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(Menagerie #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  5,805 ratings  ·  1,037 reviews
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
Hardcover, 429 pages
Published September 29th 2015 by MIRA
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Rachel I honestly don't know. Unfortunately, I can't anticipate all of the twists that will occur during plotting, or even during edits. Sorry!…moreI honestly don't know. Unfortunately, I can't anticipate all of the twists that will occur during plotting, or even during edits. Sorry!(less)

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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  5,805 ratings  ·  1,037 reviews

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Emily May
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paranormal-uf, arc, 2015
If monsters could look like humans, and humans could look like monsters, how could anyone ever really be sure that the right people stood on the outside of all those cages?

3 1/2 stars. If it wasn't for the slightly messy and rushed ending, this would be a solid four stars. One thing is sure about Ms Vincent - she knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Menagerie presents a paranormal alternate reality that is unlike anything I've ever read. It's creative, it's fantastical, but the mos
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it

this is my first rachel vincent book.

i'd heard good things about her, but always from readers who like urban fantasy or that kind of YA fantasy romance that i'm just not into. this book sounded like a departure from her usual style, and i've had a lot of luck with sideshow/carnival novels this year, so when i saw it listed as a giveaway on the reading room, i figured "might as well," and then there was WINNING!!

but i did not expect to love it as much as i did.

because, yeah - it's pretty much ur
Aug 19, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Hey, guys, I just wanted to let everyone know that with MENAGERIE coming out soon (Sept 29, 2015!!!) I'm seeing lots of reviews and "shelving" of the book here on GR. Unfortunately, lots of people are shelving it as YA, and MENAGERIE is NOT YA. Nor is it romance. My publisher classifies it as fantasy/commercial fiction.

While MENAGERIE addresses some (very serious) issues I tend to return to in my work, it is a very different kind of book than I've ever written. It's not simply one woman's story/
Mary Beth
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
But if monsters could look like humans, and humans could look like monsters, how could anyone ever really be sure that the right people stood on the outside of all those cages?

This is the first book in the Menagerie Series and this one is a winner. It is a dark fantasy.

Deliah Marlow visits a carnival and something happens really bad and she gets arrested. She thinks she is human but what happened at the carnival made people believe that she was a monster. She is then sold to Metzger who owns the
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List


Okay, on with the review!!



In this traveling circus there are all of these beautiful cryptid creatures & they live in horrible conditions. You only have a few that are really dangerous. Some stuff went down way back when & the government stripped all cryptids of their rights &they were under no protection, even the hybrids. They were treated so horrible in this place I couldn't hardly stand it!!!!!!!

I loved almost all of the c
Menagerie is one of those books that completely split my opinion. Some things I thought were great, others had me barrowing my face in my hands with frustration.

But first thing’s first. The book’s concept is unique and intriguing, and I am happy to say that the execution didn’t make me think differently. The plot is fresh and that, combined with the fact that this novel is devoid of romance, makes Menagerie stand out from other generic books from the genre.
But if monsters could look like hu
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[4.5/5 stars] I am very, very happy with this book. :)
Carmel (Rabid Reads)
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads.

I knew precisely two things about this audiobook going in: Rachel Vincent wrote it, and she published a blog post stating that “MENAGERIE is not urban fantasy, nor is it romance, nor is it YA.” And, that was enough to hook me because 1. Vincent can write! And 2. I wanted to sample this genre bending story first-hand.

I’ve read a couple of reviews that have compared it to Anne Bishop’s THE OTHERS series, and that’s not too far off base, albeit not 100% accurate either. It’
Aug 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-releases

While the first half of this book was ROUGH for me (I was looking at a 1-star rating for this book, to be honest), I slowly got used to all the disturbing things that went on (oh my gosh am I a psychopath?! That sounded really bad...), and started to get into the story itself.

