I really enjoyed this book and can not wait to read the other 2 books in the series. I recommend this book highly to teens who love action, adventure, romance, and a lot of mystery. This book was the queen of all queens of fiction and mystery!
Another one of those books that is causing me to ask myself, why did I take so long to read this?! It was always one of those "maybe" books for me since it came out, and I just happened to find it on sale and grabbed a copy. What I was expecting was an interesting story involving reincarnation and dragons. What I wasn't expecting was that it would have excellent world building, characters, and be full of music.
The setting of Incarnate is a character unto itself. Range and the city of Heart are this mix between the present, a fantasy world full of mystical creatures like dragons and centaurs, and futuristic technology (i.e. laser guns.) And it completely worked. To me, there are some genres that are hard to write and get right, and fantasy is one of them. There is so much that could go wrong when crafting a complex universe like the one in Incarnate. I have to applaud the author for not only making it all work together, but for making it a world I want to live in.
And not only is the world building excellent, but so is the character development. I really liked Ana as the main character. She doesn't start out the strong heroine that everyone loves to read about. She had a sheltered and abusive upbringing that causes her to be cautious of everyone and everything, but she evolves throughout the novel. Even though I do enjoy main characters who know what they want and will do anything to get it, I thought Ana was realistic. Most people don't start out like that-- they have to work towards it. And of course, our love interest Sam is the one who gets her to the point of which she can fend for herself. There's kind of an insta-romance between them, but it didn't really bother me that much. It made sense to me later on in the novel, but spoilers! I won't tell you why. You can figure it out.
Overall, Incarnate has a slower pace to it, but I don't really think it took away from the story. I really enjoyed getting to all everyone and getting engrossed in the world of Range. The plot is shrouded in enough mystery that it kept my brain constantly involved in what was going on. And the music. There is so much music woven into the story and I absolutely loved it. So, in the end, once I was done kicking myself for not reading it sooner, I very much enjoyed this novel. Especially the ending. It ended with just enough of a cliff hanger to make me want more, but not too much to make my mind melt. Well done, Jodi Meadows. Well done.
I suppose I should've listened to everyone and read this sooner. This is definitely one time the hype didn't disappoint me at all.
I can't remember the last time I was this into a world. Usually I'll finish a series book and think "yeah, that was good. I'll read the next one eventually." With Incarnate, though, I can't stop thinking about the world. I seriously almost bought the sequel today, and I'm not exactly an impulse buyer.
I can't quite put my finger on what makes it so great, but it totally works. I mean, we have centaurs (well, they exist, but we haven't actually gotten to meet them yet), sylph, dragons, mysterious living walls, and a city that inexplicably exists in the middle of a wild world. And all of this in a world where the same 1 million souls are continuously reincarnated (except Ana, of course). It all sounded so random to me which is kind of why I put it off for so long. But I shouldn't have put it off. Because it. Is. Awesome.
I love that the world is simplistic in many ways, yet extremely advanced in others. Since everyone has lived for thousands of years they all have many skills and are able to contribute to society in some way or another be it food, clothing or ideas. Between market days (the market being a massive trading post everyone gets together for) everyone is able to sufficiently sustain themselves with chickens, gardens, etc. Then they also have laser guns and smartphone-type devices. It all balances out really well too. I think it helps that the city itself is weird and unnatural. It almost ties it all together.
I really enjoyed watching Ana grow to respect herself. It was hard to hear her constantly putting herself down and thinking of herself as less than human, but it was practically impossible that she'd feel any other way. The one person she'd ever really had contact with for the first eighteen years of her life was horrible. And on top of that, she knew everyone else felt pretty much the same way. But over time (and a realistic amount of it, I might add) she comes to believe in and respect herself a little more. She's not completely healed, which is good since it still leaves room for growth in the next book, but she came a long way.
