carnival of soulsTitle: Carnival of Souls
Author: Melissa Marr
ages: 306 (Hardcover)
Rating: 2.5/5

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.

 It isn’t often when I say that I enjoyed the middle far more than the beginning or the end, which turned out to be disappointingly anti-climatic. I’m one of those readers that loves writing that has sparkle and reading CARNIVAL OF SOULS started out slow, I just couldn’t stand the writing style but as the world of the daimons and witches unfolded, the stark writing grew on me though there were times when it was admittedly dull.

My like/dislike of the characters also changed dramatically. The one person that sounded strong and likable, became more and more of a puppet character and I lost respect for her. Another of the female characters that I didn’t like at first, I grew to respect if not like. No names for spoiler reasons. The only male character I liked was the one who didn’t get much scene time, go figure, hehe.

The competition scenes were by far the best thing in the book. This is where Marr’s talent showed, brutal and well-played I really enjoyed them. The end, as I mentioned wasn’t very exciting nor surprising. I feel like this was the set up to the next book which always disappoints me when it comes to series.

CARNIVAL OF SOULS didn’t quite hit the high bar I had set up for it but it was interesting to read. While I didn’t like most of the characters, there were some baddies that I found intruiging but I also had a bit of a problem with how females were treated in the daimon world. Let it be enough by me saying, it offended me slightly as a female.

To read or not to read, that is the question. Happy April the First!