Author: Melissa Marr
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication date: September 4th 2012
My rating: 4.5 Stars
Goodreads Description: 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.
This was a deliciously dark, magic filled tale of daimons and witches, and their hatred of each other.
In Carnival of Souls, we have three POVs: Mallory, Kaleb and Aya.
Seventeen year old Mallory craves normal. She moves from town to town, always “the new girl” in school. She never has a chance to make close friends, or have a boyfriend, for that matter. This is because her adoptive father, Adam, is a witch on the run. He took something from the daimons long ago, and they want it back. Adam has always taught Mallory to be constantly on guard and prepared for a daimon attack. Although for all their running she has had yet to set one. These are the rules she lives by until she meets Kaleb. Mallory knows that whatever attraction she feels for him can never work because he’s a human, and she could never share her crazy world with him, putting him in danger as well. Also, she’ll probably be moving again soon, if the past is any indication. Little does Mallory know, Kaleb is far from human and he was sent to find her.
Kaleb lives in The City. It’s is a world apart from humans with a rigid caste system in place, and Kaleb is on the bottom rung. He is hired for his skills in “black mask” work, fighting and killing, and that’s why he’s been hired to find Mallory. He finds his duty tested when he starts to care for Mallory. In addition to the black mask jobs, Kaleb has also entered into a competition. The Carnival of Souls happens once in every generation, and gives any daimon that wins a chance to raise his caste, and join in the ruling class. The price could be your life as this is a fight-to-the-death situation. Kaleb yearns to improve his lot in life and that of his pack mate, Zevie, and is willing to risk everything to do it.
Aya, is a daimon in The City in the ruling class. Because of the future that is inevitable for a woman in her position, she enters into the competition as well. Otherwise, she’ll be married off and forced to breed. Aya has plans to rule and improve her world, and having this future forced onto her does not fit into the plan.
I felt a strong and immediate connection with Mallory and Kaleb, and I felt as if their concerns were my own. Mallory is so innocent in spite of her violent training. She strives to please her father and be the good obedient daughter. Adam, her father, is keeping many secrets from her which I found irritating but I know it was motivated by his love. The relationship between Mallory and Kaleb had shades of insta-love but I didn’t find this annoying at all. Kaleb has to be my favorite character by far. His loyalty and desire to protect the ones he loves while trying to improve their lives, is very touching. I didn’t have an immediate attraction to Aya but as her story is revealed I understood the reasons behind her actions and warmed to her considerably.
This story was so well-paced and fast moving, it sucks you in from the first pages. I was eager to turn the next page and find out the next revelation or plot twist. Melissa Marr has a talent of writing dark tales where the lines between good and bad are often blurred and the characters are usually a little of both. This was the case in Carnival of Souls. While we’re not left with a horrible cliffhanger, the story is far from over. I eagerly await the sequel and will be picking it up the first chance I get.
To share our love with you awesome readers we’ve decided to give away a SIGNED Advanced Readers Copy of Carnival of Souls. The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL. So fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win! The only requirement is that you follow the blog via GFC. The giveaway will run for a week, so make sure you get your entry in soon. Good luck!