Book Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Title: Incarnate (Newsoul #1)

AuthorJodi Meadows

Genre: Fantasy Romance, Adventure, Young Adult

Release Date: January 31, 2012

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 suspicious and 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?

Review: 'Incarnate' is the first installment in a new series called 'Newsoul' by Jodi Meadows and it's definitely a good start. The concept of being reincarnated while keeping all your memories and basically just living forever is fascinating. A very original idea. You don't make friends for life, but for lifetimes and the same with enemies. The only thing that was kind of hard for me to comprehend was that when you reincarnate, it's possible you switch genders. So one time you're a woman and the next a man etc. For example: would Ana still be attracted to Sam if he had been a woman? Jodi tries to explain that gender and thereby looks don't matter, 'cause it is all about one's soul. If you're attracted to someone it should be because of the soul, but then when the story progresses you also find out that sometimes friends are together when they're different genders, but not when they're the same gender. And then other times gender really doesn't matter. I think that is a beautiful concept and brought on very subtle, but it does make you think about it.

Our main character is the only who isn't reincarnated, therefore a newsoul, but her 'mother' Li calls her nosoul. Li believes because Ana is new, she doesn't have feelings, can't love and shouldn't be allowed to live actually. After living 18 years under that woman's tyranny, Ana decides it is time to find out more about herself, why she is alive and starts on a quest to Heart (the capital). She's barely out the door when she gets attacked by some weird fire creatures (sylph), but luckily Sam is there to save her. As he finds out who she is, he decides to help her and off they go. From the moment Sam is introduced you get the feeling something is going to happen between them and almost the entire story you're wondering; will they? Won't they?

When Sam and Ana arrive in Heart it isn't a very warm welcome and Ana has a hard time to adapt. She feels so lost and confused. Here are all these people who've known each other for 5000 years and she feels all alone. Not everyone is happy with her existence and she has to learn how to deal with that. People are condescending towards her, thinking she is naive and treat her like a kid, some just downright hate her. Most of all people are just scared of the unknown she represents. What does her existence means for their souls? Does this means they won't reincarnate anymore? Is this their real last life? While Ana is looking for answers, she stumbles on something much bigger that could indeed affect everyone.

I believe Jodi Meadows did a wonderful job. It's a great story, but it also makes you think. These themes like acceptance, discovering who you are, even same-sex marriage etc. those are universal and everyone can relate to them. So 'Incarnate' is definitely a must read for everyone!


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