Carnival of Souls is one of the most unique stories I’ve read this year so far. Melissa Marr has created this imaginative realm of daimons and witches, fights to the death, and so many secrets. It was amazinnnnnnnng!!
One of the things I loved about Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series was how many characters and love stories were in those books. In Carnival of Souls, we get the same thing. There isn’t just one boy and one girl, there’s two!! And their relationships are far beyond the normal romances in YA. There’s love, but there are secrets too. So many that I know I’ll be in heart-wrenching pain when the truth comes out, because it cannot end well for any of them.
Out of our two heroines, Mallory and Aya, I liked Aya most. Nothing against Mallory, but the problem with her character is that she’s pretty much in the dark about who she is throughout most of the book. She’s always being watched out for, and even though she’s more than capable of kicking someone’s ass, she’s almost babied the whole time. I actually fist-pumped at the end when she finally took control and started acting fierce.
Now Aya, started out fierce. The lengths she goes to to win a spot as a ruler of The City so that she doesn’t have to become just a wife and a mother with the daimon she loves are beyond most anyone’s capabilities, physically and emotionally. Aya is probably the one hiding the biggest secret of all, but you don’t have to wait long to learn what it is. I have my theories about her…parentage wise. But that’s all I’ll say about that because I don’t want to spoil anything.
Melissa Marr has a gift for creating male characters I instantly fall for, in spite of their flaws. Take Seth, Niall, Irial, and Keenan from Wicked Lovely for example. I LOVE ALL OF THEM! Ok, maybe not Keenan so much, lol, though I did feel for him. Here we have two new characters that had me swooning, Kaleb and Belias. I can’t help it…I love them already. And they couldn’t be more different from each other! Kaleb comes from the slums of The City. He’s a strong fighter and will do anything to protect and take care of his family. His heart is what really drew me to him. In turn, Belias is just a strong a fighter, but he is also high caste, meaning he’s practically royalty. What I found irresistible in him was his passion and devotion.
I loved the way they all had a voice in this book. I always want to hear what all the characters are going through and thinking. It makes the story so much more engrossing. Especially in one with so much depth. This book was also really bloody. It’s graphic, but not gross, which I really appreciated. I really loved the masks concept, that each color represented a service. That was really interesting and I hope we see more of it in future books.
Carnival of Souls swept me away into a realm that was terrifying and beautiful at the same time. Its intricacies left me in awe and in wanting for it to continue beyond the last page.
Carnival of Souls (Secrets) by Melissa Marr
Series: Untamed City #1
Published by HarperCollins
Pub Date: September 4th 2012
Format: ARC | Source: Gifted
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
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.
Check out the awesome trailer!
Update On This Series
Since posting this review, the name of the book and cover have changed as follows…
Carnival of Secrets