Incarnate — Jodi Meadows

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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?

A million souls exist in Range. Each year, these same souls are reborn into different bodies. Until the year Ana is born. No one knows Ana and she has never lived before. And her existence means someone has stopped existing: Ciana. The other souls resent Ana for taking the place of one of their friends, someone they’ve known for thousands of years, and they’re wary of Ana. Will she be reborn after this life? Is there any point in getting close to her without knowing for sure if she’ll remain a permanent fixture in their lives? Sam seems to think so, but in a world where every seems to hate her, Ana’s not sure she can trust Sam.

Incarnate is an incredibly interesting and unique idea. After reading it, I’m surprised reincarnation hasn’t been further explored. Meadows creates a fascinating world, but as fascinating as it is, I thought she could have taken it further. She raises so many questions throughout the novel and some of the big reveals feel kind of disappointing and rushed. Everything about Incarnate is so new and the entire world is especially new to Ana, making her a perfectly relatable protagonist. She’s insanely curious, which should be beneficial for the reader. But as Ana searches for answers she doesn’t find until the very end, the suspense and sense of mystery keep building and building, leading up to a huge revelation. While the revelation is unpredictable, I just expected more from it.

One thing I really appreciate about Incarnate is the way Meadows makes you question everything and everyone. Ana is a naturally distrustful character, for good reasons, so it takes a lot for her to open up to people. Sam and his friends work hard to really earn Ana’s and our trust. Then Meadows manages to sweep the carpet out from under all of us, making us doubt everything we learn about the characters. It’s so rare that I feel that unsure, that I have no idea where the plot is going, and I commend Meadows for being able to surprise me so much.

There’s a lot to like about Incarnate. Every aspect of the novel is refreshing. The world of Range, and specifically the city of Heart, is a breath of fresh air, with it’s new traditions, customs, and overall different way of life. The mystery surrounding sylph still plagues my mind and the small portion of science behind the reincarnation piques my curiosity. The story incorporates its own new religion and raises questions about faith and belief. Basically, its a book that really makes you think, even after you finish it. If you’re growing wearing of vampires, angels, and the typical paranormal romances, then don’t hesitate to pick up Incarnate, as it’ll offer something you probably haven’t seen before.

Pages: 384
Publication Date : January 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Challenge: Debut Author
Rating [rating: 3.5]

Teaser Quote: “I desperately wanted to be someone else for a while, and for no one to know who I was. What I was. Nosoul.”

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