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 I really wanted to like this book, I really did. Melissa Marr is one of my favourite authors. I love the Wicked Lovely Series — They Were Amazing. I Still Think about Them A Lot All of Them, Especially Niall, Irial and Leslie and everybody else, but let’s face it: those are my favourite three.
 
I like Melissa Marr’s writing because she usually portrays strong, independent women. Some of the characters in Wicked Lovely were cruel, and some of them were downright crazy, but I think the vast majority did have some sort of justification for the things they did — except for Bananach because she was bat-shit crazy.

Carnival of Souls was a book I was heavily anticipating and although it was rather adventurous, I think that it reminded me too much of Wicked Lovely in some ways, but it seemed to fail where WL succeeded.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.

 
World Building: 

The very first thing I have to wonder about this book is: What are daimons?
Marr is rather descriptive of her world and its characters, but it is never properly explained what these creatures are. With mentions of fur and claws, I envision creatures akin to werewolves, but I really can’t be sure. The word looks like Demons, but they don’t seem to be like the demons from shows like Supernatural and Charmed.
For some reason the witches and daimons hate each other. Daimons live in a place simply known as The City. Perhaps this is Marr’s way of trying to make the place sort of anonymous like she did with Huntsdale in WL (try as I might, I can’t figure out where Huntsdale is meant to be) to give it the impression of being a sort of ‘Every City’. I’m not sure. But I find that the history between the daimons and witches was somewhat obscure. The witches cursed the daimons so that Nature would consume The City and so witches who live in the The City only do so as slaves to the daimons. At the moment I’m not really getting an idea of who is good and who is evil, but I’ve come to expect that from Marr. The Dark Court wasn’t evil for instance, even though we were sort of led to believe that from book 1 in the WL series.

Narrative:

The book was written in the 3rd person, which is more or less what I expected from Marr. In the past I have found this way of story telling to be disengaging but Marr long ago rekindled my love for it. I now write most of my stories in 3rd person.
The novel follows 4 characters:

Mallory- the damsel
Aya- the psychobitch
Kaleb- the lower class bad boy
Belias- the upper class boy

Now, Mallory came across as “the main character” to me because a lot of things seemed to revolove around her. Unfortunately she was one of those characters who had things happening to her, but she never really overcame them.
Mallory has been growing up with her father most of her life (her mother had to leave), who is a witch. And because witches and daimons are sworn enemies, her father, Adam, teaches her how to fight. Which is kind of funny because she doesn’t do a lot of actual fighting. He claims to love her but he has a terrible way of showing it. Mallory didn’t stick out to me because overall, she was a weak character who could barely look after herself. Now, it wasn’t always her fault because of her father using his powers on her, but regardless, I didn’t really connect with her.

You may think I am being a tad harsh about describing Aya as a psychobitch but come one, she IS cold and callous. Of couse she does prove to have a conscience, but the very first scene showed her fighting a loved one for personal gain. She comes across as over the top and arrogant. Altogether, she is the complete opposite of Mallory. In time, she grew on me so I wouldn’t say that this character is a complete failure. I certainly like her better than Mallory. I am glad that Marr had a purpose when she gave Aya these charactersitics. Aya isn’t cruel for the sake of being cruel. She hides a secret that could be her undoing.
The romance between Aya and Belias was an interesting way of showing Aya’s softer side, which brings me to discussing The Upper Class Boy…
 
I can’t say I remember much about Belias. Like Mallory his arc consists of external forces causing conflict. The secret that Aya has been keeping with her all her life affects him greatly, and he soon finds that his life is no longer in his own hands.

