Thursday, January 5, 2012

INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows

Author:  Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katharine Tegen Books (a HarperCollins imprint)
Release Date:  January 31, 2012
Number of Pages:  384
Source of Book:  Won ARC contest from the wonderful Beth @ A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust

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 suspicious and 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.

This book is a little bit of a struggle for me to write about because I liked it, but I never fully connected with it as much as I wanted to, but I can’t pinpoint exactly why. There is a dystopic feel to this fantasy book, and it has a really intriguing premise, but there was just something about it that was a little bit off to me. It has elements of mystery, suspense, beliefs, finding strength, bravery, romance, religion, political intrigue, soulmates, and battles with fantasy creatures. The unique premise dealing with reincarnation and souls being reborn was engaging, but I’m not sure the world was fully realized for me. The plot pacing kept me turning pages and I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen next, but some of the big reveals and surprises still left me a little bit confused. Maybe that was a piece of it-I still wasn’t sure what exactly was going on by the end. Because I was left confused, and some of it seemed weirdly out of place, it was a difficult read for me; although, I loved the premise and the whole idea of what was going on with the reincarnated souls. 

I liked the characters for the most part: Ana as a “newsoul” discovering things about the world while surrounded by others who had been there before, and Sam being thousands of years old and discovering a new person for the first time. I liked their interactions and the development of their relationship and the reveals of their feelings for each other. But, it was always tempered with a niggling thought in the back of my mind that it was a little bit uncomfortable because of the emphasis on him being so old and her being so young. I guess that was what bothered me the most about this book because I wanted to like them together, but I felt like I also shouldn’t, so it made it difficult to fully get lost in the story. And I really wanted more from some of the secondary characters too because I liked the little bits I got to know about them. I’m glad I read it and I want to know what happens next because I really liked the way that Ana and Sam supported each other and the strength of their relationship by the end, but it’s the other elements of the story that make me question if I’ll read the next book or not. I've seen other reviewers who have really liked it, so maybe I just didn't "get" this particular book, or read it at the wrong time (too many dystopians in a row can do that to a reader!) Overall, I'd say check this one out from the library.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you were able to read and review this one, Jillian. I haven't read too many reviews for it yet, but I trust your judgment considering you and I have such similar reading taste. I'll have to give it a shot and see what I think.