Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: Incarnate

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Welcome to the World of Range. Where there have always been 1 million souls. Some are walking around right now, others are waiting to be born. But there have always been 1 million souls…that is until the day, some 19 years ago, when the temple went dark and Ciana died. When the next child was born, everyone was expecting Ciana, but what they got was a new soul…on that had never been born before…her name was Ana, which means “without”, also part of the name Ciana, who wasn’t born!

See, in Range, all those souls continually reincarnate, remembering who they are and what they learned in each previous life for the last 5000 years. Poor Ana was born a blank slate, the first in eons. Her Mother couldn’t be bothered to care for her, let alone teach her anything…everything Ana has learned she has figured out on her own. Now she is 18, her mother is kicking her out, even giving her a faulty compass, and Ana is to find her own way in the World.

This book was so different than what I was expecting. It had a very leisurely pace…it felt like a cruise down a lazy river. So often the books we read are building fast and furiously towards the climax…this book doesn’t…which took a bit of getting used to. But the pacing of the story fit with storyline…I’m not sure if that makes sense. Maybe the rest of my thoughts will clarify it.

Poor Ana is off to see the world and try to find her place in it. We learn so much about Ana’s spirit and attitude as she sets off and comes to the realization that the woman who gave birth to her gave her a bad compass, on purpose. But Ana carries forth and is almost killed by the time she realizes that the compass is bad. No wonder Ana is so untrusting, defensive and leery of people.

Fortunately she meets Sam, actually he saves her life. Personally, I fell in love with Sam as soon as he uttered his first bit of dialog! Sam has heard of the “nosoul” Ana. He prefers the term “newsoul” and thankfully he takes Ana under his wing and makes it his goal to see her safely to Heart (the capital city) so she can find the answers she is after. Where Ana is distrustful, Sam is honest. Where Ana is defensive, he explains what he means so as not to take offense. Where Ana is so leery of everyone, Same introduces her to his friends and family and they treat her as a “newsoul” like Sam does.

It was beautiful to watch their friendship build and flourish…slowly over time. It was equally beautiful to watch Ana blossom and flourish in a positive environment rather than the one she’d been subjected to for her first 18 years.

There was plenty of mystery to drive the story along as well, but I think you can see which part I preferred. Now there was a whole big cliffhanger ending that will drive the story into the next book. Ana has lots of unanswered questions that still need answering. Can’t wait to see what answers come and what other mysteries those answers my start. It was a beautiful read I will be rereading again and again.

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