By: Jodi Meadows
For thousands of years, there have been no new souls. The same souls occupy new bodies. Until Ana. Ana is a newsoul, or as her "mother" Li calls her, a "nosoul." When Ana finally leaves her mother's home, she travels to the city of Heart. In a heart-pounding encounter with a sylph, she meets Sam. Together they work to discover the meaning behind Ana's birth and who was responsible.
My biggest hang-up in starting this book was the reincarnation thing. I wasn't sure how it was going to be written, and since it isn't something that I believe in religiously, it could be a total miss. But, I actually found the concept to be quite fascinating. Particularly since in this instance, the reincarnated souls retain their memories from previous lives. So, old grudges carry on to generations. In some cases even romantic relationships continue through different bodies. Death is of no consequence since a soul will just gain a new body within a year or two.
The world-building in INCARNATE is sparse. There is a bit of magic involved (along with mythical creatures: dragons, sylphs, and the like), but much of everything else is very ordinary. Though the world is simple, it wasn't distracting. I would like to see a little more from the world in the next books, since I think that there is a lot of interesting things that can be done with it.
I liked Ana, a lot. There is an unexpected theme of abuse and the emotional toll it takes on even the strongest of people. Ana could have been much more bitter and unlikable because of the treatment at the hand of Li. But, once she leaves, she looks towards Heart as holding the key to who she is and why she was born. That is a strong character. Sam is equally likable. He is gentle, understanding, and musically talented. Definitely gets a spot on the coveted "good guys" list. Oh, and I'm going to stick my "slow burn" relationship sticker on this one too. Yes!
I did not go into this book with high expectations. But, I was very pleasantly surprised. I'll definitely be checking out the rest of the series when it's available.