Monday, September 17, 2012

Incarnate by: Jodi Meadows

Title: Incarnate
Author: Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 374
Format: Hardcover
Series: New Soul (#1)

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.

My thoughts:

This book has recently been published in Turkish, and I picked it up as soon as it came out. The people in the world Meadows has created are very old people. They might be in a young body, even a baby's body, but they're very, very old souls. When someone dies, they reincarnate in a different body. Until, that is, our main character Ana is born. 

She's a "new soul," and her being born means an old soul is gone forever. Li, who gave Ana birth, moves somewhere outside the city because she's ashamed of having given birth to a new soul. She treats Ana terribly, and when Ana turns 18, she decides to go to the city to find out where she came from, why and whether or not she'll come back when she dies. At the beginning of her journey she gets in trouble and meets an old soul, Sam, whom she later falls in love with.

The rest is Ana's search for herself, filled with mythical creatures like fairies and dragons. I was most interested in the old souls. Once one's born in a male's body, the next time they might be in a woman's. Everyone remembers what they've learned and experienced. We're talking 3000+ years of knowledge and memories! This also means that if you're not getting along well with someone, there's no getting rid of them because you'll both be coming back, remembering why you hated one another in the first place. As a fan of fantasy stories, I'm used to immortal characters. But I never thought immortality would be handled like it is in Incarnate.

Whether she did it knowingly or not, the author also emphasizes something important: even though people might live 3000+ years one way or the other, some things do not change. The characters in the book haven't changed or really 'grown up' over the years. They can all say "he was always like that" about one another, and when you think about how long that "always" has been for them, it just blows your mind.

If, like me, you like to wreck your brain with this kind of thing, I believe you will very much enjoy Incarnate.
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