Carnival of Souls (Carnival of Souls #1)

 
0.0
 
4.5 (2)
1458 2
Carnival of Souls (Carnival of Souls #1)
Author(s)
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
September 04, 2012
ISBN
0061659282
Buy This Book
      
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.

User reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot 
 
4.5  (2)
Characters 
 
4.5  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.5  (2)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Carnival of Souls
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Let me start off by saying this is the first novel I have read by Melissa Marr and I loved it! (Seriously I want to read the Wicked Lovely series now!!). Having said that, the description of the book drew me in from the moment I saw it on goodreads.com and I fell in love with the cover, it's beautiful.

This book had me captivated from the first chapter. From the characters to the plot I was completely hooked and up turning the pages well into the night. I got frustrated when I had to put the book down to do other things because I just had to know what happened.

I loved the characters. Well most of them anyway. From Mallory and Kaleb to Aya. Mallory is cool. She knows how to fight and wants to do things on her own, plus she carries guns. Kaleb is a hardcore fighter who can be ruthless but is also caring when it comes to Mallory and his packmate Zevi. What isn't to fall for there? We find out a secret about Aya in the novel and trust me I didn't see it coming!

Now I did hate Adam, Mallory's step-father of sorts. Yes I know he was just trying to protect her because he loves her but some of the things he does are just wrong and he crosses many lines when it comes to his "daughter". And don't even get me started on Evelyn, she's cold-hearted and cruel. There is nobody she won't destroy if they get in her way and she will do anything if it has a way to benefit her plans.

I loved the location of half of the novel. The City is where the daimon's live and where the Carnival of Souls takes place. It is a city that has strict castes where people know there place. It's a city of both decadence and violence and I think that is what drew me in. The other half is located in the human world and while I did love this setting as well since it is where Mallory is, I was just more captivated by the events in The City.

Overall, this was a highly enjoyable and fantastic read. If you haven't read this yet I recommend you go out and pick it up, you won't regret it!
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Dark and creative idea that I wish was developed further
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Carnival of Souls is the story of two magical races -- witches and daimons -- that aren't exactly at war with each other, but are definitely not on good terms. Mallory is the daughter of the daimon ruler, but her daimon nature is hidden from her when her mother hides her with Adam, a witch. (None of this is spoilery -- it's revealed in the prologue). Adam raises her human, since she can't pass for a witch (in this story, being a witch is not something you can become; it's an actual separate species), and teaches her to fight, and to hate daimons.

Then, of course, everything gets thrown into chaos when Kaleb -- and other daimons hired by Mallory's true father -- find her.

Carnival of Souls switches between many points-of-view: Mallory, Kaleb, Aya, and also snippets of Adam, Belias (Aya's former betrothed), and Zevi (Kaleb's packmate). It's all third-person, so it's not confusing, but I'm not sure the single chapters from the secondary characters' POVs were really necessary. Mallory, Kaleb, and Aya would have been plenty. The others are interesting but superfluous. Maybe they were included because those characters will play bigger roles in the sequel(s), but I think in that case, we could still have waited until the sequels to hear from them.

Mallory is the axle around which the entire story revolves, and the problem with this is that she is the weakest character. Her back story is fascinating: a daimon child, heir to the ruler, raised by a witch who loves her as his own, ignorant of her own nature and taught to hate her kind. Unfortunately, every time we visit Mallory's POV, her thoughts revolve around one of three things:

1) Kaleb, the fluttery feelings he causes, and the fact that she can't date him

2) Wondering what her father stole from the daimon ruler that's causing them to be pursued (spoiler: it's her)

3) "I hate daimons. They're so terrible. I hope I never meet one."

And these are all valid things for her to be thinking about, but it starts getting old after a while when she keeps not growing as a character. She learns new things, sure, but nothing that really changes her or helps her evolve. I can only find her constant incorrect observations ironic for so long. Then I need her to have some sort of revelation that changes how she views the world. Which she does, eventually, but by then it feels like too little, too late.

Fortunately, Kaleb and Aya are much more interesting and well developed. Kaleb was my favorite, because his character had the most depth. He was a fierce and merciless fighter in the Carnival (which is nothing like a real carnival, FYI), but a gentle and protective packmate to Zevi (which, to clear up the whole "packmate" thing -- daimons are basically werewolves). He, like most daimons, hates witches, but finds he can make exceptions in certain cases. He has no qualms with engaging in morally questionable (or abhorrent) activities to support himself and Zevi, but he tries to be an upstanding guy with Mallory. And it all works.

Aya, I can't really get into here without spoiling some big reveals, but suffice it to say that she had her own interesting developments that made me eager to learn more about her character. She wasn't quite as multi-faceted as Kaleb, but she was close.

The world-building and the action in this book was spot-on. The world of The City was gritty and dark and violent, and it was a great contrast to Mallory's life in the familiar human world. And the fights in the Competition were disturbingly vivid. Yes, there were some points when certain aspects of their violent lifestyle didn't quite ring true -- at one point, Kaleb has a rib sticking out through his skin, but after having it literally hammered back into place (someone's been going to The Dark Knight Rises school of chiropractic care), he's cool to stroll around with just a bit of soreness. Maybe this is in part due to his daimon nature, but it made me want to call shenanigans. But overall, I thought it was a fascinating and creative world, and I liked how it was portrayed.

This story was a quick, easy read. Melissa Marr's prose flows comfortably, and I was kept engaged throughout the entire book.

