Nafiza's Reviews > Untamed City: Carnival of Secrets

Untamed City by Melissa Marr
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Oct 15, 12

bookshelves: 2012
Read on October 14, 2012

Strike one: The contradictory nature of the narrative. Mallory spends all her time learning how to be a good fighter but when she's faced with daimons that she has spent her life learning how to fight, she's useless. Regardless, her aunt speaks about wanting to use her as a killer...of what? Ants? Because I don't think she can kill anything else. Mallory calls her father "Daddy" most of the time but then all of a sudden switches to calling him Adam. It's jarring and conflicting with her character. Adam supposedly "loves" his daughter but his treatment of her suggests otherwise.

Strike Two: The telling instead of the showing. I'm aware that there are times when you just have to give information but for the entirety of the book we are told that witches and daimons do not get along. What are Daimons? Are they demons? Why don't they get along? What's the history? Why do Daimons sound like werewolves? With packmates etc? The novel is full of unnecessary narrative and the main character, or rather the alleged main character, gets about 50 pages of face time. What's up with that? She is not developed at all. The romance is even worse. It just springs out all of a sudden and they are kissing and making out and belonging to each other. What the actual frack?

Strike Three: The treatment of women in this novel. A continuation of the romance. We are supposed to like Kaleb? Who went ahead and "married" Mallory without her consent and promised to have her "breeding" by the time she is 18? What the actual fuck? We are supposed to find it romantic? That she was Adam's daughter and now she is Kaleb's "wife." He legit calls her that, addresses her as such in his mind and we are supposed to coo and think it cute? I find it so freaking disturbing. That no one tells her true nature, that she's a freaking Daimon and they manage to hide such an intrinsic part of her so easily. She is never a person but an object. To fuck, to breed but never to be liked for the person she is though to be fair, she is not much of a person. We don't see much of her at all. And Mallory instead telling them all where to go at the end can't decide whether she likes them more for not telling her or less. What the actual frack?

I legitimately felt gorge rise in my throat every time I read about women being referred to as breeders. Mallory has zero agency in this novel, no, giving her two guns and some knives does NOT make her a self-actualized, self-realized protagonist. She does not have agency when her freaking father figure keeps on wiping out her memory and keeping her submissive. And no, Aya being present as foil does not do anything to offset the way Mallory is treated.

I disliked this novel. A lot. In case you can't tell. Ugh.
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Reading Progress

10/14/2012 page 130
42.0% "Strike one: For someone who has spent so much time learning to fight, the protagonist is not a very good fighter.
Strike Two: She's "pack" all of a sudden. Hmm. This seems more like werewolf mythology than Daimon. But the suddenness is jarring."

Comments (showing 1-50 of 50) (50 new)

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Llana Ok so it wasn't just me who me who got the creepy crawlies at the way Kaleb acted about Mallory.


Nafiza I can't believe no one else got that? Gah, I get goosebumps when I think about it!


Clarisse (The Bookcase Diaries) Oh boy... You've got some pretty convincing points here. I was considering this for my library but after reading this, maybe I'll just get an ebook.


Nafiza Totally. This one, ugh, get it from the library if you can. I can't recommend it at all.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Lol, I gave up on Marr after reading Ink exchange 1, long, long ago. Nice descriptions, despicably whiny characters. I feel vindicated.


message 6: by Llana (last edited Oct 15, 2012 06:45PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Llana This one is worse.Like "why the hell am I reading this freaky possesive crap"bad.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, happy to pass


Llana Glad to save you from the torture.


Nafiza I'm done with Marr too, man. I haven't liked any of her books despite owning two or three of them and those I only keep cuz of the cover.


message 10: by Llana (new) - rated it 1 star

Llana If possible I would only own dust jackets of her books.


Nafiza Hahaha! Or posters!


message 12: by Llana (new) - rated it 1 star

Llana Posters.That way they wouldn't take up bookshelf spaceXD


Nafiza We should suggest the idea to publishers.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I'd totally get behind that idea. Great way of fulfilling all that cover-lust while still avoiding the crap it's usually attached to.


Nafiza I wonder who carries the right to the covers. The designer or the publishers.


message 16: by Celine (last edited Oct 16, 2012 01:10AM) (new)

Celine The images on the covers (so - any photos or paintings used for example) are usually leased from the creators for a certain amount of time (after which they can be resold and reused) But the covers themselves are property of the publishing house :) Some books do have posters made of them for in shop promotion. But they are rarely kept for long by the publishing houses. Sometimes if you contact them (or the author) they might have some hanging around, though, which they might send on to you.


Nafiza Oh thanks for that info, Celine!


message 18: by Celine (new)

Celine No worries :D


message 19: by Llana (new) - rated it 1 star

Llana Thanks !!


message 20: by Neomi (new) - added it

Neomi Im only on page 33, and dont think I have the interest to finish.. Especially after reading your review.. There was too much stuff going, and the reader is just dumped into the scene, eh, not for me!


Nafiza Oh totally.


Jennifer Thank you for your review! I can't believe more people didn't get creeped out by the forced marriage/breeder thing. Like wtf?


Nafiza I'm glad I wasn't the only one who had squicky feelings.


Laibah Ash omg THANK YOU!! They didn't tell us who the hell daimons are, and there was way to much awkward and unnecessary sexual content! ugh and are we only alive for breeding!!! i did not think kaleb was romantic at all. and there is no actual climax in the story. Its just itty bit problems that just trail through the whole book, and probably into the 2nd one too. I finished, but not without cringing and 5 minute breaks every 5minutes!!


