My Catchphrases

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Title: Incarnate
Series: Newsoul #1
Author: Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: 31 Jan 2012
Source: Netgalley
Challenge: DAB
Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

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 such a unique concept that completely defies classification. Elements of fantasy, romance, theology and philosophy blend together with some very thought provoking themes to create a unique yet compelling story.

Ana is the first new soul in thousands of years, every other member of society has been re-incarnated over and over again. The time frame between incarnations varying without explanation as to the reason. The idea of reincarnation is a wonderful concept; the way in which it is explored within the narrative provides a considerable amount of thought provoking. I found myself wondering how I would feel knowing I had lived hundreds of lives before, holding all past memories, regrets and skills. The way in which the memory of each death stayed with that person was especially powerful as well as traumatic. Possibly explaining some phobias as a result.

Told in first person narrative, from Ana's perspective. Initially I found Ana's pessimistic attitude irritating but as the story unfolded I developed a certain empathy for her. Ostracized  by society for being born, a new soul something both awed and feared. Her mother, Li, although accepts her responsibility as a parent targets Ana for this seclusion. Constantly neglected physically and emotionally, berated over everything, it is easy to understand where Ana's pessimism comes from.

As the story progresses Ana discovers friendship, the whole nature versus nurture debate is remarkably portrayed. The character development profound. Although some elements hint at religious undertones no specific religion is advocated more the ideal of faith. Creationism versus evolution is debated within the narrative generating numerous theories on existence. Add in science with its ability to alter fundamental principles of just about anything, aiding the debate of where to draw the line; scientist playing God comes to mind.

The friendship that develops between Ana and Sam was heart-warming to follow. At times I felt like slapping their heads together but understood their hesitation. The idea of soul-mates being able to recognize each other throughout various incarnations was beautiful to picture. Clever depiction within the plot re-enforced the ideal.

The setting has a feel of being timeless. A mix of old and new blended together in a realistic world held within the confines of Range surrounded by the fantasy elements of Dragons, Sylph and Trolls.

I especially adored the use of music throughout the entire book, the way in which music is immortal was profoundly portrayed. The way in which both Ana and Sam relate to music was something I could easily identify with. Music lives forever even if we do not. Beautiful.

A very compelling story-line, with a well developed plot featuring strong themes and strong characters to set it off.

I hope this gets picked up for the UK


  1. Great review, this sounds like a really interesting read and that cover is gorgeous!

    1. Hi Jenni
      It does really make you think :D

  2. Thank you for the fantastic review! Incarnate sounds really interesting! I'm definitely going to pick it up. >_<

  3. I have followed Jodie for a long time on twitter, but not got her book yet. I wasn't sure about it but your review makes it sound beautiful. I will check it out x

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I was with the story from the start but as things started to happen, or actually the lack of things happening, I was less and less interested. I just didn't like where this story went, I was expecting something epic like Tamora Pierce books and instead I got more paranormal than fantasy and rather odd at that.

    While this one wasn't for me I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    1. HI Alexa

      Thank you for your comment. I think that is the reason I really enjoyed it is that it went the paranormal route. I do adore paranormal <3

  5. Wow, this sounds amazing - fab review :D

  6. I've been really intrigued by this one because of its blend of different aspects of fantasy - and I really enjoy those heart-warming relationships that make you feel all smiley, so I think I'd like this one. I hope it gets picked up for the UK too! Great review :).

  7. I wasnt sure about this one but with your great review and the mention of music I may have not given it my full attention... I might have to keep an eye out for it in the UK now too!


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