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Review: Spectacle by Rachel Vincent (Menagerie #2)

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Spectacle by Rachel Vincent // VBCSpectacle (Menagerie #2)
Rachel Vincent
Published: May 30, 2017 (MIRA)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference the previous book. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Menagerie.

Those in captivity with Metzger’s Menagerie were no strangers to the daily atrocities regular humans could inflict upon cryptids. With Delilah Marlowe’s furiae, basically a being that is the embodiment of Justice, she started the coup that gave the cryptids control of the Menagerie.

But it’s not long before someone finds out their secret and all the cryptids are once again taken hostage, this time by Willem Vandekamp’s Savage Spectacle. The Spectacle makes Metzger’s look like a cakewalk, where all cryptids are paraded around for the exotic fetishes of those who can pay top dollar. There’s no limit to the depravity people will pay to see, or partake in, but even the most immoral of places can harbor secrets and the Spectacle is no different. If Delilah wants to get everyone out this time around, she’ll have to find out and expose those secrets.

For me, Menagerie showed this kind of beautiful grotesqueness. I didn’t want to look away from the wonder of the different cryptids (mythological creatures) that Rachel Vincent chose to weave into her story, but at the same time their treatment at the Menagerie was atrocious.

Well, the conditions at the Spectacle up the ante on the atrocities tenfold, but the clever tactic that Rachel Vincent chose to utilize was more the readers’ imaginations. We never truly see on page the things that go on “behind the curtain,” only what little information is gleamed from captives, but certain circumstances, along with a general unwillingness to talk about what they’re specifically made to do, keep the activities shrouded. To me this made the tension of each scene almost worse—especially where my imagination chose to go, but I’m betting I wasn’t far off in many instances. Like I said, clever Rachel Vincent, clever.

Besides this, however, I felt like the majority of Spectacle’s storyline seemed a bit recycled from Menagerie. I mean, we’ve already seen our beloved characters facing captivity. I wanted their story to move forward in a different way besides hitting home, again, how much cryptids are viewed as property to be bought and sold.

Something that the reuse of the captivity storyline does allow is the further exploration of the bond between Delilah and Gallagher. Gallagher revealed himself as a Redcap, or fear dearg, a warrior species of fae who attach themselves to a noble cause and will fight for the cause until death. Gallagher has, of course, made an oath to aid and protect Delilah and her inner furiae on their quest for Justice. Their relationship is such an interesting one because it comes from a completely non-romantic place, yet the devotion they have for each other are things the best romances are built upon. There are certainly some very interesting developments for them which are even more eye-opening when Rachel Vincent decides to throw a twist at us right in the middle of the book. A twist that drove the last half of the book all the way up to the end as you try to piece everything together.

Overall, despite the two-steps-back feeling regarding the overall storyline, I was really intrigued by how the characters were developed. I thought the ending was satisfactory. Obviously not every problem is solved, but the main issues were all addressed and I’m looking forward to seeing where some of the other developments take Delilah and Co. next.

Sexual content: Implied sex, and sexual violence

One Response to “Review: Spectacle by Rachel Vincent (Menagerie #2)”

  1. Kathy Valentine says:

    Great review!! Love the cover!!

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