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Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
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Carnival of Souls (edition 2012)

by Melissa Marr

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2963737,920 (3.68)4
Member:jmchshannon
Title:Carnival of Souls
Authors:Melissa Marr
Info:HarperCollins (2012), Hardcover, 320 pages
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Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

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Mallory and her father Adam have been running from something for years. She knows he’s a witch, and stole something from the daimons, but Adam has kept everything a mystery. She’s been raised to learn of the evils of daimons, and has spent her life learning how to kill them.

Read the rest of my review at: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/carnival-of-souls-melissa-mar... ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
Carnival of Souls has a great sound bite and intriguing cover. Who wouldn't want to read about a daimon world where blood and sex and violence determine your caste and lot in life? Who doesn't want to read about dark love and even darker secrets that you have to keep from your most beloved?

See, I totally would, except I had a lot of issues with this book. Many characters were weak, each character revealed their main motivation too easily, the world was basically a bare-bones world, the transition from scenes of the city to the witches' world was not smooth at all, etc.

The only character of note was Aya, with minor appreciations for scenes with Kaleb without Mallory. I pretty much skipped every scene with Mallory because it was the most cliche depiction of a female in a paranormal romance novel. I couldn't bear it to the point I seriously considered dropping the book, but luckily it didn't focus on her too heavily. She gets all the pretense of being considered a strong female character because she is physically adept with guns and hand fighting despite her "human" weakness. But honestly.... Is she that interesting of a character besides her parentage? The answer is NO. All she does is be a good daughter and fall in love with someone. And that falling in love is a very very stupid insta-love with freaking "magic" to make it legit. But that does not make it legit in my book at all. Just stupider. If you have to rely on magic to create attraction, then you haven't developed the characters enough to interact with love.

Okay here is where it gets interesting. Y'know the last sentence I just wrote? Strangely enough it is only true for MalLory and not Kaleb. It's because Kaleb was given scenes that developed him as a character with the freaking annoying burden of instalove over his character self. He fought, he interacted with Zevi and tried to protect, he schemed and showed the reader his dilemma of being a cur, forfeiting and dying. He was skeptical of good intentions from Aya but had to deal with it. Even his decision to marry Mallory was an insight into this character. We were able to see something more from Kaleb than just dumb love. But from Mallory, all we get is a girl in love. Whoop de doo. What a waste of pages.

Aya was also by far the most interesting character from the get go because she had a greater, more desperate secret she had to kept quiet. Even from the readers. Every move she did was based on that secret motivation. But the readers did not know, but could only guess as she stabbed her ex fiancé with a poisoned knife. That is what real characters should do. Have hidden motivations, change the world in some sort of way. Mallory made zero impact in the book. Aya, in chapter one, had already flipped the entire daimon world into recognizing upper caste women in battle. She concocts plans and executes them rather than just sitting around. Even her "romance" with Belias is interesting because it is a power play of some sorts. A question of true love or not.
However, when her secret was revealed, it seems like she is a little overpowered... Future books will tell.

I am not enthrall with the two world. Nothing is written to detail and everything seems to be compared to our world. I've noted many times where daimons were critical of their own world. But they know of basically no other world, so how would they know? It was jarring to see such sentiments because it felt like a human's perspective of the world rather than a daimon's. The lack of detail was frustrating. Caste system, a carnival of souls, red and black masks, curs, teeth and your true form. All of it was more like a necessity of plot rather than a revelation of the world. What do we know of the caste system besides Aya is the upper and curs are at the bottom? What do we know of red and black masks besides potential people who were them? The carnival of souls, what does it contain besides the battle for leadership? Does transforming hurt or feel good? Are there merchants in the caste level? Can a cur ever rise above the bottom caste system?
There is nothing in this book. It is a bare bones world that hints of blood and decadence but never delivers.

So. Subpar characters. A bare world. A mildly interesting plot.
1.5 stars reluctantly rounded up.
Not recommended unless you have a tolerance for the flaws I mentioned. I am pretty disappointed in Marr. I am not sure if I just read her older books so long ago that I wasn't as picky or cynical about these types of books, but I probably won't pick up the sequel. The cliffhanger doesn't interest me at all. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
Carnival of Souls has a great sound bite and intriguing cover. Who wouldn't want to read about a daimon world where blood and sex and violence determine your caste and lot in life? Who doesn't want to read about dark love and even darker secrets that you have to keep from your most beloved?

See, I totally would, except I had a lot of issues with this book. Many characters were weak, each character revealed their main motivation too easily, the world was basically a bare-bones world, the transition from scenes of the city to the witches' world was not smooth at all, etc.

The only character of note was Aya, with minor appreciations for scenes with Kaleb without Mallory. I pretty much skipped every scene with Mallory because it was the most cliche depiction of a female in a paranormal romance novel. I couldn't bear it to the point I seriously considered dropping the book, but luckily it didn't focus on her too heavily. She gets all the pretense of being considered a strong female character because she is physically adept with guns and hand fighting despite her "human" weakness. But honestly.... Is she that interesting of a character besides her parentage? The answer is NO. All she does is be a good daughter and fall in love with someone. And that falling in love is a very very stupid insta-love with freaking "magic" to make it legit. But that does not make it legit in my book at all. Just stupider. If you have to rely on magic to create attraction, then you haven't developed the characters enough to interact with love.

