Series: Newsoul #1Genre: YA Sci-Fi Fantasy
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
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 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. (Summary from Goodreads)
The world which Meadows created was beautiful and so far from the truth of reality yet it seemed so very real. I felt as though dragons, sylph and reincarnation actually existed as I read my way from cover to cover; I was so absorbed in this world.
Ana (our protagonist) was a character I adored from the first sentence and she continued to grow on me throughout the duration of the novel. She was as new to herself as she was to us; we knew everything she did and the best part was that we learnt it all with her - who she was, what she liked, why she existed and more importantly, who to trust. Meadows showed us all of this, she didn't tell us - this I liked.
Another character who I (and you will) love is Sam. He is so perfect, yet so flawed. He seemed so real throughout the book, so human. He was a lovable character and a great asset to the story.
The only issue I had with characters was that I think Meadows introduced us to too many members of the 'council' in one go so that I forgot who was who for a while. Only a few members were relevant characters yet all these names were thrown at us. This was ONLY a tiny issue, do not let this put you off the novel! You will not get confused about who is who with any main characters, I promise!
The relationships in this novel were more realistic than in a lot of YA reads these days as friendships were tested and emotions were used as weapons as well as comfort. The relationship between Ana and sam developed well throughout the story - they were each other's lifelines but also each was the other's greatest weakness.
I love the plot, the characters, the writing (the cover!) and everything else about this novel. It was well thought-out and beautifully written. I loved it so much that I've picked out a few of my favourite quotes! (I couldn't include all as they wouldn't have made sense out of context.)
1) "Honestly? I think people aren't sure it's worth getting to know you. It would be like you deciding if it was worth befriending a butterfly, even though it wouldn't be there in the morning."
2) I was the brushstroke that ruined the painting.
3) I was trapped, a butterfly under glass.
I loved this story as much as I'd hoped I would. I definitely recommend it and will certainly be picking myself up a copy of the sequel.