Thursday, August 9, 2018

Audiobook Review: Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

Series:Menagerie #1
Pub. Date:Sept. 29, 2015
Publisher:Recorded Books
Narrator:Gabra Zackman
Length:10 hrs 57 min
Source:RBDigital


Well, this book certainly was not what I was expecting! In truth, I avoided the blurb before reading it. I am a fan of Rachel Vincent so I knew it would be good without investigating what the story was about... and I was right. Though unexpected, I was captivated by the story from beginning to end. This dark fantasy was a blend of mythology and horror set in the backdrop of a cruel and unusual carnival like you've never seen before.


The world of Metzger's Menagerie is split between humans and non-humans, a/k/a cryptids. The cryptids have lost their all their rights to life, liberty and freedom. They can be bought, sold and disposed of at just about any human's whim. They are our underdogs of the story, and our heroine, Delilah, quickly finds herself a member of the cryptids after living as a human for nearly thirty years. While she has always been sympathetic to the cryptids, she never really understood until the shoe was on the other foot. Losing everything in the blink of an eye, Delilah's life went from mundane to nightmare very quickly. But Delilah was a good heroine. She had strength of character and refused to be cowed. She continued to speak up for what was right and wrong, and did everything within her power to help those around her. I admired her quite a bit.

I was absolutely fascinated by all of the other captives and characters in the menagerie. They came from every walk of life, from mythology to paranormal, including some that I had never heard of before. Each one added a unique aspect to the story, and I was glad that we got to see different points of view as we went along.

Some of this story and inhumane treatment were hard to read. The menagerie masters were truly cruel and sadistic, and I think we may see worse as the series continues. So I would not recommend this book for younger readers or the squeamish. But if you like dark fantasy and mythology, I think you will like this one.

If you are an audio listener, then you will like this one as well. The narrator did a great job distinguishing between characters and giving them their own voice. She was able to affect believable personas for both sexes, which is always important with a single narrator. She also didn't try to oversell her performance, and kept the reading at pace and tone that fit the story. I will look for more of her work in the future.

Now, I'm off to listen to the next book, Spectacle.

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