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Incarnate (Review)

Author(s)Jodi Meadows
Edition: ARC, 384 pages
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Source: Part of Book Tour

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The Summary
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?

My Opinion
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows has been one of the big talked about debut books of 2012, and I was really excited to be a part of the awesome book tour that Yara over at Once Upon a Twilight hosted.  It was exciting for two reasons: (1) I really wanted to read the book, (2) It is on my 2012 Debut Author Challenge.  Score!

I had mixed feelings about the book after reading it.  I really liked the premise, and I felt there were some interesting moral/ethical questions brought up with the introduction of this "newsoul" in this city filled by reincarnated people.  The plot was most likely my favorite part, even if the "action" was slow coming.  As the first book in a series, I often expect there to be more world development and less action, so that didn't bother me.

I really liked Ana as a protagonist.  The reader sees her grow into herself, and find a place within Heart, but at the same time, compared to the other residents, she is still a baby.  It's an interesting juxtaposition.  I also like Sam.  He isn't a really "swoon-worthy" male lead, but he is so sweet to Ana.  I think the other interesting thing that Meadows did was not keep the characters one sex.  In each incarnation they could switch from male to female, female to male, or stay the same.  It's interesting because the characters will often have memories and opinions based on that previous incarnation.  It's also interesting to think of gender this way because what really makes you, you?

But the thing that kept tripping me up was the writing style.  It was all at once archaic sounding but very simplistic.  I felt it had a lot of exposition and not much feeling.  It was stilted in places and never really flowed the way I wish it did.  It just didn't groove, and because of that I kept being jolted out of the story.

Overall, I think it was a solid debut.  It didn't blow me away, but I did enjoy it.  Because this is the first book in the planned series, I definitely want to see where Meadows ends up.  I think Incarnate had a ton of potential, and hopefully, in book two, it will shine a little more.
Final Rating
Book Cover: 5/5
Book Title: 5/5
Plot: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Writing: 6/10
Ending: 7/10
Overall: 39/50: C+

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