Monday, April 27, 2015
Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Author: Jodi Meadows
Series: Newsoul, Book One
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Published Date: 2 January 2013
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia
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. (summary from Goodreads)
Meadows has created something wholly new and refreshing, full of mythology and romance that is enthralling.
It's hard to state that something is completely new in YA, considering just how much of it there is. But that's how I feel about Incarnate - that it's new, not quite like anything else I've read before. The world Meadows has created, the mythology to it, is amazing. Though it's made up of elements that are familiar - reincarnation, faith, fantastical creatures - Meadows has crafted something unique. I like the mix of old and new throughout Incarnate. The mythical creatures and old fashioned ceremonies with the technological advances, for example. The world building, from descriptions of Range and Heart, to the living building, to the action of the battles with the sylph and dragons, is imaginative. The premise of the exact same million souls reincarnating again and again over thousands of years with the knowledge of their past lives is intriguing. It's the question of how this came to be their way of life, and then of how Ana, a completely new soul, came into existence that moves the story. The revelations Meadows provides into the truths of these is captivating. I absolutely want to continue this series!
My most favourite thing about Incarnate is Sam and the romance between him and Ana. Ana herself is annoying in her naivete at times, but I wonder if that's not on purpose, considering she's surrounded by characters who have lived an innumerable number of lives. I like Ana's strength. Let's face it, many of these characters have not evolved much in the way of openmindedness, despite having nothing but time, so Ana's determination is great. Sam is nice and good, someone who appreciates Ana's new soul, who is unselfish, and his interactions with Ana and their growing romance is cute and touching. The characters of Incarnate fuel a lot of the emotion of the novel. Sarit is funny, Li terrible, Menehem creepy. And Janan inspires all sorts of questions! Each brings something to the story to keep the tension rollercoasting.
A great start to a series, Incarnate is a captivating and original read. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the series.