Title: Carnival of Souls
Author: Melissa Marr
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.
Before I say anything, I have to point out one important fact: I thought this was a standalone book. And, as a result, I think my reading experience and mind-set was affected. Even though I enjoyed the book, it definitely affected my experience because I thought the story was going to end at the end of the book.
For example, when I was almost to the end and things were far from wrapped up, I was very confused. Then I realized that, despite the fact that I hadn’t seen any mention of it being a series anywhere, it most likely was, or at least was intended to be. I often worry that I somehow got a book that was missing the final pages or that it was going to be a horrible cliff-hanger, but normally I at least know that it’s going to continue and feel a little less worried.
Other than that, though, this was a fairly enjoyable book. I don’t know if I liked it as much as Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely books, but it certainly had similar touches while being its own work. I was kind of confused by the switching settings between the modern world where magic sometimes existed and the magical fantasy world where it always did, but it was still an interesting story.
I definitely think I’ll keep reading, if it does end up being the series that I expect it is. Regardless of that, though, I’m going to continue checking out Melissa Marr’s future books because she has yet to really disappoint me with her magical worlds.