Incarnate (Newsoul #1)
by Jodi Meadows
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: January 31st 2012 by HarperCollins Children's Books
Source: ARC from NetGalley
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.
I was hoping to finish my 2011 Dystopia Reading Challenge when I chose to read this. I don't know what got me into thinking that this was a dystopian, but it was more fantasy with a dash of mystery, utopian and weird. But whatever the genres really are, I have mixed feelings about everything in the book. I've read a lot of paranormal books about reincarnation, but the difference between them and Incarnate is that the characters in this book remember their past lives.
Everyone except Anna has been living for thousands of years. Their bodies die but their souls are immortal. The characters just keep being reborn, like they're being recycled. It's weird because there's a chance that your lover from a previous life can be your offspring in another life. Your lover can be reborn into the same gender as you are. And you can be reborn into a different gender. The characters even own both male and female clothings. They also keep journals and even collect their remains from previous lives.
And while others might enjoy the other elements in the story, such as the Heart, sylphs and dragons, I didn't quite enjoy them. I even found myself falling asleep a number of times while reading this. It was a little hard to connect with the characters as well. Sam didn't appeal to me, though I did kinda like Anna. She's eighteen, technically an adult, but compared to the rest of the characters' experience and age, she's still a baby to them. I like how her innocence was portrayed. It was real, but did not border on annoyingly childish.
Overall, I think Incarnate has a great potential. I might have fallen asleep while reading this, but there were also parts that had me alert and on the edge of my seat. And although I have mixed feelings about the characters, I love, love, loved the development in Anna's character and I'm still very much interested to know what will happen to her and Sam as well as how the rest of the story will play out.
Rating: 3/5 stars
Disclosure: This e-galley was received from the publisher (HarperCollins via NetGalley) for free in exchange for an honest review.