by Rachel Vincent


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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-quite-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 grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other "attractions"—mermaids, minotaurs, griffins 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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778319320
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 09/27/2016
Series: Rachel Vincent's Menagerie Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 480
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent loves good chocolate, comfortable jeans, and serial commas. She’s older than she looks and younger than she feels, but is convinced that for every day she spends writing, one more day will be added to her lifespan. Now absorbed in the dark, tangled loyalties of her UNBOUND world, as well as the travails of a teenage banshee in her SOUL SCREAMERS world, Rachel can be found online at or

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Menagerie 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
KelsieAL More than 1 year ago
Vincent at her best! Run, don’t walk to the nearest bookseller and get this book. It is absolutely captivating! The characters are rich and the plot is engrossing. Delilah is a wonder, literally. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this trilogy.
Book_Sniffers_Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While romance is usually my jam, there was something about Menagerie that kept pulling me back in. All I can say is, I’m glad I took a chance on this one because I LOVED IT! It was dark, twisted, and left me speechless. Not only because of the way Delilah’s entire world was yanked away from her, or the way she was treated, but also because of how all the others were treated. We actually get a handful of chapters from some of the other characters in the story and reading about their state of life was heartbreaking. The outside world may view them as nothing more than dumb animals, but they are intelligent and they’ve been watching, listening, and understand everything that goes on around them. They know that the menagerie is making them mate just so that they can put their babies in the petting zoo area for a few years just to be sold off when they are no longer useful. They know that nothing comes free at the menagerie and asking for something as simple as a stitch of cloth could cost them something despicable. Some of them also know what life was like outside of being chained, starved, sedated, and forced to perform for entertainment. So while this may start off as Delilah’s story, it soon turns into all of their story of survival locked in a traveling cage. While the majority of Menagerie is of Delilah being chained and caged, a lot goes on. You see that appearances are deceiving and there are things going on beneath the surface. The story was like an onion, as you read, you pulled back more and more layers of the story. The author doesn’t just give you everything on a silver platter, she feeds it to you slowly, allowing you to savor every morsel of information. She gives you hints as to some of the things coming up, but if you’re like me and not overly familiar with all folklore, it will go over your head until the time is right and it’s revealed. Who was my favorite character? Easy, that would be Eryx the Minotaur. You see him around a lot because of his size and strength, they use him to pull all the rolling exhibits. Everyone views him as another dumb animal, but just like everyone else, he’s aware of everything that goes on and he knows how to play the humans. Seriously, if you are a fan of the mythical creatures and folklore from around the world and are in the mood for something a little on the dark side, you have got to pick up Menagerie.
NovelKnight More than 1 year ago
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect going into this book but I can say that I definitely liked it! First of all, it involved a carnival which is an immediate must-read for me. Add to that the elements of mythology woven throughout the world and I’m sold. It was an…. interesting experience reading it, though, because a lot of the book completely disgusted me in terms of the content but at the same time I was rooting for Delilah the whole time so I didn’t stop reading. So, before continuing, I want to add a trigger warning here that this book features a lot of abuse and it’s shown fairly graphically. The cryptids (the supernatural/mythological characters) are treated little better than animals and this includes the main character, Delilah, as well as a young girl. Let me be very clear that this book is not young adult. It really hits hard on the subject of abuse and captivity, essentially enslavement in some regards. Fair warning. But back to the story. Vincent knows how to spin a story. While I felt Menagerie moved a bit slow at times, it was all building up to the end. At the same time, I don’t feel like I was on the edge of my seat at any point in the book. I was invested in the characters but not enough that I was frantically flipping pages. Which was nice because that distance gave me more of a chance to reflect on some of the harsher topics addressed in the story as well as breathe. I don’t think I would have enjoyed this book if it had been non-stop action AND hitting those darker themes. This is not an action-packed adventure but I think those slower scenes still worked to draw the reader deeper into this very extreme world. I definitely think Delilah’s character shined throughout. She’s the kind of person that would do whatever it takes to do the right think. Not necessarily what’s easier. And considering what happens to her that takes a lot of courage and strength. She could have given up at any time and accepted her captivity but the entire time she fought, not only for herself but for the other cryptids. I also liked that the reveal of what she is wasn’t something I expected. It didn’t quite sit right with me either within the context of the story but I look forward to seeing that part of her life expanded on in the future. At the same time, I also enjoyed getting in the other characters’ heads periodically throughout the story. Most of the book is from Delilah’s perspective but other characters are brought in for a chapter here and there which I enjoyed because it opened the story up a bit more. By the end of Menagerie, I was waiting for the ending BIG EVENT to be a bit more drawn out based on the rest of the book but overall I liked the direction the book moved the story toward and I’ll definitely be picking up the sequel. I’d recommend this to fans of the paranormal but who are tired of the usual vampires and witches. There’s more of a mythology base in this book. Just keep in mind the warnings previously mentioned. Looking forward to the next book!
LilyElementBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Delilah Marlow is out celebrating her birthday with her friends and boyfriend when her life changed. Her boyfriend knows of her fascination with the cryptid so he got tickets for Metzger's Menagerie, which is basically a carnival/circus with cryptid beings. Cryptids are the mythological beings we've all heard of ranging from phoenixes, mermaids, centaurs, and sirens to name just a few. While her boyfriend was right, Delilah is fascinated with the cryptids, he didn't think about the fact that our leading lady is sympathetic towards them. So when she sees one of the handlers mistreating a little wolf girl, something changes inside her. She snaps and somehow unleashes a power that she's never had before and kills the handler. That seals Delilah's fate, and she winds up being stripped of all her humane rights. She's sold to Metzger's Menagerie and expected to sit in a cage and give performances of her newfound abilities in each little town they stop at. Menagerie is dark, gritty and mesmerizing. I really didn't want to put the book down because I just kept hoping that things would somehow work out. As I said, this book is dark, do not read this if you aren't a fan of darker stories. The cryptids are pretty much slaves, they're sometimes tortured, starved or even sexually coerced. It's not a pretty story and it does address how people treat others. I'll be interested in seeing what happens in book two, hopefully, Delilah manages to get a happy ending. I recommend this for Urban Fantasy fans that enjoy darker reads.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm sorry that I spent money on this novel. Perhaps I misunderstood the premise in the synopsis? For someone whose taste in reading is as broad and diverse as mine, I was dismayed by the raw indignities found in even the first 30 pages. One can assume there's a radical turnaround and resolution in the end, but I won't invest the time to get there -- not even a talented storyteller like Rachel Vincent can fabricate enough justice to rectify the depravity in this plot line.
Laura_at_125Pages More than 1 year ago
Original review at READ THIS BOOK. That is all. Oh, you came for a review… well I guess I can tell you about this book. But really, you need to go read it. So the first thing to note is this is a 5 star review. I have only had one other 5 and that was one of my old comfort reads. I am stingy with my 5’s, I feel that since you can not get higher than the 5 handing it out all willy-nilly will dilute the impact. So this was unquestionably a 5. I have been waiting for Menagerie since I first read about it on Rachel Vincent’s blog in August of 2013. Vincent is one of my auto buy authors and I have been tracking her new releases for 2015 pretty closely. Her early summer release The Stars Never Rise was good and I gave it 4.25 stars, but Menagerie is the one I have been waiting for with bated breath. I was tracking my Amazon package all day and every time I heard a noise, I was checking to see if it had been left at my door. Finally at quarter to 7 it arrived. And of course I couldn’t start it till after everyone was settled for bed. I was literally nodding off on the couch and refused to put it down. I finished it Wednesday night, and it was magical. So the story in a nutshell – Monsters are real (called cryptids) and they are jailed, experimented on or sold to collectors. Delilah is a young woman who always assumed she was human, until she wasn’t. Sold to a collector who runs a carnival, she becomes a side show exhibit. She is not pleased by this but has no rights under the law. And then comes pure amazingness. I really cannot fully describe this book fairly. It was so nuanced, each line spoken had far reaching consequences later on. Each scene was vibrant and the characters were super realized. The world building was extremely well done; the story never dragged while the world was being described. I don’t know the last time I read a fiction book this real but yet so not in the best way. So please, do yourself a favor and read this book. ◊ Favorite line from final chapter Delilah – “Welcome to the menagerie, where beauty and grace shine from every cage and peek from every shadow. You’ve never seen anything like the exotic wonders within, so keep your eyes open, ladies and gentlemen, because in our world of spectacle and illusion, what you see isn’t always what you get.”