Okay here is where it gets interesting. Y'know the last sentence I just wrote? Strangely enough it is only true for MalLory and not Kaleb. It's because Kaleb was given scenes that developed him as a character with the freaking annoying burden of instalove over his character self. He fought, he interacted with Zevi and tried to protect, he schemed and showed the reader his dilemma of being a cur, forfeiting and dying. He was skeptical of good intentions from Aya but had to deal with it. Even his decision to marry Mallory was an insight into this character. We were able to see something more from Kaleb than just dumb love. But from Mallory, all we get is a girl in love. Whoop de doo. What a waste of pages.

Aya was also by far the most interesting character from the get go because she had a greater, more desperate secret she had to kept quiet. Even from the readers. Every move she did was based on that secret motivation. But the readers did not know, but could only guess as she stabbed her ex fiancé with a poisoned knife. That is what real characters should do. Have hidden motivations, change the world in some sort of way. Mallory made zero impact in the book. Aya, in chapter one, had already flipped the entire daimon world into recognizing upper caste women in battle. She concocts plans and executes them rather than just sitting around. Even her "romance" with Belias is interesting because it is a power play of some sorts. A question of true love or not.
However, when her secret was revealed, it seems like she is a little overpowered... Future books will tell.

I am not enthrall with the two world. Nothing is written to detail and everything seems to be compared to our world. I've noted many times where daimons were critical of their own world. But they know of basically no other world, so how would they know? It was jarring to see such sentiments because it felt like a human's perspective of the world rather than a daimon's. The lack of detail was frustrating. Caste system, a carnival of souls, red and black masks, curs, teeth and your true form. All of it was more like a necessity of plot rather than a revelation of the world. What do we know of the caste system besides Aya is the upper and curs are at the bottom? What do we know of red and black masks besides potential people who were them? The carnival of souls, what does it contain besides the battle for leadership? Does transforming hurt or feel good? Are there merchants in the caste level? Can a cur ever rise above the bottom caste system?
There is nothing in this book. It is a bare bones world that hints of blood and decadence but never delivers.

So. Subpar characters. A bare world. A mildly interesting plot.
1.5 stars reluctantly rounded up.
Not recommended unless you have a tolerance for the flaws I mentioned. I am pretty disappointed in Marr. I am not sure if I just read her older books so long ago that I wasn't as picky or cynical about these types of books, but I probably won't pick up the sequel. The cliffhanger doesn't interest me at all. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
Loved it!!! I love Melissa Marrs Wicked Lovely series. She can tell such an amazing story and this is no different. She has a way of pulling you in to the book. I found myself unable to put it down. This book is told in different point of views. First we have Mallory in the human world and then we have Aya and Kaleb in the Demon world.
Mallory is a demon but she is raised to think she is human. She knows demons exist and that her father is a witch but she is raised to hate and fear demons. She trains every day to kill demons and to be able to defend herself.
Kaleb is a demon who is fighting in a tournament in the Demon world to try and better himself. He is the lowest of the low and if he wins the fights, he will become a rich and powerful leader. Also in this tournament is Aya, the first upper class demon woman who has ever entered. She is hiding her own dark secret which is the reason she entered.
Both worlds intersect in this stunning novel. Mallory meets this mysterious dark stranger who happens to show up when she least expects it. She finds herself having feelings towards Kaleb.
I loved both worlds that Melissa Marr created, The demon world is so dark and the Carnival Of Souls is a place where every bad thing you can think of happens. Its a story that after I read it I found myself still thinking about it and wanting to jump back into the story. i cant wait for book 2. ( )
  BookLoversLife | Apr 24, 2014 |
Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/Writer
Rating: 4 out of 5 Controllers
Review Source: Audiobook Purchase
Reviewer: Me


Written in multiple points of view, Carnival of Souls began as a hard listen for me. At first, I wasn’t really into the narrator. And anyone who listens to audiobooks knows, despite if a books is awesome or not, a narrator can make or break the story. However, I am thankful I decided to stick with this insanely fun novel! After around chapter five, I got lost in this wicked tale of daimons and witches, good and evil, killers and thieves.

Though Mallory is the supposed focal point of this story, I think the true heart of Carnival of Souls lies with Aya and the other side characters that actually live in The City. Any time we jumped to the human world and to Mallory’s hidden life, I was wishing, hoping, and praying we’d get back to kick-A$$ Aya or the honorable Kaleb. Aya is one touch woman. Born into the privileged ruling class, she is determined not to be thought of as just another child-baring woman. Not only is she fighting in the competition to prove that women should be in control of their own destinies, she’s fighting for the right not to be controlled by a man. She’s willing to do, kill, steal, and trick whoever to ensure she wins. I loved how ruthless she was. Normally we see male characters take on these types of roles but not in this story. This time we get to see a woman be just as coldblooded as any man. It fit her character well and it gave this story its WOW factor.

Kaleb on the other hand, is from the lowest class in The City. He is fighting simply to earn respect from other members of society. His story was complex, deeply saddening, but at the same time strong and endearing. The twists and turns, ups and downs, Marr creates for her characters is almost unbelievable and unbearable. And once you get to the end and experience that MASSIVE jaw-dropping ending, let’s just say your jaw, mouth, face and other limbs will need picking up off the floor. Overall, if you love stories with non-stop action, fighting, strong female leads, risky violence, and heart-breaking storylines, then grab Carnival of Souls. ( )
  momgamerwriter | Feb 6, 2014 |
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"A centuries-long war between daimons and witches sets the stage for three teens caught up in a deadly struggle for power and autonomy in the exotic and otherworldly Carnival of Souls, the mercantile center of the daimon dimension"--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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