Sunday, 14 October 2012

Book Review: Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Title: Carnival of Souls
Author: Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: 4th September 2012
Read In: October 2012

Goodreads - - Book Depository
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.

I went to my local bookshop, browsed around, bought a couple of books and then decided to have a fifteen minute break in the coffee shop upstairs. Forty minutes later I was still there, getting weird looks. My coffee had gone cold. I could not stop reading this book. It is only after you get into the depths of what this story is about do you discover how vague the blurb is. Carnival of Souls is a woven tale of secrets, family, laws and a wonderfully crafted fantasy world.

‘“Don’t be foolish, Aya.
“If I win the competition, I’ll rule. Why would Marchosias force me to wed or breed then? He follows the laws too.” She looked away from him to take in the crowd assembling to watch their match. “I have to win, Bel”’

Many multiple ‘point of view’ books fall into a trap of being slow in pace. You’re waiting for something to happen but you have to go through many more slow sections before it does. Not here. I was absorbed into Carnival of Souls. As each character is connected in some way, each person’s story, each chapter, adds a little more and I loved piecing it together in my head. I loved the building of the world and the backstory of each character that led to the present. It was all about discovery, my favourite kind of story.

This book was so vivid. It was like I was watching a movie inside of my head. The writing, the pace, the imagery, it was amazing. I loved the whole world that has been created. I have read many demon and witch stories and yet I was still in love with this world. It was dark and grimy, full of oppression. It felt really realistic, well in terms of a demon society any way. Not only do we have the demons world but we have the witches’ world too. Separate and yet connected. Both were great. I hope to learn more about the witches’ world in the next book. At first I thought it was a stand alone but it cannot end there.

What I enjoyed the most was probably all the relationships between each of the characters; Adam and Mallory, Kaleb and Zevi, Aya and Belias, many more. Each was different and each had their own secrets. I felt a connection to each of them. Not easy when there are so many characters.

I know this review seems to be just me rambling but this book has everything that I could have wanted; great setting, great magic, great characters and a beautifully woven plot between all the characters that was unveiled at just the right pace. What more could you want? I may even consider giving some of Melissa’s other books another go.



  1. OOoh nice review!! Thinking more and more that I must add this to my get it list!! Reading lots of nice reviews for this one! Thanks for giving me more reason to get this one!

    Once again, great review! I tend to ramble in my reviews as well! Especially when I loved a book so much! It's hard to really get people to know that the book was just so truly awesome! You did a fabulous job!

  2. Great review, Becky! I loved how you you described your coffee and book shop experience! Happens so many times. ;)
    As for Carnival Of Souls, I've only been hearing good things about it. I can't wait to read it! :)

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  3. Eep I really want to get this one! I love the premise and the reason I dind't like other carnival books like Night Circus is bc of the very slow pace so this one seems a little more to my liking!

    1. It is not actually a Carnival in terms of the traditional sense of the word. Well I don't think so anyway. :)


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