Thursday, January 19, 2012

Incarnate review

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.

My thoughts: My feelings towards this book are still up in the air. There’s no doubt that it was good, but some parts were better than others. I was really excited when it started out. The main character is introduced, and then soon after, Sam. And the way they meet make for a seemingly interesting and entertaining future. But eventually Sam seems dull and kind of wimpy (sometimes), and Ana seems a bit repetitive, constantly saying how she's a nosoul (although Sam says newsoul), and how nosouls don't have feelings or deserve anything good to happen to them (or whatever). And then there are the creatures that exist in this world without an explanation that seems justifiable to me. 
But there are good points. The idea of “recycling” the same souls and having people who have gone from female to male, handsome to plain, fat to skinny, etc., makes things quite interesting. And having soul mates that can recognize each other in any lifetime is pretty cool.
On top of this, what's revealed in the end makes me pretty excited for the next book. The consequences of actions in Incarnate will definitely lead to big changes in the second book. But this is also why I'm still unsure of how well I liked this book. Because it feels like nothing happens until the very end. Incarnate is like one of those kinds of first books that seem more of an introduction than the first part of a story. Overall, I'm still hooked enough to want to read the second book, but with some reservations.
Additional note: This book does get cool points for the way all the characters (excluding Ana of course), and especially Sam, behaved. Something that annoys me is when characters are supposed to be hundreds or thousands of years old, but don’t seem different than a regular teenager. In Incarnate, you can definitely tell Sam, among others, are the ages they claim to be. It was actually really refreshing.

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