Series: Newsoul #2
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 29th, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.
In this second book in the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.
Man, this is only my second ever ARC review and just like the last one, I can’t rave about it. I really wish I could, but my conscience says I can’t. Ultimately my conclusion about this one is that it suffers, in my eyes, from middle book syndrome.
I liked Incarnate! I liked it a lot. It was light, but that fit the mood I was in, and the concept was great. The romance was nice. The second book obviously couldn’t stay so light forever. I mean, the mystery involved in the process of reincarnation and the creepy Janan meant there had to be a darker tone. But my main issue with it is this: only very little of the book actually answers the ton of questions the first book left behind. Some 40 pages in the middle and the last 60 pages really provide answers. And of a 400 page book, that’s not that much. And obviously, that’s not enough room to give a LOT of answers, so there’s still plenty of mysteries to be solved in the third book.
So what does this book contain? Romantic melodrama. I know, say it isn’t so, but it is. In the first book, I enjoyed the love story between Ana and Sam because it was sweet, light, and so easy to digest. In this book, it’s not so much that they’re fighting, but Ana is dealing with her fear of saying “I love you” while Sam is endlessly patient (perhaps even frustratingly so), and Sam is struggling with how others perceive the relationship. Realistic, for sure. And in my opinion, if Sam was completely ignorant of the pseudo-pedophilic element to the relationship, that would have been even more weird. But what I struggled with was that these internal battles took up so much time and space, while I was waiting for answers to the mysteries, and it made me grow a bit tired of both characters. And also I personally have this tendency to get bored reading about a relationship after the initial “falling in love” part. That is personal, though, and might not apply to everyone. (If I’m really honest, at certain points, it felt like melodrama for the sake of skirting around sex, which while understandable in YA made me go sadface.)
The plot I liked, however. It definitely took turns I didn’t expect, and overall the world building was improved just by unraveling the mysteries of how that world came to be. Most of that, however, came at the very end, where also the romantic melodrama was resolved. It coming so late, at the end, means that it’s pretty frustrating. I mean, now I just want to know everything, how all the pieces fall together. And now I have to wait a year for the last one? Sigh.
Yeah, I suppose I will be reading the last one, because while this did at times feel like a filler book, the plot itself is still appealing and the last 60 or so pages really gave me hope that the next one will have less melodrama, be a bit more action-packed, and will answer those questions I can’t stop thinking about.
Question 1: What happens when people have more children and the population goes above 1 million? (Or is this like, the council totally controls who has kids when and stuff?) (Seriously, this has been bothering me since I finished book 1.)
Question 2: Is Sam telepathic? Because he seems to be able to communicate with a lot of people just by giving them a look.
Of course there are more serious and pertinent questions, but to know those, you’ll have to check out this book.