Review: Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Book links: Amazon/Goodreads
Author links: website / Twitter
Source: Received book from VOYA to review professionally; this review does not in any way resemble my professional review, but is personal opinion
From Goodreads: In a city of daimons, the Carnival of Souls hosts a deadly competition. Once in a generation, every citizen can fight 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.
In our own world, Mallory knows that her father—and every other witch—fled the daimons’ city long ago. She trains to be lethal because it’s only a matter of time until the daimons catch up with them.
While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans there for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence that is the Carnival of Souls.
my take - You guys!!!!! *flails* This book!!!! *flails again*
Whew, okay now that I have that out of my system…
I received this book from VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates). I write professional reviews for the publication and receive a couple of books every three or four months. I read it, write the review, and send it into the editor. My payment is actually two-fold: I get to read these books WAY before they appear on bookstore shelves AND I get to keep whatever books they send me. It’s a good gig.
When I received this book, there was no cover art yet so I had nothing but a blurb on the front to tell me what might transpose inside the pages. I will readily admit that I didn’t expect much when I first started reading. The idea of a girl who didn’t know her own history and was being kept hidden away from a dangerous society that would see her dead (or breeding with the scary “king”) wasn’t all that original.
I was wrong.
The book is split into the two worlds, human and The City, where the daimons live. (Daimons are strange were-creature, almost demon who can appear human.) Mallory is the daughter (kind of) of a witch who fled The City long ago because all witches were being hunted and killed by daimons. It’s like a supernatural Hatfield and McCoy type deal, but with more drama and backstabbing. Awesome. So now Mallory is a teen and while she knows a little bit about The City and how her dad left, she knows absolutely nothing about her history or real parentage. Drama guys, serious drama.
And then there are fight scenes, near death scenes, more fight scenes, and great kiss, betrayal, family secrets, a scary witch, a scary daimon, a potential war….it’s enough to make your head explode and want more.
So Marr does this thing with her characters – I found myself not just caring but REALLY wanting Mallory, the girl who was being squirreled away by a fugitive father figure, to find out what was going on. I wanted Kaleb, the boy who is actually daimon, to tell her everything, including the fact that he had been hired to kill Mallory. I wanted Aya, a high-ranking but female (!) daimon who fights in a gladiator-style competition to give the lesser classes a chance to gain glory and rank, to just beat every single competitor she came across Lara Croft-style. (Btw, she’s competing to earn her independence; female daimons, especially higher class ones, are expected to look pretty and breed, not fight to-the-death matches.)
But mostly, I wanted to find out more about the war between witches and daimons. I wanted to know everything, I couldn’t help it. This book is definitely a tease – Marr drops the bottom out from under you at the end and it’s killing me that I got to read this book so early that I have to wait that much longer for the second one to come out. ARGH!
This was the first book from VOYA that I’ve assigned a “5″ rating to, it’s that good. And I don’t want to give everything away because you need some surprises but honestly….it’s just awesome. Really.