Basically, once you can get past human captivity, torture, forced labor/slavery, and some sexual harassment... you can enjoy this one. Which makes me feel like a psychopath because HOW CAN ONE JUST GET US

4-1/2 stars -- just short of perfect.
Delilah Marlow leads a pretty dull life, living with her boyfriend and working as a bank teller. Then one night she visits Metzger's Menagerie, a traveling showcase of cryptids -- shapeshifters, mermaids, djinn, a minotaur, among many others -- and is suddenly declared a cryptid herself. She is stripped of her clothing, belongings, bank account, and all her rights, and sold to the menagerie by the state of Oklahoma. Trapped and helpless, she is abused, debas
Jan 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book and would give it 3.5 stars . I would probably read a sequel without rushing to do so. The menagerie of the title is in a world where cryptids are showcased in much the same way as the freak shows of days gone by. There was a fantastic array of creatures: shapeshifter, a Minotaur, werewolves, mermaids, oracles, ifrits , sirens, succubi, satyr, centaurs and fae. It was interesting to see these creatures in this urban fantasy setting. None of the creatures are treated well and ...more
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
"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.”

Right off the bat, this is unlike anything Vincent has ever written. So if you’re expecting her usual romantic/fun stories, well, don’t.

Menagerie is a dark, provocative, and disturbing story. It depicts
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
This one is without any doubt amongst the best books I have read in 2015, and while reading it I was often reminded of this quote:

Set in an alternative reality where life will never be the same either for human beings or cryptids after the Reaping it is not the usual or expected story about supernatural beings. When Delilah Marlow, an ordinary woman with an extra-ordinary fascination visits Metzger's Menagerie she expects many things but not the ruthlessness of the workers towards the crypt
Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey)
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
This was a tough book to read. The subject matter made it hard for me to turn the page. My indignation for the fictional characters ran so deep, I wasn't sure what compelled me to read on.

Please note, there isn't romance in this story. I do however have hope for some in the future. But I also fear it will never come to that.

Meanwhile I'm disappointed the next book isn't out yet. I got this as an audible daily deal. I will be reading the next installment.

The narrator for the audio book did a real
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

If that girl was a monster, anyone could be a monster. That's why the world was so terrified of another reaping. Because just like last time, humanity would never see it coming.
But if monsters could look like humans, and humans could look like monsters, how could anyone ever
really be sure that the right people stood on the outside of all those cages?

It is dark, provocative, at times even disturbing. It depicts a world where cryptids – protohuman hybrids – are harassed and stripped of t
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: harlequin
This was absolutely brilliant.
Marta Cox
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, my-reviews
This book is set in what I can only describe as a sort of parallel universe. It's set in the US but it's completely different to the world that we live in. In Ms Vincent's reality the things that go bump in the night are real and just about every mythological or paranormal creature you've read about is actually corporal. Now here's where things get a little tricky to explain so I will try my best. In 1986 thousands of children were murdered by their parents under some type of compunction but eac ...more
1st read - September 2015
2nd read - January 2018

Menagerie is set in a world similar to our own but one where all kinds of supernatural creatures, known collectively as cryptids, exist and are walking among us. Since humans found out the truth about these creatures they have been treated as less than animals, they have no rights, are unable to hold down jobs or own property and don't even have a say in what happens to their bodies or their children. Cryptids who are discovered are placed in the c
Lauren (Shakespeare & Whisky)
The more I think about it, the less impressed I am with this book. It was a solid read but it could have been better.

The Good

The world building was rock solid. Unlike a lot of poorly thought out urban fantasies this novel took the time to craft a realistic world. It was disturbing. If intelligent animals could speak this would be their experience of modern life. I had that thought a number of times and it made me really uncomfortable. Which is fantastic. The best sort of fiction pushes me to ref
Scott  Hitchcock
A fun and easy urban fantasy story taking place where you could guess. Factoring in a lot of mythological creatures with some twists. What would happen if you weren't quite human? An interesting concept. The series is supposed to have three books. I'm not sure it interested me enough to make a story line out of two more books but it was good as a standalone nonetheless.

