Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book


Rate this book
In the steampunk world of Victorian London, a beautiful vampire seeks out the author of Dracula -- to set the record straight . . .

If one is to believe Bram Stoker’s legendary vampire tale, Lucy Weston is Dracula’s most wanton creation, a sexual creature of the night who preys on innocent boys. But the real-life Lucy is nothing like her fictional counterpart -- and she demands to know why the Victorian author deliberately lied. With Stoker’s reluctant help, she’s determined to track down the very fiend who transformed her -- from the sensual underworld where humans vie to become vampires, to a hidden cell beneath a temple to madness, and finally into the glittering Crystal Palace where death reigns supreme.

Haunted by fragmentary memories of her lost life and love, Lucy must battle her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike. Ultimately, she must make a choice that illuminates for her -- and for us -- what it means to be human.

332 pages, Paperback

First published September 18, 2012

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Emma Cornwall

3 books98 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
161 (21%)
4 stars
236 (31%)
3 stars
237 (31%)
2 stars
77 (10%)
1 star
43 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 195 reviews
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,955 followers
September 18, 2012
A halfling, a Protector, and the author of Dracula walk into a mental facility... There has to be a way I can work that into a joke somehow.

What a nice...

Steampunk Novel
Urban Fantasy
Gothic Mystery
Historical Fiction

...this was? I'm not quite sure what I just read. The mention of a dirigible here and there wasn't enough to leave me feeling a Steampunk vibe. I do know that I liked whatever was going on, even if I couldn't identify what it was. The writing was descriptive, compelling, and often amusing. Fans of cheeky urban fantasy with a historical bent (who won't mind the lack of steam) will probably enjoy Incarnation.

I'll go with a 3.5 star rating for the time being. Even though there wasn't a cliffhanger ending, I would have expected more finality to the story if this were to be a standalone book. Since I'm reading Incarnation pre-release and there is a chance we might still learn that this will become a series in the future, I'm sort of leaning toward the possibility of a sequel, which is why I'm hopefully rounding up to a 4 star for now. This would be 'okay to decent' for a standalone, but 'pretty darn good' for book 1 in a series, so here's hoping!

I didn't mind the curious pace of the book. The atmospheric writing made for a dark and intriguing world. What was lacking in character development was (somewhat) compensated for with the narration of the story.
"After you," Felix said and drew me away, back through the iron-studded door and down through the hall where long-dead lords and ladies gazed at us sorrowfully and unicorns shed tears of blood.

If darkly poetic writing isn't your thing, perhaps an edge of dry humor would suit your preferences better.
Instead, we were greeted by the aroma of burning sage and the pounding of drums accompanied by chanting.
"What on earth is that?" I asked.
Marco grimaced. "We have a bit of a demon problem at present."

Our main character Lucy is a brand-new halfling in a world not used to the spawn of both vampire and human. Her connection to Bram Stoker is but a small detail compared to her connections with some other real and imagined characters throughout history. If you have any sort of love affair with the story of King Arthur of Camelot and the people connected to him, you might be interested to find how that famous tale ties into the story of our main character.

Lucy's sire is a man of mystery :
The power and beauty of this being who commanded my attention banished all else. He reached out, opening his arms to me in a gesture that found its echo in my deepest soul. I could think only of him, respond only to him. Obey only him.

It must suck to be a halfling when your very human side wants to rebel against your vampiric nature.
"I did not ask for this existence...whatever this is. I am neither alive nor dead. I am trapped somewhere in between."

Surprisingly enough, the one character who did stand out for me the most was a vampire hunter who was not described with nearly as much finesse as Lucy's sire. Nevertheless (breaking out the big words tonight), I did like this man who played a huge role in Lucy's life, both before and after Incarnation. Go figure!

This might have been a different type of read than I was expecting, but sometimes different works out just fine for me.

This book was provided from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

319 reviews1,885 followers
September 14, 2012
"Look in the skies above you," he said. "With each passing day, we are under ever more surveillance for no better reason than that men live in fear and suspicions of each other. Our technology outstrips our ability to reason or even to care. Walk the shortest distance beyond the better areas of this city and you will find degradation and suffering that defy description. The inhumanity of man is also part of being human."

So rarely does a paranormal novel such as Incarnation come along and effect me so emotionally, and the amount of heart this novel had beneath its vampiric elements really came as a shock to me, albeit in the best way possible. Incarnation is the black sheep among the current trend of vampire novels hitting the shelves, in that it's original, doesn't recycle other novels of the genre's storylines, and that it's actually good.

Lucy Weston finds herself buried deep underground, with a stake in her chest, and almost no memory of how she in the ground, how she got a stake in her chest, or, more importantly, who put the stake in her chest. Digging out of her own grave, Lucy finds herself in Victorian London, while the classic novel, Dracula, is newly published. Having nothing better to do, Lucy decides to read Dracula, only to find that the entire novel is just a rehashed version of her death. On a mission to find the author of Dracula, Bram Stoker, and the being who turned her from the young human she once was to the monster she currently is, Lucy soon finds herself deeper in the world of the supernatural than she ever intended to be.

I don't know if I could possibly put my feelings for Incarnation into words. Normally, novels set in the past don't interest me very much, Victorian time periods being one of those time periods that don't normally work for me, but Incarnation is having me rethink my stance on novels set in Victorian times. The world we're introduced to in Incarnation, while a bit light on the steampunk, is stunning and richly detailed, and the world-building we're provided with is entrancing and beautiful. Cornwall's prose, while at times a bit full of info-dumps, is completely and utterly breathtaking, and I highlighted many passages while reading the novel just because they were so gorgeously written.

The characters in Incarnation are incredibly well-written and well developed, and the plot is extremely original and captivating, with a few twists and turns along the way. You won't find any of the common tropes you would find in most vampire novels when reading Incarnation, and that, among other things, is what will make Incarnation stand out in the midst of vampire novels. As well as that, the romance in Incarnation is well developed, and, for once, does not overshadow the plot, but instead takes a backseat to it.

And I notice this review barely brushes upon the aspects of Incarnation, but that's because I truly am at a loss for words with this novel. Upon first look, Incarnation might seem like just another vampire novel, but, through deeper introspection, it is truly about a young woman struggling to find her true self in an instance where such a thing seems impossible, and for that, I love it. If you have any doubts when it comes to reading Incarnation, borrow it from a friend, or from the library. It may just surprise you, just like it surprised me.

Yet as I drifted deeper into sleep, ravens cawed and wolves howled, vampires showed their fangs and humans bared their throats to be bled while off in the distance great engines roared and steam shot into the sky where soot fell as tears, baptizing the new age.
Profile Image for Kelly.
616 reviews148 followers
October 8, 2012
In Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula, beautiful young Lucy Westenra was staked and buried after being turned into a vampire. Emma Cornwall’s Incarnation picks it up from there. Lucy (here called Lucy Weston) awakens in the grave and claws her way back to the surface, where she makes her way to London and embarks on a search for the mysterious creature who transformed her.

While Incarnation uses events from Dracula as a jumping-off point, perhaps the best way to fully appreciate Incarnation is to let go of Dracula as much as possible. There’s little left of the original to cling to, and if you go in expecting merely a different perspective on the same tale, you’re likely to be disappointed. In Cornwall’s version, Bram Stoker (who appears as a character) wrote almost everything in his novel as a deliberate cover-up. The Transylvanian count is a misdirection; the vampire who turned Lucy bears little resemblance to him. There’s no Mina; no Jonathan. Lucy had a suitor before her transformation, but he’s not any of the three we’re familiar with. It’s simply a completely different story, and you’ll enjoy it more if you go in expecting that. Think of Incarnation less as a sequel to Dracula and more as the beginning of an urban fantasy series that happens to be set in Victorian London.

