Asunder continues the story of Ana, a Newsoul, the first one born in thousands of years among the people of Heart, but in this book, she is no longer alone. Other newsouls are being born to replace the souls that disappeared during the chaos of the last book, when there was Templedark. Many people hate Ana and the newsouls, but others stand by her and defend the new people. Still, it's hard being the odd man out when everyone has known each other for centuries; it makes life a little difficult when you're experiencing things that other people have experienced time and time again.
I think Meadows handles Ana's youth and inexperience very well, and she is a likable character who is easy to relate to. She's a lovely female protagonist who doesn't have to rely on being awesome at fighting in order to garner praise. Not that I'm against a tough action-girl, I just like it when a female character appears who doesn't have to prove her worth through battle. Sam is still fantastic in this book, and I love the relationship between him and Ana so much. Other new characters are also lots of fun, and the plot is riveting and well-paced. I recommend this book to teens and adults who are into dystopians, sci-fi and fantasy. This trilogy is one of those YA must-haves for any Young Adult section at a library!
Asunder broke my heart, mended it, then shattered it again. My heart's current state: pieced together in all the wrong places. Just like in Incarnate , Jodi Meadows has somehow put music into words. I loved everything about this book. The story, character, world - just everything.
After Templedark, Ana was discriminated more than ever in Heart, some people even tried to physically attack her. However, she handled everything perfectly. Ana's one of the purest characters I've ever come across and her kindness and selflessness was reflected in her every action. She's not perfect (evident in what she did to Meuric back in Incarnate), just a very good person. Although she continues to struggle with the effects of her cruel upbringing, she slowly learns and grows with her experiences and the encouragement of Sam and her other friends.
Talking about Sam, I know I've said this before in my review of Incarnate , but his sensitivity and love of music really sets him apart from the typical buff, tough and rough guys found in YA books. It's interesting that not only is he helping Ana develop, but she is changing him for the better too. Being with Ana made Sam realise that he was capable of so much more than just making music, that he can be brave and strong. This mutual development strengthens their relationship and made it all the more endearing.
It's hard to describe the plot without giving spoilers but basically, it felt like I was thrown a whole bunch of puzzle pieces and as the story progressed, the pieces fitted themselves together. Mystery practically radiated from the book and the end was completely satisfying. The truth about Janan and reincarnation would be revealed, be prepared. Moreover, I loved the part about sylph. I won't say how everything is linked, but the ending (concerning sylph) really broke my heart.
Wherever the story goes from here, I just can't wait to find out. Jodi Meadows have the amazing ability to end off with a hooking conclusion without needing some crazy cliffhanger. You'll get a partial sense of closure so you wouldn't die from shock. I am definitely thanking her for not temporarily killing my mind like other authors with their cliffhangers. So now my wait for the finale of the trilogy begins. 2014 simply cannot come soon enough.
Jodi Meadows writes some of my favorite book scenes and she writes some of the best musical scenes! I can almost hear the music swirling around me when I read those passages. Her descriptions are really wonderful and magical; love it. The first book was mostly very beautiful, but this book takes quite a different turn and is full of angry people and scenes that make me really angry, but it does show how ugly people really can be just because someone is different.
I really like Ana. She is very strong and fights for whatever she believes in. She has a good heart and wants the best for everyone, even after everything the people of Heart put her through. Much of this book left me feeling very angry because how Ana is treated and it really made my blood boil. I don’t like when people discriminate the way they do. Sam is great also, I still love him and he is still one of my top book boyfriends. He is just so amazingly sweet and loyal to Ana. Dear Council, I hate you.
There were some interesting story twists along the way and I really can’t wait until the third book, which is sometime next year, and see how everything works out. Religion is not something I seek out in a book, but I like how this book has a religious aspect without it being overkill. This book is definitely easy to get yourself lost in and I didn’t want to put it down; it just really sucks you in.
Beautiful descriptions, bubbles emotion, great characters, didn’t want to put it down!
Incarnate was hands down the most unique book I read last year. It had dragons, fantastical equivalents to iPhone's (the SED), music, reincarnation, music, a mysterious higher power, a masquerade ball, music, and a to-die-for hot guy. Seriously, you can’t get any cooler than that. And while I had a couple issues with it, mostly concerning unanswered questions, I loved it and went into Asunder with high hopes and a long list of questions. I was so happy to discover that what awaited me exceeded my expectations and answered every single question, while raising even more.
I liked the plot even more in Asunder than in Incarnate, because now that Ana has come to terms with who she is and learned more about the secrets of the temple, she’s putting her knowledge to good use. One problem I had with her in the first book is that she seemed kind of whiny, but not anymore!
