Menagerie Audiobook by Rachel Vincent (REVIEW)

Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 in Reviews | 34 comments

Review of: Menagerie Audiobook
Rachel Vincent

Reviewed by:
On October 20, 2015
Last modified:July 21, 2017


Menagerie Audiobook

By: Rachel Vincent

Narrated by: Gabra Zackman

Published by: Recorded Books 09/29/15

Menagerie Audiobook

4.5 stars rating

Menagerie #1

10 hrs and 57 mins

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Menagerie Audiobook Sample

Menagerie Audiobook

4.5 Hearts

I went into this book knowing as little as possible about this book. I had heard around about how dark the book was. I had even seen the author tweet that people were writing DNF finish reviews because the book was so dark. This only got me more excited to read (or in this case listen) to the book. I’m a big fan of dark stories mixed in with my humor and snarky stories. I like the variety. I could see where people who are fans of Ms. Vincent’s YA books might shy away from this book. It is dark. However, I read her Unbound series, which was a darker paranormal mafia series, so I knew she could write darker stories. She really took it up a notch with this one.

The main character in this book is Deliah. She was raised with a human family. She got all the comforts of human living, schools, food, shelter, etc. Next thing she knows, she is accused of being a Cryptid. She is taken into custody and sold to Metzger’s Menagerie. A Cryptid is anything that is not fully human or any animal that is not found in nature. For example, a tigon, is a cross between a lion and tiger, which shouldn’t be found in nature, is possible, so is not a Cryptid. An animal like a centaur, cross between a human and horse, not possible in nature, so therefore a Cryptid. There are also Cryptids that looks just like humans, oracles, succubi and shifters when in human form.

Several years ago, in the 1980’s there was the “reaping”. Cryptids attacked and killed many humans. So now, humans see nothing wrong with keeping them in cages and treating them as lesser beings. They are chained, drugged and demeaned constantly. They aren’t fed as they should be. Anything to keep their will down. There is a lot of torture and neglect that goes on. This is the part that many may have a hard time reading.

This book will evoke a lot of emotions. It will make you think about how people have treated other people throughout history, and even how animals have been treated. I found myself really being pulled into this story and wanting to know more about this world. There isn’t a ton of action, but a lot of worldbuilding and character-building. I wouldn’t say that there is a cliffhanger ending, but it does leave you wanting more with the ending .

Menagerie Audiobook Narration

4.5 Hearts

When I first requested this book on audio, I didn’t recognize the narrator’s name. Once I started listening, I recognized her voice. I looked her up. She narrated Rachel Vincent’s Unbound Series (the paranormal mafia series I mentioned above), which I enjoyed on audio. She does a great job with the different voices and tones. Such a dark story needs a special kind of narrator and Gabra Zackman really nails.

Rachel Vincent

Photo credit: Kim Haynes Photography

Rachel Vincent is a former English teacher and an eager champion of the Oxford comma. She shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who’s been her # 1 fan from the start. Rachel is older than she looks and younger than she feels, and she remains convinced that writing about the things that scare her is the cheapest form of therapy—but social media is a close second.

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Gabra Zackman

I am an actress, writer and voice over artist, frequent traveler and lover of adventure. I’m based in New York where I grew up and built my career. I’m lucky to work regularly in theater, have a parallel and sustaining career in audiobook narration, and I’ve had great success with my first writing contract,the humorous, romantic, spy centered BOD SQUAD series. The title of my current life might be:

“I’ll Tell A Story Any Way They Let Me.”

I got my start in sixth grade, wearing my mother’s tablecloth as a star turn in Oedipus Rex. From there I was hooked. I studied theater at Northwestern and then went to grad school at The Shakespeare Theater’s Academy for Classical Acting. I’ve had the privilege of working all around the country doing new plays and classics, working locally in New York theaters, and doing a handful of TV and film roles.

I have recorded over 300 audiobooks to date in studios all around the country and I love to record books in all genres. Inspired by the books I’ve narrated, I’ve completed the first three books in THE BOD SQUAD SERIES (Pocket Books 2015)- and now all sorts of new doors have opened for me. I’m so excited for all that lies ahead!


I like to thank Recorded Books for providing me with a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by:

ML Simmons Reviewer

  • 4.5
    editor rating
Melanie Simmons
I’m Melanie and I live in Ohio. I have two horses and a dog. I’m an animal lover, avid book reader and audiobook listener. I like to live vicariously through fictional characters. I enjoy reading and listening to mostly fictional books in the paranormal genre, including Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. My favorite paranormal creatures are shifters, doesn’t matter the flavor.


