Ok, so many of you know that my favourite author is Rachel Vincent (and if you don’t you now know) and I’ve followed her career and freaking loved every book she’s brought out and while I used to be really on top of her releases I fell behind a little when life got a little too busy for me, but that’s also pretty much an excuse, I know it, anyway I’m digressing before I even really start.
I want to talk about Rachel’s book Menagerie, I followed along on Twitter as she spoke about how much of a mammoth challenge this book was and it wasn’t until I read it that I realised it really was huge.
The book itself is not big but the concept…oh my gosh, the concept, it’s amazing. Sometimes I wonder if she lives in my brain because there will be snippets of things that I have going in my stories, I feel like we’re same brain children sometimes.
Menagerie is set in a world where being different and special is a crime; it’s a world where you are stripped of all of your rights and your ability to be a human being if you are different. A reaping in years past, that killing thousands if not millions has had the world on lockdown and being human and normal is celebrated. The book follows Delilah Marlow who is a seemingly human protagonist that stumbles along a circus that is has metaphysical beings performing what is natural to them and unnatural to the rest of the world. It’s here that Delilah reveals that she’s a sharp claws, teeth bearing…something. She doesn’t know what she is and neither does any one else in the story (for most of it anyway).
She’s locked up in a cage, stripped of her rights and joins the menagerie of beings from minotaurs, seers, werewolves, fey and the like. Delilah’s accomplice in the book is a man called Gallagher who at first seems to be tough, hard and demanding before that exterior cracks away and it comes unravelling. I did get pretty excited the instant what he was, was revealed I mean even reading this I got the vibes that he was one of the beast in the menagerie. I won’t spoil what he was but my background reading so much fantasy and rping it actually made this one the easiest of them all.
The ending is a little rushed, but I didn’t quite mind. I wanted it to keep going, but I always feel that way with Vincent’s novels. Her writing is so easily digestible and the real magic came for me about half way through when I realised that she was switching from first person (Delilah) to third person (others in the book) and my mind was blown, because it was done so seamlessly (at least to me) and so well put together. I was seriously freaking out like there was no tomorrow, because it was the most exciting thing I’d come across (I was also nose deep in essay prep at this stage too…not sorry).
Menagerie is a break away from her usual urban fantasy romance novels which her repertoire of novels, as well as her YA and I have to say it’s probably one of her best novels to date, I acknowledge that I’m a few releases (or like 4) but I’m ok with this, I’m going to be catching up! I really love this novel and it’s going to be one of the ones that I will never praise enough. I’ve started the sequel and I’m excited to get back into it…but you know I have another book to finish first.
- Delilah’s mistreatment within the novel is so upsetting that I actually found it difficult to read because out of sympathy.
- The creepy relationship between the minotaur and one of the seers weirded me out more than I wanted to admit.
- I loved the different species that were featured: sirens, fey, werewolves, selkies allll so much goodness.
This book is definitely a must have in your collection if you love mythical being in the modern world.