~ Book Review: Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr ~

Carnival of Souls
Title: Carnival of Souls (Untamed City #1)
Author: Melissa Marr
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 12, 2012
Pages: 306
Source: Bought
Format: Hardcover
Genre: YA/Fantasy

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 book cover called me the first time I saw it. It looked intriguing and good, like one of those books that will keep you eagerly turning pages. Once I read the blurb, I was sold! The whole premise sounded interesting and something that I would really enjoy. I dove in expecting getting my socks knocked off, but unfortunately, it didn't meet my expectations.

This book is told from four different POVs, which I find really distracting. Once you think you are getting to know a character, BAM, the next page is someone different. I was not able to get to know any of the characters deeply or to make a bond with any of them. Mallory, supposedly our main character, is clueless as to what she really is. She has lived all of her life in the “human world” protected by her (not real father) which happens to be a witch. She is too naive and I could have cared less about her, as a main character she didn't stand out for me.

I am not going to get into the other characters, because honestly, none of them clicked with me. I love the concept of witches and “daimons” but the book just didn't do it for me. Another point that disturbed me a little was the fact that this story is full of prostitution, sex, and killing references. In my opinion it was too strong for a young adult crowd.

The world building had potential, for a full minute it got my attention, but then it was really difficult for me to get into it. I kept putting the book down and walking away. I was expecting a book full of kick-ass action, but there was not much going on except the terrible and gut wrenching fights at the “carnival”.

In the end, I was let down by the story. I was hoping for a “blow my mind away” type of story, but this was not case. The characters were forgettable, the pacing was slow and the plot did not develop like I was expecting. It gets better; I has a cliffhanger, which was completely unnecessary because there is no information about the sequel. It was an okay story if you are looking for something fast to read. Until next time, let’s see what else catches my attention. 


  1. I agree that the constant changing of POVs makes it really hard to connect with the characters. I feel like we didn't get a lot of background info on them besides what we absolutely needed to know for the story to make sense.

    I found the Carnival intriguing, but I would really like to know more about it. I wish that it could have been a little more developed since I still am not very clear on all that it entails.

    I agree that the cliff hanger was useless. It felt like the plot had only just gotten started, and then all of a sudden it was over. I haven't been able to find ANY information on a sequel. I agree that Carnival of Souls didn't quite live up to expectations.

  2. I really like the picture you have of the three owls on the branch. Did you create this image yourself? May I use it as a starting point in my own art?


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