Publisher: Katherin Tegen
Series: Newsoul #1
Edition: Hardcover, 374 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
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?
Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.
Incarnate has been sitting on my shelf for several years. It was a cover-buy while at Goodwill and I honestly hadn’t really thought about reading it until this year when I set about cleaning off my bookshelves again. Unfortunately, this one sort of skated along the very middle of the road and remained a bit underwhelming for its entirety.
Incarnate has some really amazing ideas swirling around it. It has reincarnation which has an air of mystery to it because the ‘why’ is something debated upon, especially when Ana is born. Ana is someone who has never been reborn and is a reminder of their permanent loss of someone everyone had known for thousands of years. It also deals with a more fluid concept of love which hinges on the idea of soul mates and loving someone even when they no longer look the same. I think both of these things were really well done and added something fairly unique to the YA playing field. I even liked the whole mystery surrounding the city of Heart with its seemingly magical existence and entryless Temple. I didn’t really get why there were dragons and slyphs, though I suspect those answers will come in later books but I would have appreciated some more insight as to why they are a source of semi-constant antagonism to Heart.
I think most of my problems lie in the character department. I didn’t dislike any characters, but I also didn’t really like any of them either. Ana is somewhat interesting with her love of music and desire to learn everything she can, something the others seems to shrug off because they’ve been around for a long time. However, her impulsive and defensive attitude (justifiable by the way) were sort of one-note after a while. Sam fell into the same category in terms of leaving no lingering thoughts. He was sweet and thoughtful, and they balance each other out well….but they sort of form this ‘blink and you’ll miss them’ pair. A lot of this book is spent witnessing Ana grow and learn in a society she knows little about, and struggle with the fact that she’s a stranger in a place where everyone knows everyone else. We get a few teases here and there of the overall story that surrounds her being a Newsoul and the city of Heart…but it’s not something that comes into focus until the end, which was disappointing. We did get answers, but it was so late in the book I had kind of given up hope that it would be touched on at all.
I’m not sure if I’ll continue the series. It’s by no means a bad read, as it has a certain ease to it that I really enjoyed, but it just didn’t capture my attention in any particular way.