Monday, December 14, 2015

Werewolves and Mermaids and Minotaurs Oh My!

TITLE: Menagerie (Menagerie #1)
AUTHOR: Rachel Vincent
PUBLISHING DATE: September 29, 2015

FROM GOODREADS:  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 don't even know where to begin with this. All I can say is that I was in the mood for some urban fantasy, and this certainly fit the bill. Delilah lives in a world where over 20 years ago, a "reaping" happened and cryptids emerged. These are "animals" or basically cross-breeds of animals and humans, which are now consider possessions and horrors. People gather them to hunt, or if they are "lucky," they can live their life in traveling side-show/circus creations called Menageries. Delilah grows up believing she is 100% human...or is she? She has always been drawn to the cryptids and then something happens which starts to explain why.

I loved this book for so many reasons. The story is fresh and unusual and riveting. Vincent creates a vivid world full of both beautiful and ugly things. The characters are wonderful. Delilah is smart and head-strong - sometimes to her own detriment. And the cryptids! I live Claudio the werewolf and his daughter Ginnie. Eryx the minotaur is captivating and mysterious...and dangerous. There are mermaids, sirens, and all kinds of shiters.

I adored this book so much it was hard to put down. I can't believe I have to wait for the next one as any amount of wait is too long. I haven't loved a new series so much since I picked up Anne Bishop's "Written in Red." If you love urban fantasy you definitely have to pick this up! I do have to warn you thought this is an extremely dark urban fantasy which contains abuse, violence and other maltreatment and neglect.



  1. I liked that you mentioned that this story is fresh - makes me want to give it a try.

  2. Oh, I was with you until "abuse" - maybe a little too dark for me. Thanks for the warning!

    I read another dog book while we were away - Stepdog. Did you read that one? I ... liked it I guess. It was very well written, and a page-turner - but it stressed me out so much worrying about the dog! I was a wreck reading it! :P

    1. I have read Stepdog and there is a review somewhere on this blog. Like you, I was worried about the dog and I also couldn't get past that she was getting seriously involved with a non-dog person.

  3. You make this sound more interesting that I thought it might be so I will put it on my list. :)

    1. I think you will enjoy it. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.

  4. Ohh great review I've been dying to read this books for a long time now, and now your review makes me want to pick up sooner! Urban Fantasy is one of my all time favorite genre, and I have a feeling I am really going to love and enjoy this one as well! Thank you for your awesome post my friend! :)