Nafiza I know right. Mallory just might take the award for the most lied to, most victimized protagonist ever.


message 26: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin Bartlett Llana wrote: "Posters.That way they wouldn't take up bookshelf spaceXD"

If it's that bad, you could...ohh...I dunno...sell the book? -_-


Nafiza Usually, book buyers prefer the cover be attached to the book they're buying.


message 28: by Llana (new) - rated it 1 star

Llana Erin wrote: "Llana wrote: "Posters.That way they wouldn't take up bookshelf spaceXD"

If it's that bad, you could...ohh...I dunno...sell the book? -_-"


That and I get most books from the library or other free outlets.


message 29: by Erin (new) - rated it 2 stars

Erin I was thinking you meant hardcover, not paperback.
And I can understand not selling library books--duh xD--but then instead of complaining about how bad it is, just return it.


message 30: by Celine (new)

Celine Erin, this is a book review site. If people don't like a book - they say it. That's how book review sites work :)


Nafiza Thanks Celine, you said exactly what I was thinking.


message 32: by Erin (new) - rated it 2 stars

Erin I realize this, just adding my opinion. I'm assuming that's still allowed or is this strictly "book reviews"?


Nafiza Perhaps something more conducive to your time would be writing your own reviews instead, citing reasons people should read the books you really like instead of telling people to get rid of the books "instead of complaining how bad [they are]". I have no problem with you expressing your opinion but you come here telling me I (or any other person on the thread) should not express theirs. Kind of hypocritical, no?


message 34: by Llana (new) - rated it 1 star

Llana Erin wrote: "I was thinking you meant hardcover, not paperback.
And I can understand not selling library books--duh xD--but then instead of complaining about how bad it is, just return it."


Like they said,this is a book review site so I feel entitled to my opinion


message 35: by Celine (new)

Celine Erin, your opinion on the book is valid, not your opinion on whether or not another person should express their opinion. I see you've just joined Goodreads, it's probably that you're confused as to the purpose of the site. The purpose of the site is to express your opinion on a book you've read. Good, bad, indifferent: what ever you feel about the book this site offers a space in which you express those feelings. It's really not good form to come onto someone else's review and tell them what basically amounts to 'if you've nothing good to say, say nothing at all.' If you happen to like a book which another reviewer doesn't then you could simply say, oh I liked this book, too bad you didn't. Or perhaps explain why your opinion of the book differs from theirs or something similar. But really, the best policy is to simply go to your own review space and take the opportunity to give that book a great rating and a good review which will then allow folks to get another view on the same piece of work :)


message 36: by Erin (new) - rated it 2 stars

Erin Oh all I was saying was if they found the book THAT horrible, just sell it. Then it wouldn't be taking up precious space on their bookshelves, that's all.
And once I finish the book (the same one she reviewed, incidentally) I'll be happy to write a review. Until then, adieu.


message 37: by Llana (new) - rated it 1 star

Llana Oh ok.


message 38: by Cassie (new) - added it

Cassie Definitely just had a borrow-all-the-books moment and grabbed this because of the cover. Read WL first, thought it sucked, found this site, found your review of this book that I almost just dedicated 3 hours too and wanted to thank you for saving 3 hours of my life!!!!!
Namaste


message 39: by ShAdOwBrEaK (new) - added it

ShAdOwBrEaK *Just*Try*And*Know*Who*I*Am* Okay, so I thought the book cover looked interesting. Haha, you just totally made me think otherwise. Should I still read it?


message 40: by Nafiza (last edited Mar 24, 2013 10:36AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Nafiza Shadow: Honestly? If you want to be horrified by how women are treated and terrible writing doesn't bother you? Then go for it. But there are way better books out there.

Cassie: No problem. And namaste is usually a greeting used by Hindu people. I'm Muslim!


message 41: by ShAdOwBrEaK (new) - added it

ShAdOwBrEaK *Just*Try*And*Know*Who*I*Am* Mgh, really tempted to be horrified and then write review. It's always fun to review when that happens ;) Haha, but then I'd risk wasting money.


Nafiza Yeah, get a library copy if one's available!


Colleen This is why, if you are able, you should check the books out of the library before committing to spending money on them. I think MM intentionally went in this direction to show how women are viewed in the Otherworld as opposed to our world. The fact that so many people had a reaction to it just substantiates it further as "art" is meant to invoke emotion.


Nafiza I don't think anyone, apart from MM herself, can speak for the author's intention while writing this book. What I do know is that I couldn't be the person the author was asking me to be in order to read and like this book. But I'll be spending a lot more time with this book so I guess it'll be interesting to see what kind of things I can learn from it.


Colleen I know no one can speak for what she intended, hence me starting that sentence with "I think".


message 46: by Brandi (new)

Brandi Holy crap. I'm taking this off my list, because I think I would feel stabby if I read it. What a shame of an awesome title.


Brittany I completely agree! I was so excited to read this, it had such a unique compelling world and then I just hated how instead of creating a rounded story, it's all relationships and pointless character interactions. Grr, so much promise


message 48: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Harvey Wow... I thought Wicked Lovely was okay, but after reading your kind-of-scary review, I think I'll stay away from this book. :S


message 49: by Nafiza (last edited Jul 08, 2013 12:33PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Nafiza I'm just sensitive to how females are treated in fiction and this book, ugh. It just took things way too far for my taste.


message 50: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Harvey Nafiza wrote: "I'm just sensitive to how females are treated in fiction and this book, ugh. It just took things way too far for my taste."

Myself, as well. Glad to read this before going to the bookstore.


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