(At least I hope it will be a series. I can find no information on a sequel, butIncarnation reads like the start of a series rather than as a standalone. There’s a lot more story to be told here.)

Cornwall packs a ton of awesome ideas into this novel. There are vampires, of course. There’s an element of Arthurian legend. The Golden Dawn. Werewolves. Slayers. Steampunk. A little bit of dystopia, even — this isn’t quite our Victorian London, and there’s some creepy surveillance going on. And my favorite aspect of Incarnation: its portrayal of London as a palimpsest, with layers upon layers of history, and a warren of buried streets and rivers running beneath the city. Cornwall doesn’t explore all of these ideas to the fullest, but gives us enough to intrigue, and there’s plenty of room for future plots if she continues writing in this universe.

Lucy can sometimes be a hard character to get a handle on, as she wavers between cold pragmatism and a more emotional side. However, I think this is done intentionally to illustrate a duality in her nature that is explained later. In any case she’s a character readers will root for in her determination to survive, starting with the gripping opening scene.

In a few places, Cornwall does a little too much telling and too little showing. There are some scenes — even scenes with the potential for pulse-pounding action — that read almost as summaries of themselves.
Overall, Incarnation doesn’t quite live up to the huge potential inherent in its steampunk-Dracula-sequel premise. It is enjoyable, however, and succeeds in whetting the appetite for more novels starring Lucy and set in Cornwall’s world.

Profile Image for Sarah Mac.
1,077 reviews
December 31, 2015
Important Safety Tip: This isn't really Dracula fanfic.

Heed my warning, gentle reader. Incarnation's Lucy doesn't sound like the original Lucy; indeed, none of the familiar characters make an appearance -- no Mina, no Jonathan, no Van Helsing, no Quincy, no Seward, no Dracula. If you're in the mood for a true homage, look elsewhere.

[mild spoilers]

Overall, my biggest issue is how the author rushes so much information in an effort to establish how uber-paranormal this alternate reality is. I don't have a problem with cumulative paranormal universes -- but this one is revealed much too quickly, as opposed to a gradual unveiling over multiple books. Authors, please -- let the reader have some questions about the world you're presenting. Allow some loose threads to carry over. (Really. IT'S OKAY.)

Second issue: the halfling vampire stuff. I'm fine with the Slayer/vampire historical symbiosis -- in fact, it makes good sense in the grand scheme -- but Lucy's speshul snowflake halfling status felt unnecessary.

Third issue: the lack of Dracula. Is it a bait-and-switch? Eh, not precisely. This is a paranormal/dystopian/steampunk novel with vampires & a girl named Lucy -- but despite Stoker being a minor character, it had little to do with the source material. The Dracula angle felt more like a gimmick than anything else -- something to hook old-skool vamp fans.

*taps foot impatiently*

...That being said, Incarnation did some things right.

I liked the Arthurian spin on vampirism in the British Isles. I appreciated how the techno & dystopian stuff didn't overwhelm the story; it might not be in-depth enough for hardcore steampunk fans, but it was easily visualized by id'yits like yours truly. I liked the idea that Dracula was written as a red herring for the truth about paranormal critters. I really liked the inclusion of Bedlam & the Crystal Palace. And I loved that the vampires were classically styled -- no matter that they're beautiful, educated, & well-dressed, these are haughty, sensual, dangerous immortals that enjoy taunting each other with fanged testosterone contests & wagering at cards for human acolytes. They're vampires that would fit right in the Blade movies, & that's a definite positive.

Overall it was a quick, enjoyable read -- I just wish the blurb hadn't been so misleading.
Profile Image for Soumi.
Author 1 book379 followers
May 2, 2014
Lucy Weston was most sensual huntress of night who preys on innocent boys. But Lucy has no similarity as Stoker has described her. But truth is she is a vampire and she is looking for the man who has condemned her. With Stoker’s help, Lucy ventured out for the person who transferred her into the creature of night.

The story begins at an opera house where a seductive singer at stage seemed to call Lucy, and she was so compelled by him that she could only focuses on him and only him. Next thing she knew she was on dirt, buried under mud and struggling to crawl her way out. Haunted by fragments for her memories, the life she left behind and struggling with her thirst for blood, she stepped between a war that could destroy both vampires and humans.

Dracula is one legendary creation of Bram Stoker, and reimagining the story and recreating the legend was a very difficult job, and I applaud her courage for taking the risk and she simply nailed it.
Stories set in Victorian periods is something that has always interests me, and Bram Stoker was another reason I chose this books as one of my most anticipated of the year. I have read Dracula, when I was in school, and trust me I couldn’t sleep for two nights. I’m older now, and horror stories don’t scare me that me, but I definitely felt chills on my blood while reading Incarnation at night.

The book was richly imaginative, vivid and luxurious. Walking down to the grim and spooky alleys of steampunk London of 1897, I felt my heart will jump out of my throat. The club houses loomed with seductive creatures and terror, and whole grim and lavish environment was very creative of the author.
Accompanied by a man named Marco, who came from a long line of vampire hunters, who knows about her more than herself, who also holds key to her past, Lucy found herself deeply attached to him. The characters was well written and well developed. I’m drooling over Marco, and Lucy, she is just as kick ass as you can imagine. Struggling with grief of losing her family, who thinks she is dead, and thirst for blood, there was feeling and humanity left inside her.
The author has related the story to Arthurian legend Mordred, knows as the traitor is history, but the author revealed the veil from his character, and portrayed him as the people who sacrificed himself for sake of his people, which gave a new turn on rest of the story. I’m not telling you guys more, if you want to find out, please read the book.
But I’m stunned to see how the author picked up legendary characters one by one and shade them in new colours which none of us could actually imagine.

Incarnation was extremely captivating and gorgeously written. As I drifted deeper, I found myself drawn to the dark world. Highly recommended for those, who are looking for a nice but surprising reading, then this is the book for you.
Profile Image for Experiment BL626.
209 reviews351 followers
June 17, 2013
Nice read but lacked oomph.

+ the goods

The reasons the book was a good read was because of the elegant mixing of elements, the diverse characters, and the strong heroine. The incorporation of the King Arthur legend surprised me. This was the first time I read a Dracula fanfiction where Dracula and Mordred were the same character and one of the good guys. I liked how that the good guys also included Bram Stoker and Queen Victoria. They unexpectedly played a significant role, along with the Prime Minister, towards the end in a simulacrum of an all-stars cast much to my delight.

Lucy impressed me the most (as she rightfully should have being that she was the heroine). She could have easily been typecasted as a Delicate Lady (swooning optional) because she woke up with amnesia and as a vampire against her wishes. I liked that despite her perplexed state of mind her wits remained intact and that she was capable of defending herself.

In regard to the villains, I liked how they encompassed both bad vampires and bad humans. On one extreme, you had vampires who believed in the superiority of their existence and that it was time for humans to know their place. On the other extreme, you had humans who believed vampires had been a necessary evil as a national defense which was no longer necessary and should erode away with the past. The extremes brought a strong sense of realism to the historical Urban Fantasy.

+ the bads

Where the book fell short was the writing, Lucy’s mystique, the Dr. Frankenstein-inspired villain, and the unnecessary loose ends. The writing was verbose and often tested my patience. I didn’t care for the heavy somber mood the book affected throughout the story. I get that the book was based on Dracula which required a certain mood but the book took the mood too far for my liking. The heavy somber mood rubbed raw against the action scenes.

