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.
Best known for her wonderful Wicked Lovely Series of books about urban fairies and magic on the darker side of the city between waring factions of good and evil Marr now turns her hand to a new series; Carnival of Souls. I was most giddy to get my hands on this series because after falling quite a bit for the Wicked Lovely series I was really interested to see what Melissa Marr would bring next and honestly if it would be as good as the last series. She really got under my skin with the Wicked Lovely books and I had high hopes for Carnival of Souls to be different but still hook me in the same fashion. Frankly it was a good read but wasn't up to the same level as her other series and if I was looking for more of the same solely I'd be disappointed so I tried to read it as a separate thing.
Mallory lives with her "father" who isn't her birth dad but she's all she has and he's also a witch trying to protect her from the daimons that seek to harm them both. Kaleb and Aya are daimons that are in a battle to the death in The City in order to move up the power scale of society; both for their own reasons. What they all don't realise is how connected all their lives are and will be and there is more secrets hidden inside and out of the The City to be uncovered if change is to happen and the beings in The City can be united and live in some sort of peace.
I found aspects of this story really interesting and loved the idea of the two worlds that crossed over and the politics of The City with the class system and black markets but I think I was expecting more from the characters themselves knowing Melissa Marr's previous work I've read and it just didn't live up to my high hopes. I'd be intrigued to read the next book in the series to see how it all develops but right now I can say I enjoyed the book but wasn't completely gripped. Maybe just lightly hugged by it.
An entertaining read but didn't quite hit the high notes I was hoping for.
Published by Harper Collins and is available here and book shops now