Series: The Untamed City #1
Published by HarperCollins on September 4, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
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.
What I Thought…
- The last time I was this blown away with a non-contemporary book was way back in February. I wasn’t quite sure about Carnival of Souls but I’m trying to tackle my TBR pile by getting the audiobooks from the library and this was one of the few that were available so I snapped up, started listening and Oh. My. God.
- I can be a bit picky about my paranormal (vampires – yes, wolves or whatever – not so much) and this was my first book with daimons. (Is there a difference between daimons, demons and daemons?) I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but it wasn’t this (and that was a good thing).
- Carnival of Souls is classified as a Young Adult book, but to me it was more of an adult book. The main characters are all 17, but it just felt “older.” The content of the book and the way they talked about things gave it a more adult feel and I wouldn’t recommend Carnival of Souls to very young teens because of that.
- The world building was fantastic! We have our world, with witches and daimons in it and then there is the daimon world which is dark and gritty and oppressive and generally not a happy place. It was the daimon world that I found to be so fascinating. I could picture it in my head and imagine how breathtaking it would be to see it (though I would be terrified to go in it). I could clearly picture what Marr was describing, even if I didn’t want to (some of the fights were rather gruesome).
- The witches and daimons had a huge war and most of the witches fled to the human world to escape. The daimons are not free from witches though, and they use witch magic to bind all their contracts.
- Carnival of Souls is a multi-narrated book mostly by Kaleb, Mallory and Aya. Even though they didn’t really know each other their lives are very intertwined with one another.
- Mallory was raised in the human world and believes herself to be a human. She was raised by Adam, a witch. They have to move around a lot because Adam stole something from the daimons and is on the run from them. She knows about the other world, but she has no idea how important she is to the other world.
- Kaleb is a daimon and sent to find Mallory and becomes completely taken with her, which is a bit of a problem for him as that wasn’t exactly in his job description. Kaleb is pretty bad ass. He is in the big fight to improve his caste for his pack and he knows how to fight and win, but he definitely has a soft spot for Mallory. After an encounter with Aya they strike a deal that benefits both of them, though things keep popping up to give them trouble.
- Aya is a bit different. It is her duty to have a baby, but for her own reasons she is vehemently against having any children. She ends up breaking up with her boyfriend before entering the fight contest that she hopes will put her in a position of power so that she can change the laws, however Marchosias puts a stopper in that plan.
- Marchosias is the leader of the daimons and he is a complete tyrant. He is very devious and will do anything to get his way, which is how Aya’s plan gets foiled. He declares that if she wins, she will have the “pleasure” of mating with him (if a guy wins he would have the pleasure of mating with Marchosias’ daughter).
Overall I totally loved this and definitely recommend it, especially if you love fantasy.