Monday, September 10, 2012

Ivy's Review on Carnival of Souls

Carnival of Souls
Author: Melissa Marr (@melissa_marr)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Format: ARC
Pages: 306
Source: Publisher
Rating: Escapable
Series: Carnival of Souls #1
The Other Books: Theatre of Deceit
Challenge: None
Extras: Trailer, Facebook, Website
Seek: Amazon, 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.
The cover, for once, didn't really intrigue me. The title of the book was what caught my eye. White masks are worn by witches in the City. I think this is supposed to be a symbol of an another war igniting between witches and daimons.
Here at the center, though, was a place of business and pleasure. Music played constantly. Blind drummers played outside the tents where delicate deals were arranged; ensembles in the employ of the pleasure vendors enticed customers with their music as dancers demonstrated their flexibility; and others simply played for the coins that were tossed into their baskets. At times it was a glorious cacophony. Jugglers and fire twirlers showed their skills in time to the music. All the while, hawkers sold their wares to those ensnared by the music, sometimes literally.

For all the violence in the The City—much of it in the carnival—there was beauty, too, especially here. As he walked, Kaleb’s steps caught the rhythm of a daimon who leaned against a vendor stall, tapping out patterns on a skin drum. The daimon had his eyes closed, and Kaleb smiled at the joy in the man’s face.
I have read one other book from Melissa Marr and it was Wicked Lovely. People kept telling me I needed to read that book and when I finally did, I wasn’t too impressed by it. So, when I heard about this book, I tried to stay away from all the hype and reviews. I wanted my own thoughts on the book.

Just like Wicked Lovely, I was confused at first. Confused, yet entertained. I didn’t expect to have so many points of views in one book. I really like it! In YA, you always get books written in first point of view. Never multiple characters. I always see that in adult fantasy books though and in some middle-grade books, but never YA. We need more books like this!

As for the world-setting, I am always fascinated by how well Melissa can bring me into her worlds. The City is the location of the Carnival of Souls and daimons. The City is ruled by Marchosias. Daimons have taken control of the city and banned witches into the human world. Higher classes have the most power in the City and are respected by the lower classes. Lower classes are pretty much treated like dirt. I could clearly picture the City and the main event, the Carnival of Souls. My favorite scene was when Aya and Belias were matched up against each other. It is one of the first scenes you get about the book and it gets you hooked. I was excited to see more from Aya! She is my favorite character in the book.

The characters! There are so many you get to meet. Melissa made it easy to identify which character is who, even the minor characters. Mallory, who lives in the human world, was always taught to hate daimons and was trained to kill them. She is tired of running from them and just wants to live her life. However, Adam, her dad, is keeping secrets about who Mallory really is and the world she comes from. Mallory is the daughter of the ruler of the City, Marchosias.

Now to the fighters! Kaleb, a lower-class cur, is participating in the Carnival of Souls. He joins the fight because he wants to become higher-class to have a safer and richer life for him and his pack-mate Zevi. Being a cur, he does side jobs to earn money. One of his jobs is to find Mallory. Finally, there’s Aya, the only higher-class woman in the Carnival of Souls. She has joined so she can escape her fate of being a wife and giving birth to heirs. She has a secret of her own, that I am not willing to spill.

One thing to take note before reading...there aren't that many fights. I was disappointed because since the book was titled Carnival of Souls, I expected more than just a few fights. This book was more about the characters discovering who they are or what they want most in their lives. While I love this part, I am still disappointed by the lack of action. I do hope for more in the sequel.

If I didn’t know there was a second book coming out, I would be so pissed. The way it ended, I still had so many questions about some things. You can definitely count on me reading the second book next year.
The next book is to be titled Theatre of Deceit and is set for a 2013 release. I hoping that doesn't change. So far, this series looks like it is only going to be two books.

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