Since the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater I've come to think of Sam's as quiet and loving guys. Well, this Sam doesn't quite fit the bill. He's sweet sometimes, but he's also kind of prickly. I imagine that comes with living for thousands of years. I mean, the guy has seen so much -- he's old, and he definitely has the demons to prove it. But he's still good to Ana for the most part. His secretiveness about his past makes him seem a little shady, but it adds to the suspense of the story and the connection with Ana.
The Nutshell: This review is, admittedly, kind of terrible, but I could never say enough about this book. It's lovely with characters perfectly flawed and a world injected with just enough mystery to keep me riveted without sighing in bored exasperation. I seriously can't wait to get my hands on the sequel. In fact, I just might buy it tomorrow...
Ana is considered a no soul. For thousands of years the many souls have been reincarnated over and over, as different people with different features, sometimes as different sexes. But something has happened to make Ana replace another soul. She's called a no soul by everyone else, but maybe she's just a new soul.
Incarnate is a novel that makes you think about the "meaning of life." What does it really mean to live. And what is our life really worth? With the new threat Ana poses, the other souls now wonder if this may be there last time on Earth as well.
Does having infinite number of lives make you live less?
I really enjoyed the development of Sam and Ana's relationship. There never seemed to be any unrealistic actions between them like there usually are in YA (i. e. insta-love, super attachment, rushing into things, etc.).
Great start to a series I can't wait to keep reading. Action, romance and a courageous main characte
It started right with action and by connecting me to the main character. I liked Ana because she is different, that she questions instead of blindly accepting things, and also because I felt for her because of the way that her mom treated her.
I like that Ana doesn't just blindly accept anything. She digs and finds the answers for herself. She is also relatable though because she is a good person but she's not perfect. She has her insecurities and lashes out at Sam some. It is understandable because of how she grew up that she wouldn't easily trust. It was quite an adventure to watch her discover her passions, and how that connected her with Sam and brought out his emotions and realized what was beneath the layers.
Sam is a mystery right off the bat, because I wanted to know why he was in the middle of nowhere, how he rescued her in the freezing cold water, and just because he is elusive. He is kind of course helping Ana, and encouraging her. He was just another hook that got me within the first three chapters.
There is also the great premise, and it got going right away. I was so curious why a soul would disappear instead of coming back again, and what made Ana special that a new soul or a no soul would show up.
I loved the twists and how the people have such personalities, how their pasts factor into who they are now. Especially about Sam, the things that Ana didn't realize right away, I just thought it was amazing going full circle like that.
The Heart, the town where they live is well thought out. It adds to the awesomeness of the world building and the setting. I enjoyed the mythical creatures involved and their powers even if they were usually on the "bad" side. It shows so much creativity and added action and adventure.
Another thing I absolutely loved was the slow build of the romance. It is so satisfying to read about. The friendship and the back and forth, the flirting and the uncertainty. It is beautiful to watch play out and just what I love.
There is a wonderful cast of secondary characters. Steph and her take charge, no-nonsense attitude really made me like her a lot. I like that she told Sam how it was and stood up for Ana even when she didn't know her. She is very perceptive and I like that.
And holy twist of doom. You feel the storm building, and then the unthinkable happens. Or does it? But we realize so much all at once and some of it is good and some bad.
It ended at a pretty good place, but I am still super anxious to get the next one. So if anyone has a kindle or epub I can borrow, I will be your friend forever :).
Bottom Line: Great start to a series I can't wait to keep reading. Action, romance and a courageous main character.
Jodi Meadows has created an utterly unique, fascinating, and captivating world in Incarnate. It’s magical, yet scientific, and I couldn’t help but be drawn into it. There are exactly 1 million souls which have been reborn into new bodies over the past 5,000 years. That is until Ana is born. Her birth was suppose to signify the return of a soul named Ciana, but instead a new soul emerged. What happened to Ciana? Where did Ana come from? It’s one big mystery, and the citizens of Heart do not like it one bit. Ana has been isolated from society her entire life, with only her cruel mother for company. Finally, on her 18th birthday, Ana sets out on her own in order to discover where she came from and if there might be more newsouls out there.
