Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Incarnate has been one of my must-reads of 2012 since it sold with that tantalizing description on Publisher’s Marketplace proclaiming it to be “about the only girl who is new in a world where everyone is perpetually reincarnated, and her quest to discover why she was born, and what happened to the person she replaced.” How could I not want to read that??

I’ve been fortunate enough to have the chance to read Incarnate before its official debut into the world, and I’m happy to say the story inside is as lovely as the cover 🙂

At its heart, Incarnate is about Ana finding her place in a world which seems to have no place for her. But it’s also a love story of the sweetest kind, a mystery, and has some heart-pounding dragon-fighting action going on (and who doesn’t love that??). Jodi has built a world that I just want to explore every inch of, from the market bazaar to the white tower to the heartbeat-possessing walls (!) of the city of Heart.

Incarnate‘s world building is really something to behold, mixing laser guns with sylph attacks and acid-spitting dragons. And let’s not forget the remarkable concept that first drew me to the story, either. Plenty of books today cover the idea of reincarnation, some even include the idea of remembering past lives. But the city of Heart has a million souls that have been reincarnating over and over for thousands of years, way back to when their civilization began. Imagine carrying around the weight of all that! And imagine being the only person who is living her very first life, and whose very existence might portend the end of all reincarnation in Heart.

The book impressed me with the questions it brought up—I won’t lay them all out here, because some are bit spoiler-y, but many are issues I haven’t seen addressed much in other YA. A city full of a million reincarnating souls leads to all sorts of remarkable situations—the chance to live as a female one life and a male the next, the knowledge that death does not have to “do us part” in a relationship, the opportunity to spend lifetimes and lifetimes on something as whimsical as the perfection of a naturally blue rose.

In the midst of the seemingly utopian beauty of Incarnate‘s world, there’s a deep ache to Ana’s story, and I found her personality, her reaction to events, very in tune with her past experiences. She has her faults, and that only made me love her more. I’m eager to see how she continues to develop as the series goes on.

But I’m getting ahead of myself! Sadly, book two in the series won’t be out for a whole ‘nother year, but Incarnate comes out tomorrow, and I highly recommend it to everyone 🙂


As many of you might know, Jodi used to run query critiques over at her blog. Although those ended a little while ago, the old critiques are still up for everyone to learn from! Also, I’m giving away a query + 1st 15 pages critique of your manuscript! I haven’t run a query workshop like Jodi has, but months of reading queries for a literary agency has given me an eye for them, I think 😉

Well, you guys know the drill by now 🙂 The contest is open internationally to books of all kinds, and the winner will be announced one week from now.


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36 Responses to Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

  1. jodimeadows
    jodimeadows Jan 30 2012 at 9:58 am #

    Thanks, Kat!! <3 <3 <3 You are the best!

  2. Alyssa Jan 30 2012 at 10:12 am #

    The concept for INCARNATE is one of the most original and intriguing I’ve ever heard of. I love the idea of people basically becoming immortal through reincarnation and all of the possible questions that can come from that.

    I will definitely be picking this book up and I can’t wait to read it! Good thing tomorrow’s pay day for me. 😉

    • Kat Zhang
      Kat Zhang Jan 30 2012 at 3:30 pm #

      I know! Isn’t it fascinating? Glad you’ll be reading it, and yay for pay day ;D

  3. Erin Bowman
    Erin Bowman Jan 30 2012 at 10:18 am #

    This review makes me even more excited to read INCARNATE. Hooray, Jodi!!! Can’t wait to go pick up my copy tomorrow!! (And thanks for the great review, Kat!)

    • Kat Zhang
      Kat Zhang Jan 30 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      Yay! After you read it, we can squee together 😀

  4. Sooz Jan 30 2012 at 11:43 am #

    EEEEE! THE COUNTDOWN WIDGET SAYS 6 HOURS!!! HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?

    I cannot wait until tomorrow. First thing I’ll do when I wake up is buy INCARNATE. YIPPEE!!

    • Kat Zhang
      Kat Zhang Jan 30 2012 at 3:32 pm #

      I love how your countdown widget is faster than ours, hahaha 😛 But that just means it gets to be INCARNATE release day quicker for you!!

  5. SarahJMaas
    SarahJMaas Jan 30 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!!! It needs to be tomorrow RIGHT NOW.

