Author: Melissa Marr
Series: Carnival of Souls, Book 1
Publisher: Harper Audio
Narrator: James Marsters
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.
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.