Oh Sam. You’re amazing! Even though Ana pushes you around sometimes, you’re amazing. You might even make mistakes that bug me, but that’s okay. I still think it’s weird that you used to be a girl, and were in love with a bunch of other people, and still claim that you’re in in love with Ana, but actions speak louder than words. You treat Ana like a gem. You respect her and protect her and I love that about you. But if you stop it with Ana, I’m still available.
*ends swooning over fictional boy*
I love the symbolism in each of these books. Incarnate was obviously butterflies, and in this one it’s roses. That symbolism is played throughout the story. The way the roses came into play was very interesting, and made me curious as to what symbols we might find in Book #3.
I loved learning all the mysteries behind the Sylph, Janan. and the Temple. My jaw was literally dropping as I read. I’m still trying to figure out some things, but I think it’ll take until Book #3 comes out for anything to be settled. Seriously, my head is still spinning and I read this a month ago!
Asunder was simply breathtaking. By the time I reached the final page I was immediately craving the sequel. Asunder took everything I loved about Incarnate and fixed everything that didn't work in Incarnate to create a novel of epic proportions. Asunder is one of the few sequels that outshine their predecessors.
I am warning you that there will be spoilers for Incarnate!
After the catastrophe that was Templedark, many people that died became darksouls (souls who wouldn't reincarnate). Ana has become a scapegoat and people are getting suspicious of her. Many of the citizens of Heart start to feel more contempt for Ana when she figures out how to interact with sylphs in a new way. Ana is still struggling to fit in Heart, to fall in love, and to be accepted. I don't want to say much more about the plot because I am afraid of giving something major away.
I love the world Meadows created immensely because it is just so brilliantly done. Heart is a place that I can vividly picture due to the spectacular imagery Meadows wrote in the New Soul trilogy. Any complaints or questions I had about the world building were either fixed or answered. Heart is unlike any other setting I have ever read about because it is so exquisite. I can't wait to find out what other secrets are hidden in Heart in book 3.
All the characters in Asunder are nothing short of spectacular. My favorites are Sam and Ana because their relationship is truly touching. I don't think I have ever been so engrossed in a character's romance. I got so involved to the point when I wanted to jump into Asunder and shout at all the New Soul haters. It sounds crazy but that is the kind of raw emotion I experienced when reading Asunder. I really enjoyed learning more about our protagonists and I hope their relationship remains intact. I love reading books where the villains are absolutely terrifying and Asunder features villains that were horrifyingly wicked.
Asunder is a breath-taking romance that swept me away! I was completely immersed in the beautiful world of Asunder and I couldn't stop reading. I was so compelled to read Asunder that by the time that it was over I craved a sequel desperately. I was immersed in Asunder that I didn't really care about the world around me. I could have read Asunder through an earthquake without even noticing because it is that compelling. Nothing else mattered to me but Ana and Heart while reading Asunder. Asunder is that gripping that you'll want to read it one sitting.
I truly loved learning more about Janan, Slyphs, and just Heart in general. The mythology of Heart that Meadows created was really interesting to read about and was one of my favorite parts of Asunder. One of my original complaints about Incarnate is that I didn't really understand the reincarnation, Janan or the slyphs. Meadow's explanation of reincarnation was truly haunting and unforgettable. Heart is no longer that the lovely city I wanted to live in book 1, now it's a place full of deceit and lies. I am so desperately to find out what secrets the walls of Heart would reveal if they could talk (for those of you read Incarnate, that was a joke meant for you!).
Meadows's latest book turned me into someone what of an emotional train-wreck I desperately need book 3 to the point where I am ready to resort to begging. I am almost 100% positive that book 3 will be called Ascend and if you've read Asunder you can probably guess why. Asunder is my favorite book I have read so far in 2013 and it is one of the best dystopian books ever written period. That shocking plot twist revealed is haunting me still days after finishing Asunder. Words fail to describe the awesomeness that is Asunder. No words could express how much I enjoyed reading Asunder and how much I desperately need to read the 3rd book. I beg thee Harper Teen to release the cover or title soon because I dying of suspense. I am convinced that the wait till book 3 is released is some new form of intense torture that is tearing me apart.
I won an ARC copy of glorious book through Zach's YA Reviews. Winning this book for free has in no way influenced my review or opinion.
Blurb from Goodreads:
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.
In this second book in the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.
Wow, where to even start with this book? I am not sure. I was anticipating so much with this one. I read Incarnate as soon as it was released, so my wait for this seemed so long. But boy oh boy was it worth it! I mean, I didn't think Jodi Meadows could write something that could outdo her first book. And I was surely hoping this book would not suffer from the middle book syndrome that so many trilogies fall under. I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only was this book more awesome than the first, but it did not falter in providing a great story that kept me just as captivated as the first!
