This book is the prequel to Goblin's Revenge. In fact, that is the main reason I recommend reading it. Carnage In New York is a mediocre book, but Goblin's Revenge is exceptional.
This book begins with a man named Catrall running from the FBI because he has a serum that will drive anyone who comes into contact with it into a killer rage (a tiny vial could infect everyone in New York). He created the serum as a byproduct of studies designed to eliminate violent behavior. Spidey saves him from the Feds.
Meanwhile, an experiment is being run to try and kill Carnage's symbiote without killing Carnage. Catrall shows up at the experiment because he thinks that he can destroy the serum in the firewall that is holding Casady. Catrall unwittingly frees Carnage without destroying the serum. Carnage fights with Spidey, but runs away before he can be defeated. Spidey runs all over New York, finds Catrall, and finds out about the experiments that led to the serum. He also finds out that Carnage found Catrall first, and took the serum from him.
Carnage is planning to put the serum in a meal being made for the homeless; this is a big fundraiser being put together by Jonah Jameson. Spidey finds Carnage, fights for a long time in front of a huge audience, and then defeats Carnage with loose electrical cables. He takes the serum to Reed Richards and leaves. There is also a sub-plot where Mary Jane sells her wedding ring to save Aunt May's house. Goblin's Revenge takes place about a minute after this book.
This book was average. There was nothing too surprising or original in it. I groaned when Carnage was beaten by electrical cables, which is rapidly becoming my least favorite comic cliche. However, the writing was not too bad and the editing was superb! The fight scenes are actually very well written until you reach the anti-climactic conclusion. The most redeeming feature of this book is that it leads into Goblin's Revenge, so you can go ahead and read it.
As I said, this book is average, so it gets three webs. Thwipp, thwipp, thwipp...