Sunday, October 07, 2012

Review: Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr + Giveaway!

Book Description via Goodreads:

Paperback & Hardcover, 306 pages
September 4, 2012, Harper Collins

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.

Source: Pinoy Book Tours (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

From page one I was sucked into the beautiful and dangerous world of Carnival of Souls. Marr created a very detailed and vivid story world from the social hierarchy to its history. The prologue reminded me of the Downworlders of the Mortal Instruments series but this first impression eventually faded into solid awe as I read on. Carnival of Souls had the same dangerous and exciting vibe as Daughter of Smoke and Bone did. I loved this world.

The yearly competition nestled in the Carnival of Souls was filled with blood, danger and losses. As fighters bled and killed for survival and power, the stakes get higher. Marr delivered feral, as well as graceful, action. Imagine watching an action movie a-la-matrix with the daimons’ dual forms (human form and daimon form – resembles a werewolf) in action. I could easily picture the fight in my head with all the details given. It was enough to keep on the edge of my seat as I cheered on for Kaleb and Aya.

The character I was most interested in was Kaleb. He was a cur, lowly ranking in the social hierarchy of his world. He not only had a dark past but he lived a dark life as an assassin and a seller of flesh and pleasure. I felt for him. In the competition, not only was his life at stake but his chance of changing his life and making sure that he and Zeke had enough coin to sustain their needs. Beyond the tough, scarred skin, he had a heart. He deeply cared about Mallory.

Mallory was kept in the dark by her father for her entire life. She was an obedient daughter, always following her dad’s rules and requests. She was even stopping herself from getting close to the cute boy with the intense gaze, Kaleb. I sympathized with her. It was hard to keep her questions to herself when deep inside, she wanted and needed answers.

The attraction between Kaleb and Mallory was simmering behind their simple conversations, silenced statements and stares. Their romance might be considered insta-love but I consider it fated love. As creatures that aren’t human, they are not bound by human romantic rules. Although their strong desire to be with one another could be denied and even suppressed, it was a part of their being. They were anchored to one another whether they liked it or not. The connection between the two was undeniable. Marr wrote beautifully intimate scenes that made my toes curl.

Aya was daimon elite. Gorgeous, smart and badass, she had managed to stay in the competition for as long as she could with her strategies. Girls weren’t supposed to fight in the competition, much less elite girls. Through her pretty face and sleek dresses, she hid a dark secret. She carried this burden on her shoulders. Aya fought for freedom and the right to rule. She wanted to break free from the shackles of daimon norms. I admired her for that.

But happily ever after didn’t exist in the daimon world. The truth behind Mallory’s real identity will give birth to chaos not only in her mind but in both the human and the daimon world. As she struggles to find the pieces of her true self, she will doubt and question everything she has ever known.

My only complaint was the ending. I feel that it was too abrupt, cutting off my connection with the characters with a quick snip. However, I am still 100% interested in finding out what happens next in the sequel. It was just that I felt that the story of Carnival of Souls needed a hundred or so more pages.

Carnival of Souls is an engrossing paranormal romance that will keep readers entranced and on the edge of their seats with its romance, action, danger and twists and turns. If you liked Daughter of Smoke and the Mortal Instruments, you will enjoy reading this! I highly recommend this to paranormal romance readers!


4.5 Cupids = Obsessive book love. 
Almost made it as one of my favorites! I strongly recommend this!

Giveaway: Paperback of Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Because Pinoy Book Tours and Harper Collins love you…we’re giving away a paperback!


You don’t have to be a follower.
Open to PH residents only (sorry US/international peeps!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. So glad you really enjoyed it!!! I have high hopes for another Marr novel :D

    1. CRUD!! *facepalm*
      I'm sorry, just noticed this was PH only. Exclude my entries :p

  2. i loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone so I'm looking forward to Carnival of Souls. The cover is gorgeous too.

  3. Ok my sister read this book and said it was a must read, so I really want to read it now. However, she also said it has a huge cliffhanger... I still want to read it though. Thank you for the chance!

  4. From your review it sounds as if you feel the character development was very well done. I enjoy books that allow the reader to adapt to the story as he/she learns about the characters. I always seem to put myself into the action somewhere! Great review.

  5. I've read some glowing reviews, some negative, some mixed. I don't think this book is for me, but you wrote a great review anyway. :) Congrats to the winner!

  6. Marr's Wicked Lovely series has been on my to-read list since last year, but now I think I'll go with this first! XD

  7. The characters all sound amazing! I now feel bad for snubbing this book initially! :))

  8. Great review! I've been really excited to get my hands on this book and I'm so glad to see some book love for it! :D

  9. soounds awesome! i love the title.

  10. I must admit, the more reviews I read, the more excited I grow about reading this! Hope I win. Hehe! :)

  11. I love the sound of this one. I might be a bit biased because I'm finding that I love Melissa Marr. Though, I am a tad to hear about the ending because I hate when that happens.

  12. Love Melissa's books and can't wait to read this one. Great review!

  13. Great review. I wasn't sure what to make of this one and I think you've convinced me to give it a try. I loved her wicked lovely series so I hope I'll enjoy this world as much as I did the Wicked Lovely world.

  14. I love the concept of Carnival of Souls and your review!

  15. I was a bit hesitant about whether or not I wanted to read this one, but all of the positive reviews (yours included) are really piquing my interest. Great review and thanks for the giveaway!