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Carnival of Souls

Review

Carnival of Souls

In the middle of The City is the pit of the world --- it is called the Carnival of Souls. To live there is to live on the edge with murder, violence and corruption as your only companions. The City is run by Daimons, and their leader is Marchosias. Although Marchosias was born in the lowest caste, a Cur, he fought and killed his way to leadership. Ruthless and cruel, he knows everything that goes on because he “owns” everyone who lives in his City. The Carnival of Souls exists with his permission; it serves as a perfect place to breed those desperate, hungry, angry creatures that make up the “misfits” and the Curs.

"Certainly fans of THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins will love Marr’s book. CARNIVAL OF SOULS is the first in what will undoubtedly be a most successful series."

Long ago, the Daimons sent the Witches to the outskirts. Witches and Daimons are at war, each believing that the other is the most dangerous and the most deceitful of beings. In fact, all members of this society are part of a strict caste system. The lowest castes are the Watchers (bird-like spies) and Curs (Daimons who transform into doglike forms). There is only one chance to escape from this caste system. Every generation a competition to the death is staged by the City --- the winner is rewarded by moving to a higher caste and thus, gaining more power.

Three teens enter the competition in order to fight for what each most wants. Aya is an upper caste woman who pits herself against the man she loves in order to avoid becoming a breeder. She knows her secrets will be revealed if she ever has children. Mallory thinks she is human and has been raised to hate Daimons --- she doesn’t realize her real father is one of the most powerful Daimons in this world. And Kaleb is a Cur of the lowest order with great skills as an assassin and fighter. He will fight this year and prove his worthiness to gain more power.

This is a story with multi-dimensional characters—it’s like following a labyrinth of personalities and plot upon plot. It is Witch against Witch, Daimon against Daimon, Cur against Watcher, City against outskirts along with disguise and deceit and danger. There are many layers and tensions pulling these characters together. 

Melissa Marr has created some very strong female characters in a fantasy setting that trembles with violence and the unexpected. She says that a musical group known as Five Finger Death Punch and their song, “Far From Home,” inspired her novel. By going to her website you can further explore the music and the characters, as well as see the exciting book trailer. Certainly fans of THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins will love Marr’s book. CARNIVAL OF SOULS is the first in what will undoubtedly be a most successful series.

Reviewed by Sally M. Tibbetts on June 5, 2012

Carnival of Souls
by Melissa Marr