February 27, 2012

Book Review of "Incarnate" by Jodi Meadows

Title: Incarnate (Newsoul #1)
Author: Jodi Meadows
Classification: YA Fiction, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Source: eARC from the publisher

Overall Grade:
I thought...
Entertaining and unique: a force to be reckoned with.

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Summary (from Goodreads): 
New soul 
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. 
No soul 
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.


My Thoughts:

With the large amount of fantasy and paranormal YA books being published today, it's incredibly refreshing to read a debut as interesting and unexpected as Incarnate!

However, while Incarnate has story, characters, plots, and worlds that are breathtaking and unique, the method of delivery is very volatile. At some points in the story, Incarnate seemed to be a work from a novice writer: actions scenes were clunky, dialogue was stilted and inauthentic, descriptions were borderline ridiculous.

At other times, the writing seemed to disappear and the reader floated along with Ana and Sam throughout the story. Then, there were pivotal moments of lyricism that brought raw emotion to the table. This, coupled with the intriguing story and memorable characters, seemed to make a strong statement: Incarnate is a debut novel to be reckoned with.

Unfortunately, those lyrical, emotion-wrought moments did not appear enough in the story. Also, Incarnate was filled with many action scenes that were awkward, filled with clunky language and over-explanations, which worked to slow down the narrative flow.

Meadows surprised by including a difficult trope, soul mates, that did not turn overtly tacky throughout the story. However, there were several other plot twists and additions to the story that were not handled so expertly. In these moments, Incarnate read like a run-of-the-mill YA fantasy or paranormal romance, which to many readers may be comforting, but to others is simply annoying.

To the reader who is looking  for a unique thrill-ride, Incarnate is a definite winner. Those searching for an other-worldly, slow-building, and steamy romance will also be satisfied with this debut. However, those readers looking for something lasting and deeply affecting will simply have to settle for being merely entertained by Meadow's debut.


Overall Grade:
I thought...
Entertaining and unique: a force to be reckoned with.

Add to Goodreads | Order from Amazon  

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