Katherine Tegen Books
January 31, 2012
print: 374 pages
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audio: 9 hours 14 minutes; Katherine Taub, narrator
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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?
Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.
Ana has always know that everyone - everyone - knows more than her, is more learned and wise. It's not just her personal belief, but a fact. The million souls of Range have been reincarnated for thousands of years, living lives again and again, with each other. Only, something happened eighteen years ago and instead of one of the expected souls being born again, it was Ana. The newsoul. The nosoul.
No one knows why she happened. Nor are they happy about it.
Though we don't see that much of the other characters, it's easy to see how some of them, while viewing Ana as not only mortal but also potentially dangerous could want to treat her as they do. Her life would seem like only a drop in the bucket compared to all of the time, the lives they have. Though life expectancy is never really discussed in Incarnate, with dragons, the sylph and all of the other creatures, it doesn't seem too many are living to be senior citizens.
Yet, the way the danger and the insularity of Heart is so apparent, also helps in understanding Sam's opposition to that way of thinking. Though a million people is not 'small,' exactly, after lifetimes upon lifetimes, the way everyone knows everyone (and their past, has opinions of them, etc) is apparent.
I do wish we were able to see more of some of the characters who made only the smallest of appearances - some just a sentence or two - because they really gave an interesting glimpse into other parts of Heart. Incarnate had a lot that needed to happen and be explained though with Ana's story and with Heart, however, and the focus seemed to be kept where it was necessary.
There were places where the emotional connection created between Sam and Ana (and the reader) was just superb. Their tension was fantastic and kept at a great level. The emotion, the tension between other characters didn't seem click nearly as well but I think that was, at least partially due to my listening to the audiobook.
While I recommend reading Incarnate, I really cannot recommend the audio version. The first fifteen seconds were enough to tur me off to it, but I needed a book to listen to and really wanted to read Incarnate. The narrator, Katherine Taub,has some sort of suhper dihfferent, almost Valley Girl voice going on (where i feel like there are a lot of extra 'h's thrown in?). It may be intended to sound teenage, but it . . . doesn't really work. Farther into the book, things either even out or become less noticeable. There are two characters (sometimes in the scene together, sometimes not) who of different age and gender, who sounded exactly the same to me. It was very distracting. Particularly in a scene I wish it hadn't been.
I'm really looking forward to the second book in this series, Asunder and to reading it.
Rating: 8/10 for the book; 4.5/10 for narration
Don't forget about the Incarnate Series Read-A-Thon going on now!
the rest of the series: