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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Book Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows


TITLE: Incarnate 

SERIES: Newsoul, Book #1
AUTHOR: Jodi Meadows
PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins
DATE OF PUBLICATION: January 31, 2012
FORMAT: Hardcover, 384 pages
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN:
978-0062060754

SYNOPSIS: 

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 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 REVIEW:

I received this e-ARC for review from the publisher through NetGalley. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own. 

Range is an exciting fantasy world with dragons, sylph, and reincarnated souls!

For millennia, the inhabitants of Range have been reincarnated over and over again by Janan who is revered as a god. When a child is born, its palm is pressed on the Soul Scanner so that the Soul Tellers can determine whose soul has been reincarnated. Souls can be measured as a series of vibrations, and the unique sequence remains throughout the soul’s lifetime no matter how many times it has been reincarnated. There comes a day when a baby girl is born and, when she is scanned, no data is available. Everyone was expecting the babe to be the reincarnation of Ciana, but she is not. Who is this child, and where did she come from?

The child is dubbed “nosoul,” a derogatory name because she has no known soul and was not the reincarnation of anyone that is known. The kinder folks refer to her as “new soul” because her soul is new rather than believing that she has no soul. They call her Ana, and her name is taken from Ciana whose soul she replaced.

Ana has a horrid upbringing and is both physically and mentally abused by her domineering mother, Li. When she turns 18 years old, Ana decides that she wants to travel to the city of Heart where it is her fervent hope that she will discover how and why she came to be and whether there is any chance that she will be reincarnated when she dies. Li tries to sabotage Ana’s quest by giving her a faulty compass, and Ana ends up wandering too deeply into the forests where the sylph roam. She tries to avoid a sylph attack by diving off a cliff into the freezing water below. She is rescued by Sam, who not only nurses her back to health but helps her to get to Heart. Once there, he receives permission from the Council to be appointed as Ana’s guardian.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy the story given that reincarnation is not consistent with my own beliefs. I am actually pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it! I loved Ana, and my heart just broke at the cruelty of Li and the residents of Heart. Ana and Sam have a lot of chemistry, and it was nice to see their relationship grow and change over time. Sam acts as a bit of an anchor for Ana, and she counts on him as she has counted on no one else in her life. I really enjoyed the snippets of Sam’s past lives, but it wasn’t nearly enough! I hope we learn more about him.

To be Ana, a stranger in a world where everyone has known each other for thousands of years, would be terribly frightening! I thought that Meadows did a great job in playing both sides: Not only could I relate to how Ana would feel in such a situation, but I also could empathize with the residents of Heart who were distrustful and wary of Ana’s existence. I think that only a skillful writer can accomplish such a feat!

I cannot wait to read the next book in the series, which is expected to be released in 2013 which is just way too far away! With the way this book ended, the next one promises to be exciting and tumultuous! There are a lot of unanswered questions and lots of possibilities to explore, and I am eager to see how this plays out.

And let’s not forget that gorgeous cover! That alone would suck me into buying the book.

MY RATING: 

 
5 stars! Loved it!! Thanks to both HarperCollins and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book! 

This book qualifies as:

7 comments:

  1. Great review. I definitely want to read this book.

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    1. Thanks, Megan! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!

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  2. I haven't really seen this book about much, but it sounds like a fantastic YA read.

    I couldn't help but notice how many challenges you are signed up for... what a great effort! I don't know how you keep track of them all... i find three difficult to keep on top of at times :-) best of luck with them all

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    Replies
    1. It really is a great YA book, and I hope you get a chance to read it!

      Yes, I am somewhat of a challenge addict :)

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  3. I have only read one reincarnation book and I really enjoyed it so I'm excited to read this one and I agree the cover is amazing! Thanks for the great review

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  4. I haven't really read many reincarnation books, but Incarnate sounds so good. I feel like I would feel sad for Ana, but I think that would make her triumphs all the more sweeter, ya know? Like it seems like she would really have to work for them.

    Glad to hear Incarnate is AWESOME.

    Stopping by from the Netgalley link up on Red House Books :-)

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  5. I was a little iffy going into this book, but it was great. I glad you liked it! Great review.

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