Book Review: Incarnate

Credit: Goodreads.com

The book: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Rating: 4 out of 5 HELL YEAH’s!

Summary: 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, one of those souls vanished, and no one knows why. When Ana travels to the capital city of Heart, its citizens treat her as a nosoul, suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame? 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? (Credit: Amazon.com)

What I liked about the novel: This novel sucked me in from the premise.

Holy shit guys: THE PREMISE. It’s about reincarnation and the idea is not just brilliant, but unsettling, upsetting, and uncomfortable. This story could have gone down the road of a million other YA books —  being immortal and falling in love FOREVER. But what makes it stand out, what makes it really interesting, is how Ana isn’t going to live forever, like her peers, and has to face what that means.

This book is a challenge to those who don’t believe in reincarnation. Trust me! It’s not preachy, but if you don’t believe in reincarnation, Ms. Meadows is challenging you to think about: what happens and what’s the point to our relationships when they DON’T continue? What happens to our likes and dislikes when they DON’T carry over? How hard is life when you only have ONE perspective and not a zillion perspectives from previous lifetimes?

And if you’re sitting back saying — yeah, duh, I already know this first-hand, GOOD! It’s a great way to relate to Ana, but better yet, it forces us to FACE THESE topics, when we see everyone around her not have to face them. It’s kinda like holding up your prized cup of god-damn-this-is-good coffee, and then you go on a trip and are surrounded by mud-barely-above-shit coffee. Now, all of a sudden god-damn-this-is-good coffee has become your under-appreciated-life-force-to-continuing-your-existence-somewhat-happily coffee.

I felt she handled the LGBT topic VERY well, beautifully even, by describing love for another soul as just that — love for another soul. Remember, this is a book for YA, so pushing beliefs is a difficult task and this delicate topic was covered well.

Lastly, the relationship between Ana and Sam is downright sexy scandalous. I loved it and many times the romance was so well-written, I was eager for Ms. Meadows to write an adult version. No seriously. And if she ever decides to write a new adult romance, I would snatch that shit up instantly.

What I didn’t like about the novel: I was super-bummed we got all the way to the end, and learned very little about Ana’s ‘condition’. It felt like the premise, though FREAKING AWESOME (read above), was misleading for THIS novel. It almost seemed like this book should have come second or been a novella to the actual story.

Lastly, I couldn’t follow the dragons and sylphs. I mean, I get it. They’re evil. They attack the city. But the whole time I’m trying to stay engaged in the deeper meaning of the book, and then the mythical creatures threw me off completely. What do they represent? Is there meaning? Or were they just thrown in there for conflict? I’m not sure about these details.

Would I recommend the novel: YES! I already have. The concept is way too freakin’ interesting to pass up, not to mention Sam! I’m ashamed to say I haven’t read the second book in this series. Will I? Uh, hell yes. And you should too.

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