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Carnival of Souls

(Untamed City #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  8,028 ratings  ·  1,286 reviews
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED as Carnival of Souls in 2012

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, 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 compe
Hardcover, 306 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by HarperCollins (first published July 31st 2012)
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Chelsea That's what I'd like to know. This book was obviously intended to be the first in a series, yet I see no plans for a sequel.…moreThat's what I'd like to know. This book was obviously intended to be the first in a series, yet I see no plans for a sequel.(less)
Barbara Johnson The title of the book was changed I believe for copy right reasons or something similar, I'm not entirely sure. I read the book for a Battle of the Bo…moreThe title of the book was changed I believe for copy right reasons or something similar, I'm not entirely sure. I read the book for a Battle of the Books competition and the situation was explained to us, I too read the Carnival of Souls edition as well.(less)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
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 ·  8,028 ratings  ·  1,286 reviews

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Jun 06, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-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 characte ...more
Emily May
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy, 2012, arc

A feels an inexplicable, seemingly supernatural, attraction to B. However, B is sexy and gorgeous and also just super-duper awesome, whilst A is plain and ordinary. So B could never be interested in A. Except, oh my, B is interested in A. But B has a secret, he isn't who or what A thinks he is, and this secret could tear them apart.

Does this sound even vaguely familiar to you? If the answer is no, I'm guessing you have yet to journey into the land of young adult paranormal novels. In that case,
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

This was a deliciously dark, magic filled tale of daimons and witches, and their hatred of each other.

In Carnival of Souls, we have three POVs: Mallory, Kaleb and Aya.

Seventeen year old Mallory craves normal. She moves from town to town, always “the new girl” in school. She never has a chance to make close friends, or have a boyfriend, for that matter. This is because her adoptive father, Adam, is a witch on the run. He took something from the daimons long ago, and they want it back.
Aug 08, 2012 rated it liked it
“Three stars: A world where everything is for sale for a price at the Carnival of Souls.

At the Carnival of Souls bodies jostle in the crowded streets. Everyone is here for something....whether it be pleasure, fights, murder, favors, secrets, impossibilites and more. Everything and anything is for sale in this world. It is a world where the daimons cast out the witches after centuries of battle. In this society, there is an ordered caste system. The ruling class holds the power while the lowest m
Primrose Jess
The idea was a good one. The plot and the cast of characters was original and started out to be an entertaining story.. Then it all seemed to go to pieces and became so unbelievable that even I couldn't suspend belief. Trust me, I'm pretty good at suspending belief too...

I'm an YA Audiobook Junkie. I try to keep it light when I'm listening to books because traffic usually incites an image of the Incredible Hulk driving a Honda (which happens to be green) down the road. So to play it cool whils
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, own, 5-star
Melissa Marr’s Carnival of Souls is an intoxicating journey into a fantastical world called The City, where daimons and witches reside. Every generation, The City offers its inhabitants an opportunity to join the ruling elite through the Carnival of Souls. Plagued by an unforgiving caste system, the Carnival gives fighters a beacon of hope – and the chance for those at the bottom rung to escape from dirty ‘black mask’ work which involves fighting and killing.

We follow the perspectives of fascina
Kami Garcia
A dark and decadent read. I couldn't put it down! ...more
Kimberly Derting
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a glimpse into a dark and captivating world, with characters I couldn't help falling in love with. Brilliant! ...more
Review originally posted at

I think it is time I finally admit to myself that Melissa Marr's books and I are just never going to get along. It started with the dull first two installments in the Wicked Lovely series, followed by the snooze-fest that was Graveminder, and now concluded by the utter disappointment that Carnival of Souls turned out to be.

Personally, I believe her books suffer from what I call concept versus execution. Want a fascinating, intri
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone sick of Bellarific protagonists
This review is from my blog, Studies in Storytelling.

Melissa Marr conquered the YA market with the Wicked Lovely series, and she’ll be expanding her horizons on Tuesday, September 4th when Carnival of Souls hits stores.

The first few things that happen in this novel are:

A demon woman sacrifices everything to a witch in the human world, for help protecting her child.

Another, Aya, matches against her ex-fiancee in battle, to further her aspiration to make a statement about women's equality and th
Where do I start with this review? Let's see now...... Mellisa Marr had introduced an interesting story in the beginning chapters of this book. As the story progressed it got more and more bizarre. I had to leave not only my sense but also my morals to like the characters and the world she has created. Incomplete was the word that went through my mind when I finished this book and that was not just because this book is the first one in a series of books. Everything about it was incomplete, be it ...more
Sarah Mac
I won't be trying Marr's books again. The time has come to part ways. I enjoyed her Wicked Lovely series -- but even when things were confusing or difficult to picture, I was invested in the characters, & the overall arc made sense within the fae mythos. But Graveminder was a disaster, & this one...