The book regularly mentioned that Lucy could end the vampire race but never specified as to how, much to my annoyance. The characters took the prophecy more seriously than it merited. The things the book did bother to specific were Lucy’s vampiric abilities but never to the depth that I desired. While she had advantages that most vampires didn’t, she was no more indestructible as the rest of the undead rank. The book tried rather too hard and clumsily to portray Lucy as the Chosen One.

One of the characters who opposed Lucy was typecasted as the mad scientist with no other intellect of a character to compensate. Though the book didn’t make pursuit of science a bad thing, it certainly didn’t make it as a good thing either.

The loose ends slightly irritated me. One of the villains escaped when there were many opportunities to eliminate him. I wished Lucy showed some bloodthirst and kicked his ass to hell. I didn’t understand why at the very least no one thought to imprison him once they discovered his evil; the oversight amounted to a plot hole. Another loose end was the romance between Lucy and Marco. An optimistic part of me believed they would eventually work out their issues but things could easily fall on the breakup side, and I prefer certainty. I was displeased with the fact that the ending was intentionally left ajar for a potential sequel when everything could have neatly resolved with a HEA and have the book be a stand-alone.

In Conclusion

I rate Incarnation 2-stars for it was okay. It was an interesting read and devoid of big annoyances if nothing else.
October 25, 2012
**3.5 - 4 stars**

This story is a spin on the Lucy Weston from Bram Stoker's Dracula and we get to find out what happened to her if she didn't really die. The book starts off with her clawing her way out of her coffin and through the dirt with an agonizing hunger and no memory of what has happened to her other than her realizing she is utterly alone.

When I first saw the book, I fell in love with the cover...it is gorgeous! But what stuck out for me was that this Lucy wasn't a sex goddess (even though she is beautiful)...she looked like a bad@ss and I liked that! But...did I really want to read more about Bram Stoker's Lucy? I did hesitate but I'm happy to say that this Lucy is not like Bram's.

I enjoyed reading it from Lucy's point of view...for the most part. I just hated not knowing what had happened and what was going on. She doesn't know who did this to her - only that he is calling her and she is drawn to him. She has no one to guide her or explain things to her or even what she is. As she becomes more aware of herself and her surroundings, she does things intuitively and luckily that works for her. But she is as repulsed by the blood drinking as she is enticed. She is definitely warring with herself in more ways than one.

As she comes to terms with herself, she ends up at her family's home where she does come across a few clues that lead her to London. She finds Bram Stoker who tells her where to find more of her kind and from there to finding her sire. I really can't get into too much detail without giving things away but let me just say, it is one interesting journey.

Yes, there is a bit of steampunk but it is very negligible. The same is true for the historical bent; some clothing and words but nothing that takes away from the story. The biggest upset was the lack of romance. There is a bit of it...some touches, etc., and a scene that is fade to black but nothing like what I was expecting and not with "who" I was expecting!

The drama is very intriguing. There is a whole twist with connections to King Arthur and Britain's Royalty. There are also other paranormals that are involved and a whole sector of "Protectors". It is really laid out quite ingeniously and everything seems to fit. Some things were easy to figure out but I enjoyed being surprised a few times. It definitely kept me interested.

There is a short epilogue that wraps most things up but also seems to leave the story open for another book. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any information if there will be more books.

Favorite quote:

♥ "I don't know, but I will not be swayed by him. It is you I want, only you."

Profile Image for Beth.
3,129 reviews263 followers
December 22, 2012
Lucy Weston wakes to find herself trapped in a coffin. Underground, confused, with little memory and being compelled by a strange song, Lucy Breaks free of her coffin. She quickly discovers that she thirst for blood but is repulsed by the thought. Rushing to her family’s country home, a place she remembers from her past, Lucy discovers a manuscript written by Bram Stoker in her father’s abandon study.

Although Stoker’s manuscript is a fanciful tale it gives many details of Lucy’s circumstances. Realizing Stoker might hold the key to unlocking the secrets to her past and her lack of memory, Lucy heads out for London.

She is quickly enveloped in a brewing war where vampires and humans vive for power. Can she discover why she has been dragged into this world in time to save it? Will she loose her humanity along the way?

Although this book is classed as steampunk, I found it not the norm...there is not a lot of gadgetries and gismos in this story line. That being said, I LOVED this book. I was instantly drawn in by the mystery surrounding Lucy’s transformation and captivated by her resourcefulness. Action, adventure, historical, romance, vampires, werewolves and humans with super abilities blended to make Incarnation a superb reading experience. When Incarnation ended, I was left wanting more. I am adding Incarnation to my favorite shelf and I will be following Emma Cornwall's works. 5 Stars (FAVORITE)

This copy of Incarnation was given to me by Edelweiss and Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review. Published Date September 18, 2012.
Profile Image for Evie.
711 reviews924 followers
September 24, 2012
It's a book about vampires in Victorian England... Need I say more?! Oh, and it has some steampunk, too!! Yum!
Profile Image for Navdha.
574 reviews79 followers
September 29, 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.

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 and the other was when .

The way the story was progressing, I was looking forward to a better ending. After 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:

Profile Image for Parajunkee.
406 reviews196 followers
Want to read
July 23, 2012
Review Originally posted on parajukee.com 8/14/12

PJV Quickie: When I got this gem in the mail I literally swooned all over this cover! Can you say fabulous? And that is Lucy Westenra {Bram Stoker's Dracula}, whom looks very much alive, instead of lying in a crypt in her wedding gown with a stake through her heart. I always did love Lucy. And now Cornwall brings Lucy into modern literature as a kick-ass vampire. Gotta love that concept.

I had a ton of fun on this adventure with the misrepresented Lucy Westen of Bram Stoker's popular novel, 'Dracula.' The novel was set in a fictionalized Victorian England, in a steampunk environment. Yet, the steampunk was dressing and not the main theme of the novel. The main theme was decidedly paranormal, specifically vampire culture. Lucy is the victim of a vampire attack and later wakes to find herself thirsting for blood and having very disjointed memories of her past. She breaks into her family's country home and finds a copy of 'Dracula' and realizes it is a very over-blown version of her own story. The book was a fantastic concept and quite unexpected for me. I'm usually not a huge fan of "retellings", but luckily this wasn't a retelling at all. Cornwall just used the characters and created her own story, there were no parallels with the epic 'Dracula' besides the concept of vampires and the character of Lucy. Bram Stoker himself does make an appearance in the book though.

Lucy was enjoyable.

What I really liked about this book was Lucy herself, her character could be described as very clinical at first. She is really nothing more than an animal when the book starts. Hunt. Eat. Sleep. She has lost her humanity and when she comes across her family home suddenly she begins to remember. The book is basically about her slowly regaining her humanity. There is also a very broad mystery behind the novel also, as Lucy tries to discover why she was made a vampire and just how deep the conspiracy goes. Along the way, Lucy discovers that the fanged, blood sucking variety are not the only paranormal creatures in this steampunk London. But, they might just be the most dangerous, especially as a shift of power seems to be on the horizon.

Steampunk World was subtle, but rich.

The world creation was also fabulously done, in 'Incarnation.' Cornwall depicts the steampunk backdrop in quick and easy detail, never overly descriptive, her tone was as if we were already caught up in how the world should be. I enjoyed it thoroughly. I could imagine the world as my brain depicted it, instead of being bogged down with adjectives that I can't connect to form one picture.

Romance was lackluster.