So, of course, I must talk about the cover of this book. When I first saw the cover for Incarnate, I could not help but stare and stare and stare at it. I mean, the girl, the colors, everything about it was just gorgeous. But when I saw this cover, I was just flabbergasted. It's is utterly gorgeous. My favorite thing about it is the coloring. I just love how vibrant and beautiful they are.
Once again we are brought into the world of Ana and Dossam. It is after Templedark and Heart is learning to put itself back together. It's community is learning to mourn the loss of old souls who may or may not ever return and old souls who are truly gone forever. And they are learning to accept that Newsouls may be born into their community. And the community is still learning to accept and understand Ana.
Throughout this book we watch as Ana grows strong. During Incarnate she is learning who she is and learning where she might fit in. In Asunder, she really shows us who she is. She shows us how strong she is despite not being an old soul. She shows us what she has had to endure in order to learn and grow and become the woman she is. And, yet, people still treat her like she is a child or a new soul, who has nothing from their background to rely on. Nothing to show her the way when she might go to make a mistake. And this becomes a sore spot between her and the community. Even between her and Dossam. But she endures and overcomes.
Dossam, well, he's just as sweet and honorable as he was in Incarnate. But, in this book he made me mad. He kept telling Ana he wanted to be with her, that she was his everything, but was pushing her away at the same time. Don't get me wrong, I understand that him being 5000 years older than her kind of complicates their relationship, but it was like he didn't trust her to know her own needs. He didn't trust her to perhaps make mistakes and learn from them. It was frustrating, tho an essential part of the plot.
The storyline is a bit different in this book. There is violence, romance, friendship, action, and adventure. But things are known to us now. We understand how the community of heart works. But most of all we see the love and pain Ana goes through. And the betrayal is a huge factor, although I do not think we have been introduced to all those who are truly not behind Ana. Despite the clarity this book brings, it still does leave some mystery, for the third installment, which I really liked.
This book mad me laugh in parts, and I cried about three times while reading it. I certainly thought it would not go how I wanted it to, but was surprised to find that in the end I was quite satisfied with how Meadows chose to end things. No huge cliffhanger to keep us guessing for the next book, but enough intrigue to have me wanting to read the third book RIGHT NOW! I think that Asunder speaks volumes on what it is like to accept individuals who are different than ourselves. it certainly made me look a bit into myself to see how I view others and if the way I treat others might be making them feel upset. And there was true focus in this book. Certainly Ana had a goal to make the Newsouls safe and to uncover whatever mystery still hid behind the Temple and Janan.
The best thing about this book for me was Meadow's writing. I loved her writing in Incarnate, but with this book I could so see her growth as an author. I loved her descriptions. So often I could taste and feel the things the characters were tasting and feeling. I love when writing can evoke those emotions in me. This made for a quick read, one which I did not want to put down. I applaud Meadows for being able to take a world that we thought we knew from Incarnate, and turning it upside down and inside out to show us there was still so much more to learn.
I couldn't decide between 3.5 and 4, so I went with four because of Sam and the ending.
Got started with an emotional beginning, mourning those lost in Templedark. They had monuments made and did memorials. Asunder also showed different people grieving their losses in different ways, which I think is important because in real life people also mourn differently.
Then there was the twist with the sylph, and I was so interested in this plot line. I wanted to know what it was about why they were behaving differently to Ana, and what this meant for her.
We also get to see Ana and Sam together. I just love their romance and seeing them interact with each other and bond through music. I respect him so much when he said. Ana said "Like always, he let me do what I needed to do," and he supported her quietly and faithfully. That he spoke his advice, but stood by her side. And the way he talks to her and treats her is awesome.
"I love you because you're good and honest. I love you because you're brave... because you're strong. I love you because you don't let anything get in the way of doing what's right."
This is totally why I love Ana as a character, and why I adore Sam.
There were new characters and old ones where I started questioning loyalties and what exactly was going on. It was hard when Steph was questioning Sam's love for Ana because I had grown to like her a lot in the last one. I mean, I guess I can understand where she is coming from, but I don't like that she is deviating from her stance and what made me like about her in the last one. It was also hard to see Sam struggling in this one. As many hot and sweet moments, there are also ones where he is withdrawn and putting distance between him and Ana.
The ending gave me lots of answers but I still want to know so much more about this world, and see what Ana does next. There was also a great sacrifice that made me very sad. I totally understand the reasoning and it was honorable as all, but it was heartbreaking.
Bottom Line: Good second book with some hot scenes.
