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Sunday, 22 January 2012

Review: Incarnate - Jodi Meadows

Author: Jodi Meadows
Release Date: January 31st 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins

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?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

This is one of those books that you have trouble rating. When you don't know whether to give it the highest possible grade or the lowest. (Oh God I hate it when I have these type of problems.) But anyway, one thing is for sure. INCARNATE was one of the best high fantasy story I have ever read in a long time. (Please don't call it dystopian, peeps. It's more like a science-fiction/fantasy/utopian :D )

The plot was very interesting and I found myself turning the pages so fast to find out why Ana was born, why Ciana never got reincarnated, why people did get reincarnated, what was inside the temple, why the city of Heart has got a heartbeat, why dragons and sylphs attack the city and SO MANY QUESTIONS OMG. I was a bit skeptical when I was reading, I was worried that since this is a trilogy, Jodi Meadows wouldn't give us answers and I HATE it when at the end of the book I have more questions than answers (just NO!). But fortunately, this wasn't the case at all.

Ana. Oh God. I don't know if I hate her or love her, so I would settle in the middle. She was impulsive, cynical, and I hated how she always felt sorry for herself (I understand to why she feels like that, but not when she mentions it in every freaking chapter. Yes, I get it.) yet at the same time, even though she experiences very bad prejudice and discrimination by the others just because she is a 'nosoul' or a 'newsoul', she still remained herself. While I would go mental, and probably kill everyone.

The romance in this book was very engaging and the love interest was indeed, swoon-worthy. I loved the pace of the romance; it slow and I love that they started off as friends. Sam, was probably my favourite character. He was just so caring, sweet, musical(!) and he doesn't care whether Ana is a 'newsoul'. He just treats her the same way he treats everyone. Adore him. 

Music played such a big part in this book, with it being Ana's and Sam's talent and passion. I never actually liked music in a book, but the way Jodi wrote the music scenes, it was simply beautiful. And I love that Sam wrote Ana her own song: Ana Incarnate (So jealous of Ana!).

I applaud Jodi Meadow's world-building and writing style. It was FABULOUS! Her descriptions and prose just comes to life. This story has got a very magical and fairy tale-like feel to it, and I mean that in the BEST WAY POSSIBLE. This actually reminds me of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone (which was one of my Top Ten 2011 Reads), and not just because of it's gorgeous writing, but because of the whole mystery about her real identity, the story-telling and the epic world-building. She did an amazing job with creating the background of the city Heart. I can actually very vividly imagine in my head, and that's very rare for me. I love that even though I want to experience living in Heart, I would also be scared shitless (Um hello scary walls with its own heartbeat? Yikes).

There was a lot of scenes that I love. The masquerade scene, anyone? :) And anyone who knows me knows that I am a tiny bit obsessed with Masquerade masks, and that I love it when it is featured in books. This also contains the best kissing scene EVER. Gosh, I'm still fanning myself right now!

I never guessed the ending. It was perfect, in terms that we actually finds out what actually happened on the night Ciana died, and why Ana was born. This was one of those books that would be perfectly alright as a stand-alone, not because it can't develop into something more (I'm sure it can) but because this book had a beginning, middle and an ending.  

This is such a highly imaginative and compelling book that I would recommend to those who love high fantasy, dystopians/utopians, science-fiction, mystery and romance (so. well, basically EVERYONE).  


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