This book was not a romance, it was a mystery, drama type scenario. The romance was only a small part of the novel, but if you are anything like me, if there is a romance, you want it to be -- well -- romantic. The anxiety was there, the star-crossed lover aspect was there, even the against all odds, different worlds, aspect was there. Yet, the final culmination of a romantic union was done in a whisper. I did not expect a sex scene, I just maybe expected something a little bit more. But, like Cornwall's penchant for slight descriptions, she also implemented this within the romance. Worked for the world building, didn't work as well as I would have liked for the romance.

Overall an imaginative and dramatic steampunk novel.

Besides a few confusing plot threads and the romance that left me wanting, the novel was a very enjoyable read. I couldn't find any rumors that there were to be more in the series, in fact I can't find an author web site or blog anywhere! But, the world Cornwall created was rich enough to carry a few more books. I look forward, if there is more, to reading this author again.


While, Lucy is an adult character, the book does not lean towards the usual paranormal adult trappings (no heaving bosoms or ripped corsets!). There are some adult themes, told as Lucy as a witness, but nothing she engages in. I would recommend this for a more mature reader and for fans of paranormal mysteries. With the steampunk themes of this novel being slight, this would be a good book to test out the waters as far as this genre. The thing I like about steampunk is that it gives a historical more of a modern point of view. So, you have that historical setting, but the characters are not bogged down with speaking formally and acting within the confines of the conservative past. This is definitely a book you do not want to pass up.
Profile Image for Lili.
453 reviews49 followers
September 29, 2012
Can I just say that Lisa is beyond awesome for sending this book to me? I couldn't get enough of it and I'm so happy that this somehow found its way into my hands.

I was lost in Victorian London from page one. This paranormal story took me on an amazing adventure, illuminating the creatures that go bump in the night while Lucy struggles to understand what it means to be human. The historical fiction aspect of this novel was done amazingly and I can honestly say that I've never come across a vampire novel quite like this one.

We all know that a few years ago, vampires exploded onto the YA scene with flare. Since then, they fell into a ton of cliches that all books about vampires seemed to fall prey to, so it was a pleasant surprise to see that INCARNATION is so unique. This is a vampire story unlike any other and has effectively restored my faith in the paranormal creature that I used to love so dearly, but learned to hate due to the lack of originality that tended to come with its respective tale, abilities, and creation. But the originality in this story is off the charts. Bram Stoker writing DRACULA just to cover up what truly happened to Lucy? Brilliant!

The plot in this book will capture you from the get-go. The book begins with Lucy finding herself buried in a coffin, a stake through her heart, and we're with her as she claws her way through the dirt to emerge from her makeshift grave and recover the lost secrets of her past. Not only is Lucy an amazing main character, struggling to sustain her humanity in a world where humans were nothing but toys and live bait, but she's relatable and will stop at nothing to do what she thinks is right. She's accepting and kind despite the despicable creature she was transformed to. Basically, she's a respectable character and a great vessel to experience emotion through as a reader. She's sharp and fearless, the type of heroine that is impossible to hate. With a strong supporting cast, Lucy and her crew are truly unforgettable characters.

The plot twists in this book are plentiful and I was forced to flip pages at lightning speed. Not the least bit predictable, I was often shocked and excited all at once when a new twist was thrown my way. When we learn more of her maker and why he went to such extremes to create her against her will, we're thrust into a world on the brink of war that could lead to all of humanity being overrun by creatures of the night. And it's up to Lucy to save London before it's too late.

This book is truly amazing. Factually accurate and immensely intriguing, I couldn't put it down. This will satisfy any historical fiction and fantasy lover that likes their stories to have a slight, underlying dark twist. I hope that this will turn into the series because I'm not ready to let go of Lucy, her love interest, and her maker just yet. And once you read this book, you won't be able to either. Full of mystery, strong characters, amazing historical references, and a romance that can't help but make you smile, I definitely recommend this to just about anyone.
Profile Image for Dragana.
1,606 reviews143 followers
November 26, 2012
Incarnation by Emma Cornwall is a spin-of/sequel to Bram Stoker's Dracula. Story is narrated and told in a first person point of view by Lucy Weston, side character and one of Dracula's victims in Bram Stoker's novel.
If you have read Dracula by Bram Stoker (or watched the movie) you know how the story ends for poor Lucy - Dracula seduces her and transforms her into a vampire but she is almost immediately killed/destroyed by Professor Abraham Van Helsing. Incarnation by Emma Cornwall continues story from that point. Lucy wakes up buried in a coffin with a wooden stake trough her heart and no memories of her life before the transformation (or, to use the term from book, incarnation).
We follow Lucy as she tries to find out what happened to her. She accidentally finds book Dracula by Bram Stoker and is outraged because the story in the novel is not true. Lucy finds Bram Stoker in London and he points her to elite vampire club The Bagatelle. It's interesting getting a view of vampire's decadent society trough Lucy's (naive) eyes.

Unfortunately sometimes the story just gets lost. It feels like Emma Cornwall tried to cover too many genres, if she just stopped at some point Incarnation would have been much better novel. We have historical Victorian setting, vampires, werewolves, magicians, secret societies, forbidden-love type of romance and even a little bit of Arthurian mythology.
Romance in the book is just... flat. I could not feel any depth of emotion between Marco and Lucy. I can excuse Marco because of the customs of that time-period, but Lucy is the narrator. All her descriptions of him were very good but cold. There were no butterflies/chemistry/whatever-you-wanna-call-it.
As for promised steam-punk, all we got was occasional glimpse of zeppelin/dirigible in the sky. Very disappointing. Steampunk element is not necessary for the story and I would not even complain that it is missing, but book summary promised us "steampunk world". So where is it?

Another thing - although this is a stand alone novel it has a little bit open and unresolved ending, especially regarding the love side of story. It is obvious that author plans (if book is popular) to write sequel. This additionally adds to my feeling that Incarnation is not the story that needed to be told, but that it is written to milk the success of current genre trends.

I recommend this book to fans of: vampires or paranormal novels in Victorian setting.

Disclaimer: I was given a free eBook by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for a honest review. This text is also posted on Amazon and my blog.
Profile Image for Kara-karina.
1,658 reviews252 followers
August 19, 2012
Egalley thanks to Gallery Books
Beautiful storytelling which very much reminded me of Gardella Vampires by Colleen Gleason.
Rich, vibrant and really engrossing.

This is not a YA and neither it is a paranormal romance, more like a paranormal historical adventure with slight steampunkish elements. I wouldn't even call it steampunk, because although some interesting technological advances are mentioned they are not used by any of the characters.

Lucy is a very intelligent, courageous girl who is turned suddenly by an ancient vampire, and wakes up in her own grave with a stake in her chest. Confused and disorientated, she literally claws her way out and spends few months feeding on animal blood and living in the cave until a distant call from her creator forces her to go searching for him.

When she thinks of him it's all very Gothic, hazy and luminescent but not romantic. She accepts him like some kind of irresistible force.

She finds her family country house deserted and day by day recovers more of her humanity back. In the same house she discovers a book by Bram Stoker where a heroine with a very similar name Lucy Westera instead of Lucy Weston is seduced and turned into a vampire by Dracula. Enraged by the author twisting the truth, she is determined to come to London and ask Bram how he knew what happened to her and why he distorted the truth.

However, in London our young vampire quickly becomes entangled in Lady Blanche's, an ambitious vampire, struggle for power with a sinister intent to openly dominate humanity, and only Lucy's own maker might be able to stop her.

Joining forces with a mysterious Protector, Marco di Orsini Lucy needs to use her unique link to her creator to find him before it's too late, defend the Queen and country and fulfil her destiny, - the reason she was incarnated.

Fabulous story, very entertaining, with a smart resourceful heroine and a powerful and enigmatic hero. Nothing is simple in Incarnation, oh, and did I mention a brilliant mad geneticist who is just as evil as Lady Blanche? I guess I just did.

Read it! Fans of Kristen Callihan and Bec MacMaster especially, will love this.
Profile Image for MC.
614 reviews56 followers
April 25, 2015
Incarnation, by Emma Cornwall (which is apparently the pseudonym of a best-selling author) was a fun read that also made me think of some modern issues. Set in the backdrop of a steampunk Victorian England at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries, we come across a conspiracy involving the characters from Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula.

I can hear you now. That is cliche and been done before. Well, yes, but rarely this cleverly. When Lucy Weston digs her way from her grave, she finds herself compelled to do two things. First of all, she wants to find the creature that made her this way (she doesn't know what she is yet for certain), and secondly, she wants to take Mr. Stoker to task (interrogate, not harm him) for lying about her and find out what he knows about her transformation into what she now is.

Little does she know that her quest will pull her into a world of secrets, intrigue, and betrayal. You see, vampires are very real, and they and humans have co-existed in peace for nearly a thousand years in Britain. Each side has helped preserve the order and security of the realm, but all of that is at risk. Radicals on both sides who seem to embrace radical eugenics (it's not called that in-story, but the misappropriation of Nietzsche to science in a quest for supremacy over nature and perfection mirrors how real-world villains grew obsessed with such stupidity, so I use the term) are determined to unsettle the balance and cause a war for their own selfish ends.

Worse yet, the king of the vampires is missing, all but ensuring the rogue elements will go to war with humans. Before he went missing, however, he found and turned Weston, whose family has it's own secrets, and created the first genuine half-human, half-vampire. Now, Lucy must find the king of vampires, or many, many people will die.

The story was quite fun, as I already said, but it also was cool in that it had some real applicability to today's issues. The steampunk parts of the setting are in the background, but are useful in establishing the story. This is an alternate version of 1897 London that is far beyond it's time, and thus has the ability to surveill it's citizens, and claim more and more power for the state against ever-shrinking civil liberties.

The parallels to today are obvious. The use of, and ability to use, for that matter, force by the state, is presented as both good and bad. Some of the suspension of civil liberties, and lies by the government are also presented as both good and bad. You see, ultimately these tools helped save the day, but at what cost? How many have died, been thought insane, or otherwise had their lives ruined via the secret "understanding" between a few elite humans and supernatural creatures? Or been harmed, even killed, by the large government apparatus designed to protect them. Their is even a mention of the type of roving band of hoodlums enforcing government policy on those out of favor, reminiscent of the thugs later employed in real life by first Wilson in the US in WWI and then horrifically Hitler in Germany in WWII.

The question is, what cost is worth giving up our rights, and the lives of a few, for the "safety" of most? Can our goals for safety be accomplished by not doing so as much. A tidbit I'll add the author didn't mention is that during the Cold War, the safest place in the world to be was Moscow. Do we want to take that as a lesson of embracing totalitarianism? These questions are important, and Emma Cornwall uses this fun vampire story to get us to ask and answer them.

The only issue I have is that there are some hanging plot threads about Lucy's romance with her Protector boyfriend and the fate of an escaped villain. So far, there is also no sequel. Please write a sequel Ma'am. I can't wait to read more of the adventures of these characters.
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 15 books596 followers
September 19, 2012
Review posted on Demon Lover's Books & More

I must admit I was mainly drawn to this one by the cover. I wasn’t sure what to expect though, since it looks YA. It isn’t, not at all. I’d classify this one as a Steampunk UF. The beginning catches you up immediately, but it sort of slows down. I found the writing and the world captivating.

This is about the side character Lucy from the Bram Stoker novel Dracula. In this story, Mr. Stoker is used by the British government, among others, to hide Lucy’s death. But, surprisingly, she’s not dead. When she claws her way from the grave, her memory is sketchy, and she ranges from feral vampire to confused lady. Once the bigger part of her memory comes back to her, she finds the Stoker novel in her father’s study and instantly seeks out the author. She wants to know why she was turned and who turned her into the monster she has become.

Lucy’s dual nature tends to be at the forefront of this story, although the nature of the plot is much deeper than just Lucy. Her vampire half is at war with her human half, and rather than just giving in to one side, she has to find a way for both parts of her to coexists. Her leftover humanity is what makes her so unique. Unique enough to attract attention from everyone.

All of the attention brings several matters to Lucy. She is very important in this new world, and she could bring about the destruction of her kind.

I don’t want to spoil the mystery, because that is the driving factor of this plot-the mystery of who sired Lucy, why isn’t he around, and what has happened to him?

There is a teeny bit of romance in this book, and once you find out more in depth about it, it’s really bittersweet. The only thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the Steampunk was very light throughout the story. This story deals more with the government, the repercussions of machines replacing men and Big Brother watching all the time rather than showing gadgets and fun clockwork pieces. In fact I don’t think the vampires ever use a piece of machinery except for a steam coach at one point. If this becomes a series, I truly hope the Steampunk becomes just as predominant as the civil unrest.

Lucy's battle to keep her humanity parallels the political aspect in this Steampunk very well. Big brother is watching, even in her world. Compelling and intriguing, this Steampunk will catch your attention right off the bat.

***ARC courtesy of Gallery Books
Profile Image for Ravin Maurice.
Author 13 books37 followers
November 4, 2012
After reading The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer, that is said to have been written by Lucy Weston, I was totally fascinated by this character and the vampire world that she had spun together and I could not wait to read the story of her 'incarnation'.

The book had some good and bad bits. Cornwall's writing is poetic and lyrical, and lends itself to the time period and the character rather well. It took a little bit of time to get into the story, but if you stick with it it really picks up. There is nothing particularly innovative or new in the realm of vampire fiction but that's okay, the vampires are as they should be - conflicted, violent and tormented - and this book has everything that you could expect from a vampire novel. The world of the London vampire is quite interesting and I would love to hear more about the saga of Mordred, the king of the vampires.
The story is well thought out and developed, intertwining many levels of English society and really giving the reader a sense of what the times were like.
On occasion, it dragged a bit. The poetic and lyrical language I spoke of earlier sometimes felt too heavy handed, but if you can get passed them it's well worth it. I would have also loved some more time spent with Stoker and learned more about his part in the situation.
The idea of the halfling, I won't get into it too much to avoid spoilers, is a remarkable one that I have played with in my own fiction. I don't feel like the halfling's true powers were used to their full potential, and the end did feel a bit rushed and anti climatic.

Even with the complaints I still really liked this book. I would recommend it to vampire lovers, and I hope that anyone who read the work published under the name Lucy Weston will follow up with this. It's well worth it.
Profile Image for Julia.
2,513 reviews66 followers
September 12, 2012
A beautiful melding of time period and myth, INCARNATION drifts through the misty streets of an imagined London. Without bogging down in accent or details, Cornwall creates a new mythology of the Slayer, vampires, and werewolves, as well as the city itself. Lucy awakens to her second life alone and confused, but it is immediately clear that the usual rules that govern vampires do not apply to her.

INCARNATION is the story of Lucy finding her way in this new reality. Awakened with only hints of her past, Cornwall returned Lucy's memories to her slowly. Lucy discovers the truths of her human past and her vampiric nature at the same time, which interwove nicely with details of the current plot. I never got the sense that Lucy's experience with vampirism is meant to represent all vampires, but it did seem that her moments of emotional remoteness and calculation were due to her vampiric side. Though Cornwall balanced that with some human warmth, for much of the book Lucy is inscrutable (to herself as well as to the reader).

