Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Incarnate (Newsoul #1) by Jodi Meadows

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?(Synopsis from Goodreads) 

Jodi Meadows' debut novel Incarnate is the first book in the New Soul trilogy. This fantasy offers a unique world filled with dragons, slyphs and a city called Heart. The tale has danger, battles, suspense, romance, a divine being, mystery and intrigue. Book one centers around the romance of Ana and Sam; as we are spoon-fed details about the world in which they live. While at times I found this frustrating, it was enough to keep me engaged.  

Protagonist Ana is born on the eve of Ciana’s expected birth.  In Ana’s world souls are reborn over and over. At her birth it is the first time in recorded history that a new soul is born and an old soul is lost. This causes panic throughout this tightly woven utopia. Her father is embarrassed and quickly leaves town. Li, her mother, reluctantly raises her away from the community of Heart. The first seventeen years of Ana’s life are bleak, as her mother inflicts her fears and hatred upon her. She calls her a nosoul and convinces Ana she is nothing. Despite this Ana secretly teaches herself to read and develops a passion for music. When Ana is eighteen, she leaves her childhood home to return to Heart. She is determined to find answers and escape her mother. Ana's journey is filled with danger and it is here that she first meets Sam. I love how they meet, and the dance they do trying to figure each other out. It is evident that Ana's upbringing has effected her, but slowly Sam builds Ana's confidence and the real Ana begins to emerge. They travel to the city of Heart and the tale that unfolds is beautiful, captivating and shrouded in mystery. 

I know some readers will be frustrated by the limited world-building, but because this is a trilogy, I am giving the writer some slack. The main focus of this novel was the relationship between Sam and Ana and it was beautiful done and totally believable. The romance progressed slowly and the way they interacted had me giggling, pulling my hair out and flipping the pages. The author begins to show us the character growth we can expect from Ana as she gains more confidence and validates her existence. I give Meadows kudos for her grasp of the complex psyche an abused soul exhibits. We see insight into Sam's former lives, his loneliness and his regard for Ana. Most of my frustration came in the form of questions involve the world, the city of Heart, Janan and the souls.  Meadows gave me just enough details to wet my appetite and equally frustrate me.

I blew through Incarnate simply because I could not put it down. The romance was wonderful, but I am really hoping that books two and three give us more detail regarding Heart, Janan, the Tower and Souls. I consider Incarnate (Newsoul #1)to be an appetizer and I am still hungry. Hopefully book two will provide the main course. I am looking forward to the next installment and will be keeping an eye on this talented author. 

I want to thank netGalley and HarperCollins for providing me with this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.                     

I gave this 4 coffee cups out of 5.                  Kimba

Author's website:Jodi Meadows
Buy it at B&N here:Incarnate
or at Amazon here:

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At January 3, 2012 at 9:02 PM , Blogger Books And Beyond said...

Thank you for your review & Happy New Year 2012 too :)
Yours is the first review of this book I have read so far.
I have a copy too & really must read it asap.
I want to learn more about the city, and what being a No Soul means, and if others that are No Souls make an appearance in the next book(s).
The romance is awesome too but this concept is fascinating to me.
Thanks again :)

At January 3, 2012 at 9:02 PM , Blogger roro said...

tnx 4 you're thoughts
this looks like my cup of tea

At January 4, 2012 at 12:16 AM , Blogger The Happy Booker said...

Wonderful review as always Kimba! Like I said on Goodreads, I had the same issues with many of the things you mentioned and didn't quite like this book as much as you. But I'm glad that you liked it. I'm still happy I have the ARC simply for that gorgeous cover!

At January 4, 2012 at 1:23 AM , Blogger Melissa said...

This looks intriguing! Thanks for the great review.

At January 4, 2012 at 5:26 AM , Blogger Brodie said...

Aww gosh, I REALLY need to get my hands on a copy of this soon!! It sounds amazing and despite some frustrations over lack of details, I love that it was still enough to keep you intrigued and oh, the romance. The romance sounds so delightful and sweet! I cannot wait to meet Ana and Sam <3 Fantastic review, you have made me even more excited to read this!

At January 4, 2012 at 8:51 AM , Blogger Emily a.k.a WilowRaven : ) said...

I've been eyeing this book since hearing about months ago. Sounds like a book I would enjoy.
Great review! Thanks :)

At January 4, 2012 at 1:32 PM , Blogger anaavu said...

Wow this sounds like an awesome book! Going to find it on NetGalley :)

Ana @ BookSpark

At January 4, 2012 at 2:25 PM , Blogger Caitlin said...

I'm still debating about whether or not I want to read this. This seems like it could either be a total flop or I'd really love it. I love it when books focus on the romance though (love me some mushy moments!), so maybe I'll just take the plunge and do it.

At January 4, 2012 at 4:04 PM , Blogger Sarah said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this one, I definitely did too. I have to disagree a bit with the world building though. I think she did a good job on that. Of course there are still some questions and mysteries about the world and the dynamics, but I think those are there for a reason and we'll discover answers along the way. Know what I mean?

Anyways, glad you liked it, I definitely did too and I can't wait for the next one. :)

♥ Sarah @ I'm Loving Books

At January 4, 2012 at 7:47 PM , Blogger Giselle said...

I really can't wiat to start this one. Everyone is really loving it!! Awesome review!

Xpresso Reads

At January 4, 2012 at 8:16 PM , Blogger Jennifer said...

I immediately put this one on my 2012 reading list after the cover was released...gorgeous. It sounds like it will definitely be a fascinating read. Great review.

At January 5, 2012 at 11:21 AM , Blogger Blodeuedd said...

That cover just pulls me in at once, and I am glad to hear that the story behind it is good too


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