Thursday, October 25, 2012

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Jodi Meadows
2012, 374 pgs

Book Summary from Goodreads

New soul

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul

Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means.  When dragons and sylph attach the city, is Ana to blame?


Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

My Summary

Ana lived the first eighteen years of her life with a mother who hated her for being a “New Soul”.  She’s the only person alive who hasn’t been reincarnated for 1000’s of years and no one knows why.  At eighteen, she leaves for the city of Heart because she wants to discover who she is and why she exists.  Of course her mother gives her a malfunctioning compass and she's almost killed by a Sylph and then almost drowns getting away.
She’s saved from drowning by Sam.  Sam is obviously the love interest, but that develops over the course of the book – there is no insta-love here.  But there’s also no insta-hate that morphs to love.  Ana distrusts Sam because she distrusts everyone.  She’s been told her whole life that she’s a nosoul and shouldn’t exist and anytime her mother showed her any kindness it was part of a trick.  Sam is a nice guy who treats her well and works to earn her trust. 

Sam takes Ana to Heart where conditions are placed on her being allowed into the city.  She must study to become a productive member of society and abide by a curfew.  She can do this under Sam’s guidance, but if she doesn’t succeed she will be sent back to her mother or out into the wilderness alone (essentially a death sentence).

I really enjoyed the overall story, but I was occasionally distracted wondering about the wheres and whats.  Where does all this take place?  At they on Earth at some point in the distant future?  I don’t think I would have cared except there were mystical creatures – sylphs and dragons, but all the musical instruments are the same as what we have – Pianos, violins, flutes, etc.  If they created all their own instruments it seems that they would vary at least a little from ours.  I just was occasionally confused – am I reading a fantasy novel placed somewhere completely different or is it going to turn out to be a distant future right here.  Hopefully the sequels answer these questions.

Overall I enjoyed this book quite a bit more than I expected too.  Not all heroines can be Katniss Everdeen and while Ana’s ineptness at the beginning was frustrating, it was completely understandable.  I definitely did not find her to be too teen angsty. 

Other Reviews
The Book Smugglers

Christina Reads YA

My Rating
Enjoyability (4 out of 5 stars)

Romance (4 out of 5 stars)

Writing (3 out of 5 stars)

This book will stay with me until….I read the sequel.  Then it will depend on where the second book takes me.

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