Sep 8, 2012

ARC Review--Incarnation by Emma Cornwall

Lucy Weston tracks down the novelist Bram Stoker in her search to reveal the dark force who made her a vampire--and regain her humanity in the process.In the steampunk world of Victorian London, Lucy Weston, a character in "Dracula," seeks out Bram Stoker to discover why he deliberately lied about her in his popular novel. With Stoker's reluctant help, she tracks the creature 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 battles her thirst for blood as she struggles to stop a catastrophic war that will doom vampires and humans alike. Ultimately, she makes a choice that illuminates for her--and for us--the true nature of what it means to be human.

I received this e-ARC from the publishers via Edelweiss for review, I was in no way compensated for this review.

From the moment I heard about this fascinating tale of Lucy and what really happened, versus what Stoker says happened in Dracula, I've been hooked! Emma Cornwall's Incarnation is a stunning paranormal steampunk with many twists and turns.

Although, when I was reading the book, I couldn't help but get lost a few times. I think it was the historical references and some of the world building. It was still ultimately exciting, seeing what Lucy is doing to find the one who transformed her into a vampire--a very special halfling vampire. I was only slightly dismayed to realized that Bram wouldn't be playing a huge role in the story like I thought he would. True, Lucy does track him down after discovering the book he wrote, but that was it for awhile. He told her the little he knew of vampires. The story then takes a turn with Lucy trying to find the one who turned her.

She is plagued with dreams in which she speaks with him, but unfortunately he has been kidnapped and is in need of rescuing. It will be up to Lucy to save the day, yet she's going to need help. In walks in Marco di Orsini. A very talented human known as a Protector who defends humans and humanity against vampires and other paranormal beings that stalk the night. Little does she know, she's met Marco before.

Which is perhaps what threw me as well. When there are unsaid backstories that tend to have a strong foundation in the novel, I can't always seem to grasp the relationship in a perfect manner. There's tension between the two and it's not for awhile that we get the story. Which the flashbacks and dreams...they tend to pop up too quickly. There were a few times I wasn't aware that Lucy was dreaming, but in some sense I feel like the author did this intentionally, of course I have no idea if she truly did!

But not only does Lucy need to find and rescue her vampire creator, she needs to help put a stop to another evil vampire who is bent on destroying humankind. Starting with Lucy's sister who remains alive and well in London.

The action was pretty well paced, I liked that. Lucy is learning about herself and what it means to be a halfling. She isn't like other vampires, in a sense a part of her is still human. How long this will last, Lucy doesn't know. Or if it will be something permanent. She only knows that she is both vampire and human.

There wasn't much romance in this one. There is the tension building between Lucy and Marco, but it's just a budding romance really, despite them having known one other for a short time. The ending was an expected one of a first novel, or at least a first in the series. Things are wrapped up, yet there is still enough left unsaid to make you wonder what will happen in the next book. And the depth of these unanswered questions, you know there has to be a sequel at least!

Incarnation was quite the read! If you've ever wondered what Lucy's side to things was in Dracula, well you won't necessarily get it, but you will get the story of the real Lucy and her connection with vampires. A stellar steampunk novel with vampires, what more could a girl ask for?

Overall rating 3.75/5 stars--yes a totally awkward number, I feel that it is better than a 3.5, but the times that I was confused with some of the transitions is enough to make me feel it's not quite a 4, but still a really really good read!

Incarnation releases September 18, 2012


  1. Great review Jessica, this is on my wishlist and I hope to read it soon. The world building and historical reference actually have me excited. The cover is awesome, so glad you enjoyed this.

  2. Great review, Jessica! Glad you liked it in the end despite some misgivings! :)


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