Friday, 20 July 2012

Review and Giveaway: Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Carnival of Souls
  Title: Carnival of Souls
  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! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. EEEEEEE Rachel! I completely agree with everything you said on your review! I really loved Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series and was anxiously waiting for her newest novel and I'm really glad to find that I enjoyed it too! Mallory, Kaleb, Aya, Belias were AMAZING! I really enjoyed their story and the ending made me desperate for the sequel.

    Awesome review, Rachel! ♥ So glad you enjoyed it!

    PS: Thank you SO MUCH for the giveaway!

  2. Amazing review, Rachel. I haven't read Marr's Wicked Lovely series, but I've heard great things about it.
    I love when books are fast-paced and action-packed and this seems exactly that. Plus, the characters seem wonderful ! :)
    I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I can't wait to read it myself. :)

    Thank you for a chance to win an ARC of the book, Rachel. :)

  3. Lovely review, Rachel! I've heard so many amazing things about Melissa Marr and her dark, magical novels so I'm really glad you enjoyed Carnival of Souls! I love well-paced and fast moving novels so this may be the book for me since I NEED to be captivated from the start :D The fact that the characters seem so 'real' is an extra bonus!

    Fab review, Rachel <3

  4. I got an email about this one the other day but the blurb didn't really appeal to me so I didn't bother requesting it. I think I will now though, you make it sound so much better than the blurb :) Thanks for a great review!

  5. Rachel, I've told you this on Goodreads, but I'm going to tell you again. <3 I LOVE the opening line of your review, it intrigues me so much! <3 Although I didn't enjoy Wicked Lovely very much, I have to agree that Melissa Marr's writing is beyond gorgeous! x)

    Absolutely fabulous review, Rachel! <3 Thank you for the amazing giveaway too! You rock! ;)

  6. Brilliant review, Rachel! I've got my eye on this book so it's great to hear you enjoyed it. The premise sounds quite interesting, as do the characters. I can't wait to meet them all! It's a shame about the insta-love though, but I guess if it didn't bother you, there's always the chance that it might not bother me either. ;)

  7. Oh and thanks for the giveaway! :)

  8. Wonderful review Rachel!!!! I'm glad this book is as dark and enjoyable as the wicked lovely series! Now I finally know the differences in character between Aya and Kalab! Thanks! I totally understand why you like the characters and story.

  9. Awesome review Rachel! I am dying to read this one so thanks to you and Jasprit for the awesome giveaway!!

  10. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!! This book is at the top of my wishlist! I can't wait to read it!! :)

  11. I've only read one book my Melissa Marr - the adult one, GRaveminder, where she also used multiple POVs, and I must admit I wasn't a fan. However, if there's one thing I enjoy, it's a deliciously creepy and dark story, and Carnival of Souls sounds like just the thing.
    Lovely review, my darling!

  12. Ahhhhh! So excited for this one Rachel! I'm glad the almost insta-love isn't irritating at all, sometimes I think it can be done well and this seems to be one of those times. I've only read the first book in the Wicked Lovely series, so I'm really looking forward to reading something else by Melissa Marr.

    Absolutely beautiful review!

  13. I'm so glad you liked this one Rachel! I love Melissa Marr so I'm really excited about her novel!(: I love creepy and dark stories and Carnival of Souls seems like a breath of fresh air! Fantastic review! :D

    Ivy Book Bindings

  14. I can't wait to read this one as well. I love a dark, wicked read and this one sounds great even though it has a bit of a cliffhanger. I have been wanting to read one of Melissa's books forever and this is the one I want to start with. Awesome giveaway!

  15. Sounds like a fantastic read, Rachel! Glad to hear you enjoyed it! I haven't read a Melissa Marr book before, so I may have to check her out! :)

  16. Fantastic review and I'm so glad that you enjoyed this one! I'm a little apprehensive after reading and disliking the one and only book by Marr I've read - Wicked Lovely. However, this shows me that I really should try her again!


  17. I've read only one book by this author, "Wicked Lovely", and wasn't crazy about it (though it might be because I'm not a huge fan of fairies). However, your review of this novel is incredibly convincing, so I think I'll check it out! It sounds very interesting, I must say. :) Superb review and thank you for the giveaway!

  18. i love melissa marr's novels...i hope i win this ARC ..
    thx u 4 the giveaway :)

  19. This is the first review I've read of this, and it is great! I like that you were able to feel for a couple of the characters and I'm looking forward to getting drawn in once I start my copy!

  20. Awesome review Rachel!! You make want to read this book so badly!!:)
    Thanks for giveaway!!


  21. Awesome review Rachel!!
    Thanks for giveaway!!

  22. My tweet link came out wrong. Sorry! It's actually

    This is for today. :D

  23. This book looks ah-mazing!!! Need it now! Awesome review Rachel! Although it seems I missed the giveaway :/

    Reading 24x7

  24. I've seen this book around, and I've been mildly intrigued. But your review has upped this one in my mind. Sounds like this book has a lot of depth.

    Grace Crawford Lake Clark Alaska Bear Viewing Tours


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