Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Reading Review - Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Hello, everyone! You might know I've been participating in the Incarnate Readathon that's hosted by Bonnie and Alexa

This was something I was really excited about because I've been hoping to read this series for some time, and so I was glad to have the opportunity. Today I'm going to be reviewing the first book in the trilogy, Incarnate by Jodi Meadows.

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.

This is a really interesting book. Let's start with the thing I loved the most about it- the world building. This world defies any genre and is completely different from anything I've read before. I went into the story expecting some sort of paranormal, modern world. Then, I thought it was high fantasy. But, honestly, it's not a world that perfectly fits into any YA classification. This world definitely has some high fantasy elements- there are fantastical creatures, like dragons and sylphs, and it's a magical world. But, there's a technology advancement to this society that's really unique to the story. There are data tablets and screens that the characters use. The world building was excellent- everything was new to the character, too. As I read, I found the world almost jarring as I read along, assumed it was a high fantasy type world, and then suddenly there's data screens and coffee makers in the houses. I really appreciated the unique world we were given. It was well described and interesting to read about, and it's one I want to read more of because it's so different from anything I've read, including basic generalizations of a type of book.

The characters in this book are also well written. Even after reading the first book, I don't fully understand Ana. Even as I was reading, I couldn't predict what she was going to do next. Although she didn't make the best decisions and could be annoying at times, Ana was generally a good character. She had this admirable, intrinsic strength to her that really shined throughout the novel. Ana's upbringing was dark and miserable, the book doesn't gloss over that and how it affects her character. But her character development was remarkable, and she is a very unique character. I look forward to seeing more of this complex, brave, and reckless protagonist in Asunder.

Now, let's just talk about Sam. Sam is one of my top fictional crushes. He booted several others off the list in a matter of 50 pages. Already Sam and Ana are one of my favorite couples of the year. I love how these two characters are together, and how their personalities complement the other's well, yet each is a unique character. I love how they find such joy in beautiful things in life, and the moments between the two.

However, I did have some problems with this book, and those were mainly concerning the plot. This is a first book in a series, and so there is a lot of world building and characterization that needs to go on. Incarnate did those wonderfully, and that is essential for the rest of the series to have as its foundation. But, there was a lack of a plot in the sense that there was no centralized conflict or problem specific to the book. Ana's identity crisis was important, but that pertains more to her character and how she'll grow throughout the series. This book was a lot of exposition and introduction, which is good for the series as a whole. It did have intrigue and plot twists, and by the end the beginnings of what could definitely be the sequel's conflict were revealed. But, to me, there wasn't that conflict as much in this book. As it is a first book with such a unique world and complex characters, I still really enjoyed the book, and I can't wait to continue. 

Overall, I gave this book four stars. It's a great start to the series, and it introduced an amazing world and some great characters. I can't wait to see more of both, and so I'm very happy to be participating in the readathon to marathon the series. If you'd like to sign up, the link is in the sidebar. 

From the paper world,

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