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Saturday, July 7, 2012

[Review] Incarnate (Newsoul, #1) by Jodi Meadows

Title: Incarnate
Series: Newsoul, #1
Author: Jodi Meadows
Pages: 374 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: January 31, 2012

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

Jodi Meadows has created an utterly unique, fascinating, and captivating world in Incarnate. It's magical, yet scientific, and I couldn't help but be drawn into it. There are exactly 1 million souls which have been reborn into new bodies over the past 5,000 years. That is until Ana is born. Her birth was suppose to signify the return of a soul named Ciana, but instead a new soul emerged. What happened to Ciana? Where did Ana come from? It's one big mystery, and the citizens of Heart do not like it one bit. Ana has been isolated from society her entire life, with only her cruel mother for company. Finally, on her 18th birthday, Ana sets out on her own in order to discover where she came from and if there might be more newsouls out there.

Dragons! There are dragons flying around in Range! They might be vicious, destructive creatures, but they're still awesome. This world is packed with supposedly mythical creatures: unicorns, trolls, griffin, and centaurs. We never get to see any of these, but they are mentioned. However, there's a few run ins with the ever dangerous sylphs. All of these fantastical creatures had me wondering where and when this book takes place. Is it the distant future on Earth? The present of another planet? An alternate reality? There's such an interesting mix of ancient creatures and modern technology (laser pistols!) that it's hard to imagine where we are in time and space. That doesn't distract from the story though. In fact, I think it adds another fun layer to everything.

I know I've only raved about the world so far, and not the story, but I was majorly impressed with the world presented here. There's enough detail to be able to picture it and understand how it works, but still enough mystery to want to learn more. I do think it overshadowed the actual plot and characters though.

Incarnate is an impressive and magical debut. The imaginative subject of reincarnation most definitely makes this stand out from everything else being published today. While the story make take the back seat to the world building, it was still a wonderful read. I'm eager to know what comes next for Ana and Sam, and to find out more about the city of Heart and Souls Night.

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