Where to start with this review?? I guess first, if you haven’t read Menagerie, you need to start with it. This is a series that must be read in order or you will be missing some stuff when you tackle this book. Second, if you haven’t started this series, it is a dark series. There isn’t a lot of laughter or joy in these books. Some pretty horrible things happen to these cryptids (creatures that aren’t human; like werewolves, cat shifters, centaurs, minotaurs, mermaids, sirens, and anything else you can think of). These creatures are treated as poorly as you can imagine.
All of that being said, this is a series that truly love. Menagerie was a top 10 favorite read in 2015, the year it was released. I loved it just as much when I revisited it before starting this series. I loved seeing how these cryptids survived, even under the stress and abuse that they lived in. They stayed strong together and supported each other to the best of their ability.
**There will be spoilers past this point for the first book, but I will not say more than what is revealed in the synopsis of this book.
This story picks up not long after Menagerie has ended. The cryptids are running Metzger’s Menagerie. They are quickly learning that this is more difficult than it looks. They want to purchase friends and relatives from other Menageries, but they just don’t have the funds. How do you make that kind of call? You can’t leave them where they are at, but you’re already starting to ration food. Then they learn that their secret is out. Willem Vandekamp of The Savage Spectacle comes in and has a takeover. They quickly learn that there is more than one kind of abuse.
Again, this story is very dark. You quickly learn to hate the human race with this series (if you’ve read Anne Bishop’s The Others, you know exactly what I’m talking about). Just when you think things can’t get worse, they do. The characters are amazing. There isn’t a single cryptid in this story that I don’t love. The more I read them, the more I want to save them. As for the humans, I still just want to kill them all. I love the story and can’t wait to see where book three takes us. I don’t know if there is a set number of books for this series (though there probably is, Rachel Vincent usually knows how many books will be in a series when she starts it), but I’m hooked now.
I love Gabra Zackman. She does an amazing job with this series. She really portrays each of these characters really well. She has no problems changing from voicing a siren to voicing the Far Darrig.
**I like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.