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Tonina Talks Tales

Lifelong reader with the food-smudged and bath-drowned books to prove it. I read YA and SF/F with forays into history, politics, classic lit, and *good* historical fiction. My e-reader is my constant companion.

Currently reading

The Bone Season
Samantha Shannon
This is W.A.R.
'Lisa Roecker', 'Laura Roecker'


Incarnate - I had heard a great deal about Incarnate, all of it complimentary, before I bought it. Either my taste is very different from that of virtually every other person who read this book or I somehow missed most of its redeeming aspects.The female protagonist, Ana, is the sole person in this society who hasn't been reincarnated for thousands of years. As such, she is shunned by pretty much everyone and abused by her mother, Li, who expected Ana to be someone else when she gave birth to her. At sixteen, she strikes out on her own and promptly runs into danger. With the serendipity common to such books is rescued by Sam, who is also known as Dossam, a composer/musician Ana has worshiped (and supposedly become "infatuated with") from afar. Thus begins their tepid, convoluted, and somewhat pedophilic relationship. I mean, if you're 5,000 years old and have been reincarnated for hundreds of lives, doesn't it seem a bit icky to suddenly become obsessed with a never-reincarnated 16YO, no matter what your current physical age may be? For a book with sylphs, dragons, and weird godlike presences, this book was oddly dull and strikingly underdeveloped. Ana struggles to find acceptance, she and Sam play music together and get all angsty over each other, blah blah blah. The world-building was extremely hit or miss. I wasn't expecting a full explanation of every little detail, but some information as to why Heart and its residents exist the way they do would have been helpful. For instance, why doesn't anyone choose not to be reincarnated? After such a long time, you'd expect some people would just get sick of the whole cycle, wouldn't you? Wouldn't someone at some point have worked to find a way for people to pass out of the reincarnation cycle for good? And for beings that are thousands of years old and have lived as male and female, parent and child, for hundreds of life cycles, the people of Heart don't seem to have developed any different sensibilities from people in my everyday world.I was very excited to finally read this book after all the hype, but unfortunately it was a letdown. I'm giving it three stars simply because there's an interesting central idea and a fascinating world buried within the lumpy, unappealing mass of Incarnate. I wish Jodi Meadows had concentrated more on developing and refining those elements, because Incarnate could have been a wonderful story had she done so.