Sunday, March 24, 2013

Carnival of Souls (Book 1) by Melissa Marr

  • Title: Carnival of Souls
  • Classification: Dark New Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Paranormal
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (September 4, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0061659282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061659287

Once upon a time in a land far, far away witches and daimons coexisted. But a war broke out between the two races which lead to the daimons taking over the land and the witches being cast out into the human realm.  Whole families perished. Friends and loved ones were killed. The most powerful of witches were executed. A separation in powers ensued and hatred thrived. Not all were happy about the separation. The witches wanted their home back or at least the ability to live there. So in the years since, some have plotted and planned in secret to infiltrate the ranks of the daimons. Patiently waiting for the time when they could seize control and rise to power once again.

Now the fate of the two races lies within the hands of two young woman, Aya and Mallory. Both were raised to hate daimons. Both were raised to infiltrate their ranks. Both were raised to get back that which was once taken, but will they fulfill the destiny some have chosen for them? Only time will tell....


Doesn't this sound like it would be the most awesome book? Well, I was prepared to love this story, but instead I felt gypped. I know Melissa Marr is a fabulous writer, but I felt the world building was a little lacking, and a lot of preparation was put  into getting things set up and then the book just ended. What!? I tried closing the book and opening it again to see if perhaps it was a joke, but alas it was not. THE STORY JUST ENDED. Gah! There was very little depth to it. I kept waiting for the real story to begin, but it just didn't. There were a lot of loose ends left dangling and that's taking into consideration this is the first book in a duet. I went to Melissa Marr's Carnival of Souls' site, just to be sure, and she states this was going to be a stand alone book, but it got too big and so she expanded it to two. Truly lovely Ms. Marr, but  when splitting one story into two separate beings, you need to apply a bit of King Solomon's wisdom.

Instead of thinking of it as one singular baby, (I've often heard author's refer books to being their babies, so just go with me on this one.) think of it as a set of Siamese twins. Do you have enough of the vital parts to successfully perform a separation? If not you may need to add a little something. Perhaps only one has a working heart and you'll need to implant one in to the other, or you need to add a little meat to the one's bones. Basically what I'm trying to say is both should be able to survive and stand on their own two feet. If you were a first time author I seriously doubt your star ratings would be so high. Also, if you come across such a situation in the future, you may want to consider releasing the second book within a month of the first that way the novelty of the book doesn't have time to wear off.  The poor splitting of one book into two, unfortunately, was not the only problem I had with this book.

The story focuses on three young people. Mallory is a daimon living as a human. She knows daimons and witches exists, but believes she herself is human. Aya is from the upper caste of the City. She has entered the Carnival of souls in hopes of being able to win a seat in The City's government. Women had never been allowed a position within the government, they are required to breed and little else and Aya is not content to do just that. She wants to make a difference and change things. Kaleb, on the other hand, is from the lowest caste of The City. If he can win, he will rise to the highest caste in the city and no longer be constrained to the fate of being little more than a slave.

Mallory is utterly clueless, thanks to her mother and her stepfather, about who and what she is. She has no idea of what could potentially happen to her or the fact that her father (the nonbiological one) at one time wished to use her as a pawn in a war that might never be won. At this point in the story, she is no more than a puppet, and while I felt sorry for her, I didn't bond with her. I'd categorize her at this point as a Stepford daughter because "Good daughters don't question. They obey." and she does that with bells on.

Aya is a strong female who wants to change the world by becoming one of the people entrusted in ruling The City. Her intentions may be good, but considering who we later find that she's teamed up with, I have to question that. At the very beginning, I liked her. Then her ruthlessness reared its ugly head, and I ended up hating her. Later, she redeemed herself a bit, but by that time I actually couldn't have cared less about her.

Kaleb, ahh, what can I say about him other than I absolutely dislike the guy? I'd rather his crotch sniffing pack mate end up with the girl than him. And yes, I said crotch sniffing. Doesn't that just turn a girl on? *shudder* Sadly, crotch sniffing is by far the least of the offenses in this book, and Kaleb does the one thing I can't forgive him for in any way, shape, or form.

While I still think you are a great writer Ms. Marr, I have no choice but to give this book a 1 out of 5 roses.  :( I was very disappointed. 

Melissa Marr talks about her book, Carnival of Souls:

Book Trailer of Carnival of Souls:

1 comment:

  1. It was a really nice twist from Melissa Marr, A good twist on the demons and witches mythology. Highly anticipating the sequel.

    Grace Crawford Olympia WA Landscaper


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