Mundie Moms

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Book Review: Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Released on: September 4th, 2012
Source: signed book from publisher to review
5 stars: I LOVED It!
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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. - quoted from Goodreads

 Melissa Marr has done it again! Carnival of Souls is an absolutely awesome read full of enchantment, magic, lore, and plenty of action. Everything with this story came together perfectly. The fantasy and paranormal elements, the strong characters, incredible world building, and the exciting storyline made this one engaging book I picked up and starting reading the moment it arrived at my door (yesterday afternoon) and didn't put it down until I finished it. There's something about Melissa's writing and story telling that completely hooks me. I love getting lost within the world she's created, especially with this book. 

Based on the book's synopsis and book trailer I knew it was going to be a gripping read, I just wasn't excepting this book to be as addicting as it was for me. From the fight scenes to the unraveling of the secrets, plot twits and the motives behind the characters choices, everything about this book captivated me. I felt like I couldn't devour the pages fast enough. One of the things that really pulled me into the book were the characters. Each character brings something different to the story. Their purpose and placements in the story were well defined, and created. I loved watching their relationships build, and change as the story progressed. Above all, I loved the sense of family that some of them had. The need to love and protect those they love is the underlying decision maker for the decisions each of the characters make, and it's something that I really connected with as a reader.

Often times I have a favorite character, but in this case I seriously loved them all for various reasons. Aya is a ruthless character with high standing, she's someone who I felt like I got from the moment I met her. I understood her quest for independence, and protecting the secrets she holds. I loved getting to meet Belias. He and Aya have this long history together and complex relationship that left me yearning for more, and at the same time it's complexity is one I understood given the various circumstances that govern their society. Mallory and Kaleb.... First off I loved Kaleb. This guy has literally been through hell and back, but his devotion to Mallory is unwavering and the romantic in me seriously loved him for what he does, and vows to do. True he makes some stupid choices, but given his circumstances I got why makes them. Mallory is someone I liked right off the bat. She's someone I sympathized with and she grew into the person I hoped she would have.  I really enjoyed how their lives all end up interconnecting. 

Along with these four characters are some great supporting characters who's presence in the story added more depth to the plot line and the story's secrets. The world in which the story is set is fabulous! It's mesmerizing, dark and dangerous. Getting to see the world through the eyes of each of the characters was fascinating. It was interesting for me to see the good and the bad from their points of views. I liked how the two totally different worlds that make up this story are connected, and how the characters are able to reside in both the human world and The City. Carnival of Souls is an exciting read and one I really enjoyed! It's a story that has it's moments of darkness, heartbreak, romance, danger, and a little bit of humor that has placed this book on my favorites shelf.

On a side note, I just want to say I didn't find this book to be as dark as I was told it was. Everything that is said and done is perfectly fitting for the time period and worlds this book is set in. There's violence by way of the fight scenes that take place, but you see one of those scenes in the book trailer. There is mentions of sex, but it's done is such a well written way and one that's fitting for a society who's set on upper class women being married and made to have heirs. Language wise, it's clean cut except for the one word I read, but even then it was fitting for the scene. Over all, this is a book I'd recommend to fans of Melissa Marr, and to readers who love magic, paranormal elements and enjoy a well written book. I am a huge fan of Melissa's fey series, but this is by far my favorite Marr book and I can not wait for the sequel!

Do not miss today's SPOILER FREE chat happening with Melissa Marr & Epic Reads live on Twitter at 2 pm EST / 1 pm CST. Follow the #MarrChat to join in.


  1. Can't believe you read it so quickly. I can't wait to read this. Thankfully the library is getting it. I just have to find time to read it.

    1. Me neither! I've been looking forward to reading this and once I started it there was no stopping. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it.

  2. I am putting it on my TBR list. I *adored* Graveminder.....Seriously loved it, and I cannot wait until its sequel comes out!!! Thanks for an awesome review!


    1. YAY!!! I think you'll love it. I've not yet read Graveminder, and that's one I need to go pick up. Thank you for reading my review. :)

  3. Love Melissa Marr and I'm kind of disappointed I missed the chat... but Carnival of Souls looks fabulous. Great review! Interesting to see it isn't as dark as some people were saying it was. :)

    1. It's a fabulous read. I personally didn't think it was as dark as some people have said, but that's just me. I think some of fey books have darker content than this one. I hope you enjoy it! :)

  4. This book sounds great & I want to read it even more after your review. Love marissa marr!

    1. Aw than you Cindi! I adore Melissa as well, and this is by far my favorite of her books yet. It's awesome! I hope you enjoy it as much as her other books. :)