Monday, January 16, 2012

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate
Jodi Meadows


Grade: A-


Description from goodreads.com: 
NEWSOUL 
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. 


NOSOUL 
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 suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame? 


HEART 
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 thoughts on the book:
Let me begin this review by saying that I simply adored this book! And obviously the cover is beautiful. It is a bit slow moving at first, but after reading the first few chapters, I was hooked. 


Can you imagine being the only newsoul born in 5,000 years and living in a community where everyone knows everyone but you? And everyone thinks you're evil and have no soul? That was Ana's life before she met Sam, who believes she's a newsoul instead of a nosoul. Even though this book is set in a Utopian society, it felt, to me, like it was making a statement of the small town BS that so many people go through, and I admire the book even more for that. 


Ana is a terrific character, and she is easy to sympathize with. She has had a terrible childhood, and she is so scared of people that she is extremely defensive. Knowing what her mother, Li, put her through though, it's understandable. Ana's tortured childhood is unfolded as the novel progresses, and she grows quite a bit as a character in this book. She becomes more comfortable with herself, less defensive, and her self-esteem improves. However, she's still not exactly where she should be. I guess that's why there will be sequels. I was rooting for Ana the entire time. It's impossible not to want the best for her. 


I LOVED Sam. I wish I could just rip him out of the pages of the book and call him my own. He's a musical genius, kind, patient, intelligent, and brave. He helps Ana overcome so much of her fear and defensiveness, and he is so patient and understanding with her. It's impossible not to love Sam once you get to know him. He repeatedly puts himself on the line to help Ana and protect her. He's the perfect hero.


The secondary characters are all pretty well developed, and they all have distinct personalities. Some are obviously bad, some keep you guessing. My personal favorite two secondary characters are Armande and Stef. Stef is mischievous and fun, and Armande has a heart of gold. 


After the first few slow-moving chapters, the pacing is pretty spot on and kept me interested as the plot unfolded. I had two pet peeves with this book, however. The first was that Ana always "missed" or "couldn't see" Sam's expressions. I'm sure this was done to show she'd had no social interaction growing up and that she couldn't decipher normal human emotions easily, but it really pulled me out of the story. The author would have been better off being vague and simply saying "something flashed across his face," and leaving it at that. Either that or she could have just not mentioned his expressions at all the majority of the time, and the other times, simply been vague. Another thing that kind of got to me was the fact that Meadows gave these beautiful elaborate descriptions for buildings, streets, etc., but she never described the clothes people were wearing or what the SED screen looked like. That made it hard to picture certain things. I wanted to know what time period the clothes of Heart resembled, and I wanted to know if the SED screen was like a projection screen used in a movie theater or like a TV. Those few details would have made the world an even richer and more intriguing place. 

Over all, I completely enjoyed this book, and I'm looking forward to the sequel. Meadows has created a unique and captivating world that is sure to draw readers in. Her characters are believable and easy to relate to, and I can't wait to continue unfolding the mysteries of her Utopian universe. 

Want to pre-order Incarnate?

Amazon.com: Print
Amazon.com: Kindle E-book

Barnes and Noble: Print
Barnes and Noble: Nook E-book

3 comments:

  1. Hi! I'm just letting all the blogs I follow know about my giveaway today, please stop by if you can: http://authorjess.blogspot.com/2012/01/big-2012-birthday-giveaway-come-and-get.html

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  2. I got an ARC for this book months ago (like, December), and have wanted to read it since, and never seem to pull myself into the story. I'm not sure if I want to finish it. I hate clichés and stupid heroines and predictable plotlines. While I should probably actually read the book, I can't seem to bring myself to it. But I’ve had this book since December, weeks before if came out. And I could not. That’s a huge red flag for me, because usually I can read through poorly created book. I’ll try really hard to read it. But chances are I probably won’t read Asunder. To each their own. I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for the review!

    Alyssa Susanna

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  3. I liked this book so much and I can't wait to read Asunder. Great review , by the way.

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