Then there was the ending, which left me kind of disappointed. The whole book felt like it was building up to a central revelation, and then it happens, and it's rather anticlimactic. The reactions I expected were simply not there. Plus, a late-stage development is thrown in a few chapters before the end, which is obviously supposed to set up a sequel, but seemed to prevent this book from achieving any satisfying closure. There are several big plot arcs set up in this story, and most of them were left dangling by the end. I'm fine with having a central conflict span multiple books, but I need for the first book in a series to resolve most of its secondary arcs while still leaving the overarching one open. And this one just left almost all of them open. It leaves me feeling like I just read a really long prologue instead of a novel, and I don't like to finish a book with that feeling.

Overall, I thought the story was promising, full of excitement and action and dark creativity. It just didn't fully live up to its potential. However, the storytelling was engaging enough, and the world and characters interesting enough, that I will come back for the sequel.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Meanwhile
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Celebrate 10 years of this completely original graphic novel take...
Grant Beagan: The Finder's Code
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
He’s just an ordinary teenager who likes astronomy, video games,...
Fisher- Price Fun in the Jungle: Explore, Touch, and Feel
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Children will love exploring the different textures in this playful...
Glitter Globes: The Night Before Christmas
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
On the night before Christmas, all over the house, not...
Belinda Fellgate: HellCat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A contemporary teen fantasy about an inept 14-year-old girl who...
Breathless
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
From Jennifer Niven, the #1 New York Times bestselling author...
Music for Tigers
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
Shipped halfway around the world to spend the summer...
Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A broken world. An overwhelming evil. ...
Kingdom of Ice and Bone (The Frozen Sun Saga, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lira and Reyker have lost everything. Including each other....
Sword of the Seven Sins
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Eva Marteinn never wanted to be a killer. Raised...
Things That Should Stay Buried
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Some destinies are written in the stars. Others must...
How It All Blew Up
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda goes to Italy...
Horrid
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
From the author of You Must Not Miss comes...
Tsalix Silverthorn and the Scepter of Destiny
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The latest phenomenal work from New York Times Bestselling author...
The Adventures of Bubba Jones (#4): Time Traveling Through Grand Canyon National Park
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the fourth book of this award-winning national park series,...
The Companion
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The other orphans say Margot is lucky. Lucky to...

Latest Member Reviews

The Kingdom of Back
 
5.0
"Marie Lu’s The Kingdom of Back is an historical fantasy based on real-life talents, Wolfgang Amedeus Motzart and his sister,..."
Meanwhile
 
3.7
"'Meanwhile' by Jason Shiga is a graphic novel adventure that will remind readers of the types of books in which..."
Breathless
 
4.0
"BREATHLESS is a book about change, secrets, and the aftermath. Claudine (Claude) is about to graduate high school, and she..."
Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)
 
5.0
"SKYHUNTER is an enthralling and lush YA fantasy. Lu really paints the story with her words, and this new novel..."
The Library of Lost Things
 
5.0
"I wasn't sure what to expect with The Library of Lost Things, but I know I didn't anticipate a book..."
Goddess in the Machine (Goddess in the Machine, #1)
 
5.0
"Andra, a teenager from the 2160s, is put into cryogenic stasis fulling expecting to wake up on another planet one..."
Kingdom of Ice and Bone (The Frozen Sun Saga, #2)
 
4.0
"KINGDOM OF ICE AND BONE picks up where the first book left off. Lira and Reyker are separated and each..."
How It All Blew Up
 
5.0
"HOW IT ALL BLEW UP is an absolutely riveting coming-out story. Amir Azadi is an Iranian American who has always..."
Music for Tigers
 
3.7
"A vividly descriptive Middle-Grade work with an ecological focus--enriched by elements of music, friendship, and atypical neurology. When her..."
The Shadow Mission (The Athena Protocol, #2)
 
4.3
"THE SHADOW MISSION is an even better sequel to THE ATHENA PROTOCOL with lots of action and spy-related danger. In..."
Horrid
 
4.3
"HORRID is an intensely creepy story that follows Jane and her mother, Ruth. Jane's father has just died and after..."
Color Outside the Lines
 
4.0
"WHAT I LOVED: The stories vary in genre, time period, and the makeup of the couples, but many of them..."
I'll Be the One (I'll Be the One #1)
 
5.0
"WHAT I LOVED: Haneul "Skye" Shin is talented, fat, and contrary to the max. Her mom tells Skye she..."
Legendborn (Legendborn, #1)
 
5.0
"LEGENDBORN is absolutely thrilling YA fantasy that captivated me from the start. Bree gained early entrance into UNC-Chapel Hill and..."
Blood & Honey
 
5.0
"This is going to be a hard review to write because I have so many words that want to come..."
Don't Call the Wolf
 
5.0
"Ren is the queen of the forest, a lynx shifter, and the protector of the forest's creatures. When a dragon..."
The Companion
 
4.3
"Everyone thinks Margot is lucky. She's the sole survivor of a horrific car crash that killed her family. While at..."
A Golden Fury
 
3.0
"Thea Hope has learned alchemy as her mother's apprentice, forced into the shadows when all she wants is equal credit..."
Foul is Fair
 
3.0
"Elle is part of the glittering crowd, beautiful and untouchable, or so they believe. One night, Elle and her friends..."
Burn Our Bodies Down
 
4.0
"Audiobook review Margot is tired of not getting answers from her mother about where she came from..."