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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"Incarnation" by Emma Cornwall (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

OVERVIEW: In the steampunk world of Victorian London, a beautiful vampire seeks out the author of Dracula–to set the record straight . . . If one is to believe Bram Stoker’s legendary vampire tale, Lucy Weston is Dracula’s most wanton creation, a sexual creature of the night who preys on innocent boys. But the real-life Lucy is nothing like her fictional counterpart—and she demands to know why the Victorian author deliberately lied. With Stoker’s reluctant help, she’s determined to track down the very fiend who transformed her—from the sensual underworld where humans vie to become vampires, to a hidden cell beneath a temple to madness, and finally into the glittering Crystal Palace where death reigns supreme.

Haunted by fragmentary memories of her lost life and love, Lucy must battle her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike. Ultimately, she must make a choice that illuminates for her—and for us—what it means to be human

FORMAT: Incarnation is a novel that combines steampunk, supernatural, Victorian London, mystery, and adventure elements into one. It stands at 352 pages and was published September 2012 by Gallery Books.

ANALYSIS: Incarnation weaves a unique combination of steampunk, adventure, mystery, and vampires into an elegantly written standout novel. Literally from the first chapter readers are thrust into a steampunk Victorian London world where vampires secretly run amuck, but the public is none the wiser.

This may sound like the setup for just any old vampire novel, but it isn't. The first chapter of Incarnation starts off with a rather detailed description of what it would feel like to mysteriously wake up as a vampire. Readers are introduced to Lucy Weston as she awakens buried deep underground with a wooden stake driven through her chest. She has no idea how she got there, why she is like this, and immediately starts digging herself out of her own grave.

After Lucy Weston valiantly digs herself out of her grave, she works to piece together the memories she has of her former life. She discovers that a newly published novel, Dracula, contains what appears to be a rather accurate, yet slightly fictionalized version of her death and she vows to get to the bottom of the story. This quest to find out what happened to her, why she appears as a main character in a novel, and why she has a sudden craving for blood pushes her deeper into the underground world of the supernatural.

Incarnation is an absolute amazing novel. It was fast paced, yet didn't let things, such as character development or plots falter in favor of a faster pace. All of the characters readers encounter in Incarnation are extremely fleshed out, especially Lucy. It is as if readers almost become Lucy as they read the novel.

The style of writing in the novel is slightly different than most vampire/supernatural novels. Incarnation takes on a slightly dark, poetic style of writing compared to a sassy, in your face style. This style might not work for everyone, but it really helps set the tone and pace of the novel.

I have to admit this novel had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Every scene just seemed to get better and better, and I kept wanting and craving to read more. I really think this had to do with the fact that this novel details a young woman's adventure in finding herself and discovering who she really is. However, unlike most of us, this young woman happens to be a vampire and discovers herself with the help of several members of the supernatural community.

While Incarnation is filled with the typical vampires, there isn't one thing 'typical' about the plot. There are fresh, unique twists and turns at every corner. This novel is filled with adventure, mystery, and romance. Yes, there is a little romance, but it doesn't overpower or overshadow the plot.  

The one slight issue I do have with Incarnation is the way that it ended. I don't believe the ending could be considered a cliffhanger, but the door is definitely open for more novels in the future.

In the end, Incarnation was a wonderful, amazing read. While it wasn't totally what I expected (a typical vampire/romance novel), it turned out to be so much more and an absolute delight to read.


Pa-Panda said...

After reading this review I bougth the kindle version righ away :)
I have no time to read...

Adam said...

After reading the review (actually halfway through it) I bougth the book immediatelly :D

I have no time to read, though...

Anonymous said...

Ooooh. Must read.


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