Carnival of Souls isn't so much a disaster as a rudderless reading experience with lackluster characters & a nonsensical plot. Marr's style has become too ungrounded for my taste. The prose is disjoi
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carnival of Souls was a really slow starter for me. I was kind of confused about the Daimons and the Curs and exactly what they are. If I'm honest, I'm still slightly confused. I know they're fast and powerful, and that they can shape shift, though I'm not sure exactly what they shift into, is it a dog type thing, a wolf maybe? Kaleb is a Cur, who are the lowest class of Daimon and he describes himself as being like a mongrel or stray dog, but I'm not sure if that's just a metaphor.

Mallory has
Dec 10, 2012 rated it did not like it

I hated this piece of shit. It was bloody awful.
The amount of sexism pissed me right the fuck off.
The heroine, Mallory, was a boring bland bitch and the hero, Kaleb, was one of the worst heroes ever.
In Kaleb's fucked up sexist world, he was able to marry Mallory without her knowledge and he was able to consummate and legalise his marriage to her by fucking some other girl. I won't be surprised if Mallory ends up finding it romantic that Kaleb lied to her, cheated on her and made her hi
Gritty, sexual, intense fighting, insta-mate, torture, belittling of women. I have a hard time thinking of this as YA. it was very original, and has intensive world building, that is never boring.
Mallory is raised in the human world by witches. She was taken from the Daimon world as an infant to save her life. This Daimon world is run by Caste system and our main hero ? Kaleb is of the lowest rank. There is one way up, fighting in this 'Thunderdome" kind of tournament. Many want up and out, som
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-pnr-favorites
Wow, what a ride Marr takes you on with this book!! Carnival of Souls is an eerie, captivating, sexy story that hooks you from page one and leaves you thirsting for more when it comes to a close. I'm giving this a very solid 4.5 stars!!

This was such a unique story, the world that Marr creates is like this dark fantasy of the imagination that you get sucked into and get lost in. In this world where daimon creatures are more humanlike than animal, and witches with vast powers are their mortal enem
Sonja P.
Dec 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
Stop me if you've heard this before. Girl who thinks of herself as plain is REALLY IMPORTANT. She's drawn to a boy she hardly knows, even though she knows its a bad idea, and he seems somewhat dangerous. But they pursue each other anyways, because OH MY GOD MEANTTTT TO BEEEEEE. She falls hard, and he totalllyyyy loves her even though they've talked like three times. There's a mystery that isn't very mysterious. Girls are treated as commodities, and man, that's kind of a bummer, but let's spend m ...more
Sep 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Sorely tempted, I am to grant that one-star that ending seems to be begging for. But I won’t because overall I was mostly entertained by the four voices in this one. 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 77 because over all, yes, this was kind 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 a
Lannie Dasal
So much potential. So much lost potential.

Let me just spurt out all of my PROBLEMS with this novel. First, Mallory. She's the epitome of weak, naive, and sheltered. I can't even blame her for being unfit and unready for this world of daimons because it's her father's fault. He sheltered her and "trained" her eVEN THOUGH LITERALLY ALL OF IT WAS USELESS. Mallory is now unprepared, untrained, and entering the most dangerous city in the world thinking she's ready when she's. not.

Aya!! She's introduc
Jess (Gone with the Words)
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2012
Read this review on my blog! --> Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

Carnival of Souls is one of the most unique stories I’ve read this year so far. Melissa Marr has created this imaginative realm of daimons and witches, fights to the death, and so many secrets. It was amazinnnnnnnng!!

