Book Talk – INCARNATE by Jodi Meadows

The first thing people talk about when they talk about INCARNATE is the cover. And yes, it’s pretty gorgeous. I’ve seen birds fly into it.

But what I find even more stunning about the book is the theme behind the cover, and somehow that never quite makes all the conversations. So I’ll go ahead and start my own.

INCARNATE is the story of Ana, the first Newsoul to be born in Range for 5,000 years. For centuries the same people have been reincarnated over and over again, loves finding each other in different bodies, different lifetimes. Friends reinvent their relationships, 9 year olds serve as doctors by drawing on knowledge from their past lives, and everyone keeps journals of their previous deaths so that others can learn how to prevent dying in the same manner.

Into this society of knowledge and reincarnation comes Ana, a squalling, unlearned infant with nothing to contribute, no memories, no past loves to find again, no friendships to rekindle. Ana’s father disappears in shame, her mother removes her from the main city of Heart to raise her in solitude and neglect. On her 18th birthday, Ana leaves the home she is not wanted in and heads for Heart, the city where a mysterious beat can be felt in the very walls, determined to discover what her birth means, and who she is.

On her journey Ana is rescued from certain death by Sam, a boy her own age, though behind his eyes she can see the memories of the thousand lifetimes before this one. As she recovers, she reluctantly shares what little she knows about her own life, and hesitantly mentions her great love of music. She later regrets this when she learns that Sam is the current incarnation of her beloved composer Dossam.

Ana is a new thing in an old world, a cigarette burn flash in the corner of a four hour movie. As she puts it – she’s a butterfly in their world, a creature that will live only two days in comparison to their thousands of years… and who would bother to befriend a butterfly? Or dare to love her?

The relationship between Sam and Ana is the heart of the book, and deftly woven. His kind compassion is the only way to draw out her injured and reluctant self; her unsure demeanor and unmitigated love for music is the way to his heart – no matter what life he’s on.

For readers looking for a good, clean love story this is a great pick.

For readers looking for the answer to what Ana is and what her existence means, you’ll have to wait for ASUNDER 🙂


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