Synopsis (from Goodreads)
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.
I really enjoyed the first book in Melissa Marr's new series. She pulled me right in, and I wouldn't let the book out of my sight until I was finished. CARNIVAL OF SOULS is full of fantastic and complicated characters - some you will love, and some you will love to hate!
There is a lot of mystery among the characters. They are all connected, but exactly how and why is unknown. In fact, I think Melissa Marr enjoys tantalizing her readers with little clues without dropping the bomb on us until we're least expecting it.
Speaking of characters, you all know how excited I get about strong female characters and Melissa Marr gives us three of them! Mallory's character is the most mysterious. We're not completely sure who or what she is, but she has a gun and isn't afraid to use it. Aya is kick-ass - she's smart, she's strong and she is breaking all the rules! Evelyn, while some will hate her heartlessness, she's the character I would want to play in the movie. (insert evil laugh)
This may sound strange, but CARNIVAL OF SOULS is extremely visual. Melissa Marr creates this world with such depth and darkness, whenever I recall a scene I am immediately and vividly transported to a very specific place full of sounds and smells, but especially full of interesting visual detail.
Just a warning, though. The only thing that I would change about this book is the cliffhanger ending. It's my pet peeve when authors feel like they don't have to finish a book if it's part of a series. Don't expect to feel satisfied in any way when you finish. You will turn the last page wanting more...but you might be frustrated to learn that you have to wait a year for it.
I just hope that by the time the next book comes out that I can remember all the intricate details and relationships that make this book so interesting. I'll put the re-read on my calendar in preparation.
Oh, here's a little treat for you Buffy fans out there. James Marsters narrates the audio! He is so charming and dark...forget the re-read next year, I'll be listening to the audio!
I loved this book, and so glad that I stole the ARC from Clinton Books - thanks, guys!!
Harper Teen Book page (lots of stuff here)
Author Website, Twitter,
Carnival of Souls Facebook Page, Website
About the Book:
About the Author: (from publisher)
Melissa Marr grew up believing in faeries, ghosts, and various other creatures. After teaching college literature for a decade, she applied her fascination with folklore to writing. Wicked Lovely was her first novel. Currently, Marr lives in the Washington, D.C., area, writes full-time, and still believes in faeries and ghosts.