Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: January 31, 2012
374 pages, Newsoul series
Rating: 4 stars
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“There's always the option of deciding for yourself who you are and what you'll become.”
― Jodi Meadows, Incarnate
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 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? (Goodreads)
Incarnate was a phenomenal read. Anything with dragons and a masquerade is most likely my kind of book. I was surprised by its mixed reviews. It was such a fascinating read and the world Meadows built was breathtakingly beautiful. I can see why many people might find it a little strange. I mean, Sam has lived many lifetimes and is actually very old despite his young looks while Ana is only 18 years old. Plus, people have been reincarnated as different genders, so everyone has been both female and male. But I didn't find this unsettling. First of all, we all love vampire romances, and vampires are just as old, if not older, as Sam. And I found the reincarnation insanely creative and amusing as people were romantically involved in one life and related in another.
The world Meadows builds in Incarnate is wild. It has so many otherworldly creatures, like sylph, unicorns, centaurs, and dragons. The city of Heart is actually alive, and its walls have a pulse. Everything outside the city walls has a deadly beauty. There were some creepy aspects. A doorless temple rising endlessly into the sky, an empty city just waiting for settlers, and the haunting moans of the sylph.
Ana and Sam were wonderful together. As anybody can tell from earlier books I've read, I love me some romance though it isn't necessary for an awesome book. This romance developed at a leisurely place, but that made it all the more meaningful. Sam was such a sweetie, and I found myself sympathizing with Ana. She had been through a lot after being raised by a hateful mother. Li was one evil b***h. Despite all of her years of suffering, Ana managed to be strong. She really was a lovely character.
And the masquerade. Got to love the masquerade. My favorite scene in the entire book!
I would have liked a little more action. And I don't mean Sam and Ana ripping each other's clothes off. There were a couple of dragon fights and sylph attacks, but I wanted to see more creatures and interactions between Ana and other characters. There was a lot of scenes with Sam and Ana, and also Stef and Sine from time to time, but I wanted more about the other characters. I know. I'm greedy. I have so many questions unanswered as well. About Heart, the reincarnations, the fantasy creatures, but I'm sure they'll be answered in the upcoming books.
Overall, Incarnate was a fantastic read and I'd recommend it to any YA fantasy lovers. I cannot wait for the sequel Asunder which is expected on January 29, 2013!