Book Review: Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Book Review: Carnival of Souls by Melissa MarrCarnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
Published by HarperCollins on September 4, 2012
Genres: paranormal, urban fantasy, young adult
Source: Purchased
Buy it: AmazonAdd it: 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.

My thoughts:

Very intriguing story – I hated the ending though. I need more Mallory and Kaleb, stat!

Marr, as usual, does a good job of creating dual worlds but there was something about this story that just felt….lacking. The story, while enjoyable, took a long time to progress. I think it was confusing to me because it seemed to start out as something completely different from what it ended up being.

I also had a hard time seeing the characters. She described them more by their personalities than their physical attributes – which may have been done on purpose to give the reader’s imagination free reign. But when you’re going to talk about different classes of beings on a physical level, I think there needs to be a bit of push in the right direction. I never could get a feel for Kaleb or Zevi or Aya’s appearances – or anyone, for that matter, except maybe Adam and Evelyn. All these multidimensional characters wasting away in the fuzzy haze of bad development just doesn’t sit well with me.

Nonetheless, I liked the book – it was interesting and kept my attention very well. Hopefully book 2 will skip sophomore slump and jump right on in to greatness. I don’t know that this series can afford anything less.


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About the author /

Hi. My name is Shannon and I like books. And photography. And video games. I use this space to talk about books, review books, and generally participate in badassery.


  1. Kelley

    I had similar feelings about this book. It was short and thus felt a bit lacking. I ended wanting more. Apparently there is going to be a second book, so hopefully it will fulfill the things we wanted from the first one and didn’t get!

    • Shannon

      Yes, I’m SO glad there’s going to be a second book. I felt like this one was very promising but it just didn’t quite make it there. Mallory and Kaleb though? Totally make the story. So adorbs!

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Hi. My name is Shannon and I like books. And photography. And video games. I use this space to talk about books and particpate in badassery. You can read a bit more about my awesomeness and how Twilight Sleep came to be (the name has absolutely NOTHING to do with the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, contrary to popular belief) on the about page. :]

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