Ever since I got the first book as an arc from a publisher years and years ago when I still worked at a bookshop, I’ve been in love with the Menagerie books. I reread them every year and they are the best remedy for any kind of reading slump. Even this year I binged through all of them in about a week without skipping anything. I just really love those books.
The first book includes:
- an amazing worldbuilding that sets the stage for this and the coming books that is so full of wonder and magic you cry at the end of it because you wanna be a part of it so hard
- the mc Logan, whose mom left him and his dad via postcard a couple of months ago and who still hasn’t made any friends at the new school
- the other mc Zoe, who seems like a hot mess to everybody and has too many things to worry about
- a litter of super adorable and super secret griffin babies, unfortunately all loose in the small town of Xanadu
- a mammoth, an arsonist phoenix, a pair of snobby unicorns and the worlds most obnoxious goose
- a search and rescue mission with lots of secrets, close calls and other mysteries to solve
- lots and lots of chores
- and the beginning of a beautiful friendship
The Menagerie – Dragon on trial
The second book includes:
- a murder case
- dragons, their claws and their toothbrushes
- government agencies with too many check lists
- a night in the woods
- werecreatures galore
- and a very popular Halloween party
The Menagerie – Kraken and lies
Book three includes:
- A kraken, duh
- almost-death by basilisk
- memory wipes, so many memory wipes
- mermaids on strike
- even more sabotage
- abductions (plural)
- restored friendships
- and there might be a happy end in there somewhere
There are so many reasons to love this series. Besides the aforementioned world building of magical realism, it also has an amazing set of characters. Be it Logan or Zoe, their friend Blue or the whole litter of griffin cubs – every single character has their own unique personality which makes everything so much more real and also so much more fun.
Another thing I loved is how the books are built up. While there are three books, the story threads almost seamless through them and can be read one for one or just in one go. (Which I recommend. Because awesome.) At the same time they are structured a little bit like murder mysteries, with clues earlier in the story that make sense afterwards and can be picked up if you’re paying attention while reading. I always found that great fun.
Friendship and family is a big theme in these books and I was so happy to not only see the friendships and trust blossom but also to witness some great parent-child relationships. It’s something you unfortunately rarely see in books – well, it often gets in the way of adventure of course – so I was even more delighted to see some proper portrayal of good parenting and sibling representation.
All in all The Menagerie books are full of fun and friendship and magic and adventure. I so very highly recommend them and hope more people will read them.