cover image Untamed City: Carnival Of Secrets

Untamed City: Carnival Of Secrets

Melissa Marr. Harper, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-165928-7

Kicking off a new series, Marr (the Wicked Lovely books) introduces a pair of worlds whose fates are intertwined. In “our” world, witches secretly run corporations and spread their influence. In “The City,” daimons reign supreme, plotting and scheming, and anything can be found in the sinister Carnival of Souls. A bloody competition to determine who will rise up to help rule the City draws close to conclusion, with several contenders vying for the last slots. Aya is a high-caste daimon, who must win to survive; Kaleb is a low-caste assassin willing to risk all to succeed. And in the mortal world, 17- year-old Mallory has been raised by a witch, Adam, and trained to fight dai­mons. When their paths cross, it sparks revelations and a dangerous change in the status quo. Marr’s trademark blend of dark romance, fantasy, and action is on full display, but while Marr makes Mallory strong and independent, those qualities are undercut somewhat (in this installment, anyway) by the multiple brain-wipes she receives from Adam, what amounts to a forced marriage, and an abrupt ending. Ages 13–up. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writer’s House. (Sept.)