Author: Melissa Marr
Publication Information: September 4th 2012 by HarperCollins
Edition: Hardcover, 306 pages
Categories: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Magic, Demons, Witches, Urban Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Rating: 3.25/5.00 | Goodreads Rating: 3.82/5.00
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What the Back of the Book Says: 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, Aya and Kaled 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 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.
My Thoughts: The incredible world-building that made me fall in love with Marr's Wicked Lovely series is what hooked me from the beginning of Carnival of Souls and kept me going to the last page. I was absolutely blown away by The City, the world that Marr created that is inhabited by daimons. The story alternates between Aya, Kaleb, and Mallory. I didn't really connect with the characters as much as I'd hoped. If any character stood out to me, it would be Kaleb. He was the most three dimensional with tons of emotions and strength. He was willing to do anything to keep himself and his packmate, Zevi, safe and his love for Mallory is tangible.
Mallory wasn't a character I could really connect with. She was kept in the dark as to who her father is, and what her true heritage is. That part is understandable, but the scenes with Mallory just really didn't do anything to make me like her. Aya was a decent character, I liked her and could get into her story. She has tons of secrets and there is so much going on that isn't within her control.
The plot of the story was completely unique and not like anything I'd ever read before, which kept me motivated to devour the entire book as quickly as possible. I did find a few things predictable, and there wasn't a whole lot of action other than the fights in the Carnival of Souls, which was the first half of the book. I felt that the book lost just a tiny bit of steam in the second half. There are so many themes and elements that are different than most other books so it stays fresh and new through the entire book. I felt that the book deserved more than a 3 star rating, because I really did enjoy it. I didn't love it enough for 4 stars though, so I felt that a 3.25 rating is perfect, even though I try not to give out odd ratings! I love the cover of the book and everything about it, and I'm excited to see what happens in book #2.
If you liked this, read this: The Gathering Dark by Christine Johnson | Loki's Wolves by KL Armstrong | The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd | Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff | Sorrow's Knot by Erin Bow