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Amy's Book Den


Incarnate - Jodi Meadows Her name is Ana and she is a newsoul, a person that hasn't been reborn ever, and in a world where everyone reincarnates that’s a problem. Her mother is especially cruel and vicious calling her a nosoul, and raises Ana believing she has no right to anything. Not to own things, or to learn things, or to deserve love, because what's the point if she will die and not be reborn. On her eighteen birthday Ana decides it's time to find out where she really comes from, and the only place that might have some answers is the city of Heart, where all the thousand souls that reincarnate live. But Ana has never left home before, and in less than a day she gets into trouble by running into some Sylphs. She is rescued by Sam, a boy her age who was traveling the forest. After Ana ends up rescuing him from a second Sylph attack, he decides he will help her read Heart. Ana never imagined that the city would feel so wrong, or that the other souls hate/fear her so. She certainly didn't imagine falling in love with a five thousand year old soul in a hot teen body! Incarnate wasn't at all what I expected, but that's not a bad thing. I loved that it was a fantasy world. There are centaurs, sylphs, and even dragons! However the boundaries of the world—as in how far and wide is the land, their world— are never established. That sort of bothered me and intrigued me at the same time. I think this might be revealed later because of a hint given during one of Sam and Ana's conversations. But I still wanted to know what else was out there. Also, I couldn't visualize the whole geysers, caldera, and volcanic stuff occurring around the city. I didn't understand how it fit in with the rest. I liked Sam from the second he appeared on scene. He is sweet, caring, and makes a point of calling her newsoul, instead of the belittling nosoul. He thinks Ana is amazing just for the simple fact that she's not immortal. He says…"If I knew there wasn't much time life, I'd get things done more quickly. See more places, finish all my projects." He makes many more insightful observations like that as the story moves along. The scene where Sam completely stole my heart is probably the piano scene. Breathtaking, really. And the song that emerges from that, and what he names it…also epic. There were a couple of things that I found creepy and pretty morbid sometimes. Like the fact that Sam keeps his own cemetery for all of his past lives bodies, or that he keeps girl clothes for when he reincarnates as a woman (though that’s practical…). Ana too was having trouble wrapping her mind around some of these things. I would laugh at her for freaking out, but then when I seriously thought about it…yeah. I'd be freaked too. Ana was a fantastic character too. She is cynical, sarcastic, fun, and stubborn. She really is trying to get the most out of her life, and not even Sam can stop her when she really wants something. But I didn't understand why the Council was making her life so miserable there, with all the rules and testing stuff. If they don't care about her because she'll just die and not be reborn, then why are they actively trying to screw her over? Overall a fantastic story, pretty cool characters, heartfelt romance…But after digesting it for a bit, I felt it could have pushed the limits even more. So my rating is 3, but it gets a +1 for the gorgeous cover.