This was an audiobook. The narrator was good, not special.
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
What a great interesting story that was everything I expected and more. Only complaint, too many POV's. ...more
Lala_Loopsie [fire breathing B!tch Queen]
It was an... interesting read. And not at all like i expected. There was just an element, that just wasn't as expected.

I dragged along at some points, but it was fine. I liked it.
May 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wishlist
The closest I can compare this new series from Rachel Vincent is The Others by Anne Bishop and Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs. It has the same level of nasty tension between people and cryptids as in Bishop's books, and it has mythology more familiar to Briggs. And it's also wholesomely awesome! So, if you are a fan of one or the other, buy it! It has a decent price on kindle.

Delilah Marlow spent all her life thinking she is human. Sure, she is very uncomfortable with human policy towards cr
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 WOW

What an amazing book with a fabulous plot. Kept me flipping pages like crazy. I did spoil myself with the ending, as usual when it gets too nerve-racking. But I can't wait until the next book, which will be out in 6 month, ugh.

The premise was a menagerie of mythical beings. Usual "freak shows" and crazy exhibitions have biological rarities, referred to as "freaks of nature". Using humans with unique physical looks and/or diseases. But Menagerie was a circus of hybrids and mythical creatu
Hannah ◇ReaderintheRough◇
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, paranormal
4 stars

Rudolph shook his head to disguise the chill traveling up his spine. This female could incite riots. She could save the carnival—or be the end of everything he’d been working toward his entire life. “You must break her, Gallagher. She is the spark, and if that spark kindles, it will burn my menagerie to the ground.”

This is unlike any paranormal book I've read.

I don't even know how to describe it. There were flaws, but the incredible array of mythology and depth of the characters was tan
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

I loved this audiobook! I love it when an audiobook can completely pull me into another world like this one did. I couldn't get this story out of my head even when I wasn't actively listening to it. Everything about this story was so vivid and I really felt for the characters. I bought this audiobook when it was on sale months ago but I had no idea how wonderful the story was at that time. I am so glad that I decided to pick this one up.

The w
Hailee (haibooklovers)
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am irritated at myself for having this on my shelf for so long without having opened it.

I loved every minute of this book. It's weird and brutal and violent and unlike anything I have ever read.

The world the author builds here is maybe my favorite part. I have many questions and hopefully I will have answers in the next book!
Sonja Arlow
3.5 stars

I had made a point of staying away from YA-type fantasy for a good year and now in the span of a few weeks I read two of them. I know the main character, Delia, is 25 but the book had a distinctive YA feel to it.

First off, I can highly recommend the audio, it definitely added something more to the story. The narrator did a great job of making the book dark and dramatic and her narration made the slower moments seem more purposeful. In fact, I enjoyed this so much I immediately bought bo
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy, abuse, dark
The world was similar to our own except cryptids (mermaids, minotaurs, oracles, werewolves, mermaids, etc.) existed and people were aware of them. Everyone got along until 1986 when a massive number of children were killed in their sleep in one night by a specific kind of cryptid that people thought was human. Acceptance of cryptids suddenly turned to hate. Then they were either killed or captured.

Delilah lived a normal life. While visiting a menagerie which is a circus of cryptids, Delilah enco
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[Note: Though Rachel's blog entries are cross posted here, she does not frequent Goodreads. The best ways to contact her are FB, Twitter, or her Wordpress blog. PLEASE DO NOT SEND HER MESSAGES HERE. SHE DOES NOT CHECK THEM.]

A resident of Oklahoma, Rachel Vincent has a BA in English and an overactive imagination, and consistently finds the latter to be more practical. She shares her workspace with

Other books in the series

Menagerie (3 books)
  • Spectacle (Menagerie, #2)
  • Fury (Menagerie #3)

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“But if monsters could look like humans, and humans could look like monsters, how could anyone ever really be sure that the right people stood on the outside of all those cages?” 25 likes
“A wolf will growl to warn you that it's angry and a bull will paw the ground before charging. Rattlesnakes rattle, cats moan and hiss, and hyenas grunt and cackle. But a man will smile right in your face as he drives a knife into your heart.” 15 likes
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