Monday, April 15, 2013

Book Review: Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Title: Carnival of Souls
Author: Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperCollins 
Date of Publication: April 4, 2012
Source: bought, hardcover, 306 pages
Links to buy: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository|

Goodreads Synopsis:
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.

My Thoughts:

This was a Christmas present for me and I am so happy my wonderful hubby got it for me!
 Carnival of Souls is a gritty, dark, sexy story about daimons and witches and their interactions or lack thereof.  The Carnival is this death match  competition that allows the lower class daimons a chance to raise up in stature in the City, an alternate plane where daimons live and reside.

There are many characters in this book and each one has their own secrets that adds to power of this story.  Everyone in this extremely entertaining novel has something to lose and we see how far they are willing to go to gain their dreams.  To the death?  Killing someone they love?  These are all concepts that get priority in Carnival of Souls as we travel through the City with Kaleb, the lower ranking daimon, and Aya, one of the higher class ones.  It is interesting to see how they each look at living in the City and how their outlooks may vary but how they also come close to seeing eye to eye.

Then there is Mallory, which is our main protagonist.  She is the one the story really centers around, and is an  important to the central theme of the story.  Mallory lives with the witches in the human world and is on the run from daimons.  She doesn't have the life what we could call normal; instead she learns to fight and trains living in fear that a daimon will find her and her father.

Okay, I love this book!  Sorry I just needed to get that out of the way.  I stayed up all night reading it because I seriously could not put it down.  Every time I tried to, I just had to pick it back up to see what else happened in the City.  Did Kaleb make it through another fight?  Did Aya make it?  And Mallory....

I literally loved every character in this book.  Well except villains.  But I will say this, Marr can write a villain.  She makes them appealing, frightening, and highly intelligent.  And I can see why they are the way they are.  If that makes sense.  I can understand why they have turned to their evil ways.  That is superb writing, plain and simple.  To make us see the antagonists' plight and in some ways, sympathize with their pasts.

And to that extent, there is a lot of gray area in this book.  And I LOVE IT!
I hate when a story is so black and white; good vs. evil, blah blah blah.  I find when we see a lot of gray area in the plot we find it more interesting and more grabbing.  Besides, human nature is a total gray area anyways.  Everyone has a little evil in them and goodness in them too.  So I get a real kick out of themes that  recognize that you can only have light if you have darkness and vice versa.

So I have a confession to make:  this is the first Melissa Marr book I have ever read. I know, I suck!
But now that I have read something from her I think I am going to go back and add every single book she has out on my TBR list because this is one talented woman!
If I could say one thing that I wished this story could have been it would be longer.  Oh how I wished it would have been much longer.  But now that I think about it is probably a good idea that it wasn't so I actually got sleep.

I am telling you if you like things like Supernatural (but were always kinda rooting for the ones Dean and Sam were hunting) then you should definitely give this book a try.  And yes it has romance in it too, some very strong romance that makes it that much better!  I am so sorry I am fan-girling here but I love this story so much!
Actually just watching the book trailer on the Goodreads page, makes me want to read it right now again and again!  Which also makes me think the Carnival has that Spartacus kind of feel to it too.  But not quite as gruesome (because it does fit into that YA genre) but definitely a gladiator esque feel to it.

So I am  giving this five hearts (as if you had to guess).  I wish I had like a rating that was more than five hearts that I just reserved for those novels that captured my heart and won't let it go!  If you guys have any idea what I could do let me know.   Also, have you read any Melissa Marr books?  Did you love this one as much as I did?

Connect With Melissa Marr:


  1. I read this book for a tour and loved it as much as you did! I devoured it form cover to cover!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

    1. I'm telling you Ellie I don't know how long I can wait for the next book. I am telling everyone I know to pick up Carnival of Souls! This has definitely become one of my favorites!
      Now should I grab Melissa Marr's other series?

  2. OOoh interesting! I was curious about this one! I have been trying to cut back on what books I jump and grab right away since my TBR pile is out of control. This one, while I love Melissa's other books, had me pausing.


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