I was a very lucky girl last week, for many reasons.
One of the reasons I can tell you about is that I was given a Kindle ARC of an amazing new book coming out in 2012: INCARNATE, by Jodi Meadows.
I was looking forward to it, because I know Jodi on Twitter and she's super-cool. Plus I love the cover. How could you not?
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.
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 suspicious and 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?
But I admit I was a bit nervous. Why? Because I like Jodi, and I expected so much, that I was afraid I'd be disappointed. It happens, sometimes.
FRIENDS. THIS DID NOT HAPPEN. THIS BOOK BLEW MY SOCKS RIGHT OFF.
Why? I'm a tough reader. What did it?
1. Originality. Good God, this book is ORIGINAL. It's not a twist on an old story I've read, or an interpretation of a myth, or different dystopian plots shuffled around. It is NEW. I have never read anything like it before. So new it had me getting excited, thinking of how this society would work, and how differently characters would react to each other in this world, and what all the implications were...I don't even know how long it's been since I was struck so by how *different* a book was. And in this case, different = amazeballs.
2. Characters. I loved Ana from the start. She's not perfect--in fact, she has some characteristics, especially at the beginning, that aren't really pretty. (low self-confidence, uncertainty, defensiveness) But you get why she's like that, and you see how she gets it herself, and how she counteracts those issues as the book moves along. Plus from the very beginning you see her strength shining through her upbringing. And Sam!! He's not perfect either, or sparkly or brooding, but he is just...aaahhh. I'll let you find out.
3. Writing. Jodi's writing is beautiful, but not in a self-conscious way. I felt from the very first page that I was in the hands of an expert. She never stumbled in pacing or characterization, never lost me to boredom (this happens easily with me). Brava, Jodi.
Definitely a sock-knocker. I think I'll still be looking for my socks when it comes out on January 31st!