Incarnate Jodi Meadows Book Review

Reincarnation is such a cool concept and belief. I remember sitting up and paying attention in Global class when we were learning about karma and dharma and reincarnation, so when a book has strong themes pertaining to reincarnation, I pay attention to that book. Y’all, I feel a little late to the Incarnate by Jodi Meadows party, and while I had a good time, it wasn’t the greatest party I’ve attended. YET, I feel pretty optimistic about Asunder. Incarnate Jodi Meadows Book Cover

In debut author Jodi Meadows’ Incarnate, Ana is a newsoul. Basically, this means that right now, she’s living her first life. In a normal world, this isn’t a big deal. However, in Ana’s world, everyone around her is an oldsoul, meaning they’ve been reincarnated over the past 5,000 years. Unfortunately for Ana, people look at her with distrust and fear, because her existence means that a different soul was not able to come back. Her mother, Li, is totally mean and abusive towards her, so when Ana comes of age, she decides to leave home and search for answers. She specifically wants to find out why she’s the only newsoul. Along the way, she meets up with this guy named Sam, who saves her a lot and is more than what first meets the eye.

Unfortunately, Incarnate’s Ana was not exactly a character that completely resonated with me. I was not entirely won over her. For much of the book she comes off as weak, whiny and mopey. I get why she goes all emo — because she’s the only new person, but goodness I’d like to see just a modicum of toughness. Perhaps though, it might be one of my failings that I see vulnerability as weakness, but I would have liked her just a touch stronger. When you really look at Ana’s situation, it’s not a challenge to empathize with her, especially as so many look at her with distrust. Plus, she is awful at surviving in the woods. However, I am sure it takes bravery to be the only one of your kind, I just don’t want to be her BFF or anything. I will say, I liked that Ana was curious with strong love of music. Loving music typically endears characters to me.

The world created by Jodi Meadows is really cool though, it definitely helped redeem the book for me. The world, Range, is populated by centaurs, trolls, sylphs, and evil dragons which are out to get the humans. Plus, there’s this God/founder named Janan who is shrouded in mystery. As a reader, I left the book wanting to know way more about Janan. Y’all, I am always down for a good creation myth.

I also thought the reincarnation aspect of Incarnate was done quite well. I liked reading about the past lives of certain characters and how they grow over time. I also liked hearing about how the characters kept journals so they would learn from their pasts and wouldn’t forget a thing. It’s interesting how the characters besides Ana had all these pre-formed special bonds from previous lifetimes and how sometimes their grudges carry over. I do think I’d like to know why the characters reincarnate though.

The romance between Ana and Sam is rather adorable, if not a tiny bit insta-love-esque. Like, Ana doesn’t IMMEDIATELY fall in love with Sam on sight, but things move pretty quick between them. Sam’s a nice guy though, and while I didn’t agree with him keeping information from her, I liked that they truly cared for each other. I liked that Sam wasn’t all macho about being a protector or anything. Also? You guys? There’s a masquerade and holy wow is it SWOONWORTHY.

Incarnate is a pretty fast read. I found my reading experience propelled by questions that I wanted answering — why isn’t Ana a reincarnated soul? What is Janan’s deal? WILL THEY KISS? Why is Li such a douche? Etc, etc. For the most part those questions are answered, but honestly, I’m ready to dip into my copy of Asunder right this minute.

Disclosure: Received for review (better late than never)

Other reviews of Incarnate by Jodi Meadows:

Bibliophilic Monologues – “I still enjoyed the novel on a purely superficial level.

Alexa Loves Books – “my worrying was incredibly uncalled for – I absolutely LOVED this debut novel

Dreaming In Books – “scrumptious blend of light fantasy and romance that will grab readers who never thought they’d want to read about magical cities and dragons

About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

Comments

  1. I adore reincarnation (which is part of why I’ve been on the fence reading this one…)

    (My Mother in law tells a story about my husband at 3 drawing on his stomach in permanent marker so he could remember that moment in his next life!)

    Anywho – I’ve been on the fence because I was worried about if the myth would be well-done, and you’ve made up my mind! I’m adding this to my TBR pile.

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  2. Despite the debut buzz, i haven’t gotten around to reading this one either. I do like me a good masquerade though…

  3. I freaking love this book hardcore. That is all. I am DYING for Asunder.

  4. Yayyyyy I loved this book!!! I’m so excited for ASUNDER. It sounds like it’s going to be amazing 😀 Fantastic review, I agree with you about some things, but I actually kind of liked Ana’s vulnerability. 🙂 I thought it was appropriate for everything she’d been through. ANYWAYS, great review 🙂

    Anna
    Literary Exploration

  5. I love this book, so I’m glad you did like it–even if Ana was a little emo/whiny for you. I loved the world and the reincarnation aspect. I’m so excited for Asunder, though!

  6. I agree with your assessment – this was good, but I wasn’t head over for it. I plan on reading Asunder to get the answers to my burning questions!

    Also, THAT BALL. Le swoon.

  7. Basically everything you said. I still want to read the next one though.

  8. Despite all the positive reviews, I never found myself wanting to read Incarnate but like you I really like the idea behind reincarnation so now I am a little intrigued.

    Also, I noticed your book of the week and went ahead and bought it – yay!

  9. That’s pretty much how I felt about Incarnate too. The concept was crazy cool, although it really didn’t need to be about anything more than reincarnation gone wonky. The dragons and sylphs just created a muddle I thought.

    Ana was not my favorite heroine. I got why she was whiny. Li’s years of abuse did their work well, but she just didn’t have the kind of backbone I like from my characters.

    Sam is wonderful, but their relationship sort of squicked me out.

    I’ll be watching to see your thoughts on Asunder!

  10. I was head over heels for it and now I’m all WAHHHH at all of you who got Asunder! Glad you finally read this one! 🙂

  11. April, I totally agree about wanting a strong female character (or at least one with some backbone!) There are so few books who give a good strong female character without making her come across as over-domineering.

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