Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Pub Date: September 4th, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Summary (from 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.

I got a galley of Carnival at ALA, and I was totally hyperventilating when I met Melissa Marr. She has been one of my favorite authors since Wicked Lovely was first published. It was a random encounter with the book in the store, but excuse me if I am ready to call it fate. I was completely enthralled and I read the series the whole way through many times. Her writing style speaks to me in a way that words can’t explain and her characters always draw me in. No matter what the content is, for me, her work will always shine. For me, she can do no wrong. So I had high expectations for this book. I’d been waiting, hoping for Melissa Marr to return to the YA scene, and she delivered this surprise novel. This year was supposed to pass without any new work being released by her, but thankfully that didn’t exactly pan out. Yay for unplanned books! 
Carnival is just as dark as the Wicked Lovely series. And it’s phenomenal. Between fights to the death and hot daimons, this book feeds to our darker sides. Between the mysteries and fights and twists and turns I found myself wholly enthralled. Everything there is to love about Melissa Marr’s writing style, great character development, perfect pacing, a rapturous plot, and wonderful characters each with elaborate backstories were to be seen in Carnival. But my favorite part of this book was the seeing pieces in this intricate puzzle being fit together with a satisfying “click.”  But Marr left us with numerous puzzle pieces scattered across the table. And I, for one, cannot wait to see how it all fits together. I know for some, Wicked Lovely left something to be desired, but this book is vastly different. Even if you didn’t like Wicked Lovely, I urge you to give this a try. Carnival of Souls is not a book to overlook! 

Rating: 5/5 Stars

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