Date of Publication: September 4, 2012
In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures–if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.
All Mallory knows of The City is that her father–and every other witch there–fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it’s only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.
From Melissa Marr, bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series and “Graveminder,” comes a brand-new tale of lush secrets, dark love, and the struggle to forge one’s own destiny.
Admittedly, this is my first Melissa Marr book and I’m happy to say that after reading Carnival of Souls, I am sure I’ll be coming back for more! The world she crafted was nothing short of wondrous. I can see the Carnival of Souls, the Night Market, the black and red masks, everything. Her descriptions and storytelling was amazing, she really sold this alternate world so well. So on the settings front, awesome! Though admittedly, I had a hard time at first adjusting to the daimons, witches and all the rules. But I love how she incorporated and told us about the rules and myths of the worlds she created without blatantly telling us. Sometimes you have to assume that this is the meaning of this and to know that you’re right because she guided you all along. Kudos to Melissa! Once you get the hang of everything, it’s such an easy read. Once I got the hang of everything, I can’t put this book down!
As for the characters, gah, I love the characters. I do admit my least favorite would be Mallory and that might seem problematic given she’s the protagonist. I just found her sort of lacking in personality but maybe that’s what she really is, for now. Her witch father pretty much spelled her her entire life, suppressing what she really is and making her obedient to everything he tells her, to the point that she just accepts everything and hasn’t questioned anything her entire life. Plus, her relationship with her father is kinda creepy. “Good daughters obey” repeated all over the book sorta gives me the heebies. [SPOILERS] But now that she knows what she is, I am looking forward to the sequel if she gains some semblance of a personality. [END OF SPOILERS] I don’t know who’s my favorite character but I think it might be a tie between Aya and Kaleb. They are such drawn out characters and you can feel their depth oozing from their dialogue. Well, their status in life and their upbringing certainly made them a certain way but I just love them. Kaleb and his everything and Aya and her everything. I love everything about them, really. Melissa has made Zevi really interesting to look forward to and I am certainly curious what bigger role he’ll play in the future. And Belias! ❤
The plot. So obviously it was great because I won’t be able to stand it if it wasn’t. The pace was alright though there wasn’t a rushing-to-the-ending/climax feeling. The conflict was real and I felt it right to the core. However, that was such a tease of an ending! I am not that on edge to read the next book because it wasn’t such a cliffhanger but still, I wanna read the next book badly! I mean, how can you do this to me, Melissa? Gaaaahhh.
I do however do not buy Kaleb and Mallory’s love story yet. [Sort of spoilers ahead] Yes, it was insta-love but there’s the concept of a pack so is it really love or just the strong want to protect and to care? I think there will be an Aya-Kaleb loveline but there’s none right now and I’m happy with that because I love how Aya loves Belias. I do think it’s possible in the future. [End of sort of spoilers] And I do hope Mallory gets a personality so I’d jump more on the Kaleb-Mallory line. I was just feeling giddy with their love story just because of Kaleb. Kaleb ❤
Lastly, the cover. I admit I wasn’t too keen on the cover when I saw it but now I get it so I like it. Heehee. See, I’m so easy to please! I certainly was affected with their plights, woes, even love and happiness when I read this. I related to the characters, rooted for them and just went along for the story they’ll tell me, and it was a great story. Good job Melissa and please don’t take too long to write the sequel! Pretty please!
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars