Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.
This book surprised me on many levels. First of all, Incarnate looks like your average young adult dystopian novel, maybe excepting the beautiful cover. But really, fantasy is the main genre, with souls, sylph, and dragons, as the theme of the story.
Series: Newsoul, Book 1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
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.
This book surprised me on many levels. First of all, Incarnate looks like your average young adult dystopian novel, maybe excepting the beautiful cover. But really, fantasy is the main genre, with souls, sylph, and dragons, as the theme of the story. The concept is really original, and although it might seems confusing, it is described like a well-written time travel novel–complex but understandable.
However, Incarnate did loose one star because of the lack of excitement and slow plot. Until the end, most of the story is slow-going, with short bursts of interest in the form of violent fights or romantic scenes.
The best part was the wonderful message and fantastic quotes about believing in yourself, and the idea that souls can fall in love no matter what shell they are in, whether ugly, fat, old, or same gender. They were specific to the story, but could also be applied to everyday life.
“There’s always the option of deciding for yourself who you are and what you’ll become.”
“I’m not going to waste time being angry about things I can’t control. If I only have one life, I should make the most of it.”
The descriptions of music, Ana and Sam’s favorite activity, were also stunning.
“Music overwhelmed me, soaked into my skin like water. I didn’t have words for the squiggles and dashes across the pages, or the way his fingers stretched across the keys to make my heart race. If I could hear only one thing for the rest of my life, this was what I wanted.”
“I closed my eyes during a flute solo, wishing I could wrap the silvery sound around me like armor.”
The romance was perfect. It was sweet and paced realistically, a wonderful example of true first love. Sam was the best sort of love interest, seeming to know exactly what was necessary in the moment. One of my favorite things he told Ana was:
“I was teasing about that. Unless you were looking forward to it. Then I meant every word.”
Although I loved the language and themes presented in Incarnate, I don’t think I will continue the series for the time being (although I really would like to find out what happens). The genre was not my favorite, with the odd combination of fantasy and dystopia, but everything else blew me away.