Thursday, September 13, 2012

Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Carnival of Souls
Good Reads Summary
Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

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.

My Thoughts
My rating: 3.45 of 5 stars

Sorely tempted am I to grant that one star for which the ending seems to beg. (Where’s the Yoda .gif when a body needs one?!)  But I won’t because overall I was mostly entertained by all four voices in this one. And this is so even with some choice actions on Kaleb’s part; and yes, this is so even with Mallory shifting down from kick ass to mopey somewhere along the 77 because over all, yes, this was all kinds of awesome.
So, here we have two sides of daimon and witch at war (and I believe as the case usually is, with the humans, oblivious to it all)… was it inevitable that a star crossed bit get injected into it? Who knows… the build up toward that though wasn’t bad as we are introduced to whole lot of players, each with their own baggage.

Characters. First, there’s Mallory who isn’t privy to everything but as dutiful daughter continues with her day to day, of training to kill, of working with guns, of living a life that accepts that daimons are real and that her daddy’s a witch, but at the same was feeling the tightness of it all. So first presented, I was curious about her… till’ I wasn’t anymore, because everybody else outshines her eventually. Aya and Belias in particular, but I’m jumping ahead because there’s Kaleb to contend with. He’s her mysterious boy who we soon learn is more than just boy… It is his (and Aya’s) contribution that had me more than excited: Blood! Gore! Claws! Fights to the death! Oh! I loved it… and all for what now? Survival and a pack mate who’s equally (and sometimes more intriguing) than the first: Zevi’s different, at first I’d pegged him as the best friend perpetually in trouble, but he proves himself neither defenseless nor incapable. So them together, begged the question… what bound them?

Upping the angst a notch was Aya and Belias’ whole drama. Blessed at first glance, only not really… well, at least she wasn’t. She initially comes off as too much of everything: too power hungry, too cold, too calculating, too manipulative… and she is all those things (Yay!) but for good reason, except she’s also so much more than what she seems. Now, Belias had me curious because everything seemed to be happening to him… and just like Mallory, he’s taken by surprise time and again.

A Complicated Place.Between the City to the real world, the difference is so absolute except  it’s also clear to me which of the two’s more interesting. Where they come from is more basic, darker… not honest per se, simply more straightforward because they all do what they have to do to survive. It’s that last fact that Kaleb, Zevi and Aya, heck even Belias establish. There’s a way to things and there’s a place for every one, a hierarchy. But, what struck me as funny was how it seemed each level was represented by at least one of the key characters. It’s also this that had me split because it rendered things slightly too neat some how… except the more I think on it, the more obvious it is that not one moment in this ever was (neat, I mean.) How could it be neat, given how one person connected to another and how those connections tangled with all the other connections?

It was good till’ that damned ending. I mean so now we know who they are and now we’re aware of what each of them have at stake, so what now?  Why, roll in the credits of course! That would be just perfect! Feeling sort of cheated, what could have been a 4 of 5 for me is now:


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