2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows,
This review is from: Incarnate (Hardcover)
Incarnate tells the story of Ana, a nosoul, a newsoul - which ever way you look at it, she's not like everyone else. Ana's only ever had the one life - the one she's living. Everyone else has been around for years and centuries and decades. Everybody knows everybody, which means everybody knows who Ana is. Or more specifically, what Ana is.
Incarnate was an interesting read. I've been looking forward to reading this novel since I first heard about it, and I can say that I was definitely surprised - but in a good way. Just like Under the Never Sky, this novel took more of a science fiction/fantasy role, with all the great trimmings and more. Usually I'm not great with the scifi/fantasy genre - dragons and trolls and slyphs oh my! - but as mentioned before, Incarnate was a easy read.The concepts of a person being reincarnated into a different person but still with the same mind and perceptions as the last time they were alive is a new thing for me, something I found I enjoyed quite a lot.
Our main character, Ana, was extremely interesting. Shut away for most of her life and being told she was an inconvenience and a mistake, it's hard for her to understand how some people could be interested in her - especially Sam, who turns out himself to be more than she originally thought. Ana puts herself down a lot - for example, many souls have particular skills that they take with them as they are reincarnated, but Ana doesn't see that she has one. However she has incredible talent in learning things - she teaches herself how to read when her own mother doesn't, and even teaches herself how to identify sheet music - not an easy feat, I can definitely say! Ana's not a character that immediately falls into the typical pattern of agreeing with whatever she's just learnt. She questions things, the way the Reincarnates live, why Sam says good things about what she is towards her etc. Her reactions to the soul that should have been there instead of Ana as well make for an interesting read.
The romance, as well, has a nice tone to it. It's not rushed, and it's not a complete "I hate you, no I hate you, no I hate you more, let's make out I think I'm in love with you" scenario that most YA romances tend to follow, so the romance between Sam and Ana was refreshing. Plus for Ana, who has grown up without emotions apart from anger and disgust in her life, it's great to see how she adapts and her reactions to these feelings. I did think, however, that this seemed to take major priority over the novel. For example, it was important that Ana keep up her studies, especially as she was due to have a progress report, but we didn't really see her studying that much. And at the times that we did, it was skipped over so fast you'd blink and miss it. And now me being a completely cynical person - Ana seemed to have too much faith in Sam. When he lied about their birthdays, Ana didn't really question it. After she found out that it was Sam who had stolen the books on her family, she again didn't question it. We rarely see her feeling upset or cross with Sam. To me, that's just weird a touch...
While also not a major aspect of the novel, the undertones of religion come into play, especially with the climax of the novel, yet I couldn't help but feel that it was more anti-relgious (especially on Ana's part) than anything. The main question raised in the novel was should you be believing in something that you can't see? Why should you accept what you don't really know when you don't have infinite proof? I'm hoping that this gets carried on to the next books to see where it all leads.
While at times I felt a bit lost - this story literally has everything - especially with the fast paced writing at the beginning, I found myself fast slipping into the world that Jodi Meadows has created and not wanting to come up for air. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing where Jodi takes this series!