Kaleb is a bit of a rogue. He is a lower class daimon, which means that he has little rights, and he has to take on dangerous jobs to make ends meat. Like for many of the other competitors, the competition is Kaleb’s lifeline. If he wins, he can finally have a good life, not just for himself but for his packmate, Zevi. He and Zevi have been friends for quite some time and they take care of each other like brothers.
One of Kaleb’s dangerous jobs included going to the mortal realm to keep an eye out for Mallory. And of course, romance ensues 😉

Overall, I will say that I am disappointed with Carnival of Souls, but regardless, I couldn’t put the book down. I read this one in less than 24hrs and it was absoloutley absorbing. So despite my grumblings, Marr did something right, proving once again that she is a great writer. Unfortunatley, I didn’t like many of her character’s and I found that the deal that Kaleb made at the end was simply terrible. Once again, Mallory is left helpless to a fate she didn’t decide.

I rate this book 3 stars!
 
 

I have been awarded the Liebster Blog Award!

Thank you Words About Words 🙂
I was awarded months and months ago but I’ve put it off because I CAN’T FIND another 11 blogs to pass it on to, sigh. I’ll try again later, but I really just want to post this up for goodness sake 😀

The Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

The Meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome

Photobucket

Here’s the rules:

1. Each person must post 11 facts about themselves

2. Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you and give 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged.

3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.

4. Tell them you’ve tagged them.

5. Remember, no tag backs.

My 11 Facts:

  1. I play the flute
  2. I play the saxophone
  3. I’m a read-a-holic (I know that was obvious, thanks!)
  4. Sometimes I laugh myself awake. As in, something is obviously funny in my dream so I wake up laughing
  5. This scares my sister
  6. I’m short. My friends once called me ‘small and mighty’. I’m not a Persil product, thanks
  7. I don’t like the Harry Potter series. Hate me if you want.
  8. My favourite movie of 2012 so far is The Avengers. Sorry Hunger Games.
  9. My favourite colours are purple, silver and gold. 
  10. Green is my part time favourite colour if that makes any sense
  11. I hope to study Computer Science at university. I know it sounds random considering my talent for music and my love of literature. 


At present, I am finding it difficult to find good blogs with 200 followers or less, so I will simple accumulate this as I go along. Here are my noted blogs so far:

Writing, Stuff, and Nonsense
(http://lisa-m-wood.blogspot.co.uk/)

All Indie e-books
http://allindieebooks.blogspot.co.uk/p/about-us.html

Paper and Pages
http://paperhotairballoon.blogspot.co.uk/

    Here’s 11 questions that I’ve been asked:
    1. What color(s) do you dislike?
    Yellow. I had to wear a yellow and black tie for five years at High School. I know it looked good on me, but I wanted to be in the green House, Wells. Green used to be my thing. 
    2. What is a quote that you live by?
    Can I get back to you on that?
    3. Do you have a lucky object? What is it?
    No. I don’t believe in luck. Only blessings.
    4. What is your dream job?
    Honestly? Being a full time author and part time flute and saxophone teacher. I know that’s two… three jobs. Whatever.
    5. Would you rather have a gigantic, extravagant wedding or a small and intimate one?
    Definitely small and intimate. Why would I want a circus for a wedding? As far as I’m concerned, the honeymoon is what’s really important.
    6. What is your favourite holiday?
    Christmas of course! Santa beats the Easter Bunny any day! (Don’t tell Hugh Jackman’s Bunnyman from that movie, Rise of the Guardians I said that) And Jesus beats them all! Ha ha!
    7. If you could live anywhere, where would you live and why?
    Ooh… tough one. Probably somewhere warm and beautiful. Hawaii? Yeah, I’ll go with that because it’s sunny and awesome.
    8. What is your preferred beverage?
    Sprite!
    9. What language would you most like to learn?
    I tried French once and liked it but then I felt that I had to drop it. I’d love to learn a number of languages. Greek because I love Ancient Greece and because they’re alphabet looks so cool. Russian because they sound bad-ass in all those movies with Russian assassins. And Italian because it’s so ROMANTIC! But if I had to choose just one then it would be Shona, my Mother Tongue that I forgot after moving to the UK.
    10. What is your worst vacation memory?
    Mmm… I’m thinking of the 7 hour journey where we hitchhiked to our destination whilst in Zimbabwe, but then it was all worth it once we saw Victoria Falls. So probably at Haven when we got locked out of our own caravan with my sister and cousin. Our aunt was out in town and didn’t come back for hours after, even though we rang to tell her our predicament. 
    11. What toppings do you like on your pizza?
    First of all, I prefer it without cheese. It’s much healthier for a start. Then I like to have the pizza guys put…
    Pineapple, Pepperoni, sometimes ham (I’m a meat freak), Peppers, Sweet corn and mushrooms. Yeah, you have to put a lot of toppings when you get rid of the cheese.
    And I said I’d get back to NUMBER 2. I live by the quote, ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’. It’d be funnier if I were a guy because then you’d see why, but it doesn’t matter. I’m the one delivering the wrath. Also:

