Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr 3/5

6tag_040517-095045.jpgIn a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the carnival, 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.

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.

This book has been renamed Carnival of Secrets due to copyright infringements.


This is a hard review to write because I felt that there was so much going on throughout the story and in multiple POVs that I barely had time to catch my breath. Anything fantastical peeks my interest, and the Carnival of Souls certainly had its fair share of fantasy: Witches, Daimons, Curr, Half-breeds, fights to the death.

The story concept was interesting, but on occasion, it felt like information was thrown in to progress the narrative. I found myself going, ‘Wait, what? Oh, okay, I guess.’ It was as if, as a reader, I was supposed to just accept something from that world without it being woven delicately into the narrative. I like fantastical, but I like believability with it.

My favourite character was Aya. She had believable motivation, and an interesting background story. I liked the dynamics between Aya, her mother, and Belias. I did not like Mallory. I couldn’t get passed her absurd naivety, even though we were clued in that her Dad (but not Dad) was casting spells on her memory to keep her true form at bay. Kaleb and Zevi were a whole other kettle of fish. Their outcast world/lifestyle was incredibly sordid and a hard pill to digest at times.

To sum up, I enjoyed the fantastical quality, but would have liked more believability in places. The amount of POVs hindered my reading experience, and I still struggle to get the story straight in my head. Aya was a well written character, and it was her storyline that kept me reading.

The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review