Google+ Reading Teen: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows: Book Review

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows: Book Review

Author: Jodi Meadows
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Series:  Book 1
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (January 31, 2012)
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.
At a glance:  

I really wanted to love Incarnate, but while the storyline was fascinating and original, I couldn't connect with the characters, and had a hard time staying engaged in the story.


I was really excited to get Incarnate!  As soon as it came in the mail, I snatched it up and started reading.  I found the idea completely fascinating.  It really had so many things in it that the fantasy lover in me craves, dragons, sylphs, and other mysterious creatures, and a whole alternate universe and utopian society where people are reincarnated over and over.

Ana is a Newsoul in a world of people who have lived hundreds of different lives.  When she was born, people expected her to be Ciana, who had died five years earlier.  When they found that Ana was not Ciana, her father abandoned her and her mother left the city with her in shame.  She spent the next 18 years abusing Ana, making her believe she is a Nosoul who has no real feelings, and no right to life.  So when Ana finally leaves home, she goes on a quest to find out why she was born, and what her purpose is.  Ana meets Sam, who has lived for thousands of years, but is only 18 in this life, and together they try to find Ana's place in the world. 

Like I said before, I loved the premise, and the idea of the world that was created, but for me I just felt so much was lacking.  I never fully got a grasp on the world, what it was like, if these were the only people in it, what time period it was supposed to be etc.  The people, who have lived for thousands of years, seemed so simple-minded.  The mythical creatures and their actions were unexplained.  Although I liked the intent, something was lost in translation for me.

I didn't connect with Ana at all.  She was so angry, suspicious, and paranoid about everything.  She constantly whined and no matter how much Sam helped her, she never trusted him.  I understand that was cause by her abusive mother, but I think what bothered me so much was, what did Sam see in her?  She was awful to him, and I didn't see anything fun, happy, or attractive about her.  Maybe he just is the type that wants to rescue someone?  The romance was also strange because Ana seemed like a 12-year-old child while Sam seemed like a 40 year-old-man.  It just didn't work for me.

I also didn't feel like enough was resolved.  Sam had so many strange behaviors that Ana never confronted him about.  The ending was just sudden and strange.  Then we're left with a complete cliffhanger, and there was definitely a serious case of Series Syndrome going on.

I guess if I was going to wrap this book up with one word, it would be awkward.  The people were awkward, the romance was awkward, and the ending was seriously awkward.  Although this book didn't work for me, make sure you check out lots of other reviews, it may be something that's perfect for you!

Want a Second Opinion?  

Check out Mundie Moms 4.5 star review 
or an awesome picture review by HD here!!

Book Doppelgangers:

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting, Cinder by Merissa Meyer

  • Profanity:  None
  • Sexual Content:  Mild/Moderate
  • Violence:  Moderate
For more details, check out Incarnate on


  1. Great thorough review. I really enjoyed this one but you do make good points on the world building. I was especially weirded out that you have a baby and he's someone you already knew O_O

    1. Yeah, very weird, but also an interesting concept! Link your review and I'll check it out! :D

  2. Great review! I actually really want to read this but I'm kinda hesitant. I've heard some mixed reviews on it. Hm....I guess I'll go to the library to get it :/

    Mackenzie @ Oh, For the Love of Books!

    1. That's a good idea! Then if you love it, you can buy it afterwards! :D

  3. I just read your Series Syndrome post. THANK YOU! Can I just enjoy a book for a few hours? It seems that so many authors don't have a clear picture in mind. They are just writing and adding twists that seem random then never get resolved but in the meantime nothing. is. happening. I've started to specifically look for books NOT in a series/trilogy. I know I'm missing out on really fun books but they can't all be Hunger Games, Twilight, or whatever. They just can't. I want the author to write the story with the end in mind. I want them to storyboard it or whatever. If the story can be told in 300 pages, it's a book. If the story can be told in 50 pages, there isn't a story to be told. Try again. If the story really does take seven book (Harry Potter), better make sure you have 7 solid years to devote to your readers with very well developed characters, plot, etc.

    Bless you for that post!

    Oh, and I agreed with you on Incarnate. Also Spellbound/Spellcaster. Just sayin'.

    1. I agree completely!!

      I haven't read Spellbound....though I have it on my Kindle and keep thinking about it. Good to know it's one I probably should pass on. Makes me feel not as guilty about not reading it! haha


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