Carnival of Souls
By Melissa Marr
ISBN#: 9780061659287
Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Valerie


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. (Goodreads)


If there’s anything I hate more than a flowery third-person, it’s a cheesy plot-line  Unfortunately for me, Carnival of Souls had both. And as you can tell, I was not pleased.

Let me begin again. My wanting to read Carnival of Souls started with the book trailer. If you haven’t seen it, you should! I was entranced, and the synopsis did nothing to help my interest. However, a few months later, when I finally came around to reading the book, I realized that I probably shouldn’t have read this.

It’s not a bad beginning. It’s an average beginning to a uniquely cheesy book. Now I don’t want to spoil anything, but there were some parts that were just so mushy. And I don’t do mush.

I also don’t do weak characters. Mallory was pretty weak considering her physical ability. It’s just that she’s so cowardly, and she rarely shows her backbone. I like my protagonists strong, and for me, Mallory just wasn’t. However, I do appreciate the fact that the author tried to make her seem vulnerable. It’s not the strong girl cliché, at least.

Kaleb is cheesy. I’m not kidding here; he should be on the cover of a cheese magazine. I felt like he was from one of the movies everyone groans at. He’s so protective and manly. It’s absolutely annoying how large his hero complex is. That being said, he also isn’t that good-looking either. Oh well. At least Kaleb and Mallory make a perfect couple!

As for Aya, she’s okay. But it felt like Melissa Marr was trying too hard to make her seem strong. She’s annoyingly “strong,” if that’s even the right word. I feel like she’s fake. I can’t connect with her. In fact, I can’t connect with anyone in this book. I’m connecting more with a cup of coffee than any of these characters.

Don’t let my review make you hate this book. Do read Carnival of Souls, and form your own opinion.