Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.
I'm just trying to light up the world as much as I can one SciFi/paranormal/fantasy/space opera/time travel book at a time.
"if monsters could look like humans, and humans could look like monsters, how could anyone ever really be sure that the right people stood on the outside of all those cages?"
This was my first foray into the the amazingly imaginative mind of Rachel Vincent and boy oh boy was I pleasantly/horrifyingly surprised! This was a very unique PN alternate world trope that was populated by hybrid & mythelogical creatures (called Cryptids) and plain ole Normies like you and I...or are we?? It turned out to be an interesting commentary on many topics like: How exactly do we react to any and all things "different" from us? What does it mean to One's sense of Self if we found out that we are not really what we originally thought ourselves to be? What if we are no longer considered middle of the road, spectacularly Meh Normal? How would it feel to have all of the luxuries one takes for granted abruptly and forcefully taken away only to find ourselves living a new life as Property, Pet, Plaything or Hunted?
“A cage locks other people out as much as it locks you in, and sometimes that’s for the best.” Rachel Vincent WOWED me with such a naturally paced, expertly crafted, realistically beautiful/barbarically honest imagining of a world faced with crippling fear of the unknown (especially after an attack by a fanatical faction of said unknown). This book was so realistic that it even made me rethink my patronage of Circuses and Zoos though I admittedly, not-so-secretly already harbored a hatred for these barbaric institutions where in majestic creatures are forced to exist in. The book just deepened my loathing!
"the only true difference between the hybrids and most of their handlers was that the handlers hid their beasts on the inside. A wolf will growl to warn that it’s angry and a bull will paw the ground before charging. Rattlesnakes rattle, cats moan and hiss, and hyenas grunt and cackle. But a man will smile right in your face as he drives a knife into your heart. Such was the nature of humanity,"
The book was told with varying POVs but did not confuse me as is often the case with such narratives. I thankfully did not find myself flipping back to the beginning of each chapter, trying to decode whose mind we were currently inhabiting. The MC was a no nonsense, kick butt young woman who did happen to rub me the wrong way at times (especially when she was stupid enough not to realize that playing along a bit would be smarter than repeatedly ramming your head against a brick wall because of your pride). Anyway...she lucked out finding Gallagher who not only treated her like an actual person but who also promised to be her Champion of all bloody Champions (pun intended). He Is hands down my book bff and is someone you DEFINITELY want on your side (though his motto of
"his word is his honour" I could happily have done without so often)! This pairing is so bad @$$ that no one thus far was able to mess with them and I don't foresee anyone besting them in the near future. I am extremely excited to see how their current predicament is handled as well as see what direction Mrs. Vincent takes the storyline in altogether.
All in all a 3.5 - 4.0 star read that unfortunately suffered from the aforementioned annoyances coupled with an ending that felt rushed. I will definitely read on in the series and I strongly recommend that you pick up this book asap!
WARNING:::: there are references to Rape (though not graphic), abuse and major brutality.