To the last page I was invested in Lucy's effort to define an identity for herself, from a sheltered young woman constrained by parents and society to a solitary, powerful creature with infinite possibilities at her feet. In INCARNATION we see Lucy find her feet and navigate the immediate dangers of her world, and I am very excited to see where another book would take her.

Full review to follow.

Sexual Content: References to sex and attempted rape.
Profile Image for Cheryl.
5,135 reviews187 followers
September 19, 2012

The last thing Lucy Weston remembers is attending the opera with her sister. Then Lucy awakes to find herself cold and hungry. Only her hunger is not for food but for blood. Lucy wonders what has happened to her. She comes upon a house. The house has a library. Lucy picks up a book titled Dracula by Bram Stoker. Lucy proceeds to read the book and discovers that Stoker has written about her. Only Stoker has portrayed Lucy as someone she is not. Lucy goes on the hunt for Stoker to set the facts right.

When I read the book summary for this book and saw the book cover I was really excited to read this book. Some because of the vampire aspect. Never really got into the whole Bram Stoker craze. What drew me into the book cover is the whole steam punk aspect. I have recently discovered this genre and am enjoying reading books from this era.

So this book was slow to get going. I did have a time or two when I wanted to put this book down and give up but I stuck with it. It did get better and more entertaining as the story progressed, however, I still was a little let down by the book. The battle scene was good but the romance was lacking. So as you can see I had a bit of a tug of war with this book myself. Overall, a nice twist on the back story behind one of the famed characters from Stoker.
Profile Image for Kris43.
119 reviews51 followers
January 31, 2015
Note to my self: Be very careful next time when you see something classified as YA. No matter how pretty the cover is!

This book is very mindful of ones delicate sensibilities. Like when it talks very clinically about how Lucy wakes up in a grave and has to claw her way out or it. Yet the whole thing carries no substance or emotional punch I would expect from such scene.

And it continued that way. Every time things started to happen for real, there would be a superficial description and a quick change of subject. Like somebody cut out all the good parts so nobody would be offended.

This left me with a very bland and predictable plot and growing frustration!

Profile Image for Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews).
1,695 reviews874 followers
October 9, 2015
Ehhhhh. I am slightly disappointed with this one. It's yet another novel that doesn't live up the awesome cover and blurb that go with it.

Though it improves markedly after an uneven and exposition-filled beginning, Incarnation never quite managed to click with me.

Review to come.
Profile Image for Denise.
6,457 reviews105 followers
October 14, 2018
Left to her own devices, newly turned vampire Lucy Weston claws her way out of her grave and wanders the streets of Victorian London alone, trying to find out how she came to be in this state and who was responsible. Her search for answers leads her first to the doorstep of Bram Stoker, whose popular new novel Dracula features a strangely distorted version of her fate. He is able to point her in the direction of others of her kind, and soon Lucy finds herself in the middle of a power struggle between London's vampires that threatens to doom vampires and humans alike.

Historical urban fantasy with a dash of steampunk. I liked the world, the writing and the ideas behind the story (not to mention the gorgeous cover), but the pace just remained too slow for too long. By the time we finally got some action going on, I wasn't sufficiently engaged to care all that much about where it all went.
Profile Image for Jon.
599 reviews625 followers
January 16, 2013
Seen at Scott Reads It
"Who wouldn't be driven to find the one who stole your humanity, transformed you into a creature unlike any you had ever imagined, and abandoned you to deal with that as best you could?"

Immediately Incarnation enticed me with promises of a paranormal steampunk retelling of Lucy Weston from Dracula's story. Emma Cornwall crafted an interesting retelling of Dracula that was okay. Incarnation is one of many vampire books I have read recently and unfortunately it doesn't really stand out in my mind.

Incarnation is the story of Lucy Weston who is one of the characters of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Weston was portrayed by Dracula to be a seductress who preyed on the innocent. In Incarnation Lucy Weston is nothing like the character in Bram Stoker's novel. When Weston wakes up as a vampire, she begins on a journey to find out who turned her. Also Weston comes across a certain Bram Stoker novel and would like to know why he lied about her life.

In a traditional sense, Incarnation is not a true retelling because it isn't a new incarnation of Dracula. Instead of retelling the tale of Dracula, Incarnation is really a retelling of Lucy Weston. The problem with retellings is that often I compare the original novel and the retelling. Incarnation is nothing like the novel Dracula at all. Incarnation is not a Gothic novel to my disappointment and it really lacks horror elements that Dracula had. I know it isn't fair to compare the two but my brain was constantly comparing the two. Another problem with retellings is that often tell the story from a different character's point of view. Truthfully Lucy Weston was one of my least favorite characters in Dracula. Weston was not that interesting in Dracula and she isn't that interesting in Incarnation either. I would have loved if some of the characters from Dracula such as Van Helsing, Mina Harker, or Dr. Seward made a cameo. I would have much preferred if Incarnation was told from a different character's point of view (maybe Stoker's).

Incarnation had so much potential but it failed to live up to it. For instance Incarnation is supposed to be a steampunk novel yet it is such a miniscule portion of the novel. The 3rd word in the publisher's description is Steampunk and on the cover there is clockwork steampunk designs, yet steampunk is negligible in Incarnation. Steampunk elements are lacking in the entirety of the novel and Cornwall failed to do something extraordinary steampunk wise. To say Incarnation is a steampunk novel is kind of misleading. Incarnation takes place in Victorian England but that's where the steampunk factor ends. Sure Cornwall describes how the cities and people are covered with soot and Lucy says something like that times are strange but that's it. When I think steampunk, I think parasols, automatons, clockwork, steam engines, flying machines, funky goggles, but none of your typical steampunk ideas even bother making an appearance.

Another thing that really bothered me about Incarnation were the supernatural species. Incarnation adds nothing new to the paranormal genre and everything feels like a lame rehash of books I have already read. I was excited when I read that there were trolls in this book but there were beyond ridiculous. Basically all the trolls did in Incarnation was ask Lucy to give them money. Are you freaking serious? What is the point of adding trolls to a book if they do nothing at all? The trolls on Goodreads are more lively and interesting than the trolls in Incarnation. When werewolves made an appearance in Incarnation I was pretty excited because I love vampire vs. werewolf action. Seriously it was pretty upsetting how small of a part the werewolves played in Incarnation. The werewolves were mentioned early on and made an appearance once and that was it. I thought the werewolves would make an appearance but they were never even mentioned again.

The plot of Incarnation is nothing exciting and it moved at a relaxed pace. There were no plot twists at all in Incarnation and it was pretty predictable. It annoyed me how convenient everything turned out. Right as a conflict pops up, a solution just magically seems to appear which ruined all tension and suspense. There is also another ridiculous plot point where singing saves a character. Really? When has singing ever saved someone's life? A simple plot isn't always so terrible if the novel is enjoyable and has good writing. Cornwall's writing was nothing special at all, it was simply decent. The dialogue that Cornwall wrote didn't feel Victorian or British at all. If you have ever read a book takes place in Britain or during Victorian times, you know that the novel has a different atmosphere as opposed to an average paranormal novel. Incarnation lacked that tone and atmosphere that British and Victorian novels always seem to have. (If you don't understand what tone/atmosphere I am talking about pick up Clockwork Angel or Harry Potter.)

Incarnation was a decent read but I am not sure I would recommend it. Everything in Incarnation was very average and Incarnation failed to stand out from all of the other paranormal books I have read. I really hoped Incarnation would add some spectacular to the paranormal genre but nothing like that ever happened. The writing was bland and was not compelling at all. If Cornwall writes any more books I doubt I would even consider reading them.
Profile Image for FV Angela.
1,296 reviews117 followers
September 26, 2012
Review orignially posted at http://www.fictionvixen.com/review-in...

