Sunday, February 28, 2016
Review: Asunder by Jodi Meadows
Author: Jodi Meadows
Series: Newsoul, Book Two
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: 31 December 2013
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository | Dymocks Australia
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.
In this second book in the Newsoul trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy. (summary from Goodreads)
Continuing where Incarnate left off, Asunder slowly delves further into the mythology of this world.
And I do mean slowly. It took me a while to really get into Asunder and I found it much more frustrating than Incarnate. Possibly it may have helped if I hadn't read the first book over an entire year ago! But then again, I did remember a lot of Incarnate, so maybe it wouldn't have made much difference really. To me, Asunder felt like the story hadn't really moved on from the first book. Ana still lived under the rule of the Council, many residents of Heart still distrusted Newsouls, Janan was still up to whatever it is he was up to and Ana wanted to know the truth but was no closer to discovering it. For much of the first half of the book the plot was really only a rehash of the same things. It did finally pick up though and I was reminded why I enjoyed Incarnate so much. The mythology of this world, the truth about Janan, the sylph, the people of Heart and their reincarnation is still unique and intriguing. Meadows writing style was both hit and miss for me though. At times it seems so simple and stilted that I wanted to skim read to get a move on, and yet then she has a way of providing little hints and building the tension so slowly that you're on the edge of your seat desperate to know more before you realise it. That tension saved Asunder for me. If I wasn't so captivated again by the last half of the book I'm sure my rating would have been much lower. Meadows just had to reach her stride again, I guess. I only hope it doesn't falter at the start of Infinite too.
Throughout Incarnate I remember being frustrated by Ana's naivete and in awe of Heart's residents, but this time around it was the opposite. I am so sick of the people of Heart. Their distrust of Newsouls increases to outright hatred and violence in Asunder, which is one thing, but the superior attitude so many have towards Ana, the treatment of her as a simple child, especially by those who claim to be her friend (I'm looking at you, Stef, urgh!) really irritated me. I realised something while reading Asunder, and I feel so slow - these characters may have lived many lives over 5000 years but they're no wiser for it. They do the same thing, love the same people, never question or try to learn more and holy hell did they get on my last nerve!! I can't help but think it's such a waste and when the truth of their reincarnation is revealed - hello, rage! Unfortunately though, these characters and their attitude also started to bore me. It really wasn't much of a change from Incarnate is all. I wanted something to change, something to shake things up, but it's slow in coming. I'm assuming it'll come in Infinite. And hopefully I will relish it! Compared to them though, Ana seems wise and beyond her years; so strong and determined. I love Ana's heart. She's so forgiving. I should take lessons from her. I still quite like Sam too, though the goodness I enjoyed previously was holding him back here. His relationship with Ana though is still so lovely. Meadows really makes me believe in - and swoon over - their love and loyalty for each other. I'm eager to read Infinite as I want to know how their story ends. Plus Jenan is set to get even creepier and how could I miss that?
Asunder is slow going but it does get there. Meadows ups the ante nicely and in time, and her mythology is still enchanting.