Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Witches, Demons
Length: 8 hours and 5 minutes
Narrator: James Marsters
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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.
The Daimons have a strict class system. Many Daimons are limited to the class they were born into. But one fight-to-the-death tournament allows one Daimon to climb to the top of the class system. Both Caleb and Aya join. Caleb joins because he is poor and needs to protect his friend and packmate, Zevi. Aya becomes the first woman to enter the tournament and surprises everyone because she is already of a higher social class. She enters the tournament to protect her secrets with surprising results. She'll do anything to protect herself even if it means betwaying those she loves most. Soon the characters find themselves connected in unexpected ways and must navigate the changing world.
On the story...
I enjoyed this read and found it to be surprisingly gritty at times. Ms. Marr is great at creating a unique premise that draws the reader in. There were a few twists and turns that kept me interested. I enjoyed the colorful characters and the intrigue. On one hand this story was great because it unveiled many secrets that added depth to the premise. But on the other hand, the story ended just as the action began. There's tons of build up but little resolution. I've been getting mixed information on whether this is a series or if there will be a sequel of some sort. If there is another book after, I'd feel that this book was a nice prequel to real action and questions. If there is no sequel then I'd be much more disappointed with this read since very little was tied up and explained.
On the narrator...
James Marsters did a good job. This was my first time with this narrator and thought he did a great job with both the female and male voices. I'd definitely listen to this narrator again.
Overall, I found this well-written read to be both exciting, engaging, and disappointing at the same time. I'd have appreciated a little more action and less set-up.