For some reason when I picked up Incarnation by Emma Cornwall I had the thought that this was a YA paranormal romance, which it’s not. In fact it’s a little different from anything I’ve read lately. Not really romance, not YA, kind of steampunk, but not too much, yes, it’s paranormal, but more like a historical paranormal. It kind of reminded me of a Sherlock Holmes movie, but with vampires and werewolves and a young woman piecing together the clues.

At the beginning we meet Lucy Westin, who wakes up and realizes she has been buried alive with a stake through her heart. She only has brief memories of how she actually came to be a vampire and what transpired afterward. She soon comes across a manuscript of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and sets off to London to confront the author and find out who her maker is. London is full of supernatural creatures the public doesn’t know exists and a history that Lucy soon realizes she was born into.

I liked the premise of this book. The Lucy everyone knows from Dracula is given a different ending to her story. Along the way we discover that the legend of King Arthur and Camelot are involved in vampire history. Who knew? The setting is Victorian England, so everything is prim and proper. I didn’t really see the steampunk elements very much. They were kind of sprinkled here and there, but not like I was expecting. Lucy’s memories come back to her very slowly, at the same time she is trying to make her way through a new supernatural world and figuring out her place in it. She is a strange blend of vampire and human throughout the book. With alternate vampire and human emotions. There are times she feels a certain way and doesn’t want to, and times she is detached but remembers when she wasn’t. She is a sharp, smartly written heroine who never feels sorry for herself or is too angsty.

There were times when this was a little too slow-moving for me. Maybe because I wasn’t really emotionally invested in the story. There was hardly any romance. I think it might have been a better, faster read for me if there were more, or maybe just a little more emotion involved with any of the characters. The best I can describe it is that is was like a surface read for me, I enjoyed it because it was very well written, had a really cool premise and an interesting storyline, but I didn’t become engrossed. I had no problem putting it down and really was in no rush to get back to it.

The ending left off in such a way that I think there will be another book coming out and that this might be the first in a series. I may pick it up just to see if the romance between Lucy and Marco develops any further. We’ll see. The one thing I would like to know is who Emma Cornwall is, it says on the back of the book that the name is a pseudonym of an established author. One who apparently has made the New York Times bestselling list writing both historical and contemporary fiction. I looked all over Google and the internet trying to figure out who she is and completely struck out. Can anyone answer this question for me? I would really love to know.

Favorite Quote:

Nonetheless, he plunged on with admirable eloquence. “May I just say that I truly regret being less than forthcoming with you at our previous encounter? Not to mention my unfortunate role in perpetrating certain falsehoods regarding the appalling events to which you fell victim?”

For a speech hastily conceived in a spasm of fear, it went over well enough. I nodded. “May I say, Mr. Stoker, for ,y part that I regret choking you the last time we met?” I tried to remember if I had done anything else to him, other than leave him thoroughly terrified, but nothing came to mind.

Profile Image for Melliane.
2,023 reviews340 followers
August 26, 2012

Mon avis en Français

My English review

I was completely carried away by this new story. Emma Cornwall had some fabulous ideas. When I Read the summary I confess that I didn’t expect to have a novel like this one. I thought I would have a lot of references in relation to Dracula which was ultimately not really the case. But we have however many references in relation to the Arthurian story which was a complete surprise. It’s finally this that will lead the story throughout the book. Of course everything is questioned and the author brings her own ideas to this mythical legend.

Overnight, Lucy Weston finds herself in the skin of a vampire, something she didn’t think possible. But the strangest fact is that nobody is there to help her understand her condition, nor guide her in this new life. And it's with difficulty that we discover this young woman so different from others, who enters in a world she does not know anything about. And so many new elements and characters will then appear to us. Our young heroine will be hosted by Lady Blanche, an ancient vampire whose we instantly mistrust. I must say that we quickly feel that she wants something from her and she just waits for the right time to implement her plan. With the help of two other characters: Felix and Marco, Lucy will understand the true nature of people who lives with her.

I was immediately intrigued by Marco. We don’t know what he wants; what he is and if he is trying to manipulate our new vampire. But as the story progresses, we realize that there are many things we didn’t know. Everything we learn changes our judgment about this man and his motives. I think we understand pretty quickly the reasons of his behavior when we get into the story, but we remain intrigued by his origins, his family and I confess that I would love to learn more about him.

Emma Cornwall introduces us many characters that we don’t really know and we remain curious about their histories. And what about Mordred? This character we’re searching throughout the novel? This is a character that I can’t really place, even at the end of the book and I think it'll take more than that for it to be the case. It’s quite hard to tell if he's a nice vampire or if he finally has a darker and manipulative side. He hides his feelings well and perfectly controls what he presents to the others. I think I'll stop there; I have too many things to say about the characters, especially about our dear writer, Bram Stoker. It was a real pleasure to have met him here.

This book was a very nice surprise and I admit that now that it’s finished, I want to learn more about everything. Many tracks were opened here and we now expect to learn the following events. In fact, I'm sure they will be rich in emotion.
Profile Image for Mel (Daily Prophecy).
1,080 reviews465 followers
November 3, 2012
This was really, really good! Review coming soon.

In the beginning, I struggled with this book, but after a few chapters I was sucked into this story. I could not put it down and I was mesmerized by the world and characters Emma crafted. This book puts vampires in another light and there is even a touch of another magical creature.

“She and I were one, Lucy and the being who had clawed her way from the grave. We inhabited the same body, shared the same mind, had the same memories.”

From the first page, we are plunged in Lucy’s new life. When she awakes in a coffin, she knows something strange is going on. After digging herself out of the earth, she visits her old house. Her parents and sister are gone, but she finds some clues in a book written by Stoker. It’s exactly her story, but he added wrong details and she hunts him down in order to get answers.

It appears that something bigger is going on and on her way to find her maker, Lucy gets information out of different corners. Felix, a close vampire to Lady Blanchard, and Marco, a Protector. Apparently, Mordred – the vampire king – disappeared around the day she was turned. With him gone, the balance between humans and vampires is in danger. It’s up to Lucy and Marcus to find him.

It won’t be that easy, because danger lurks every where. It's a race against the clock and they better find Mordred before it is too late.

The first thing I noticed about this book are the rich details. The world-building is incredible and beautifully crafted. During Lucy’s quest to find her maker, she gets a lot of information. At the end, everything falls together into this amazing plot. The little bits and pieces really deliver that Victorian feeling without getting too much. The background story of every character and happening was so well-thought. It’s fast-paced and filled with great characters.

Lucy is very likable and clever. She is strong and the opposite of whiny. When she finds out that she is a vampire – and be aware of the fact that these creatures are unknown at this time - she manages to deal with it in a great way. Then there is of course Marco. There is a romance between them, but it develops good and it plays a small role. I liked him. Despite his believes, he opens up for Lucy and he is protective in a cute way.

There are no sparkling vampires in this book. They are beautiful, but deadly and you better watch out. I would not turn my back on them. There is this scene where vampires are fighting against each other.. believe me, that won’t be a pretty sight.

The only critic I can think of, is the ending. Everything from the important storyline is tied together, but there is still room for your imagination on one detail. I wish I knew.. I will be keeping an eye on this author, because I can’t wait to read another book from her.
September 19, 2012
Giveaway on my blog 9/19-10/16 2 copies up for grabs!!!


Engrossing, paranormal read that had me whisked away into our heroine's adventure, within the historical streets of London, and the creatures of the night.

