Navdha's Reviews > Incarnation

Incarnation by Emma Cornwall
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's review
Sep 22, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: ilovethecoveromg, it-was-okay-ish, not-very-happy, not-what-i-expected, yay-it-s-over
Read from September 22 to 28, 2012

A few books pull you in from the prologue. They might not keep you enthralled but when the beginning starts on a good note, you have something to look forward to. As the story progresses, a book might have its ups and downs but there are very few that stay amazing all throughout. However, the case with this book is entirely different. It started in a disoriented, confused fashion and ended on a similar note. The prologue left me wary and since my expectations with this book weren't much to begin with, the beginning affected my overall mood. I know that the broken prologue was intentional on the author's part and some might be sucked into the story right with it, but in my case, I would have left it if not for my rule of giving every book a fair chance.

Incarnation begins with our protagonist digging her way out of her grave with a stake protruding from her chest. She doesn't remember much and has no idea who turned her into what she is now. Having remembered a few snippets of her former life, she goes to her old house and with nothing much to do other than hunt at night for food, she finds herself exploring her old house where she comes across Dracula novel by Bram Stoker. But what she didn't expect was to find her story on the transcript at her father's desk. Determined more than ever to find out what she can about her new life and the person responsible for giving it to her, Lucy sets out to find Stoker in London and get answers that she had been avoiding for months.

The premise is of Victorian London with a touch of steam-punk. I've read a number of books with gothic setting and don't mind reading books from any era as long as the writing style doesn't slow me down. Here though, Cornwall's writing style failed to keep me interested. At places the info dump made me yawn and I found myself doing something else after reading two chapters (<-- that, never happens). Lucy's monologue made me feel nothing. I didn't feel any emotion towards any character. Maybe it was because Lucy being a vampire didn't have many emotions to begin with, but her repulsion to her new life-style or her determination to find her creator fell flat for me.

Characterization matters a lot to me while reading a book along with the plot and the world building. The one thing Incarnation has going on for it is the fast-paced plot with a good story-line. I liked how Cornwall took a new take on the vampire-human relationship. A few things, like the romance, were nothing I've not read before but since it didn't overshadow the story-line, I didn't really mind. (Again, I'd like to mention that anything that happened to the characters left me unaffected, including the romance which seemed to be an addition only for the sake of Lucy having a lover and a character that would help her when she needed.)
It wouldn't have made a difference to me if I left the book at any random page or chapter. The only reason I kept going on was hoping something might change and make me like it. (view spoiler)

The second half surely was better than the first half, which I mostly dragged through. I couldn't have predicted the villain and even if my lack of emotions towards the book didn't leave me surprised after finding out his/her identity, i'll admit that it was a nice twist. There were only two scenes in the book that captured my attention. One was when (view spoiler) and the other was when (view spoiler).

The way the story was progressing, I was looking forward to a better ending. After (view spoiler) was kidnapped (which btw was very predictable), everything went down in a blur and I don't even understand what Lucy did to kill the other villain. (Don't worry, I didn't spoil anything by saying that one of the villain dies. It's obvious, right?)

What did interest me in the book, was the cellular composition that they talked about in vampires. Sadly, I wasn't given much explanation for that or well, mostly anything that in my opinion needed more explanation. Also, I'd have liked to know more about Lucy's parents' role in her being turned into a vampire. I wonder how much her father or mother knew. Maybe the next book explores other aspects that were hardly touched in this book but... I'm not really willing to find out.

In conclusion, I'd like to add that the book isn't bad, just boring for my taste. I don't want my opinion to hinder anyone from picking up this book and so the 3 star rating *cough*make it 2.5*cough*. I think I've grown out of vampire books...or..err..this just wasn't for me.

My reaction can be summed up as:

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Reading Progress

09/23/2012 page 125
09/24/2012 page 125
35.0% "Either I have grown out of vampire books or the writing style of this book isn't doing it for me."
09/24/2012 page 150
42.0% "It's going okay but I'm still not very enthusiastic.. Maybe I should start another book?"

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by Deniz (new)

Deniz hows it looking?

Navdha If only I had started.. I'm really starting to dislike weekends and I've always disliked people. :/

message 3: by Deniz (last edited Sep 28, 2012 09:03AM) (new)

Deniz your review is rather uhm UN-entusiastic but you still gave it 4 stars?

edit: oh i see you just bumped it down ;)

Navdha It showed 4? I only rated it 3. And I might make it a 2.5 but I can't pinpoint what exactly I don't like about it. Maybe cause it didn't make me react anyway, I don't feel like rating it better.

message 5: by Deniz (new)

Deniz Navdha wrote: "It showed 4? I only rated it 3. And I might make it a 2.5 but I can't pinpoint what exactly I don't like about it. Maybe cause it didn't make me react anyway, I don't feel like rating it better."

yeah it did.. thats why i was confused. thought the review and rating really dont add up

well, the point is you didnt exactly like it much either. i dont think one has to justify each rating. sometimes a book just doesnt speak to you, and thats ok!

Navdha Hm. But because the plot is good enough I think it doesn't deserve just a 2. I'm confused about my feelings or lack thereof.

message 7: by Deniz (new)

Deniz Navdha wrote: "Hm. But because the plot is good enough I think it doesn't deserve just a 2. I'm confused about my feelings or lack thereof."

oh, then wait and see... you will know how you feel about it in a couple of days

Navdha Yeah..or I'll probably skip on the review altogether and move on to other books. ;)

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