by Melissa Marr
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (September 4, 2012)
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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.
At a Glance:
There are few authors that can create an entire world and completely suck you in, in just a few short chapters, and few books that make you want to quit the world until you've finished reading it. Melissa Marr is that author, and Carnival of Souls is that book.
World Building Jedi Master:
The world that Melissa Marr created in Carnival of Souls was so vivid. I couldn't believe that after just a few short chapters, I found myself knowing this world, and kind of believing that it actually exists. There are very few authors that have the ability to suck me in this quickly, but she has always been one of them. Here, Melissa has created a world of witches and daimons in The City, where an inflexible caste systems keeps those who are down from ever changing their lots in life. The only hope to change their future, is the Carnival of Souls, where they must literally fight for their lives, and a chance to become something more.
Another thing Melissa Marr does really well, is writing from many different viewpoints. This story is told mostly by Mallory, Kaleb, & Aya, with other characters also making narrative appearances. I love this style of writing! I love that each of these characters has a unique voice, and that I get to see things from each of their perspectives.
Tough Girls and Hot Guys and Romance:
Both of the main female characters are awesome in different ways. Mallory is a little naive and sheltered, but at the same time, she knows how to fight, and she'll do anything to help the people she loves. I feel like her character grew the most in the book, and I can't wait to see where she goes in the future. Aya was equally awesome in her own way. She fights (sometimes dirty) to the death so that she can have control over her own life. While most sit back and take what they're given, Aya knows that she has to fight, or die. Then there are the guys! I adore the way that Melissa writes guys. She has a way of making them completely strong, fiercely loyal, and completely full of emotion. I love the tension, the romance and the secrets that are bound to make all these relationships go haywire in the following books.
Jump in NOW!
If you haven't read a book by Melissa Marr, I definitely recommend starting with Carnival of Souls. The only warning to you is that this book ends on a HUGE cliffhanger. With her other books, there has always been more resolution, but this time....not so much. Luckily, there's a whole series (Wicked Lovely) that you can read while you're waiting for the next CoS book to come out!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor
- Sexual Content: Sexual Dialog and innuendo
- Profanity: Mild with one heavy word
- Violence: Moderate
- Other Notables: Daimons, Witches