Pricky's Reviews > Incarnate

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
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's review
Feb 16, 12

did not like it
bookshelves: could-ve-been-but-wasn-t, dazed-and-confused, dragons, read-in-2012, romance, reviewed, ya, fantasy, reincarnation
Read from February 05 to 13, 2012

A very disappointing debut by author Jodi Meadows. The premise had so much promise: reincarnated souls, dragons, mystery, romance...and yet sometime after the first few chapters, the story went....nowhere.

Anna is raised as a "nosoul": a soul that is not considered viable since she hasn't lived over and over again. The souls that do reincarnate have lived among each other for thousands of years. When Anna meets Sam (technically a thousand plus years, Sam sees something unique in her as they both try to solve the mystery behind Anna's birth.

Well, this so-called mystery was so overshadowed by the awkward romance between Sam and Anna that I didn't even know what the story was about anymore. About 85% of the time, I was trying to understand the relationship between Sam and Anna: in one scene Anna challenges him; the next she wants a kiss. The dialogue was so rough and choppy that at times, I had to reread the page just to understand what they were even talking about which pretty much consisted of either: music, danger, or pondering their relationship. Which, I never really did find out why Sam was so (view spoiler). Was it their age difference? Society's view of him? Apparently that was one detail that wasn't important to the story...The only thing I kept thinking about through all the romance was that maybe Stephanie Perkins should offer writing lessons to Meadows.

My main disappointment was that the theme of reincarnation was so poorly explored and confusing. The souls of Incarnate's world are asexual in nature which seems so at odds with what I understand the soul to be. A soul can be a man in one life, a woman the next, then a son, then a mother. Does that mean gender is purely physical and not part of who you are? That's hard for me to understand. I keep thinking about circumstances in today's world where there are individuals who adamantly feel like they are in the "wrong" physical body.

Also, what about their society? How does being reincarnated affect the way people treat each other? We only get glimpses of how Sam and his friends know information about each other but we don't get to see how life would be different when you've known everyone for thousands of years.

Also, who this all powerful Janan God and how or why does he have control over the souls? Another mystery not clearly addressed. And where do the "new" souls come from if Janan is the "God?"

Oh, and the big reveal at the end? The clue to Anna's very existence? My mouth hung open: are you kidding me? THAT's. IT?! That's what I read 370 pages to find out? (view spoiler). It almost seemed like all the stuff in-between was purposefully drawn out because the climax was too simple non-existent.

Sadly, a book I can't recommend to anyone.

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02/05/2012 page 10
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Laura (new)

Laura Have you read My Name Is Memory by Ann Brashares? Its premise has to do with reincarnation as well and I thought it was pretty good. You might like that one better...

Pricky Laura wrote: "Have you read My Name Is Memory by Ann Brashares? Its premise has to do with reincarnation as well and I thought it was pretty good. You might like that one better..."

Thanks for the recommendation! It's sounds interesting. I'll have to check that one out. It's been hard to find a book that does the whole reincarnation theme justice. I've heard the "Eternal Ones" is good but haven't read it yet.

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