  6. Katelyn Larson Jan 30 2012 at 3:43 pm #

    INCARNATE sounds so ridiculously awesome. As soon as I’ve caught up with the books already in my TBR pile, I’ll be scooping it right up 🙂

    As for being reincarnated… Well, I happen to love technology far too much to give it up forever, so if anything, I’d want to be reincarnated in the future, though not a dystopian one 😉

    • Kat Zhang
      Kat Zhang Jan 30 2012 at 3:54 pm #

      Hehe, I’d love to be reincarnated in the future, as well. Wouldn’t it be SO awesome to “wake up” two hundred years from now and see how far humanity has come? I mean, of course, you wouldn’t appreciate it unless you remembered your old life.

      …and hopefully we’d have made progress and not run things into some sort of post-apocalyptic earth 😛

  7. KimberlyFDR Jan 30 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    I’ve been waiting for this one for a while! 😀

    In response to the comment question, I’d love to be reincarnated during the era of FDR. I know it was a hard time for our country, but he’s my favorite President and I’d love to live through his time with this country. Better, I’d love to be on his staff during that time to get to know the man behind the legend 🙂

    • Kat Zhang
      Kat Zhang Jan 30 2012 at 3:55 pm #

      How cool! I’ve honestly never even given thought to a favorite past president 🙂

  8. Nell Jan 30 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    I am so excited for this book! It sounds like such an original and fresh take on the concept of reincarnation.

    As for myself, I probably see myself as an actress, as I’m so dramatic. 🙂

    • Kat Zhang
      Kat Zhang Jan 31 2012 at 9:46 am #

      Ooh. I think many of us have wished to fall into some kind of glamorous life 😉

  9. Charlie Rice Jan 30 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    INCARNATE is already on my to-read list. I had to stop reading the review because I hate spoilers.
    Good luck Jodi!

    • Kat Zhang
      Kat Zhang Jan 31 2012 at 9:50 am #

      Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t think I spoiled anything major in the review, but I’m the same way about spoilers–I try not to know ANYTHING before reading a book I’ve been really excited about. 🙂

  10. Vanessa Di Gregorio
    Vanessa Di Gregorio Jan 30 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    Is it tomorrow yet?! I can’t WAIT! This just makes me want it even more!

  11. Alz Jan 31 2012 at 3:02 am #

    When I first heard about Incarnate, I was intrigued but mildly skeptical. Now though there are so many people saying it’s amazing that I’m more intrigued than ever!

    • Alz Jan 31 2012 at 3:04 am #

      Oh, and in response to the question, assuming I’d retain my current memories and self and etc., I might want to be reincarnated in the future just so I could see how much has changed. Which would be likely as amazing as depressing for a multitude of reasons.

      • Kat Zhang
        Kat Zhang Jan 31 2012 at 9:51 am #

        Yes! I’d want that for the same reasons 🙂 I’m glad you’re intrigued by INCARNATE, now 😀

  12. Emy Shin Feb 1 2012 at 11:16 am #

    I adore the cover and concept for INCARNATE and am excited to read it soon!

    I’d love to be reincarnate in the future — maybe, say, 200 years from now? It’d be fascinating to see what has changed and what hasn’t. 🙂

  13. Rowenna Feb 1 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    This concept sounds like a really beautiful, really thought-provoking book–must read!

    • Kat Zhang
      Kat Zhang Feb 1 2012 at 6:09 pm #

      I hope you enjoy it, Rowenna 😀

  14. Veronica Feb 1 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    I’d like to be reincarnated in 1900 or thereabouts. So much happens in the early 20th century in American culture, I would love to have been there.

    • Kat Zhang
      Kat Zhang Feb 2 2012 at 7:12 am #

      That’s very true! And I admit to being a bit of a romantic about living out the past 😉 Guess we’d have to make sure we “reincarnate” into the right living situation/family, hehe.

  15. Lori M Lee Feb 3 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    I’d like to be reincarnated to fuedal era Japan… but only briefly as I’m rather attached to running water and flushing toilets =P

    • Kat Zhang
      Kat Zhang Feb 4 2012 at 2:54 am #

      Haha, yeah, running water and such always makes me hesitate about going back in time 😉

  16. Adrianne Feb 3 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    I’ve always wondered what happened to the person replaced by reincarnation. And it has dragons? Yes, please.

    • Kat Zhang
      Kat Zhang Feb 4 2012 at 2:54 am #

      It does indeed have dragons! 🙂

  17. Brandi Ziegler Feb 5 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Love that cover! Thanks for the recommendation, Kat!

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