Title: Incarnate (Newsoul #1)
Author: Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: January 31, 2012
NEWSOULAna 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.NOSOULEven 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?HEARTSam 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 one, 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.
Like many books in my house, Incarnate had been sitting unread on my shelves for a long time. But book club made it so I finally had to read it, and I found myself pleasantly surprised. Though I wasn't sold on the premise when I first started reading, but the end I was totally loving Incarnate.
Ana isn't like everyone else. She hasn't lived through hundreds of lifetimes and reincarnations. When Ana was born, a soul mysteriously disappeared, and no one really knows or understands how Ana came to be. Her whole life, people have been afraid of her, afraid of what her existence might mean for everyone else in Range. Determined to finally get some answers about who she is, Ana travels to the city of Heart. But there are some obstacles along the way, and there are many people who want to stop her. Sam, though, is willing to stand up for her, to do what it takes to convince everyone that Ana's soul is good. And with Sam by her side, Ana is ready to take on anything.
I'll admit I wasn't completely sold on the premise of Jodi Meadows' Incarnate, but after hearing a lot of positive things about the book I decided to buy a copy anyway. And then it sat on my self, unread, for the better part of the last two years because I pretty much forgot about it. But my book club chose it as one of our books and I was finally reading Incarnate. And the more I read, the more the premise grew on me, until I was completely engrossed in the story. The way Jodi Meadows tackled the topic of reincarnation was really interesting and I was fascinated. In this world, a finite set of souls keeps getting reincarnated over and over again, well at least until Ana comes along. That means that everyone has known each other and been together pretty much since the beginning of time. So basically, in one lifetime you might be paired off with the person who was your "parent" or your "child" in a previous lifetime. That aspect of it all really made me think and that's ultimately made me really like Incarnate. It got me thinking all philosophically about it all and I loved it. And the most interesting aspect was how Ana fit into all of this.
Ana was an interesting character on more than one level. On one level, Ana herself made me want to root for her. I wanted her to find out who she was an how she fit into Range. I wanted people to come around to her side, and I wanted her to get what she wanted as far as Sam was concerned. Because Sam was kinda perfect for Ana and in my opinion they just needed to be together. On a different level, Ana was interesting as a piece of the world she lived in. In the world of Incarnate, Ana is what upset the status quo. In a world that had been the same for thousands of years, Ana was unexpected and she altered the basic functioning of her society. Again, this was all just interesting to think about and made the story that much more engaging.
Had I known how much I would enjoy Jodi Meadows' Incarnate, I would have read it sooner. But as they say, hindsight is 20/20. This was s tory that had the kind of romance I love, and a world that fascinated me and had me thinking long after I was finished reading. If you haven't already given Incarnate a chance, I strongly urge you to do so.