Dragons! There are dragons flying around in Range! They might be vicious, destructive creatures, but they’re still awesome. This world is packed with supposedly mythical creatures: unicorns, trolls, griffin, and centaurs. We never get to see any of these, but they are mentioned. However, there’s a few run ins with the ever dangerous sylphs. All of these fantastical creatures had me wondering where and when this book takes place. Is it the distant future on Earth? The present of another planet? An alternate reality? There’s such an interesting mix of ancient creatures and modern technology (laser pistols!) that it’s hard to imagine where we are in time and space. That doesn’t distract from the story though. In fact, I think it adds another fun layer to everything.
I know I’ve only raved about the world so far, and not the story, but I was majorly impressed with the world presented here. There’s enough detail to be able to picture it and understand how it works, but still enough mystery to want to learn more. I do think it overshadowed the actual plot and characters though.
Incarnate is an impressive and magical debut. The imaginative subject of reincarnation most definitely makes this stand out from everything else being published today. While the story make take the back seat to the world building, it was still a wonderful read. I’m eager to know what comes next for Ana and Sam, and to find out more about the city of Heart and Souls Night.
"There's always the option of deciding for yourself who you are and what you'll become. "
Do you believe in Reincarnation? I do. This is the first reason why I chose this book. Of course the cover is Epic, most beautiful cover I have ever seen. The complete theme of reincarnation of souls was innovative and refreshing. This book is definitely a page turner.
A Vague Indication
The story was set in a dystopian world where souls reincarnate million times, each time in a new body. The body may change but the soul doesn’t. The night Ciana died the soul temple went dark. After few years Li gave birth to a daughter, Ana. Everyone thought Ciana has returned, but this soul was different, never been born before, a Newsoul. Ana replaced Ciana. Being a new soul Ana’s life had been tougher than any one, her own mother was ashamed of her, hated her, and called her a Nosoul. Incarnate is the quest of Ana to find the answers behind her birth.
The Love Birds
As for the characters, I am confused with Ana, I really am. Sometime she was brave as hell, strong as a steal, and sometime she acted dumb, fragile like a delicate butterfly, if you try to tight your grip on its wings, it will be broken. When she’s with Sam, she got all the courage to fight out anything, when she came face to face with Li, she became just like a small little kitten trying to hide itself from the paw of big cat. I can understand her situation. Living in isolation outside the range for 18 years of her life, she had been lonely, unlovable and friendless. When she escaped Li’s and set foot on Heart, where everyone has previous lives and lot of memories, she felt unconnected, detached to the society and surroundings. That’s why I wanted her to be braver, which she wasn't enough for a main protagonist. In the beginning she was not much enjoyable, I found her sorrowful, whimpering and complaining over and over about her life, but I liked how her character unfolds slowly with the progress of the story.
"I'd give anything to make things right for you.”He caressed my cheek, my hair, my back. Everywhere he touched, the angry fires cooled. I wished he'd touch my heart.
"But I can't. I can help, but the hard work is all up to you, If you don't feel real, no one else can do it for you. I promise, though you've always felt real to me."
Sam was a sweetheart, just my type of guy. Determine, modest, intriguing and passionate would be the perfect adjectives for Sam. He’s a sweet and gentle guy with a very kind soul. He did every possible thing to keep Ana safe and sound, didn’t care how much it would cost him to help Ana. He always stood by Ana in any situation which was very brave of him. Sometime I found him complicated, hard to understand what’s going on inside him, but that doesn’t matter much.
The writing was lyrical, each word was chosen very carefully and beautifully by the author. The writing style is very neat example of well organized literature.
The book was supposed to be based on Ana’s quest, instead the book was more focused on romance and the story derailed and lost its track in middle. At least 60% of this book consist description the time period Ana spend with Sam, learning music, those almost but “never happening” kisses and awkwardness between them.
