Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Series: Newsoul, Book #1
Published: January 31st, 2012
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
374 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Young adult fantasy/supernatural
Acquired this book: Bought
Warning: May contain spoilers
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.
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 attack 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.
While Incarnate has been on my to-be-read list for over a year, I just finally got around to reading it during the Pitch Dark read-a-thon. I expected I would enjoy it, but almost immediately I was pleasantly surprised by just how much I enjoyed it.
The world in Incarnate is completely unique and unlike anything I’ve ever read. The concept of reincarnation is taken to a completely new level – not only are souls reincarnated, the same souls are reincarnated, and have been for five thousand years. Ana is the only newsoul ever to be born, and because she took the place of another soul, people are distrustful of her, and they resent her.
Besides the fascinating concept, the world-building in Incarnate was really well done. It wasn’t confusing like some fantasy worlds, and Ms Meadows didn’t skimp out on details. I was able to picture everything, and I felt like I was discovering Heart along with Ana.
As for the characters, I was really able to relate to Ana. I felt her pain and loneliness, and her insecurities and fears broke my heart. I enjoyed watching her growth, and while it took unexpected turns at times, I really ended up loving her. As for Sam, I absolutely adored him. He was quiet and intelligent and creative, and because he had been around for so long, he was so mature and sure of himself. His interactions with Ana warmed my heart, and made me swoon repeatedly. I loved the budding romance between them – while full of tension and sexy moments (so sexy, but in that lovely, innocent way that's often underrated these days), their friendship was sweet, and I loved that ever-present desire there between them and the potential for more. I also really liked that things didn't come easy for them - Ana was uncertain of Sam at first, questioning his motives at every turn, but Sam was so patient and steady, despite their issues and the external forces working against them. They're definitely one of my new favourite book couples.
I also thought the supernatural elements were great. I loved the dragons and sylphs, and the mention of other creatures like centaurs. They're supernatural creatures that you don't see enough of in books, and I'm curious to see how they factor into the next installment of the Newsoul series.
Overall, Incarnate was the best kind of surprise in every way. It was well-written, with characters I related and connected to, a romance that simmered slowly while still managing to take my breath away, and steady pacing with just the right amount of suspense. If you haven’t yet read Incarnate, you’re really missing out – go read it now!
Have you read Incarnate? What did you think? If you haven't read it, is it something you're interested in reading?