Wednesday 12 December 2012

Review -- Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)
Title: Incarnate
Author: Jodi Meadows
Series: Newsoul (1)
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: 31 January 2012
Date Read: December 2012

Ana lives in a world where souls are reborn. When you die, your gets reincarnated into a new body, a new set of cards to play. There are exactly one million souls in Heart and these souls have been reincarnated again and again, generation after generation, for five thousand years. 

I really liked the idea of the reincarnation. It reminded me of Every Day and I thought it was going to have some deep, emotional writing about life and whatnot. But, no. The only thing Meadows touched on is the romance. Of course. What else would it be? So soul dedication is the idea that two souls are meant to be together, soul mates essentially. They dedicate themselves to each other each generation, no matter physical appearances, age or sex. It's cute, albeit cheesy. But I didn't grasp how reproducing worked. Do they just mate with whoever they wanted? Or did the Council pair them together? Wouldn't it have been weird if in one generation, he/she was your parent then the next he/she was your lover? Does every citizen keep track of who was whom in every generation?

Along with reincarnation, there was talk of dragons, sylphs, unicorns and centaurs in this world. But I can count in one hand the amount of scenes where Meadows included the fantasy creatures. Why did she include them there in the first place?

Ciana dies on the night of the Temple of Heart goes dark. Everyone expects her to be reborn in a couple of years. Only she never returns. A baby girl is born and Ciana is supposed to inhabit that body but it's Ana's soul they find. Ana, a newsoul, someone completely new. The residents of Heart blames her for the final death of Ciana and hateful for the unknown she represents. Eighteen years later, Ana is determined to find out answers about herself and her soul. On her way to Heart, she gets attacked by sylphs and Sam is there to save her. They spend the next month in Sam's cottage while Ana healed from the sylph injuries. So basically that's a month of nothing really that interesting happening. They couldn't even make a decision about their romance. They obviosuly liked each other but they kept going back and forth, growing closer then pulling back. Ana had trust issues and was defensive, always jumping to the worst conclusions. Sam, I don't even know what his deal was.

Ana finally heals and they go to Heart together. The Council appoint Sam as Ana's guardian because she's a newsoul and they're all secretly afraid of her. They spend their time in the library reading about reincarnation. Ana has lessons everyday to become a useful citizen in Heart. They settle into a routine and it's all completely boring. You'd think Meadows would use this time to introduce and shape her world better, clue readers in on geography, history, stuff that would have given me a better idea of Ana's world. Instead, Ana was just said, "I'm reading. Now, I'm done." Oh, ok. You're not going to tell me anything. That's cool. She had this routine for months. It was boring. Not a single thing happened. Unless you count a bunch of romance-y angst between Sam and Ana a thing, then I retract my statement because there were lots of those.

There wasn't even any good action. What kind of dystopian doesn't have good, intense, breathing-hard-running-for-your-life action? It was only at the end where things picked up but I'm not even sure what exactly happened. I wasn't paying attention anymore. I just skim read. Something about  everywhere light and Janan and dragons. I don't even know.

I'll probably read the next one just to see where Meadows take the story. There were some aspects of it that genuinely interested me but it just got buried under heaping piles of ugh. I read the synopsis for the second one and it sounded good. Then again, the synopsis for this one sounded good and look how well that turned out.

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