Oct 16, 2012

Review: Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Title: Carnival of Souls
Author: Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 9.4.2012
Pages: 304
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy
Series: Yes (Carnival of Souls#1)
Source: ARC from BEA

Rating: B+

Summary (from 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.

I’m going to be perfectly honest and get this out of the way: I did not like Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series at all. Not because of the writing, but because I seem to have (for some unknown reason) a serious aversion to faeries in books. I don’t know why—maybe I was attacked by a faerie at birth, maybe I was a fae hunter in a past life? No idea, so I was really excited to read Carnival of Souls because for years all I heard people gush about was Marr and her amazing ability to write.

I now see what all the fuss was about.

The book is a fantasy lover’s dream. The world that Marr creates is so lush and real, I hated to leave it whenever I put the book down. The lives of three characters—Mallory, Aya, and Kaleb—intersect and collide magically. I truly loved this world and the way Marr built everything up. There was so much tension and suspense; how could I not fall into it?

My only issue, and I’m hoping this gets rectified with the next book, is that I never felt a deep connection to the characters. Mallory was probably my favorite. I loved her tenacity and her spirit, but there was just something lacking on a gut-level for me.

I am pleased that Marr doesn’t jump head-first into the insta-romance category. I am loving this steamy build up between Mallory and Kaleb. I’m praying that she keeps that up in the next book—makes the payoff so much richer.

This is definitely a book to check out. Fans of Marr’s Wicked Lovely series already know how fantastic she is and what she is capable of doing with the written word. People who have never read her work before will find a great novel to sink into. Buy it. Read it. Love it.


  1. I have this out from the library right now. It's almost due and I still haven't read it.... but it sounds like I should give it a try.

  2. I am so excited to read this. I love her Wicked Lovely series so I know this will be amazing. Thanks for reviewing.

  3. I just read this book last week and I didn't love it but I did enjoy it. I will be checking out the next book in the series! I agree with you about not connecting to the characters as much as I would have liked but overall found the novel different and interesting to read. Great review!

  4. Thanks for the honest review. Been wanting to read this one so this has been a great help. I would love to try her books soon!

  5. Great review! This has been on my TBR forever. I should really get around to reading it soon!!

  6. Great review! I just finished reading it this week and I LOVED it! My review is coming up shortly, but I've owned the Wicked Lovely series for awhile and yet to read it but I totally loved Carnival of Souls, I devoured it in one sitting it was that good LOL

  7. Really curious about this book.

  8. A really good review, and I share in your aversion to fae lit. I try, though. I'm not sure how keen I'd be on reading this book, but you made a good case for it.

  9. Wow so glad you like this because someone got it for me for Christmas! I feel a lot better about it after reading your review. Thanks :) I'm looking forward to a great fantasy!


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