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.