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 was excited to start this book, but I was also extremely skeptical going into this book. The plot sounded intriguing, but I wasn't sure if I would totally get into this book. The beginning of the book felt a little slow, but yet, it was so addicting. I felt like not a lot was happening, but I couldn't stop reading the book. There was just something so mesmerizing about the writing and the world. I needed to see what was going to happen next. Even though the beginning felt slow, I feel like it was necessary for this book. The slower pace made it easier for me to understand this world and to get my mind wrapped around what was happening. The book eventually picked up in pace, and I felt like I was racing through this book. The ending was really interesting and action packed. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I am now so excited to read the next book in this series.
I will admit, this book was strange. I almost felt sick to my stomach due to the graphic descriptions of how the mystical creatures are treated in this book. It is so depressing, and aggravating. It is aggravating because I wish I could have done something to help the creatures, but I couldn't. It was also stressful because the main character really could not do much either. However, I felt like this made the book feel raw and powerful. Delilah's struggles in this book were so emotional and heart breaking. I just wanted to reach into the book and take her pain away. I wanted there to be a way for her to get out of her situation, but there wasn't. It was aggravating, but seeing her fight for freedom was addictive.
Even though she was in a horrible, situation, Delilah stayed strong. I really loved her character and I admired her a lot. I cannot wait to see how she develops in the next book! I also thought Gallagher was an extremely interesting character, and I loved his relationship with Delilah. I am looking forward to seeing more of him in the next book. I think Delilah and Gallagher would be a great couple romantically, but there was not any romance in this book. It might develop later on in this series, but it definitely is not a plot in this book.
Overall, I really liked this book! This book was gripping, moving, and disturbing. After finishing this book, I was in a book hangover. Then ending left me craving so much more. I screamed in aggravation because I didn't want the book to end!
I think a lot of people will like this unique book. It was nothing like I have ever read before, and I know this will be a book that sticks with me for a while.
4 / 5 Fangs
*This ebook was given to me in exchange for a honest review.*