Series: Menagerie #2
Author: Rachel Vincent
Pages: 432 (Paperback)
Publisher: Mira Books
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Source: For Review
Purchase: Amazon•TBD (affiliate link)
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.
I wasn’t sure where this series was heading with Spectacle, but I certainly wasn’t disappointed! Delilah, Gallagher, and the others from Metzger’s circus have managed to live free for the last few months. It hasn’t been easy, and they haven’t been able to do what Delilah was hoping to, but she won’t give up. At least until their rouse is discovered and they’re all rounded up and taken some place that turns out to be far worse than a freakshow: Vandekamp’s Savage Spectacle.
Spectacle kept me hooked from the very beginning. We’re given a very brief taste of happiness for Delilah and the other cryptids, and then the tone changes immediately. Delilah (as well as the reader) has no idea what to expect from the Savage Spectacle. While no one is caged, beaten, or starved, they are 100% micromanaged. Vandekamp has an invention that has the power to track, punish, and suppress or force the cryptid’s gifts. Of course, with Delilah being human, things get complicated.
So much happens in Spectacle and I don’t want to spoil any of it. I was shocked and disturbed throughout. Truly, anything goes at the Savage Spectacle. The handlers might not beat their captors, but that’s because damaged goods aren’t worth as much to their wealthy clients. We get to witness a wide range of activities that go on inside the fences, and each is more horrific than the last. Anything you can imagine could happen to sentient beings without basic rights happens. Even to Delilah who was proven once again to be human.
While it’s not a happy book by any stretch, I did enjoy Spectacle. It’s so creative and disturbing, I couldn’t stop reading. Even though the majority of the characters are not human, all of the themes are very human and parallel the way people treat each other. The plot did follow the same formula as Menagerie, but that didn’t make me enjoy it any less. And I definitely cannot wait for the final book!