Cherylkochbooks More than 1 year ago
As I have said before, I am a fan of Rachel Vincent's. I own every book in the Shifter series. It is still my favorite series. Although this might be a unfair statement to say as I have not really read any of Ms. Vincent's other series. Not to say that I have not attempted to try the other series. I just could not find another connection to characters like in the Shifter series. However I just might have found that connection again with this trilogy. I like the dark and provocative fantasy elements of this trilogy. Delilah Marlow is a strong female heroine. She keeps the story grounded with human attributes as well. Then there is Gallagher. The strong, dark, male pretense. He is Delilah's dark knight. The first half of the story while it did not showcase many of the menagerie's residents' skills, it was still magical to get to know the characters. The second half of the story is where the story really picked up the pace. I can't wait to read the next book in this trilogy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Andrea17 More than 1 year ago
Menagerie is set in an alternate version of our world where creatures like mermaids, faeries, minotaurs, sirens, so on and so forth, are real and known to all. In 1986 an event known as The Reaping occurred and all non-humans (and non-100%-humans) were stripped of all their rights and considered property. For reference, our heroine, Delilah, comments many times that animals have more rights than hybrids. While visiting Metzger's Menagerie on her twenty-fifth birthday, Delilah becomes enraged when a handler mistreats and young werewolf, revealing that she is not "human" as she and everyone once believed. After a grueling few hours chained up at the sheriff stations, Delilah is bought by Metzger's Menagerie and turned into an attraction herself. She is placed into Gallagher's care after Metzger instructs him to find out what exactly Delilah is and break her, by any means necessary. I absolutely loved Delilah. After having gone to school to become a crypto-vet and learning the only place she'd be able to get a job would be in a menagerie or a place where hybrids are locked up, Delilah quit school and returned home. While in her captivity at Metzger's enagerie, Delilah begins to befriend the other "attractions," learns about how they live / are treated in the Menagerie, and despite the odds stacked against her, plans a way to get free. Having grown up human, Delilah refuses to just lie down and accept her new lot in life. She backtalks to the handlers, refuses to cooperate, and does her best to look out for Genevieve (the young werewolf from her first transformation). While the story is mainly told from Delilah's point of view, I appreciate the fact that every once in a while Rachel would jump into the head of another character. We witnessed the story from Gallagher, Delilah's mom, residents of Franklin County, a few handlers, and a few hybrids as well. I love that not only do we get to connect with Delilah, but these other characters as well. These narratives rounded out the story, allowed us to the horror of captivity from their eyes, and brought them to life. Aside from Delilah and Gallagher, my favorite has to be Eryx, the minotaur. There is definitely something about Eryx that, minotaur or no, makes him seem like the perfect cuddly pillow. Trust me, if you've read Menagerie (or when you do), that statement will make sense! Rachel's writing of Menagerie is absolutely flawless. Her descriptions of the cages, Menagerie itself, the characters, and all their emotions were spot on. I could picture myself walking around Metzger's Menagerie, staring through the bars (both into and out of cages), and understanding the injustice Delilah and her fellow captives felt. Menagerie is dark and honest; it had me flipping pages and blocking out the world around me. I couldn't put it down and, while I found the ending rather satisfying, I anxious to dive back into this world with Masquerade.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book!