Why I'm Rating it Four Stars
Other than being slow paced Incarnate was flawless. In the end all the answers to Ana’s question was solved in very satisfying way. We were given only one climax in the end and which was terrifyingly good. The last few chapters of this book were breathtaking that you will be compelled to read and bite you nails off. I liked the idea of dragon attack and sylphs, a good mixture of modern technologies with mythological creatures and old belief of reincarnation. I liked Incarnate but I can’t say I’m in love with it.
A beautiful Plot line, the male protagonist, gorgeous prose, great writing style and a creative world building
Okay. So, 3 words for this book: Awesome, unique and refreshing.
The plot was quite nice and it kept me turning the pages, it kept up a nice and steady ascent up the interest ladder. The main character, Ana, is actually really weird and at first, I don't like her at all, but with Meadows' writing, she grew on me. Now, onto Dossam, or Sam.
Don't even get me started on Sam. He's 500 years old and he still makes me swoon. His moments with Ana are just so perfect I want to be in them. In fact, every moment in this book makes me wants to be in there, just partying with the dragons and such.
The plot itself though, lacked something. I don't know what it is, maybe it's because I didn't get some of the parts towards the end, and there are a lot of unanswered questions that TOTALLY needed answering. But other than that, the plot was exemplary and the POV was nice. I think the story's unique too, and this made me totally into utopias now. The wordplay was beautiful and expressive and I couldn't ask for more.
So overall, I give this about 4.5 stars. It's a beautiful book for a super nice price. And who doesn't love that cover, huh?!
The characters were so swoon-worthy, especially Dossam, and they developed much through the novel. It felt new to my mind and it has a unique story, the conflict was very intense and had me squirming. The cover is absolutely stunning and I'm in love with Jodi Meadows' writing technique, so riveting.
I have read many YA books over the past few years, Dystopia has become my favorite genre. I am constantly searching for new books and when I ran across Incarnate, I was not disappointed.
The books starts with Ana (a new soul) who has spent her life away from most other souls. She has lived with her mother who has constantly told her how inadequate she is, what a mistake it was that she was born, and how no one will every love her because she is a new soul and no one could love her. At 18 Ana strikes out on her own barley surviving to reach Heart where she hopes all of her dreams will come true. On her way there she stumbles across Sam who helps her reach the city, but once in the city he seems to be the only one who treats her like any other soul. He not only helps Anna start to realize the person she truly is, but helps her discover the person she could be. Then Ana's mother shows up in Heart and lots of odd things start to happen, from black outs in the city to dragons. What is causing these things to happen? How will Ana be affected? Can't wait to find out!
First off, to get it over with, oh! the cover! the cover!
Alright, now that we're done with that, my favorite things about this novel included the world building and the fact that it felt much more unique then a lot of the YA I've read lately. Meadow's really makes me want to learn every single thing about Heart and the world the inhabitants live in. The Range and Heart are magical (dragons, sylphs and centaurs, oh my!) and it holds enough intrigue to keep me interested. I was captivated by the world Meadow's created and could not wait to dive in.
The romance builds steadily and wasn't instant infatuation which was also refreshing, but at times I felt like it sidetracked the plot. Also no love triangle! Yay! I also liked that Sam wasn't a jerk. It seems like every YA novel lately has a "bad boy" love interest who is a horrible example for relationships and so finding a genuinely nice guy was great.
However, I didn't learn as much about the world as I would have liked, which was disappointing. I think this goes along with Ana learning basically nothing about herself or reincarnation while in Heart, which was her original goal. I think all of these disappointments occur because the author is setting up the sequels. If the author had found a way to give the reader and Ana more answers while still setting up the next books I would have given this book five stars.
Though there was a few problems with this book, overall it pulls you in and leaves you to awaiting the sequel in order to discover the answers the reader, and Ana, need to find. I'm very excited to read Asunder!
Beautiful world building and a nice slow growing romance!