Untamed City: Carnival of Secrets

  • by Melissa Marr
  • Narrated by James Marsters
  • 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Warriors Kaleb and Aya will stop at nothing to destroy their competition. But when Kaleb finds his fate entwined with that of Mallory, a 17-year-old human girl, he can’t seem to separate the vicious Carnival contest he’s entered from his sudden devotion to her. He and Aya may be prizefighters from the otherworldly Untamed City, but his strange, obsessive connection makes staying away from the witch-ruled human world, and Mallory, harder every day.
All Mallory knows of the Untamed City is what her elders have told her - that it’s full of debauchery and daimons looking to destroy her. But she knows she’s being pulled toward Kaleb with an emotion so fierce that it’s utterly foreign.
The two are forced apart by Mallory’s overprotective witch father, stranded by necessity between warring populations that can’t coexist. But when The City’s ruler raises the stakes of the Carnival’s prize, there’s nothing Mallory, Kaleb, or Aya can do to stop the two worlds colliding. Mallory’s about to discover her true identity - and stumble into a fate she’d die to avoid.
Fans of The Hunger Games will devour this tale of lush secrets, dark love, and the struggle to forge one’s own destiny from the best-selling author of Wicked Lovely, Melissa Marr.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good Story, GREAT Narrator

I am totally surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I didn't finish Marr's Wicked Lovely series just because they couldn't hold my attention. I didn't feel they were original and that they were pretty boring. I stuck with them as long as I did because the covers were amazing. So, I was a bit leery about picking up Carnival of Souls. But, it was narrated by James Marsters (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and I had some Audible credits so I decided to give it a try. Am I glad I did!

This is a dark novel with risky topics. It's a cruel and violent world that Marr has thrown some wonderful main characters in the middle of. Mallory's totally clueless about her heritage but everyone around her knows the truth. I spent the whole audiobook yelling at my ipod - - just tell her already. Then there's Aya. I can't figure out what her agenda is but I know she's got one. She's deceptive and cunning and I can't help but cheer for her. Kaleb lives a horrible life yet he can't help dreaming of a better life.

Let's not forget James Marsters' narrating. He's amazing! I think he greatly carried the book and make it much more likable than it would have been if I was reading a physical book. I'm actually pretty sure that there were a couple of spots where I might have decided I couldn't handle this and just put the book down. But Marsters is such an excellent narrator that I was entranced and kept listening. I am going to listen to each and every book narrated by this guy.

This book ends on a horrible cliffhanger so I suggest waiting until next year to read it.
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- melrailey "Mel"

The primer for a Fantastic world

This is my first book by Melissa Marr, so I can't compare it to her others. But, I was impressed with how she was able to construct such a creatively woven fabric of reality, balancing three different worlds: witches, demons (the castes within), and humans.

I had just worked my way through all the available Dresden Files books, and was looking for something to satiate that wanting for more, and I saw James Marsters had recently worked on this book. I was worried that I would have trouble getting Harry out of my mind while listening to this book, but Marsters somehow varied his pacing, articulation, and tone to a degree that made this reading completely unique compared to his other performances. Still, Marsters did an amazing job setting the theme for the novel, and his accents (although a bit odd, giving American Southern accents to otherworldly creatures) do give life to the characters, and by the end of the book I felt them to be quite fitting and appropriate.

Comparing this to Dresden, I didn't have a hard time imagining this world to be just a couple universes over within the fantasy multiverse. The magic is similar, the importance of circles and wards being ubiquitous. But, the rules are much different; killing and mind magic don't seem to be the same sort of sins. This book is certainly much darker.

Marr did a great job of setting up what will hopefully be a fantastic series. The cliffhanger was both satisfying while also leaving you wanting to know what comes next. I do hope Marsters continues to read the upcoming stories.
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- Elliot "Molecular biologist. Musician. Lover of science. Lover of music. Dreamer of magic. Thinker of thoughts. ||| "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - Arthur C. Clarke ||| As a scientist, science fiction and fantasy inspire me to push the line of discovery forward, beyond conventional imagination, beyond conventional wisdom."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-22-2012
  • Publisher: HarperAudio