Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Book Review: Asunder

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. Quoted from Goodreads


I love this series. Seriously.  I read Incarnate last year, and then I read it twice more, so I was understandably nervous to see what would happen in book two. Asunder absolutely measured up to all my expectations: character growth, action, mysteries solved, romance (and not the "I can't be with you because--insert pointless problem here"), new problems introduced, cliff hanger to be solved in third book, etc. It had them all.

I love the person Ana is becoming. Incarnate was all about Ana's quest to figure out why she was born and our introduction to the world in which she lived.  In Asunder Ana is given a cause.  More new souls are being born, and Ana wants to protect them, not only from people who don't believe they have a right to live, but from the mystery that is Janan and why he considered Ana an inconsequential mistake. 

Speaking of Janan, we learn so much more about him and the tower/temple's purpose. I did not see that twist coming. He went from being odd/creepy but not the real bad guy, to something a lot more terrifying.  I also loved learning more about the Sylphs.  We still don't know everything, but the glimpses we get about them are intriguing, and I can't wait to learn more.  The one thing I wish there would have been more of are the dragons.  While I'm sure they'll make an appearance in the last book, they were absent from this one, and I missed them, their "relationship" with Sam, and the mystery of why they attack the tower.

One of the best things about this book is how unique it is. It has lots of fantasy elements--dragons, trolls, sylphs, new world, etc.-- but it's technologically advanced with out coming across as science fiction.  It's also the closest book I've ever read  to really establishing a Utopia society.  Of course there's a hidden underbelly that undermines the perfection, but these people haven't used bombs in something like three thousand years and despite a minor bump or two, they've been at peace for just as long.  It's a refreshing change after so many dystopia novels out there with horrendous living conditions and even worse dictators.

Then there's Ana's relationship with Sam.  I really liked it.  So many series go like this: first book = fall in love. Second book = find some reason to keep them apart. Third book = live happily ever after.  Asunder, despite it's title,  avoided all the stupid reasons for them not to be together.  The romance wasn't the main point of action, so there didn't need to be separation or conflict to capture the reader and keep the series going, and it was a nice change.  Their relationship simply keeps progressing as they get to know one another better.

If you can't guess, this book is 4.5 stars for me.  There is just something about Jodi Meadows's writing that I love.  She's descriptive, her pacing is even better in this book than the last, and I love her characters.  If you're looking for a great series, check this out. It's unique, full of mystery and great characters, and the first two books are out.  What are you waiting for?

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