Sunday, September 4, 2016

Audiobook Review - Menagerie by Rachel Vincent @rachelkvincent @recordedbooks

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent
Narrated by Gabra Zackman
Series: Menagerie #1
Recorded Books (Audio)
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
Date Read:  August 25, 2016
Source: Purchased - Audible
Length: 10 hours 57 minutes

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.

My Review

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 world this story is set in is a bit different than our own.  Cryptids are real but they are not allowed to live outside of captivity.  That is where carnivals like Metgzer's Menagerie come into play.  Cryptids are put on display in cages and petting zoos for the amusement of humans looking to pass some time.  Let's just say that it is not an ideal way to live.

Delilah has always been interested in cryptids and even has a college degree in the field.  When her long time boyfriend buys tickets to the menagerie, she is not thrilled but goes along to make everyone happy.  While at the event, things happen that cause her life to be changed forever.  She has no idea what has happened and isn't even sure of what she is anymore.  Soon, she becomes an exhibit in the same carnival and her adjustment process is difficult at best.

I loved the characters in this book.  It was interesting to see that the real monsters in the story were the humans.  All of the characters that were captive like Delilah were easy to like.  They all seemed to care for each other and really tried to make the most out of a terrible situation.  I think that one of the strengths of the story was the level of emotions that really came through.  I really felt the pain of the characters when they were treated ill by the caretakers.

Gabra Zackman did an excellent job with the narration of the audiobook.  I loved all of her character voices and really felt the emotional aspects of the story come through.  This was the kind of audiobook that I had no problem listening to for hours at a time.  The delivery was smooth and well paced.  This was the first time that I have listened to Gabra Zackman's narration but I plan to look for her work in the future.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  This is a vividly told story that really grabs your attention.  I thought that the overall story was unique and completely interesting.  I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series so that I can find out what will happen to Delilah and the rest of the characters.

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

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. I downloaded this book this week, too! Audible had it on sale. I can't wait to listen to it now, thanks to your review. I'm curious about the camaraderie you spoke of.

    1. I actually bought it several months ago when it was on sale for the first time. I think we both got a great deal on this wonderful book!

  2. I have a harder time feeling invested in the world of an audio book so when one pulls me in it's all the better. This sounds really good and I love the sound of the world that Vincent created.

    1. This book worked very well in audio. Sometimes world building can be a bit confusing in a audiobook but that was never the case here.

  3. Dang it, I should've grabbed it while it was on sale. I need to listen to it!


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