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Vladimir Nabokov, Craig Raine
Incarnate (Newsoul, #1) - Jodi Meadows Yet another book that set up an interesting world with potential for some philosophical exploration that got ditched in order of romance. I don't see why these books have either or. You can have both!In this world, everyone has been reincarnated for thousands of years, except for Ana, who has never existed before and replaced another soul. When you're reincarnated you know who you are and who everybody else is, but you're still born to different families. Here is where it gets really tricky: the people reborn can also change genders. Now, this is something that has to be done right. In this case, I don't think it was. For example, while at a masquerade, Ana notices two people dancing together. A conversation follows in which she is told all the situations in which they would kill themselves to be together. If one dies, the other dies as well so that someone who is ninety isn't in love with someone who is fifteen. But then it's also said that in the past, if they were born the same gender they would ALSO kill themselves. Ana then points out that they are both women, and is told that they got tired of killing themselves and just decided to let it be. That definitely did not sit right with me. Even with the romance there were unanswered questions. Everyone is hesitant to be with Ana because they think that 1. she has no soul and 2. what if they get replaced too? But Sam, who she meets shortly after setting off on her journey, doesn't seem to be bothered by this and in fact repeatedly sides with her against people he's known for thousands of years. The last part is sort of brought up in that Ana doubts he'll choose her side, but the rest is largely ignored. Then there's the action. Even though this is utopia and not dystopia, there is still a sense of danger in that Ana feels like she's being watched and there's the possibility of being attacked by such mystical creatures as dragons and sylphs among other things. But the action seems almost halfhearted, as if the author realized there needed to be a conflict and added some. The rest of the story is about romance, dancing, music, and other such things. The writing isn't bad, though, so I'll continue with the other books to see if there is any improvement.