Review: Asunder by Jodi Meadows


Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books (an imprint of HarperCollins)
Genre: young adult dystopian fantasy, romance
Format/Source: hardcover library book
Status: book 2 of the Newsoul trilogy

Summary:
DARKSOULS
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.

SHADOWS
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.

LOVE
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 Newsoul 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.
 


Review:
Please forgive me because I read this book an entire six months ago. My memory isn't the freshest here so I'm going to start with a short summary in my words before I go on to the review.

Asunder picks up a short time after the chaos of the end of Incarnate. The citizens of Heart are busy picking up the physical and emotional pieces of the combined sylph and dragon attack and preparing for the ramifications of that night, namely that the souls who died during Templedark won't be reincarnated. Sam and Ana take a trip away from Heart, first to Purple Rose Cottage, where they meet Cris, and then to Menehem's research lab to study sylph. After a while, the duo heads back to Heart, where they witness the birth of another Newsoul, Anid, who faces as much persecution as Ana. The entire novel is a mystery that leads up to a truly shocking confrontation, where one character makes the ultimate sacrifice. Then, as the action settles, at the very end is another fairly significant shock. Jodi's good (or evil depeding on your viewpoint) like that.

Throughout the novel, old characters stick around like Stef and Sarit, but some fade into the background. Meanwhile new characters, both friend and foe, make an appearance. It's hard to discuss the characters of Asunder fairly because everybody wears a mask, like the ones depicted on the gorgeous covers. There are so many characters who appear to be friends but are later revealed as antagonists. I will always have a problem with Stef because she's Ana and Sam's friend, but her feelings for Sam often get in the way of the friendship, and I don't like that. I mean, it makes sense and is totally realistic, but Samana forever, guys. Then there's Cris, who is Sam's other best friend. Cris is by far the most confusing character in Asunder. I just could not figure him out AT ALL. Like with Stef, there's a lot of unseen and unknown history. On one hand, Cris is a friend, trying to help Ana out with her mysterious symbols and the like, but on the other, Cris is enigmatic and closed off, which made me wonder through the whole novel what Cris is hiding. I'm quite glad for the upcoming novella "The Phoenix Overture" because clearly, the reader needs some context as far as Sam's history is concerned.

I give Jodi an A+ for all the twists, tricks, and turns throughout the novel. Kind of like in the temple, sometimes I felt like up was down and down was up. I am not usually very surprised when I read because I have read a lot and watched a lot of movies and tv, and I have been blessed with the ability to usually guess where the plot is going. Not this time. Although everyone finds Ana's symbols somewhat familiar, no one is able to recall them perfectly. Like a half-remembered dream that slips out of your mind when you wake, only leaving tantalizing fragments that float around your memory. Yeah, Asunder is like that. I found myself constantly surprised, which is really exciting for me. Bravo, Jodi, you tricksy little hobbitses, you!

My favorite aspect of the novel is Sam and Ana's blossoming romance. I mean, how could it not be? I really love it because ALL THE KISSING. I found myself having to put the book down several times because the kissing was so HOT. I mean, I've read books where the characters just get right down to it, and I'm just like, "eh, whatever." Jodi is truly a master of romance because she can do more with a small kiss and subtle caresses than some authors can do with a home run. Plus, if Sam and Ana just fell into bed, I'd find it disgenuine. Ana is still trying to find herself, and if Sam pushed her, I would like him less. Their relationship is still in the early growing stages, which means yes, all the kissing, but also the part where you do have to have some difficult conversations, which at first the two avoid fastidiously. 

I find this romance wholly realistic, despite being set in a fantasy world, which is awesome. Just because you write in a genre doesn't mean you should ignore believable romance! This relationship is at times difficult because of the significant age-gap (or knowledge gap, maybe), Ana's supreme lack of self esteem, and the pressures of society. Also, as I state above, Sam's history is a significant player in this relationship because Stef and Cris both pose as opposition in one way or another. But Sam and Ana work at things, and I love them for it. It's not easy, but it's real. <3

Overall, I thoroughly recommend reading Asunder, but only after you've read Incarnate, obviously. Sometimes you can get away with skipping a novel in a series, but I really don't recommend that here. This trilogy is so wrapped up together that you won't want to miss a word. I'm extremely excited to read Infinite, to the point where I'm begging Jodi for a copy. We'll see how that goes. ;)

Recommended for: A great fantasy romance with a great mystery in the plot
Not recommended for: Anyone who hasn't read Incarnate

My review of Incarnate 

Book Links:
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About the Author:
Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut.

*A Kippy is a cat.
Author Links:
   

2 comments:

  1. I loved this review so much! Jodi is AMAZING and by far one of the nicest authors I've ever met! Also, her ferrets are adorable! Katniss is so cute! Don't tell Kippy.

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  2. I have not read anything by Jodi, but this books sounds great! And thank you so much for the review!

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