The whole concept and plot of this series is so very original. The premise of souls being reincarnated and then a new soul being born, which throws their whole society off, especially as those in the society have each lived hundreds of lives is very different from anything I've read before. I was thinking that Asunder would be a little less stressful than Incarnate, and it was in some ways, but not in others.
Ana only has a handful of friends, but each of them have their own secrets and ways of interacting with Sam and Ana. This added a lot of different challenges for Ana, helped her come into her own (she is only 19, I believe), and exposed her to different situations that continued to drive her and the society towards certain choices.
I really liked Ana and Sam. They love each other, but they have such different backgrounds and are in such different positions. This makes their relationship very challenging in places. Meadows did a great job with her characters! I could understand where both Sam and Ana were coming from and the frustrations they had at different points. I did get pretty frustrated with some sub-characters who I thought should have been much wiser and less prejudiced regarding Ana, especially with how old their souls were.
There was more descriptive and emotional violence in this one. I understood why it was included, but it still bothered me a little. There are definitely some evil characters that want Ana out of the way.
I don't know what is going to happen in the next book. I just know that it will be huge. I just know that Ana will play in part in it, hopefully in preventing disaster. I'm looking forward to finding out!
Content: Some innuendo, suggestive content (some homosexual in nature), and violence
Original review posted here: http://tressaswishfulendings.blogspot.com/2013/05/review-asunder.html
Depth of characters
Asunder is an amazing follow-up to the wonderful Incarnate! The world is easily my favorite thing about this series, as I’m sure I made very clear in my review of the first book. This time the plot demands more world building, so I was hooked from the very beginning! Ana and Sam are working together to understand Menehem’s research regarding the sylph, Janan, and the reincarnation process. I found all of this incredibly fascinating!
Just like the first book, Asunder starts with a sylph attack. Well, kind of. Instead of attacking, they actually start to dance. Dancing sylph? Yeah, totally bizarre, but that’s just one of the strange things that we learn about these dangerous creatures. They’re much more than just shadow and fire. In addition to the sylph, we also return to Janan’s temple and find out what sinister things took place there 5,000 long years ago, as well as plans for the near future. I loved all of the history we got about Heart in this book. It just makes everything feel much more real!
Ana is also on a mission for newsoul rights. After the battle Templedark, many souls won’t be returning and this has the citizens of Heart on edge. Then when newsouls start being born the tensions and violence escalate, and Ana again becomes the target. People seriously suck! While I enjoyed this plot and wanted to see Ana succeed, it started to feel a little preachy towards the end. Of course, I agree that people shouldn’t be tormented for being different, but I also didn’t need to be reminded of that fact throughout the entire book.
As for the romance, Ana and Sam are sickeningly adorable. Their relationship is so sweet and innocent. I just want to scoop them both into a big hug! They haven’t reached steamy levels yet, but there is talks of going further, even if Ana doesn’t fully understand what that entails. She also continues to struggle with whether or not she’s able or allowed to love, since she’s a “nosoul.” Her feelings for Sam are obvious to everyone, so it was sad seeing her question it in that way.
The ending leaves us with a cliffhanger! I was shocked at what Sam reveals, since I wasn’t expecting that. It’s going to have major consequences in the last book and I can’t wait to see how he and Ana deal with it. The people of Heart are definitely going to need her help, whether they want it or not.
Wow. This was so much better than the first book. The first book, for me, focused too much on the romance of Sam and Ana. I wanted more than that and Incarnate didn't really deliver until the end.
Asunder is another story. There was still romance between Sam and Ana but it didn't feel like the focus of the book. I finally felt like we learned more about Ana's world in this one. Questions I had were answered, even though more were raised.
I read this book in one sitting. I couldn't put it down. I had to find out what happened. I had to find out why the sylph were behaving differently towards Ana. I had to find out more about Janan and the temple.
I love the sylph. They make me sad. I love how freaky the temple is. I hope Ana has more explorations in the temple.
It's unfortunate that so many people still fear Ana and what she is. That's how any society works though, so why should theirs be any different? I feel like Ana is a stronger person now and I love that. In the previous book I felt too much of her focus was on Sam and while she still focuses on him here, I feel that there is so much more that she's focused on now as well. Like making sure that anyone born like her isn't treated the way that she's been treated her whole life.
Can I say how much I also love Cris? I just adore that guy. And honestly, as sweet as the romance between Sam and Ana can sometimes be, I actually really love the sparks between Sam and Cris.
Sam. He was never a favorite character of mine and I think he was even less so in this book. I don't know what it is, but I just don't really connect with Sam at all. Not that there's really anything wrong with him. I just don't connect with him.
If the series started off a bit weak for you I wouldn't give up on it just yet. This is a wonderful sequel and I look forward to finding out how things end.