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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Title: Carnival of Souls
Author: Melissa Marr
ISBN: 9780062201911
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: September 04, 2012
Series: Carnival of Souls #1
Duration: 8 hours, 5 minutes
Source: Audiobook from my public library

"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."
First Lines:

"The man - witch - who'd summoned Selah was nothing like what she'd expected. In truth, he looked no different than many daimons she'd met: implacable expression and a musculature that would serve him well in one of Marchosias' fighting competitions."
Page 1

Talk about a book in my wheelhouse. Witches, daimons, cute boys, fighting girls, family intrigue...  I was sold on this book before I really knew what it was about. I blame my love of masks and the pretty cover.

True to Melissa Marr style, we are taken into a whole new world - one where daimons rule. Witches have been given the human world to rule over. Mallory is caught in the middle, but she has no idea. She just knows that there is a cute boy who sort of shows up everywhere she goes and that her father is a witch - keeping them on the move and trained for any danger. As she begins to uncover the truth about the world around her, things start to go wrong.

I love the world building of The City. The rules are all different and the way people are ranked in society is totally foreign. Women are required to breed once they hit a certain age - they are even given something to make them more breedable. That's the one and only reason Aya has chosen to fight society and compete in the Carnival of Souls. It's a dark and sinister world where people are fighting - literally - for their lives and positions in society. Just to throw this out there, though... the Carnival is a little Hunger Games. People fighting to the death for a better standing. I'm just sayin.

It was hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that all of the daimons could transform into some other animal. Of course, it's a scary, wolf-seeming animal. But there wasn't much description there. It's probably on purpose so you can conjure up  your own scary versions of them. I personally would have liked a little more specific information about the creatures, though. Also, the whole pack mentality made this seem a little more werewolf than anything else.

As an audiobook, this one gave me a little trouble. I know I liked the story, so it had nothing to do with that. The reader was male and I sort of wished for a switch in voices when you were listening to the female characters (I know not everyone is a fan of the voice switching). In fact, there were more female voices than male. It wouldn't be bothersome, except some of his inflections for the way the girls talked... it was just wrong somehow. Everything else was really good. But the voice of Mallory seemed a little too meek and whiny the way it was done. Otherwise, the reader did a good job.

As a whole, I really enjoyed this story. There were some things that I wasn't a fan of, but that didn't keep me from having fun with this one. I think if you're a Melissa Marr fan, you will definitely want to check this one out. It seems like lots of the reviews are a bit on the fence. So I am hoping that the next book will give us even more to work with - this one totally leaves you on a cliffhanger. So, of course, I'm sucked in :).
Other Blog Reviews:

Candace's Book Blog
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The Soul Sisters
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The Midnight Garden
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That's What She Read
Obsession with Books
Realm of Fiction
Adina's Book Blog

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