By Jodi Meadows
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?
When I first read the above synopsis I was all over this book. I wanted to read it and eyed it on my kindle for months before I found it on sale. So excited about the notion of reincarnations and New Souls, I read this in about 2 days. This was a well-written young adult book that handled an interesting mythology and religion, that of reincarnation and what it means to really live your life. One of the underlying questions in the book is How do you live your life if you know you’ll always come back? Unlike most reincarnation stories you hear, in this one, each person or Soul comes back to the next life with all their previous memories and experiences in tact from the time they are born. Then we are introduced to outcast Ana, who is New. She has never lived before, and one of the others has disappeared never to be born again when she appeared. Sam takes Ana under his wing, protecting her from those who resent her presence in their well-established lives. Ana doesn’t know if this first life is her only life, or if she too will be reincarnated when she dies. Nobody knows. She is an anomaly in a predictable world, and Sam wants to show her everything she’s missed in the thousands of years he’s lived. It’s an interesting book and well-executed theory and mystery as to why suddenly reincarnation has stopped for the person Ana replaced. This is a love story, a mystery, a fantasy, and an adventure.
Content warning: Sam and Ana do talk about becoming intimate and what that entails. It was enough to make me uncomfortable and not want to read the other books because it foreshadows actual sex scenes between two teenagers, which I dislike.
I give it a 3 out of 5- average dystopian fantasy with the love story (thank heavens it’s not a triangle)