For my spotlight on upcoming dystopian/post apocalyptic fiction series, I interviewed over 20 authors with novels coming out in the genre in 2012/13. These are exclusive first looks at exciting new works. Enjoy!
Author Jodi Meadows is set to blow us away with her debut INCARNATE. It comes out January 31, 2012 with HarperCollins and it features dragons and reincarnation. Which is so, so cool.
Here’s the summary:
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 suspicious and 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.
And of course the beautiful cover:
And the interview!
What do you think draws people to "dark" stories?
I don't think most people are looking for darkness so much as wanting to see characters overcome that darkness. The world can be a grim place; when people--even people made of fiction--overcome horror and overwhelming obstacles, that gives us hope. And in dark stories, moments of beauty and peace seem to shine even brighter.
If INCARNATE had a theme song, what would it be and why?
"Butterflies and Hurricanes." Not the original version by Muse, but the instrumental cover by William Joseph. It sounds so hopeful, even where where the music is intense and driving. It makes my heart all afluttery. [Watch on YouTube]
What fictional character from another book would Ana chose as her best friend and why?
I think Ana would choose Evie from PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White. On the surface, Evie is everything Ana wants to be: strong, confident, smart, and beautiful.
Under the surface, though, Ana and Evie are a lot alike. Neither understands her origins, and both feel very alone. People are afraid of them and keep them in the dark, and neither girl knows why.
Together, they could snark up a storm.
What are your top 5 Dystopian lit recs and why?
Tough one! Okay, here are a few with some amazing dystopian elements:
1. INCARCERON/SAPPHIQUE by Catherine Fisher. The worldbuilding is just awesome. And even when you think you've got it figured out, you don't. Truly incredible.
2. THE GIVER by Lois Lowry. This book made me love dystopian stories before I knew what dystopians were. And oh, the end.
3. GONE by Michael Grant. It's like a modern version of LORD OF THE FLIES, but with superpowers.
4. THE UNIDENTIFIED by Rae Mariz. The cover blurb says this book is "subversive," and oh yes, it is. The story says a lot about marketing, trends, and our need to be constantly connected.
5. SUNSHINE by Robin McKinley. This one is probably stretching the definition of dystopia, but I just had to point out the amazing worldbuilding and the incredible way we see a character overcome true darkness.
What's on the top of your to-do list before the world ends? (you know, in case it ends next year)
You mean besides finishing revisions on The Newsoul Trilogy? Read the (what feels like) hundreds of books I'm looking forward to!
How does your novel stand out from others in the genre?
The world in INCARNATE is a subtle dystopia, a stagnant slump of society established over millennia of the same souls being reincarnated over and over. The very nature of everyone's lives makes society unwelcoming and uncomfortable to an outsider.
INCARNATE is also set in a fantasyland where centaurs menace the southern borders, and dragons attack from the north. And most dangerous of all are the ancient and unkillable sylph: creatures of smoke and shadow that boil the flesh off the unwary.
Visit Jodi’s website
Follow Jodi on Twitter @jodimeadows
Add INCARNATE to your GoodReads wishlist
Jodi also contributes to Brave New Words, a group blog for YA sci-fi 2012 debuts
Lucky you! I have one advanced reader copy up for grabs that I can send internationally! To enter, just fill out this form by August 27, 2011 at 11:59 pm CST.