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars Reviewed by Francesca and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog When I saw there was a new series coming out by Rachel Vincent I was extremely excited! And then when I saw the circus theme I was even more because quite frankly I’ve found a fascination with it! MENAGERIE is an adult urban fantasy that stands out from the rest. The world is unique and complex, and it was interesting to try and figure things out. My one issue with it? I think for me this suffered a bit from first book syndrome. The setup is that all kinds of paranormals used to live among humans until The Reaping. A supernatural attack that killed a lot of the human population. After that, humans have taken control again and paranormals have been exposed and stripped of their rights. They are nothing more than animals in society. Our heroine, Delilah, lived her whole life as a human without knowing any different. Until one day she visits the Menagerie (a circus featuring all kinds of paranormals) and something in her triggers and she exposes herself as a cryptid. This one instance changes her life into one of captivity. One where all the things she used to have are stripped away and she’s left with nothing to protect her but her will power and her inner strength. While in captivity at the Menagerie herself, she will find some of the most unlikely allies. And with their help she will discover what she is. While Ms. Vincent has to paint this world for us because it IS so different, and she does so in vivid detail, I found at times that it was TOO much. I think a big part of this book sets up our understanding so we can move forward with the story and that is one thing that kept making me lose interest in the first half of the story. Once passed that things picked up pretty decently and I kept wanting to know more. More about Delilah, more about Gallagher, more about the rest of the creatures in the Menagerie! MENAGERIE is dark and gruesome, a bit gory at times, but it’s a book that will keep you interested in the outcome of the story. It is pretty dark for a fantasy story so you have to be in the mood for that to read it. And while I had mixed feelings, after the events that unfold in the end I’m definitely looking forward to reading more in this series.
paisleymonday More than 1 year ago
Amazingly written, darkly fascinating and strangely hopeful, thought-provoking, and extremely unputdownable! As a fan of Rachel Vincent, I was eagerly anticipating this book release and I was not disappointed in the least. She once again proves what a fantastic writer and storyteller she truly is. I cannot wait for the next installment of this fascinating new series.
Olivia_B More than 1 year ago
Wow. I don't know how else to describe Menagerie. From the first page, I was sucked into a believable world where werewolves and mermaids and menataurs are real, and they are abused and put on display for the amusement of anyone who can afford a ticket. Deliah isn't a monster (or is she?), but when she becomes the property of a second-rate traveling Menagerie, her life and the lives of everyone around her changes forever. This book isn't easy to read. It's hard to follow Deliah without wanting to help her when things go from bad to unimaginably horrific. It's hard to consider that many zoos, and circuses, and puppy mills, and the history of civil inequality isn't so far off from this fictional world. I won't give anything away. All I can say is "Read it." Oh, and Wow.
JBronder More than 1 year ago
Delilah Marlow visits Metzger’s Menagerie. While there she is taken back with the treatment of a werewolf girl and gets so worked up that she ends up sinking her claws into the handler. Delilah is then accused of hiding as a human since cryptids have no rights and is then purchased and added to the Menagerie. Since cryptids have no rights, Delilah is treated horribly. She is abused physically and mentally. But the more Delilah is there, the more she learns about the other attractions. Although she can’t help herself, she is going to do whatever she can to help the others. I love Rachel Vincent’s books. So when I got a copy of Menagerie, I couldn’t wait to get reading. This is a very dark book, which I loved but might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Delilah is stripped of everything, even the clothes on her back. She is locked up and forced to perform for the show and face all kinds of torture. But no matter what, they won’t break her spirit and she keeps fighting. I have to say that I was leery of Gallagher but I came to love him the more I read. He is the one shining spot in all the darkness. Although this book is dark yet really good, it makes you think about more than just the story. What would happen in real life if something like The Reaping or other events happen? Society doesn’t have a great history of being understanding to others that don’t fit in. And sadly it has a history of the darkest of all human behaviors being used in such times. This is a great story that will make you think about so much more than just the story. It is dark and gruesome but believable. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book. I received Menagerie for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Menagerie by Rachel Vincent Book One of the Menagerie series Publisher: MIRA (Harlequin) Publication Date: September 29, 2015 Rating: 3 stars Source: eARC from NetGalley ***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers*** Summary (from Goodreads): 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-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. What I Liked: Super long review coming your way, people. No apologies. If you all were watching my Twitter and Goodreads feeds on Tursday (August 18th), you saw my slight meltdown/very 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 life. Obviously 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 one. Delilah 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... Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)