Review: Incarnate

Incarnate (Newsoul #1) by Jodi Meadows
Release Date ~ January 31, 2012
Katherine Tegen ~ HarperCollins
ISBN13: 9780062060754
ARC received from HarperCollins Canada

Goodreads Synopsis:

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?
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.

Reincarnation? Yeah, we've all read those books before. A book filled with creepy paranormal activity and soulmates complete with insta-love. Or so I thought prior to reading Incarnate...

Whatever impressions I had of Incarnate prior to reading it were absolutely blown away. This is an incredible, outstanding debut and the extent of Jodi's creativity and talent is extensive.

  1. A fantasy world:
    I was expecting Incarnate to be another paranormal (a GOOD paranormal, but still a paranormal romance) but I quickly realized I was wrong; the world of Incarnate is this mystical creation positively oozing creativity! The world building and explanation of the background was nearly flawless, as it's complicated enough to leave some mystery but never becomes convoluted. And the setting is so unlike any other I've ever read about; it's honestly worth reading Incarnate for this reason alone. But thankfully, there are others to take it over the top. The story itself also raises some great questions about love and even faith, and that sense of not quite fitting in. So, so beautiful.
  2. Truly swoon-worthy romance:I told Jodi this on Twitter, but she honestly wrote one of my favourite kissing scenes EVER. It was so well done, and I love that she took the time in Incarnate to build up the tension and anticipation leading up towards it. The whole romantic plot felt so natural but also didn't feel exaggerated; Ana doesn't spend all of her time obsessing over her new crush, which is a relief. Plus, Sam makes such a great love interest. He's really very sweet and totally crush-worthy. *melts into a puddle of lovesick goop*
  3. Some well-rounded characters:
    Initially I was on the fence trying to decide how I felt about Ana, but she won me over. I think it took some time for her to really develop as a character, but by the end I was impressed with how well-developed quite a few of the characters were, and in particular Sam and Ana. Plus, Ana and I totally ended up seeing eye-to-eye on what some of the issues and complications were of this concept of reincaranation. And I LOVED that she was willing to question those things and ask hard questions.
  4. Fantastic, creative premise:
    Incarnate really is one of the most imaginative books I've read; and I love that it's been released now because I kind of felt like I was in a rut of reading the same types of books over and over. So hurray for a new one that really stands out among the rest! It was a great take on reincarnation and I love the amount of thought that Jodi put into it.
  5. Jodi's writing style:
    Plus I really loved Jodi's writing, I thought it was so smooth and the book had such a natural flow to it. It's impossible to put down, and I liked how I was able to pick up on the voices of the different characters.
There were a few secondary characters that I felt could have been fleshed out a bit more, but I'm hoping to see more of them in the next books. And it was fairly minor in the big scheme of things.

It's true love for Incarnate. I'll be counting down to the sequel and anxiously trying to find time for a reread with this one!

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Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

I am so excited to pick this book up, I've only heard good things. And really?! Best kissing scene you've read! Oh now I definitely have to get this! Great review!

Brenna said...

@Andrea: Okay, I should clarify... it wasn't THE BEST scene I've ever read, but it was up there! I thought it was very well done, and I would have to keep it in mind for a top 10 list altough I don't think it would make the #1 slot :)

Unknown said...

Before your review I was so iffy on picking up Incarnate. Sure, I'd read other good reviews, but I've recently read like 4 books that have dealt with souls/reincarnation and it's been bumming me out because most of them haven't been that great. But what I love about your reviews are that they are straightforward with your "Reasons to Read". Ok, you've convinced me, I'll give it a try :)

Lexie said...

I really need to read this one. I've heard fantastic things about it, the cover is beyond gorgeous, and Jodi is awesome. I need this book.

Awesome review. :D (Now I'm really looking forward to that kissing scene . . . )

Victoria Scott said...

Love your "reasons to read." So fun!!! GREAT blog! :)

Anna @ Literary Exploration said...

I'm so bummed I have to wait so long to read the next one!!! SUCH A DISAPPOINTMENT! I loved this book, it was amazing!!!

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