One of the things I loved about Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series was how many characters and love stories were in those books. In Carnival of Souls, we get the same thing. There isn’t just one boy and one girl,
Jammin Jenny
I enjoyed this young adult fantasy book where there are two lovers separated by two different worlds. Kind of like Romeo and Juliet in a fantasy land. I listened to the audio book performed by James Marsters who did an excellent job narrating the story. The girl in the story is part daimon part witch and that is not looked upon very well in this land. She loves the boy but doesn't want to have any kids because of her heritage. Nice story with good characters. ...more
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. God knows I wanted to like this book. I love Melissa Marr's ideas. She's not afraid of having dark material in her books. I like dark books. They're new and exciting, especially in the unrelenting sea of identical YA books that are out these days. But this book was a hard no. Like a solid, "Wow I'm mad, when am I going to stop reading nonsense books?"
Ok I have to start with freaking Kaleb. The way he was so possessive over Mallory and the way he just plowed right over
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2012
Where do I even start?!! Melissa Marr has totally exceeded my expectations and I have no idea how in the hale I am going to wait for the next book! Carnival of Souls delivers that dark and gritty story that I have been waiting for ever since reading her previous series Wicked Lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed that series, but I always wanted more books centered around the Dark Court because Marr wrote that side ruthlessly and I tend to like that kinda stuff. She not only brought back the intense ruth ...more
I have not read Melissa's Wicked Lovely series. I don't think I ever will. But when I first hear about this book and saw the simple, but captivating cover I knew I was bound to love it. *insert alarm* Sadly, that didn't turn out to be the case. I have nothing wrong with this book, other than the fact that I didn't finish it. And the reason why I didn't finish it? It was BORING.

Or maybe the more accurate term for that is Flat. Dull. Without depth. Refer to your Thesaurus for more terms. Sure ther
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
Jul 24, 2012 marked it as did-not-finish
Recommended to Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!} by: Sarah Mac
DNF on page 118

I'm so bored and I don't care. It's dragging and not enough world building or character-building, which sounds contradicting but it's not. lol
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
Melissa Marr has done it again! Carnival of Souls is an absolutely awesome read full of enchantment, magic, lore, and plenty of action. Everything with this story came together perfectly. The fantasy and paranormal elements, the strong characters, incredible world building, and the exciting storyline made this one engaging book I picked up and starting reading the moment it arrived at my door (yesterday afternoon) and didn't put it down until I finished it. There's something about Melissa's wri ...more
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
THIS BOOK WAS FANTASTIC! This was my first book that I finally read by Melissa Marr, I had others books by her in my personal library but never got around to reading since they were bought and not sent from publishers. I usually give all publisher books priority, so my bought books tend to get forgotten on the shelves. So that being said I am extremely grateful I was given a copy of Carnival of Souls to review. This book from page one until the last page was non-stop entertaining, like being at ...more
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was my first Melissa Marr book and I was extremely impressed! I was struck by the way Kaleb's rough life is presented in contrast to Mallory's almost normal suburban existence. When the two worlds start colliding, the reader is drawn into the conflict that has always existed between witches and daimons as well as the haves and have nots in the daimon world. The author does not glass over anything and, as a result, this book had some very dark moments, which I loved. That brutality really to ...more
1.5 stars. Didn't like it as much as her Wicked Lovely series. There was a lot of telling, including information-dump after information-dump. I almost put the book down permanently, however I was in a car for 5 hours, so I figured I would just finish it. Almost painfully passive story telling. Stop telling me what your characters are like. SHOW ME. And I am sick and tired of rushed romantic relationships. "Because MaGiC" does not constitute a valid reason for two people to fall in love.

And the
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of fantasy, paranormal fiction and possibly fans of Kresley Cole.
Recommended to M by: barnes and noble



Okay, so this book was very catching from the beginning, at least for me as a huge fan of paranormal fiction/fantasy and the only time I put it down from when I bought it this morning was when I went to get food. No other time. It traveled with me everywhere. Probably more than you needed to know but that was how good it was. Catching. The only complaint I really have is that it ended too soon, but that's what you get w
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Would anyone recommend this book for fans of the hunger games? 4 15 Sep 26, 2014 10:09AM  
What's the Name o...: magic - portal travel 4 174 Aug 06, 2014 10:41AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Help, Book Title and Cover change. 5 43 Jun 07, 2014 08:10AM  
Is there a 2nd book coming out? 4 108 Apr 24, 2013 09:45PM  
Nothing But Readi...: Marr, Melissa; Carnival of Souls - March 2013 BOM 60 98 Mar 19, 2013 08:23PM  
YA Writers and Re...: Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr 54 21 Mar 06, 2013 07:00PM  
Reviews for the L...: Carnival of Souls 6 10 Feb 22, 2013 03:58PM  

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Melissa Marr is a former university literature instructor who writes fiction for adults, teens, and children. She is best known for the Wicked Lovely series for teens, the Graveminder for adults, and her debut picturebook Bunny Roo, I Love You.

Her books have been translated into twenty-eight languages and been bestsellers internationally as well as domestically (NY Times, Los Angeles Times, USA T

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