINISHEDWhile the first half of this book was ROUGH for me I was looking at a 1 star rating for this book to be honest I slowly got used to all the disturbing things that went on oh my gosh am I a psychopath? That sounded really bad and started to get into the story itselfBasically once you can get past human captivity torture forced laborslavery and some sexual harassment you can enjoy this one Which makes me feel like a psychopath because HOW CAN ONE JUST GET USED TO THAT KIND OF STUFF??? It shows how well Vincent wrote it I was soooo disturbed but at the same time it was off putting and horrifying Review posted on The Eater of Books blogMenagerie by Rachel VincentBook One of the Menagerie seriesPublisher MIRA HarleuinPublication Date September 29 2015Rating 3 starsSource eARC from NetGalleyWarning this is an adult book and for the eyes of mature readersSummary from GoodreadsFrom 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 uite 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 burlesue 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 grotesue 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 taleWhat I LikedSuper long review coming your way people No apologiesIf you all were watching my Twitter and Goodreads feeds on Tursday August 18th you saw my slight meltdownvery strong reaction to what I had read so far at that point At only a fourth into the book I was horrified and disgusted and very very disturbed I was on the verge of putting this one down for good and I NEVER stop reading a book I start putting a note on NetGalley explaining my failure to finish and move on with my lifeObviously that wasn't the outcome with this book I went one to read another 50% and called it a night at 75% I finished up this book on Wednesday at work I've decided that I absolutely LOVED the second half of the book but the first half really marred the book overall So three stars This is my first Rachel Vincent novel adult or YA and while I didn't completely love it I'm glad I stuck it out and muscled through this oneDelilah is a seemingly normal woman with a boring boyfriend and great friends and a loving mom When Delilah her boyfriend and two friends go to Metzger's Menagerie the carnival of beasts including a Minotaur sirens werewolves etc While there she sees one of the handlers goading one a werewolf girl and Delilah reacts By sinking her claws into the handler Claws? What claws? It turns out Delilah is one of those creatures though no one knows what kind She is bought by Metzger's and she is stripped of all human rights she used to enjoy But Delilah starts to get to know the other attractions of the carnival and she finds that she wants to help them despite not being able to help herself Delilah may be imprisoned bruised abused but she discovers something about herself that she never knew and will stop at nothing to get her freedom back and win the freedom of all the othersSee my notes below on the first half of the book It was ROUGH However once I got past the things that were disturbing and horrifying human captivity forced laborslavery sexual harassment torture abuse etc I started to get into the story I feel like a complete psycho for saying once I got past ie horrible things but at some point around the 50% I guess I got desensitized? No that's not true At 75% I was like okay things have gotten even disturbing But also really intriguing and slightly hopefulThe tone of this book is incredibly dark and hopeless emphasis on the hopeless part for at least two thirds of the book maybe three fourths While I absolutely hated seeing Delilah tortured and abused the way she was I have to say Vincent did an incredible job of writing this tone and showing the brutality of this particular world I felt just abut as enraged and panicked and filled with despair as Delilah which shows how well Vincent dug into the character and the storyThe world building is incredible though as I keep saying it is disturbing In this world humans are afraid of surrogates human looking monsters They're afraid of monsters and creatures in general Delilah has no rights as whatever she is not even to her clothes One of the most disturbing scenes was when she had to strip in front of the handlers Male handlers who were looking in than one way not just to see what she is She is always chained so any handler can do whatever he wants with her You see what I'm saying about disturbing? I have to hand it to Vincent though she really wrote this well Disturbing but the world building is so exuisitely crafted The carnival has all the mystiue and appeal but behind the scenes it is a hopeless and cruel placeAgain the world building is spot on Despite the fact that I struggled with how disturbing things were see below I have to say the world building was so well done I couldn't have been so disturbed if the author had toned it down right?I really like Delilah so so much She finds out she isn't human by sinking claws into his head and then gets arrested and then stripped and then sold and then has to do humiliating things like strip again eat disgusting meat live in a teeny tiny cage hold her bladder for days One handler takes every opportunity he can to abuse her in some way and my heart broke every time This is why I couldn't keep reading I hated seeing Delilah suffer her dignity lost pride on its way The thing is Delilah kept struggling She kept fighting She never let them break her though they hurt her over and over Delilah is determined even if she knows no way to escapeHer main handler is Gallagher who was there when she was bought for Metzger's He isn't cruel and abusive and he goes out of his way to protect her and not to hurt her Of course Delilah suspects the worst how could she not? He wants something from her right? Gallagher is actually a decent person When you read this book stay on his side and cheer him on I lived for the scenes between him and Delilah There is nothing romantic going on yet??? no hints but they seem to know each other without knowing understand each other on some level I love Gallagher and I love his role in this novel He is critical to this story don't underestimate himThe tone gets a little hopeful as we slowly start to know Gallagher and his mind I can't say too much but I am happy with the direction of the plot after we finally figure out and about Gallagher and Delilah The two of them are a great pair and I felt better about the story knowing that they were on the same sideThe ending is excellent I am pleased with the ending even if it ended a bit twisted Maybe I really am a psychopath In any case the ending could have been much worse so I appreciate that reprieve I don't think my heart could have taken any What I Did Not LikeClearly I liked a lot of things about this book But it took me a looooong time to appreciate those things The world building? I HATED it initially This book is disturbing on so many levels I hated seeing Delilah go from average human to less than dirt Suddenly it doesn't matter if she's naked or cold or scared or has a human appearance or can speak What matters is that she is a cryptid creature and once they figure out what she is they can start breeding her oh yes This part almost made me sick but not to worry this isn't a part of the story for Delilah This is introduced with another character There were so many disturbing scenes in this book I wanted to shred Clyde a handler for abusing Delilah She is always chained and of course it's really easy to do things to a person who is chained Everyone treats Delilah like filth with the exception of the other cryptids so they think they can do anything with her This broke my heart over and over You see why I was disturbed? One thing you don't need to worry about is rape in terms of Delilah Not ruling it out for other charactersThere are mentions of forced breeding and rape FYI Also violence Hence my adult warning at the beginning of the book It's mostly because of the violence in this bookStill like I previously said Vincent did a great job with making this book so incredibly disturbing But it hurt One of the secondary characters Genni is the absolute worst off But if Vincent had made this book lighter on all the torture and abuse and captivity treatment and whatnot it wouldn't have been as powerful a novelOne thing that I didn't understand was the newspaper articles and snippets at the beginning of each perspectivechapter by the way there are many perspectives all in third person except's Delilah's in first person I don't know what they contribute to the story They're about the scare with cryptids and surrogates that occurred years ago but they don't seem to add to the plot Perhaps foreshadowing? Or world building? I'm not sure I started to skip them after a while So once you get used to the disturbing stuff you'll enjoy the story The faster you can stomach it and Vincent has it going for than half the book the easier the book gets to read It was NOT an easy read by any means clutches tatters of heartWould I Recommend ItYou know despite my rating it does seem like I enjoyed the book right? I hope I can convince someone to read this one and not dissuade although if you can't handle the disturbing stuff I mentioned above definitely SKIP this book I want you all to know my issues with this book and while they marred the rating and enjoyment for me I'm glad I picked up this novel Vincent fans will probably like this one how would I know I've never read any of her other novels but anyone who doesn't mind dark sinister and disturbing fantasy set in a modern day world will be intrigued and captured by this novel ADULT BOOK OKAY?Rating35 stars rounded down to 3 stars Definitely on the positive end of 3 stars But I can't give this novel 4 stars knowing just how much I struggled with it for about half the book even a little than that It is my first Vincent novel and hopefully the seuel will be my next one Although I am totally scared of the seuel if it's anything as disturbing as this book I might need therapy

