Author: Emma Cornwall
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: Gallery Books via Edelweiss
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Alternate History, Steampunk, Adult
Page Count: 352
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. (summary from goodreads)
What if Dracula, Bram Stoker’s famous book, was a gigantic cover up? What if vampires, werewolves, and other fantastical beasts roamed the world? What if the British monarchy knew about it, and was in on it?
Incarnation is wildly inventive, and a great read. It took me a while to get to it, and now that I’ve finished it, I wish I would have read it sooner. It’s not your typical vampire book, so even if you’re sick of those, I’d still encourage you to give it a try. It’s also not young adult, though the cover gives the impression it might be. I’d recommend Incarnation for readers of any age, teen and up. It’s a mix of alternate history, steampunk, paranormal, urban fantasy, and even some romance — there should be something for everyone.
I really liked Lucy Weston, the main character. Does the name sound familiar? It should, although in Dracula, she was known as Lucy Westenra. Lucy is spunky, sensitive, and real. There’s even a hint of Lucy Westenra’s sensuality in her, yet they are two very different characters. I loved that Lucy wanted to do more with her life than marry and have children, especially in a time when that’s all women were supposed to do. Lucy grew over the course of the book, and I really hope her story isn’t finished yet. I would be excited to read a sequel to Incarnation.
Incarnation has a pretty cool twist on vampires. I don’t think I’ve read anything combining Arthurian legends and vampires before! Lady Blanche was an interesting villain, and I would have liked to know more about her. Actually — I wanted to know more about every character, even Cornwall’s Queen Victoria. Each character is richly imagined, and distinct. I have to give special mention to Mordred, who managed to steal most of the scenes he was in, as well as Marco, who was sort of Lucy’s love interest. Happily for me, the romance doesn’t overpower what is a brilliant story.
The writing in Incarnation is very atmospheric. If I had a complaint, it’s that I wish the book moved along a bit faster. The rich descriptions and scene settings slowed the pace down, but I tend to like that sort of thing, so I wasn’t too bothered. It’s just not the kind of writing you can gobble up in one night.
All in all, Incarnation is a great book, and I hope there’s a sequel in the future.
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