*I received a free copy of Spectacle from Harlequin MIRA via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Series: Menagerie #2
Published by Harlequin MIRA on 30 May 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
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.
Spectacle was a dark, yet beautiful story. Where the cryptids were taken from relative freedom to a prison more horrible than even their worst nightmares could conjure.
Spectacle was even darker than Menagerie, because Delilah and her companions had managed to live for a while in relative freedom only to be caught by someone far worse than Metzger. At first, Gallagher is taken to a human prison, but this only makes Delilah’s anxiety worse, as she hasn’t had any news from him since she and some of the other female cryptids from the menagerie were taken to their new dormitory.
I felt every anxious and fearful feeling Delilah and the others felt, and I have to admit that during Spectacle, my heart beat with a heavy and rather fast thump on more than one occasion. The indignity Vanderkamp let on these people was horrific, and especially Delilah, whose DNA is human, was treated with such callous carelessness because of her otherness I shuttered in disgust at how depraved and without feeling he and his wife behaved.
The main theme in Spectacle is definitely otherness, but close behind there is both loyalty and honor, and Delilah’s actions proved that she is the kind of heroine I want more of! Her sense of family was very strong, and she felt responsible for all those who had been with her before they were brought to Vanderkamp’s dark spectacle of others, where money and shallow entertainment counted more than anything else.
Written mostly from Delilah’s point of view, in first person perspective and past tense, there were dialogs to make the story move forward flawlessly, and also to share some insight into the other characters who were part of the plot. The handlers, the bosses, the other cryptids – they all got their say. Spectacle releases tomorrow, so you should hurry and pre-order it so you can enjoy the darkness of the story, but the light of Delilah as soon as possible.
The police were no exception. The worthless pieces of tin pinned to their chests weren’t badges of honor, they were badges of authority, and in the human world, authority was little better than a high tower built on a small footing.
He had created push-and-play functionality in his living captives, with a built-in punishment for failure to perform.
“But you really are human?”
“I really, really am. Not that it matters.” Not that it should matter. Deciding who should be free and who should be locked up based on chromosomal features made no more sense than basing that decision on eye color.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: