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Fantasy Book Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate is the most unique storyline I’ve ever read!

Book Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

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incarnate jodi meadows

Title & Author: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Genre: YA- Science Fiction/Fantasy

Release Date: January 31, 2012

Series: 1nd in a planned series (Newsoul)

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

How I Got the Book: ARC from the Publisher

Description:

“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?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.”

In Love with Incarnate

Just like falling in love for the first time, Incarnate was sweet, surprising and a glorious novelty. I’ve never read a book as unique or original as this one: Ana lives in a world where the same million souls are reincarnated over and over again. She’s the only new soul to have “been born” in thousands of years, which makes her public enemy Number One.

There’s something so amazing about the written simplicity of this potentially complex idea – reincarnation. Some of the most interesting descriptions in the book are when people who have hundreds of past lives describe looking at old photos of their past selves, having been reborn as both men AND women.

Meadows seamlessly invites the reader to believe in the world of Range – a land devastated by deadly dragons and a society that faithfully trusts in their all-knowing creator Janan and mistrusts Ana the Newsoul because their fear more souls will appear as old souls are replaced.

I also love how everything is new for Ana. She brings life to the “old souls” she meets because all of the experiences that they’ve taken for granted are a novelty to her, like learning to dance or participating in the ancient traditions of Range.

YA/Science Fiction Revival

Incarnate is sort of “science fiction lite.” It has science fiction-y elements (reincarnation) mixed in with a little fantasy (slyphs, dragons) that make just the right cocktail of awesomeness. I was blown away by this book – it’s complex and rich and beautiful.

All that and I haven’t even mentioned the romance blossoming in this book. AMAZING! It sort of sneaks up on you (even though you probably see it coming). It is a little weird if you factor in all the past lives involved (we’re talking a SERIOUS age difference), but it totally worked.

Basically what I’m saying is – science fiction has never been so accessible in YA lately. Add in a hot romance, a couple of dragons and some futuristic themes and we are good to go!! No, but seriously, there’s a ton of science fiction creeping into young adult books, and it’s nice to see the shift there.

OVERALL:

I want to have Incarnate’s baby. Then it would REALLY be Incarnate (get it? like, in the flesh?…ok I’m stopping now). But seriously, this novel was carefully crafted, tapping into real emotions like betrayal, passion and rejection. I also loved Ana – she is the ultimate hero, as she simply lives life to the fullest. Incarnate was simply stunning.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
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