    Aante sana squash banana wewe nugu mimi hapana!

     

    This review has been a long time coming. I think the book came out maybe 4 years ago? I only read it in July though, but I was too lazy to actually review it. Now I’m at university, scrounging for the time to do anything I actually want to, haha.

    This book has layer upon layer of mystery.

     Kaylee Cavanaugh is a normal girl whose life comes crumbling down when she becomes possessed the urge to scream. when  we start the book, it isn’t her first time to scream. she had these episodes before but they get progressively worse.
    Beautiful girls are dying around her, and Kaylee seeks to discover why.  Of course this could have dangerous consequences. No one will tell her what is happening , why it’s happening, and how it is happening.

     
     
    Trailer:
     
    

    Rachel Vincent brings something new to the myth of faeries.  There is intrigue, romance, and action. this novel mostly deals with Reapers and the Banshees, (mostly referred to as bean sidhe in this novel) but I do believe that there were mentions of demons and other creatures that live on another astral plane.

    Now, let’s talk about the fun part : The Love Interest.

     From what I recall, Nash is the kind of guy who isn’t supposed to know of the existence of the main character.  So when he does notices Kaylee at a party, she is very smitten.  Nash turns out to know more about Kaylee’s secret than she does, but I won’t spoil about how he knows!
     I found myself comparing Nash to my ideal boyfriend, who is Seth from Melissa Marr’s “Wicked Lovely” series. Honestly, I could have a whole conversation about why Seth is the perfect boyfriend — but this is a review about “My Soul to Take” !  Nash isn’t quite Seth perfect but he is still rather understanding of a lot of things. He is kind and considerate but  I have to take a few brownie points because of the whole secret thing. And he’s almost a little too perfect. When will his skeletons come out of the closet?

     As far as the secret goes ,  Kaylee’s family should not have kept it from her. but I understand their logic — as infuriating as it was! Her father, was the worst culprit.  He made me so angry!
    Another very good mystery, was the whole business of the reapers.  It reminded me  of Victoria Scott’s  “Dante Walker” series but without the idea of God and the devil. As the name suggests, Reapers take souls to the next place: be that heaven, hell or wherever. I’m sure Vincent will explain all that stuff later in the series.

    Let’s talk about Kaylee as a person. She’s actually  a rather likeable character. I felt something, rather than being indifferent or wanting to kill her. She was an angsty teenager without being completely overwhelming about how suckish her life is. She had a mental breakdown prior to the beginning of this novel, leading her to being put on medication. I think Vincent handled her problem rather delicately. She wasn’t all depressed and sick of the world. Instead she found good friends to talk to, and admittedly, she did try to speak to her family, and I think she come across as a strong, independent character without being an asshole. She wasn’t full on Female Warrior, but she wasn’t a damsel in distress. I’d say she falls somewhere in the middle, if I have to make comparisons.

    My major concern was the love interest, Nash. Although he is a lovely guy, I did find the relationship rather convenient and quite honestly, not particularly believable. Kaylee is one of those infuriating YA characters who doesn’t think she’s beautiful —a trend that MUST be bucked at some point, people!

    I mean, look at this!:

    “If Eastlake High School were the universe, I would be one of the moons circling Planet Emma, constantly hidden by her shadow, and glad to be there. Nash Hudson would be one of the stars: too bright to look at, too hot to touch and at the center of his own solar system.”


