We all know what it means to be new in some capacity. We were all new to this world that surrounds us at one time, learning what we needed to know as we grew and aged. We got by while making our way being taught by those around us who had once not so long ago been in our shoes. We had guidance and knowledge passed to us and hopefully love and encouragement to light our path as well. For Ana none of that has come to pass for she is truly new in a world that is not only old but populated by those who have lived for thousands of years; centuries that each and every person within the Range and the city of Heart can remember except for Ana.
In this new world created by author Jodi Meadows each individual has lived multiple lives- thousands of years of memories and reincarnation filled with experiences, learning and relationships that with each birth rebound and build upon one another again and again. As a child is born into the world, it is expected to be a certain individual and immediately known to and by all. Sometimes a person is born of a different gender or into a new family but some things seem to never change like the fact that they often may have similar interests and talents and that they always come back within a certain time period. That is until Ana comes along and replaces on old soul with what some call her “Newsoul” and others reject as “Nosoul” at all.
It all begins when a teenage girl discarded in many ways by her own mother Li and abandoned at birth by her father Menehem, sets out on her own to discover who and what she is and where she came from amid a world that doesn’t quite know what to do with her. Along the way a handsome “young” man called Sam who just happens to be sympathetic to the plight of a nosoul saves her from death and promises to help her along her quest. What follows is not only a satisfying love story but also a quest of adventurous feats and an unraveling mystery as to what will happen not only to Ana but to this entire world that her birth has shaken to it’s very core.
Within this unique debut novel Incarnate we are introduced to a story unlike any other built upon the idea of reincarnation, fantastical creatures and a genuinely endearing love story. In its pages we also encounter themes of prejudice, discrimination and religion that lie just beneath the surface of a well written if sometimes slow novel of inventive proportions.
Among a cast of well thought out characters Ana shines as a protagonist giving the novel a somewhat responsible and mature feeling while navigating a world that is truly “new”. Meanwhile her relationship with Sam is perfectly paced and real enough to keep readers interested and captivated about whether or not circumstances and feelings will allow for them to finally be together in the end. Creative and inviting, Incarnate offers a little something new in the young adult genre filled with paranormal and fantasy titles that while strong in their own right still offer none quite like this. One can’t help but wonder where the story will go as this planned series continues. And what a great cover to boot!
Incarnate will be released on January 31, 2012.