Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release date: January 31, 2012
Source: Publisher via NetGalley/Won
Series: Newsoul #1
Purchase: Book Depository
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 absolutely adored this book. I wanted to tear through it to know what happens, and to take my time and savor it. This is YA fantasy at its best. Incarnate is set it in Heart, and the people of Heart have mostly modern technology, but are surrounded on the outside by fantastical creatures like dragons and sylph, among others. A seamless blend between the real world and a fantasy world, Jodi Meadows is great at worldbuilding.
Great questions are also introduced in this book. Where did Ana come from, will there be more like her? Even though we know about evolution and/or creation, depending on your viewpoint, there’s still that eternal question of how and why. Ana’s quest to find out who she is and why she is there is one we’re all on at some point in our lives. I’ve never read a book quite like this, and I love that reincarnation is featured. Ana’s quest of course takes her to Heart, and she meets Sam on the way. And while she does eventually find the information she seeks in a twist near the end, the book mainly focuses on the romance between Ana and Sam.
And boy let me tell you, that was my favorite part about the book. Ana and Sam have made my nonexistent list that I need to write down of YA couples I absolutely love! It’s not insta-love, but it is insta-attraction that leads to love throughout the book through small touches and looks, and eventually at a masquerade ball it finally becomes evident that despite what everyone else might think, they want to be together.
I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed and came out of nowhere. Some questions are answered, but a few new ones pop up as well, which is to be expected with a series. I seriously cannot wait until I can devour the next book though. This is a definite must read for any YA fantasy fan!