     So of course when the hot guy Nash seeks her attention, she has no idea why! This in itself isn’t my main concern, but the fact that their relationship started so quickly worries me. I am going to have completely unrealistic ideals in a relationship, haha!

    I give the book 4/5 stars!


    Please take a moment to enjoy the quotes below. I hope they don’t spoil things for you.

    Good Quotes:    

    “He was an arrogant little demon.”
    “So what happened?” I asked.
    “I punched him.”
    For a moment, we stared at him in silence. “You punched the reaper?” I asked, and my hand fell from the strainer onto the edge of the sink.
    “Yeah.” He chuckled at the memory, and his grin brought out one of my own.


    “My aunt and overprivileged cousin only recognize two states of being: glitter and grunge. And if you weren’t glitter, well, that only left one other option.”

    “…the dead have a way of becoming saints in the eyes of their survivors…”  

    “…Weirdest. Tuesday. Ever”

    “Why do you hang out with him?”
    “We’re teammates.”
    Ahhh. And if blood was thicker than water, then football, evidently, would congeal in one’s veins.”
      

    Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve blogged. I’ve just started a Computer Science course at University, and YIKES! Fresher’s Week was intense. A rollercoaster of emotions including partying, fresher’s flue, and orientation lectures, haha!

    So I finally got round to reading The Eternity Cure. I don’t usually buy books through Amazon but I’ve bought quite a number of things since getting my first Debit card.

     Allie is back and she’s fiercer than ever. Through all the trials and tribulations she faces- terrible jokes made by Jackal, cannibal mole men and of course, the demented Sarren- she gives it her all.

    Sarren is batshit crazy– nothing different there I guess.

     Jackal was there too but strangely enough, this time he was my my favorite character. His history with Kanin is finally revealed 🙂 hehe. Personally I think it proves that you can be a monster even before you become a vampire.
     Some people criticize that Allie and Zeke are boring. This might be in part due to the trope of forbidden love and and their point of view on morality. Jackals is refreshing because he knows what he is and he likes what he is. He is a monster and never claims to be anything but a monster. Unlike Kanin he does not seek to better the world- Unless you count Jackal as king a form of peace. Spoiler alert: We discover his real name!

    For some people this was a fairly slow read. . I rather liked the pacing, myself. Just because Allie is a vampire, does not mean that she can travel at the speed of lightning. There were many difficult choices for her to make along the way.  Allie is a bass on many levels.. not only can she holder only in fight against other great vampire, but constantly having to fight against her own demons. .and a twist of fate when she has to work with the one vampire she would rather kill. in order I find. her sire, . she does S anyway. Sure, working with Jackal is no walk in the park, but she manages it.

    Now let’s talk about the villain for a minute. Julie, please, Julie, why?! . I read the Sarren parts to my sister . in a creepy voice. and she was officially creeped out– petrified even!  If a character is meant to be a reflection of the author, then I really don’t want to know what Sarren is supposed to reflect!

    I mean, check these lines out:

    Perhaps, I will pluck out both your eyes, then remove all your teeth, and make a necklace from them. Or maybe a wind chime. I do love wind chimes, don’t you, little bird?

    He’s also always blathering on about music. In this book it was about a ‘final requim’. The only thing that will be final will be the end of his existence! He makes me so mad. But it was really disturbing how good I got my impression of him– like I must be crazy as well.

    Is it even a spoiler to mention that Zeke returns? I mean seriously, it’s a given!

    But seriously, the ending is devastating.
    I tweeted the author Julie Kagawa about.my reaction to the end of the novel, which was basically me crying my eyes out– like, UGLY crying in the middle of the night. . do you   want to know her reaction? . she tweeted me: “Thanks, Your tears feed my Muse”. . it was awesome of her to reply, but MAN was that a creepy response 😛

    Here it is in case you don’t believe me:

     
    Got to love Julie though 😀
     
    Anyway, I give The Eternity Cure 4/5 starts!