Publication date: 4th September 2012
Reviewed by Rebecca
Magic is one of those subject matters that can drag me deep into a story before even getting past the first chapter. I love how much freedom a novel with magic has as nothing seems impossible. I hate reading books only to feel that by the ending, everything is a little far-fetched. With magic involved, storylines are free to take to whatever path they choose. Such is the same for Carnival Of Souls.
Told from three different viewpoints: Mallory, Aya and Kaleb; Carnival Of Souls is a must-read for any fans of magic or the supernatural. The human and magic worlds intertwine almost seamlessly, helping the story to flow naturally.
Kaleb is a daimon who lives in The City. He is a ‘cur’, the lowest form of daimon there can be. However, through sheer grit and determination and the occasional illicit favour towards the rich female daimons, he has worked himself up to someone who the high castes trust to carry out their dirty work. He is essentially their assassin and is a little confused when asked to bring Mallory, a 17 year old seemingly human girl living in the human world, back to The City and the evil Haage.
Mallory herself is just like any other normal 17 year old girl, except she holds a dark secret. Her father Adam is a witch on the run from the daimons and she has been taught how to protect herself from daimons since she was a little girl. When a handsome young man by Kaleb arrives on the scene, she is reluctant to carry on running but what exactly does this stranger have in mind for her? She soon finds herself falling for him but soon finds out that nothing in her life is truly what it seems.
Aya herself is a fighter of the ruling class. She has entered into the Carnival Of Souls, a competition that occurs once in a generation and wants to prove that she can win. She doesn’t want to be married off and forced to breed against her will - but what is she hiding?
I actually found myself liking all three of these characters, much against my better judgement when it came to Aya. I liked that she was a ballsy, feisty female who knows what she wants from the world and won’t settle for less, but the way she went about her business did leave me a little angry.
The storyline between Kaleb and Mallory kept me gripped for the first page. Mysterious boy turns up, they fall in love with each other, they discover some home truths about each other. I like the fact that Kaleb originally goes to find Mallory to bring her back to Haage where her fate is obvious - but he finds himself falling for her. Adam is overly protective of her; and rightly so - after all, Adam’s kind and Kaleb’s kind have an intense dislike and distrust for each other.When Adam goes missing though, secrets are revealed and boundaries crossed as Mallory prepares to enter The City to find her father.
The story is extremely sinister. Marr takes a great amount of time describing The City to the reader - from the buildings it houses, to the people it holds, to the colour of the masks they wear.
Each coloured mask is for something different and daimons often wear them around The City and within the Carnival so as not to be identified. The characters are explored in depth and the hatred between witches and daimons (and the reasons behind it) are explored at length. Marr has created a complex world with a variety of creatures and characters all with their own personal story to tell.
Daimons aren’t an everyday read of mine, but I can see them becoming so in the future! I loved this book intensely, not many books can claim to capture my mind as much as this book did. The descriptions, the plot and the characters are just spectacular. This is a must-read for all YA fans - I hope you love it as much as I do!