Big Book,  YA

Carnival of Souls

Melissa Marr
Enter the Carnival…
In a city of daimons, strict class lines control every aspect of life. At the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls where, once in a generation, anyone can fight for their chance to join the elite.
Kaleb is of the lowest caste; Aya is ruling caste – but female. They both face bleak futures and, for each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live.
Mallory lives in the human world and knows little of The City, beyond the threat it poses her and her family. But soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls…

I was really excited to read this book. I think few write ‘dark atmosphere’ better than Melissa Marr on the YA scene and ‘Carnival of Souls’ certainly didn’t disappoint.
The book is based in two very different worlds, the world that we live and The City. After winning a war that lasted for years within The City the Daimons banished the Witches to our world and that is where they stay. The City is so well described that it almost takes on a life of its own and you feel you know it in the same way as you do the characters. I really felt as though I was there and could hear the noise and smell the smells of the ‘Carnival of Souls’, which takes place a night within the city.
It is the characters that really make this book. It is a true ensemble cast and as the book moves on you get to know all four main characters very well, how they think and how they react to what goes on around them. Although the story focuses around events in Mallory’s life, Kaleb, Aya and to a slightly lesser extent Belios all seem just as important. This works very well as I honestly didn’t have a favourite. The fact that the book is written from multiple points of view is what makes it so special. It allows you to get to know more than one character and how they think instead of seeing everybody through just one person’s eyes.
Apparently this book wasn’t planned; Melissa Marr just had an idea and then ran with it. This is a perfect example of why you should be able to do just that. It’s a very strong start to a new series and I am very much looking forward to the next one.
Verdict: Fantastic setting and a brilliant ensemble cast. I can’t wait for more!
Reviewed by Alison

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: September 2012
Format: ARC
Pages: 336
Genre: Supernatural, Urban Fantasy, Magic
Age: YA
Reviewer: Alison
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: None

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