My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.
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.
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.