Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review: Incarnate (Newsoul, #1) by Jodi Meadows

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
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.
Review:

I've been looking forward to reading Incarnate by Jodi Meadows ever since I first heard about it. The premise sounded amazing, and I'm always on the lookout for new authors. Plus I just adored the cover! As it turns out, Incarnate by Jodi Meadows was an enjoyable and well developed debut, even though it was a bit slow to start in the beginning. 

Incarnate introduces the character Ana, the first new soul in thousands and thousands of years. From the first page, I was instantly captured by her voice and I looked forward to finding out more about her and her past. However, it took me a while to truly like Ana. She's someone who is incredibly broken. She's never truly been loved and cherished in her life, and more times than one she's been left to fend for herself, especially when it involves her mother. Therefore, Ana doesn't trust easily nor does she really let herself live in the moment, and while there was times where I wanted nothing more than to shake her on the shoulders, and tell her to live her live to the fullest, I understood where she was coming from, which made the point where she finally let loose so to say all the better. The development of Ana as a character was seriously one of the best parts of the book, because not only was her trip emotional, but it also was worthwhile and interesting to see. Along with Anna came Sam, an old soul who takes Ana under his wing. Sam was someone who I instantly adored from the start. He was sweet and kind, and I just loved the way he was with Ana. Better yet, I adored the wide variety of characters that came with his entrance. Everyone of his friends were even more interesting, diverse, and likable than the one before, and even his enemies brought a lot to the table.

The world in Incarnate was another high point. I always enjoyed finding out more about heart and its creatures as well as the rules and customs it has developed over time. I also liked hearing more about Jonah and what his character meant for the rest of the souls, especially Ana. Actually, the most interesting thing about Jonah was how he was Heart's "god" so to say and his word was what they followed. It was a religion in someways and not in others, but either way, it introduced an unique aspect to the novel. 

The plot of the book was the only part where I was iffy about. The premise was amazing don't get me wrong. The idea of souls reincarnating over and over was fascinating, and ideas and mysterious behind Ana's soul were even more so. The story, though, just took a while to get going. A lot of the first chapters developed the characters and Heart, and while that was essential to the book, I would have loved a little more action thrown in. However, by the end, everything was at an equal spot character, development, and plot wise, and I couldn't be happier that I stuck with it. 

Lastly, Jodi Meadows writing in this was fantastic. She did a fabulous job of creating Ana's character in way that made her realistic given her surroundings but also likable, and I also enjoyed how much detail and time she put into everything. And that ending?! Seriously spectacular! I can't wait to see what happens next.

While Incarnate is a slow building novel, it truly becomes one of a kind by the end! So my advice? Get your hands on a copy and give it a try. It may take some effort to get through the first half, but trust me: it's all worth it in the end.

Grade: B+

Incarnate (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads) is now out!

Source: Publisher via Netgalley (Thanks HarperTeen!)

More about the author/book: website/twitter/facebook fan page

3 comments:

  1. Very thoughtful review. This is one of the next books on my to be read pile. Good to know it took a bit to get in to. I'll be sure to stick with it.

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  2. I loved this book a lot more than I thought I would. My expectations were not very high, and I was so pleasantly surprised. I loved the writing and world-building. Great review.

    Karis @YA Litwit

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  3. I didn't enjoy this one as much as I had hoped, but I agree with what you said about the writing- it was fantastic! Thanks for a great and honest review, Lauren!

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