  1. I should try it. I do like her, but I have always been burned by some of her books

    • I think this is some of her best work. The world building is amazing.

  2. I passed up the chance to read an arc of this book and now that all the reviews are coming in about how good it is, well… I am so regretting it!

  3. Great review Melanie. I loved the print version too! I can’t see how any true fan of the genre would rate this a DNF

    • My guess is that it was fans of her YA. I’ve never read her YA stuff, so I don’t know if it has any darkness to it or not. I’m guessing not. This is way darker than her other adult books, though the Unbound series is darker than the Shifter series, both of which I loved.

  4. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one, I like darker books too and had my eye on this one. Lovely review 🙂 I think I’ll have to try out the audio!!

  5. I have mixed emotions about this, I want to read it because I keep reading so many good reviews, but I am hesitant about the abuse and cruelty.

    • Don’t think that they glorify abuse. It is written in the light that it is horrible and that the people abusing the Cryptids are bad people.

  6. I keep reading nothing but praise about R. Vincent, and I love dark and snarky, so I might give this one a try very soon. Great review 🙂

    • There isn’t a large amount of snark in this book. The main character does have a “don’t care” attitude, but it isn’t snarky like a Kate Daniels, Charley Davidson or Cat & Bones. I hope you enjoy.

  7. I really like her Unbound series, so I hope I will enjoy this one as well even though it’s even darker. I haven’t heard a lot of the book yet beside that it’s dark and how the cryptics are treated badly and how you can compare that to other groups that are being treated badly or like lesser beings. I am a bit hesistant to start this one as I am not sure if I will like it, but also very curious. And the world and character building sounds very well done, so I don’t mind less action then.

    • Even with the less action, it is still a great story. I hope you get a chance to try it and enjoy it.

  8. Glad to see you loved it too, Melanie! I really got into this, took it to a whole new level lol. I should stop watching too much news

    • Rachel Vincent did take it to a whole new level. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in the next installment. 🙂

  9. It definitely has appeal to me and I have no doubt that it would move me to pity and sensitive to being understanding to others and animals, more. Glad you were able to appreciate it.

    • As I read this, I thought a lot about the old-time circuses and zoos that treated their animals exactly like this. I’m sure that there are still places around the world that still do. Makes me sad to think about.

  10. I read a review for the audio from someone I really respect reading wise and she raved about this book and how much she loved it. So I am going to have to sample it at some time.

    • I hope you get a chance to try it. I thought it was Rachel Vincent’s best book to date. I really loved it.

  11. I didn’t know there was an audio for this, I need to add this to my list!

    • I didn’t know there was going to be an audio at first either. I was really excited when I found out that Recorded Books picked it up. I immediately jumped on the chance to review it. It has a great narrator too. Score!

  12. I was intrigued about this book, but wasn’t sure if it was for me or not. After I read Carmel’s review and your comment on that review I decided to give it a go. I got the audio couple of days ago, but I haven’t started to listen it yet.

    • I hope that you enjoy it. I thought it was Rachel Vincent’s best book so far.

  13. This is next on my list of audiobooks to listen to. Can’t wait! Thanks for the great review =)

    • I hope you enjoy. I can’t wait to see your thoughts on it.

  14. Oooh great review. I’m going to have to get this on audio. You know RV is one of my favorite authors 🙂

    • I love her stuff too, or at least her adult books. I haven’t tried any of her YA books. I may have to one day.

  15. You have me excited, I have this on my audio wishlist, and really hadn’t seen any reviews from folks I trust regarding the audio…this puppy is mine!

    • Carmel is the only other person that I’ve seen who reviewed the audio. I think Jennifer TBN has requested it, but hasn’t reviewed it yet. I really like the narrator. I listened to her do Rachel Vincent’s earlier Unbound Trilogy.

  16. Hmmm… I’ve actually never read any of her books. Is there torture or overly gruesome scenes? I can handle dark, but only so much.

    • I wouldn’t say like horror gruesome. There is denying food, living in cages and treating people like animals. Cattle prods are used also.

  17. I loved Menagerie, too, Melanie! And I really enjoyed the fact that is was darker, and quite uncomfortable in places. It made me think quite a bit about how we can shy away from people that are different from us, and that a slightly alien feeling is possible when we are afraid of that otherness.
    Great review!

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