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Book Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

New soul
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

No soul
Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.

Jan. 31, 2012
Ages 13 and up
Katherine Tegen Books
Reviewed: paperback

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows is an amazing read. I have recommended this book to so many people. I’ve waited awhile to read it because I wasn’t completely sure about the whole reincarnated topic, just because I don’t believe in reincarnation and a lot of people can take it too far. I was drawn to the cover every time I saw this book. Finally I gave in. I ordered Incarnate online. I couldn’t wait to start reading. I had Incarnate out of the package right away and I was curled up on the couch and I began to read. Three hours later, my homework wasn’t done, my family was calling me to dinner and I was about half way through Ana’s story. I sat there debating on whether I wanted to skip dinner and keep reading or was I willing to put the book down to go eat. Finally I decided to make the responsible decision and go eat with my family.


Jodi Meadows pulled me into a world that in some ways resemble and in other ways it is completely different. They have electronic devices that are like a smart phone, iPod, and camera all rolled into one called an SED. They seem to be a little more advance than we are but also in a way they are behind in technology. I state this because they don’t use vehicles unless it is an emergency because it destroys the air and ruins the dirt they used to farm. Honestly this world that Jodi Meadows could have been an alternative time line to the society that we live in now. The story is set in a completely fictional world in a city called Heart.

I really want to know the visual image that Meadows had in her head as she described Heart and the Range. I want to know if the image in my head is close or not. I wish Heart was a real place because I would love to visit it. I want to feel the heart beat of the wall that Ana describes and touch the beautiful piano in Sam’s house. I would love to see the Dragons even if they do spit acid. Meadows created this entire world that I can picture so vividly in my imagination, if there weren’t so many weird issues going on (read the book and you can find out!) then I would probably want to live there. The Range has to be an interesting place to live too. I would like to see it at the very least though I would prefer to live in the city of Heart rather than the Range.


Ana has a beautiful soul. She is a new soul that has grown up with people treating her like a leper and like she is no good, but she is also feared because she is a product of the unknown. All of these old souls that keep reliving their lives are afraid that new souls will begin to take over. Ana is the only new soul there is, they haven’t had another appear in her 18 years of life. When Ana turns 18 she is able to get away from Li, her mom, who has never loved Ana because she replaced Ciana. Nobody knows why, so the blame falls upon Ana’s shoulders, even though Ana couldn’t control what happened, she couldn’t control the fact that she was born. Ana is such a relatable character. She has depth and soul. When Ana hurt inside I felt so bad for her, I just couldn’t help it. I wished over and over again that I could save her from the people that choose to harm her rather than to get to know her, so they could understand Ana. I couldn’t imagine growing up in a home where my mom loathed me and where no one bothered to teach me anything. Ana had to grow up all on her own. I congratulate her on her perseverance and determination and how she taught herself to read and write. When she had her first period, she was made fun of because she wasn’t expecting it because she was a new soul. She didn’t have the same experiences that everyone else had. Ana goes on an incredible journey to find out where she came from and who she is. She makes friends along the way and learns things about herself that she didn’t know she was capable of. I wish I had a friend like Ana because I can definitely say that she would be the most loyal friend of all.

Sam. Swoony Sam. I want Sam to be my literal boyfriend. He is perfect. We meet Sam when he saves Ana’s life. Then Ana saves his. As we get to know Sam, we find out that he isn’t much older than Ana physically, but in soul years he is ancient. Sam is an old soul whereas Ana is a new soul. Sam is also the first soul to be kind to Ana and treat her like she is a real person. There were times that I wanted to yell at Sam and tell him how stupid he was and that he was lucky to have Ana in his life because he definitely didn’t deserve her. Then there were other times that I was like, “he can’t get any better than this right?” and of course I was wrong. Sam is the handsome boy that the girls wish would just pay the slightest bit of attention to them. Sam is very protective of Ana once they finally make it to Heart. I really liked seeing the different sides of Sam: the musician, the protector, the not-so-boyfriend boyfriend, the teacher, and of course the friend. I can’t wait to see how he develops as a character.

I honestly don’t have anything kind to say about Li. The famous saying comes into play here, “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” I am choosing not to say anything at all…well I will say one thing. “Li, how can you treat your daughter like that?!” Okay. I am done.

Stef is definitely an interesting character. She has been Sam’s best friend for years. She seems to have accepted Ana right away, it will be interesting to see how this develops though. Part of me wonders if she is playing both Ana and Sam but that is my own suspicions.

Sarit would have to be one of my favorite friends of Ana’s. Sarit is so loving and always wanting to gossip with Ana. She is teaching Ana how to make honey (Ana’s favorite) and how the process works. I like Sarit’s personality a lot mainly because she is just so willing to help and be the friend that Ana needs. I look forward to seeing Ana and Sarit’s friendship grow.

There are several other characters that I can go on about but then this review is going to be a mile long and no one would be interested in reading it. You have other minor characters and then your typical “bad guys.” You have dragons and sylph. Don’t worry I had to look up to find out what sylph are too. I really want to learn more about the sylph, they seem like interesting creatures and of course I bet there is a good story behind their creation.

Then you have Janan. The main antagonist of this Incarnate and I am assuming of the entire NewSoul series. Janan seems like a very interesting thing. He isn’t exactly a person, yet he isn’t really an animal either. I am not totally sure what Janan is. I can tell you this; I don’t like him at all however I am strangely fascinated by how he came to be. Why are people so devoted to this Janan character?

I think Incarnate is definitely worth picking up. When I ordered my copy, I actually found out that there were about 40 pages missing from the back of the book. I had to contact the place I purchased the book, so they could send me a replacement copy. It was horrible! I had to wait to find out what was going to happen to Ana. Let’s just say I was kept on my toes for a few days…just waiting. During this whole process was hosting a re-read-a-thon event that I participated which made the whole reading experience even more fun. I think Jodi Meadows did a great job with her debut novel and I can’t wait to read more.

Here is a picture of the book with missing pages.

I give "Incarnate" five out of five bookshelves. 

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