  10. Eilonwy Eilonwy says:

    4 12 stars just short of perfect Delilah Marlow leads a pretty dull life living with her boyfriend and working as a bank teller Then one night she visits Metzger's Menagerie a traveling showcase of cryptids shapeshifters mermaids djinn a minotaur among many others and is suddenly declared a cryptid herself She is stripped of her clothing belongings bank account and all her rights and sold to the menagerie by the state of Oklahoma Trapped and helpless she is abused debased and starved along with the rest of the captives But she is determined to keep her sense of self and to escape It feels weird to say I loved this book considering the dark and horrifying premise and the mistreatment of the beings held hostage in the menagerie But love it I did I was pulled in from beginning to end by the story which was surprisingly emotionally powerful; by the writing which zooms along with no flowery descriptions or other distractions; and by how believable this alternate earth felt Several plot threads are woven together artfully using Delilah's first person narration peppered with third person glimpses into other characters and snippets about the Reaping a mass slaughter which happened a few years before Delilah's birth and which turned the US against cryptids who had until then been living freely with humans as respected and eual citizens Delilah's predicament is safely fantasy but it felt terrifyingly possible to me in light of both US history and current events the abuse and denial of personhood for slaves; the mistrust and mistreatment of Native Americans; the internment of Japanese citizens during WWII; and the current rise of Islamophobia The treatment she and her menagerie mates receive and the delight some of the human characters take in being able to treat other beings so badly was tough to read and made me as angry as if it were a real story The main thing that made it bearable was knowing that this book is fiction and surely there would be some kind of justice by the end None of it was too gruesome and I'm pretty sensitive to violence and cruelty but it was harrowing Through it all Delilah's voice and spirit shone brightly and the mystery of what kind of cryptid she might be was intriguing and fascinating I loved the insights into the other characters and their motivation as well There are a couple weak spots which kept me from giving this 5 stars First Mexico is eventually revealed to be a land of sultanates and djinn say what? This was the only big misstep in the worldbuilding for this story that I noticed but it opened the door for me to look back on the rest of it nitpickily Why aren't djinn Arabian in this world? Why isn't Mexico run by native cryptids? Why does the US seem mostly like the place we know in this world but Mexico sounds so very different? Second part of the big climax is brought about with the help of two cryptids who weren't ever mentioned until they were suddenly convenient which gave me a whiff of deus ex machina rather than an organic build up to solving that particular problem Last while I admired all the amazing plot twists and turns in this book there were a few too many twists at the end which left me slightly numb and overwhelmed rather than thrilled or emotionally moved But these are all very tiny weaknesses There will be two books in this series but this one stands alone uite decently so there's no need to wait for them all before reading this Although I am now tapping my fingers very impatiently for the next one Hopefully that one will fill in a bit about the Reaping the who how and why of which is left as a mystery at the end of this installment Highly recommended if you want a dark breathless constantly surprising read with emotional depth Now I've got to find books by this author if this is any example of what she's writing It was so so good

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