cover image Menagerie


Rachel Vincent. Mira, $26.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-7783-1605-3

An alternate world where cryptids (protohuman hybrids) are second-class citizens provides the perfect context for this deftly told dark fantasy, which reflects on what makes humans human. During the horrifying “reaping,” human parents slaughtered a million cryptid children, but some who appeared human were saved. Twenty years later, Oklahoman Delilah Marlow, who was raised as a human, shows a cryptid side that she never knew she had. She’s stripped of her rights and forced to perform as a sideshow attraction in a traveling carnival whose human handlers often act more bestial than their charges. Though Delilah resists her enslavement, she learns from Gallagher, her gruffly sympathetic handler, that she has a major role to play in cryptid culture. As depicted by Vincent, Delilah is magnificent in her defiance of injustice, and the well-wrought background for her world sets the stage for her future adventures in this captivating new fantasy series. (Oct.)