publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
release date: January 31st, 2012
hardcover, 384 pages
intended audience: Young adult
series: Newsoul, book 1
source: from publisher for honest review
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 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?
Review: From page one, Incarnate grabbed me and didn't let go. On many levels it surprised me and gave me more than I expected: more fantasy, more romance, and more depth. It was incredibly well-written and touched on things like appreciating life (how does a society that lives forever learn to appreciate anything?) and takes a uniquely twisted look at someone facing prejudices born of fear. When Ana was born, a soul that everyone had knows for 5000 years disappeared and no one knew why. Not only did they take that out on her, but they treated her like she'd had some control over what happened, or like if they let her in they might disappear and be replaced, too---like she was contagious or something. That alone, they way Ana was treated by the old souls and especially by her own mother, added a painful depth to her story and her character. Ana is definitely a character to admire,...throughout the story, she shows immense strength, determination, and passion despite being taught all her life that she is some sort of an abomination.
I loved the romance in this story. I've always been a sucker for chivalry---and Sam definitely had that down. He was the first one to see Ana as a person, and not as some sort of tainted soul. He stands up for her when her attempts to stand up for herself go unheard because of what she is. I love that they have a history and connection before they've even met. But then there is doubt and tension and uncertainty--- I thought it was a perfectly imperfect love story.
The costume ball scene!! *sigh* That's all I will say about that. ;)
I can't think of anything I disliked about this. At times there are a lot of characters to keep straight, and wrapping your mind around the whole reincarnation "timing", with characters coming in and out of each others lives at different ages and as different sexes and still remembering those past lives can be mind-boggling, but it was such a captivating and unique story---I absolutely loved every second!
A perfect quote to show what I mean:
Sine was on my side. I liked her even before I found out she'd been Sam's mother in their previous lives. She'd died during childbirth, and was reincarnated when he was three. As a result, he'd spent his teenage years being mothered by a girl younger than him. Then she'd outlived him, and when he was reborn into this body, she was old enough to be his grandmother. I found it endlessly amusing and confusing.
Definitely give this one a try! I'm so glad to hear this will be a series---there are still some mysteries that need solving here! I'm definitely on board for more!
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