My first thoughts when I received this book? Gorgeous cover with sassy cover model, great Victorian setting, with steampunk elements. What we find between the pages is more of a paranormal, historical with a smart heroine set in the Victorian era of the streets of London. Rich with details of this time period, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

The first chapter will have you right from the start, as we find our heroine, Lucy, trapped underground in a coffin, with a stake through her chest, digging, and clawing her way out of her trap, as she is re-awakened. Confused about what has happened to her she makes her way out with an unknown hunger, and determination to find out what has become of her and her family, with only bits of pieces of her memory haunting her. She makes her way to her home, but it's not the home she remembers from her past, although memories still remain, it is deserted and a lonely place that unveils secrets about what has now become of her.
Once again, our heroine sets off to find the link to what and why she is now a deadly, immortal. The streets of London open her mind to a different world as she learns about her "new" life, and what will become of her and all of society and what piece of the puzzle she plays within this mystery.

With a hauntingly calling within her dreams, we learn of her maker and what has become of him, and his unfortunate event has Lucy needing to rescue him. With the help of the mysterious, Marco di Orsini. A talented human known as a Protector who defends humans and humanity against vampires and other paranormal beings that stalk the night. Marco is a great hero as well, and without spoiling the whole setting let's just say he is a great match for Lucy.

Miss Cornwall not only incorporates a wonderful tale, with a intriguing plot, she manages to fill your mind with wonderment of walking the streets of London reliving society during these times, she also places your mind into our heroine's and you really have a sense of learning everything through the eyes of Lucy bit by bit. Sprinkle in a list of paranormal elements which include wolves, unicorns, trolls, and of course vampires, an impending war, and mystery with a light romance we have a winner with Incarnation.

Profile Image for Alex.
55 reviews11 followers
January 11, 2013
In Victorian London, a vampire seeks out the author of Dracula, to set the record straight. If one believes Bram Stoker's legendary vampire tale, Lucy Weston is Dracula's most wanton creation. But the real-life Lucy is nothing like her fictional counterpart and demands to know why the author lied. Soon she attempts to track down the person who has transformed her. She must battle her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike.

For me, Incarnation had a very likable protagonist, Lucy, who through her knew abilities we come to understand yet still retains a sense of mystery. She thought through her decisions and took time to understand the consequences making her a more reliable and realistic character, in my opinion. I loved how the author got straight into the plot and didn't waste time in dawdling in unnecessary scenes and there was always a constant sense of intrigue and suspense which really kept me turning the pages. The background information was revealed piece by piece and so the built up to the suspense of tracking down the fiend that transformed her. The main character always had a clear purpose and drive that steered her on and the addition of the Arthurian legend was down clarity and was very informative.The implementation of the historic background- castles, royals and clothing and including it within the plot was done very well. It's always great to see that the side character's had their own personality and were fleshed out well through dialogue in a small amount of time.

I sometimes felt I could connect to some of the characters and wished we could see a new side to the main character I also did want more information about many of the other supernatural beings but I'm glad the vampires were explained well.Incarnation, asked many philosophical questions through vivid descriptions that really kept me thinking about society has changed so much overtime. I'm also glad that the romance itself was done really well and didn't take away from the plot. It was great Cornwall, placed Bram Stoker himself into the novel as I thought that was done really well. Also I think the cover is very grabbing and really draws you into the Victorian Era and sure is to attract many readers.

Overall, Incarnation is a vivid tale set in Victorian London with a great set of characters, an action orientated plot and brims with suspense and intrigue. I would definitely recommend it to those looking for a quick and mysterious read.
Profile Image for Rivalie.
589 reviews44 followers
September 14, 2020
I was instantly hooked from the very beginning, Lucy gets turned by a mysterious vampire and essentially buried alive and almost staked. The staking should have killed her but it doesn't...because she's special (cue the ooos). Lucy gets out of her grave and finds out that Bram Stoker, the author of the legendary Dracula has painted her as a wanton, sexual creature of the night and she's absolutely horrified because that girl is not her. After nicely forcing him to help her find her creator, she arrives at Crystal Palace, where vampires reign supreme. Lucy quickly finds out, with the help of a Protector named Marco, that there is a rift between the vampires due to the absence of their leader Mordred. HOLD YOUR HORSES right there! Mordred, did someone mention Mordred??

Yes lovely people, along with a Dracula background, Incarnation also weaves Arthurian Legend into the plot. *screams* Mordred is the "father" of all vampires and he has currently gone missing. A crazy vampire lady whose name I forgot is scheming to overthrow the peace between humanity and vampires and create a blood feast for all vamps. Lucy and Marco have to find Mordred fast before crazy lady makes enough sacrifices to be equally powerful to Mordred and essentially kill him. With the help of Bram, they discover that Lucy was turned by Mordred and she is essential to win this battle. Using her connection to her turner, Lucy pieces together clues to find Mordred.

Okay, enough of the plot summary, let's talk about how amazing this book was. So, like I mentioned before, Incarnation entwines Arthurian legend with Dracula and it all just fits together perfectly. That alone makes it unique compared to the other vampire books out there. There are so many amazing plot twists that I literally just blew through this book. It ended way to fast and I desperately want more!! The romance in the book was a bit lacking, but I felt like it fitted the story. We have a mob of blood thirsty vampires ready to unleash their thirst on England, romance is the last thing on my mind. I wish that we could have a second book (Is there going to be a second book??) because with the ending, I felt like it would explore Marco and Lucy's relationship on a more romantic level.

Anyway, this book was super duper amazing! Y'all should definitely check it out because it's so good and I literally could not put it down! So go check it out!! Nowwwww!!

Read my reviews at:
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,158 reviews458 followers
September 9, 2012
*Genre* Steampunk, Vampires
*Rating* 3.5-4.0


Lucy Weston aka Lucy Westenra from Bram Stoker's Dracula is such an interesting and fun character to read about. She has been transformed (Incarnated) against her will by a very powerful vampire straight out of King Arthur's time.

She wakes up with a stake firmly planted in her heart, and yet she doesn't turn to dust. She has lost all of her humanity to the point where all she does is hunt wildlife in order to satisfy her thirst. Lucy later finds Stokers book and is driven to finding out why she was turned, and what it means for her in the long run. Her journey is one of enlightenment and challenges.

She really believes there has to be a way to revert back into her former self, yet, finds that her new vampire self is pretty awesome with amazing new powers including immortality and beauty. In the end, she will face difficult challenges and make a decision that could have long term effects on her desire to become human once again.

There are some interesting characters like Bram Stoker, Marco and Nicolas di Orsini as well as Mordred. They will all play important roles in Lucy's own discovery about who she is descended from and why she was chosen to become a vampire. There are trolls, vampires, werewolves, and humans who believe that war is imminent and therefore they should speed up the process.

Steampunk plays a role in this story of course, but it isn't the whole story. It's interesting about the underground subways, as well as the Diribles. Cornwell could have put this story into modern times and still had it come out smelling like roses. This isn't a romance novel. It's all about the paranormal and how vampires and humans are intermingling throughout 1897 London. It's about deceit, and preventing the destruction of both species, and how one woman has the power in her veins to either stop the war, or help one side or the other destroy the other.

Overall, I'm actually hoping that there will be a sequel to this book since there are a few loose ends that need to be tied up. I also wanted to see Lucy have a HEA. This book ended up being better than I thought and recommend it to those who love steampunk and vampire novels.

*Recv'd 07/09/2012 Via Edelweiss* Expected publication: September 18th 2012 by Gallery Books
Displaying 1 - 30 of 195 reviews

Join the discussion

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.