R.I.P. is hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings every Halloween....Read at your own peril!
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 loved this book! It was one of those have-to-keep reading types of books, that are hard to put down. I am not the biggest fan of Rachel Vincent usually, but this one, this one I really loved.
First off, let me say that it is pretty brutal. Like almost hard to read sometimes brutal, if you are at all sensitive to violence towards women. Once you get first the few chapters, it chills out, but those first ones are a doozy. It was nothing too overboard, but it walked kind of a knife edge, in my opinion.
Vincent's Menagerie conjured thoughts of HBO's Carnivale, Mommy Fortuna's traveling carnival from The Last Unicorn (I love this movie!!), and Detroit's own Theatre Bizarre (which I also love). The world is not the world we know - this world has undergone a transformation, and those imaginary monsters under the bed have turned out to be real. But the real question this story proposes, is just who are the real monsters?
Metzger's Menagerie is renowned for its collection of oddities, monsters, the rare, the killer, the scary. When it rolls into Delilah Marlow's town, it is a once in a lifetime chance to see these rarities - and Delilah isn't that excited about the prospect, despite it being her birthday gift from her boyfriend. She should have followed her instincts, because in one night, she goes from bank teller to someone with less rights than a stray dog, as she finds herself on the other side of the cage bars. The mysterious Gallagher is her handler, and I loved his character. I could have kept reading this book just to find out more about him - he almost stole the show out from under Delilah, in my opinion. There was only one part that I think could have been handled better - it was like a throwaway decision, and the way it all unfolded and ended really bothered me. It was just careless writing. Other than this one little part, I really think that Vincent created an interesting new world. Filled with creatures you only read about in myths and legends, good vs. evil, and even what evil really can look like, I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!