Thank you YABC and Katherine Tegen Books for this ARC. *flails*
I really enjoyed Incarnate (especially Sam) and was so excited when I found out I would have the chance to read Asunder early. I made some tea, slipped on my fingerless "Ana" gloves that I asked a friend to knit for me, settled into my favorite reading spot and proceeded to get nervous. Why? Well, I was afraid of the sophomore slump. What if I didn't like it? What if Sam gets eaten by a dragon or a Sylph sneezes and burns all of Heart down?
I should've known I had nothing to worry about especially when Jodi Meadows didn't even make me wait 10 pages before the kissing began! *smiles REALLY big* The pacing is perfect and the world building detailed. I laughed, I cried and I was completely freaked out by the temple and those creepy heartbeat walls. *thumpthump thumpthump*
I love how smart, strong and selfless Ana is and that she's willing to stand up for others no matter the cost and trust me, there is great sacrifice in this book. *cries* I also enjoy her reactions to new and unfamiliar things; one scene in particular had me laughing so hard I cried.
"...someone would be in charge of shutting the door." pg. 83 (ARC)
I appreciate that Ana's relationship with Sam has been allowed to develop and grow in a way that feels realistic. He supports and encourages her but he's also patient. He knows how difficult her life has been and that it's not easy for her to love or allow herself to be loved. Sam has faith in Ana and believes she is capable of far more than anyone could've imagined. Their relationship gets tested in ways that I thought would break my heart for sure. (I tend to get a little attached to fictional characters.) In one particularly heart-wrenching moment, where Ana really needs Sam to come through for her, I found myself walking away from Asunder until I was sure I would be able to handle the outcome. (Like I said, "attached") Sam always wants to do right by Ana and it's not hard to understand why everyone falls in love with him, I mean, I think there's only a handful of people in Heart who aren't in love with him. Clearly, they are the real nosouls. *winks*
Asunder really is a fabulous sequel and it reads like a beautiful orchestral piece. (OK, I realize that sentence and my fancy word usage may not make sense even though it does in my head, but I really did feel like I was reading a song, or listening to one of Dossam's masterpieces.) Incarnate readers who were left wondering about slyph, the fate of newsouls or how the heck this whole reincarnation trend got started in the first place need not worry. All of those questions (and then some) are answered but you probably want to make sure you have tissues handy.