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.
©2012 Melissa Marr (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers
I am totally surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I didn't finish Marr's Wicked Lovely series just because they couldn't hold my attention. I didn't feel they were original and that they were pretty boring. I stuck with them as long as I did because the covers were amazing. So, I was a bit leery about picking up Carnival of Souls. But, it was narrated by James Marsters (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and I had some Audible credits so I decided to give it a try. Am I glad I did!
This is a dark novel with risky topics. It's a cruel and violent world that Marr has thrown some wonderful main characters in the middle of. Mallory's totally clueless about her heritage but everyone around her knows the truth. I spent the whole audiobook yelling at my ipod - - just tell her already. Then there's Aya. I can't figure out what her agenda is but I know she's got one. She's deceptive and cunning and I can't help but cheer for her. Kaleb lives a horrible life yet he can't help dreaming of a better life.
Let's not forget James Marsters' narrating. He's amazing! I think he greatly carried the book and make it much more likable than it would have been if I was reading a physical book. I'm actually pretty sure that there were a couple of spots where I might have decided I couldn't handle this and just put the book down. But Marsters is such an excellent narrator that I was entranced and kept listening. I am going to listen to each and every book narrated by this guy.
This book ends on a horrible cliffhanger so I suggest waiting until next year to read it.
I had planned on picking up this book as soon as it was released because I already love Marr and her Wicked Lovely series so much. Then I heard that James Marsters (AKA Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) was going to be the narrator, so I bought the audiobook from Audible instead! I have to admit that I was a little disappointed that he did not read it in the "Spike" British accent,but soon got over that. IT ao made me realize that he had read some of my favorite books ever - The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher and I didn't even know it.
Marr can create these wondrous ever engaging worlds where you feel ever step and hear every bird fly over head. She hits it out of the park on this one just as well. The book is action packed with fights, dark magic and war. She balances the book wonderfully keeping the story line flowing and the characters moving on and developing throughout. I love how all the characters intertwine towards the end, it like a fantasy soap opera with battles to the death! Marr is a genius, masterful storyteller and I can not wait for more. I think I may finally go and pick up Graveminder soon also.
Molecular biologist. Musician. Lover of science. Lover of music. Dreamer of magic. Thinker of thoughts. ||| "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke ||| As a scientist, science fiction and fantasy inspire me to push the line of discovery forward, beyond conventional imagination, beyond conventional wisdom.
This is my first book by Melissa Marr, so I can't compare it to her others. But, I was impressed with how she was able to construct such a creatively woven fabric of reality, balancing three different worlds: witches, demons (the castes within), and humans.
I had just worked my way through all the available Dresden Files books, and was looking for something to satiate that wanting for more, and I saw James Marsters had recently worked on this book. I was worried that I would have trouble getting Harry out of my mind while listening to this book, but Marsters somehow varied his pacing, articulation, and tone to a degree that made this reading completely unique compared to his other performances. Still, Marsters did an amazing job setting the theme for the novel, and his accents (although a bit odd, giving American Southern accents to otherworldly creatures) do give life to the characters, and by the end of the book I felt them to be quite fitting and appropriate.
Comparing this to Dresden, I didn't have a hard time imagining this world to be just a couple universes over within the fantasy multiverse. The magic is similar, the importance of circles and wards being ubiquitous. But, the rules are much different; killing and mind magic don't seem to be the same sort of sins. This book is certainly much darker.
Marr did a great job of setting up what will hopefully be a fantastic series. The cliffhanger was both satisfying while also leaving you wanting to know what comes next. I do hope Marsters continues to read the upcoming stories.
Avid fan of sci-fi and James Marsters, I use audio books to inspire me to exercise, taking them on morning walks. It's a perfect combo!
James PERFORMS rather than NARRATES. His voices and subtle inflections, along with his emotions are always right there on the surface drawing you into every scene - making you feel what the characters are feeling.
I found the plot a little slow developing due to so many diverse characters, but James Marsters kept it flowing so that I didn't get frustrated with it. Ends on a cliff so I hope the next installment comes soon and is more action-packed now that we know all the players.
Avid reader and love that audiobooks opens a whole new sense
I selected this book because it was read by James Marsters and I wasn't disappointed, he reads beautifully and I didn't want to stop listening. Storyline was unique compared to other paranormal fantasy which made it even more enjoyable.
Ok, sure I listen to a ton of audiobooks due to having a job that takes zero brain cells. But when only a few weeks later I can't remember a single detail about a book? That is a bad sign people. It tells me that although it didn't annoy me in any way, it also did not interest me at all either. This might be a good book to go to sleep to. I just might give it a few more listens and test this theory out.
I like the varying viewpoints throughout the book. The world building was extensive but not in an info dump kind of way.
Its not without flaws but it was an enjoyable listen and I'm eager (although not rabid) for the next installment as it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger.
The clash between two equally powerful, magical beings.
The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire #1). In both cases, the female and male protagonists come from different worlds and appear to be natural enemies.
I've listened to all of the Dresden Files books as well as the Greyfriar. This performance is every bit as good as the Greyfriar. Marsters does an amazing job with the range of voices demanded by the Dresden Files, where he has to voice many different characters--many not human!--with lots of different accents. So far this series has employed fewer characters, but I have no doubt that Marsters will continue to excel at bringing them all to life.
Every time Mallory, the 17-year-old female protagonist, was in tears, I would find myself getting a little teary, too. I have no idea how he manages to do it, but he does.
Marsters' voice is rather deep, but he has a wide range, which helps him portray the female characters convincingly. This is a pet peeve of mine--I can't help but think of the guys in Monty Python when some male narrators read women's dialogue. But Marsters edges ever so slightly into the upper end of his range when he plays the women in the book. In doing so, he manages to avoid sounding like a strangled eunuch or Lady Bracknell in a drag production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
I honestly believe this book really establishes Melissa Marr on the "scene" - already desperate for the next installment!!
I checked out her website and found a "mini-movie" peek into the world of the Carnival of Souls - interesting- definitely worth seeing...
entertaining story, interesting characters that you can cheer for, care about, hate, fear, relate to. Fantastic magical rules and world building. Give it a go, I think you'll enjoy it!
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