by Rachel Vincent
Series: Menagerie #2
Published on May 30, 2017 by Mira
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
In this riveting sequel to New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent's acclaimed novel Menagerie, Delilah Marlow will discover that there is no crueler cage than the confines of the human mind…
When their coup of Metzger's Menagerie is discovered, Delilah and her fellow cryptids find their newly won freedom brutally stripped away as they are sold into The Savage Spectacle, a private collection of "exotic wildlife." Specializing in ruthless cryptid cage matches, safari-style creature hunts and living party favors, the Spectacle's owner, Willem Vandekamp, caters to the forbidden fetishes of the wealthy and powerful. At the Spectacle, any wish can be granted—for the right price.
But Vandekamp's closely guarded client list isn't the only secret being kept at the Spectacle. Beneath the beauty and brutality of life in the collection lie much darker truths, and no one is more determined than Delilah to strip the masks from the human monsters and drag all dark things into the light.
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I dove into Spectacle right after finishing Menagerie (which I loved). Unfortunately I can’t say the same about the sequel.
Which is funny because they’re basically the same thing.
Menagerie was an interesting urban fantasy, a standout for its uniqueness compared to other books I’ve read in the genre. I can’t say I really knew where the sequel would go. The end of the last book left the cryptids in charge of their lives but they’re still in danger in the United States so nothing’s really changed on that front. I guess I hoped that they would do something… different?
Instead, the plot of the first book is basically repeated in Spectacle. Which is a shame. I mean, I’m not sure why there WAS a sequel at this point.
Once more, the cryptids are captured and it’s another fight to escape the hold of humans. Nothing new. The writing was still great. The world is still interesting. I still like the characters. But the story…. THE STORY. Come on. If this is what we can expect from book 3 I’m not sure I’ll be reading.
I will say this book took it a step further into the darkness. Don’t expect to see sunshine and rainbows. Trigger warnings for abuse and rape, at the very least. There were graphic scenes. And I’m not upset about it because the author handled it well. Like I said, the writing is good. But for those who choose to avoid those topics in fiction, I wanted to mention it.
Honestly, this was a good book. And if you haven’t read Menagerie recently you might enjoy it more than I did. Having the first book fresh in my mind ruined the experience somewhat since the main storylines were so similar. My hope is that the third book gives the cryptids a chance toward freedom and how they deal with that rather than yet another capture/escape plot.