Monday, June 17, 2013

REVIEW: Incarnation by Emma Cornwall

Incarnation Incarnation by Emma Cornwall
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Nice read but lacked oomph.

+ the goods

The reasons the book was a good read was because of the elegant mixing of elements, the diverse characters, and the strong heroine. The incorporation of the King Arthur legend surprised me. This was the first time I read a Dracula fanfiction where Dracula and Mordred were the same character and one of the good guys. I liked how that the good guys also included Bram Stoker and Queen Victoria. They unexpectedly played a significant role, along with the Prime Minister, towards the end in a simulacrum of an all-stars cast much to my delight.

Lucy impressed me the most (as she rightfully should have being that she was the heroine). She could have easily been typecasted as a Delicate Lady (swooning optional) because she woke up with amnesia and as a vampire against her wishes. I liked that despite her perplexed state of mind her wits remained intact and that she was capable of defending herself.

In regard to the villains, I liked how they encompassed both bad vampires and bad humans. On one extreme, you had vampires who believed in the superiority of their existence and that it was time for humans to know their place. On the other extreme, you had humans who believed vampires had been a necessary evil as a national defense which was no longer necessary and should erode away with the past. The extremes brought a strong sense of realism to the historical Urban Fantasy.

+ the bads

Where the book fell short was the writing, Lucy’s mystique, the Dr. Frankenstein-inspired villain, and the unnecessary loose ends. The writing was verbose and often tested my patience. I didn’t care for the heavy somber mood the book affected throughout the story. I get that the book was based on Dracula which required a certain mood but the book took the mood too far for my liking. The heavy somber mood rubbed raw against the action scenes.

The book regularly mentioned that Lucy could end the vampire race but never specified as to how, much to my annoyance. The characters took the prophecy more seriously than it merited. The things the book did bother to specific were Lucy’s vampiric abilities but never to the depth that I desired. While she had advantages that most vampires didn’t, she was no more indestructible as the rest of the undead rank. The book tried rather too hard and clumsily to portray Lucy as the Chosen One.

One of the characters who opposed Lucy was typecasted as the mad scientist with no other intellect of a character to compensate. Though the book didn’t make pursuit of science a bad thing, it certainly didn’t make it as a good thing either.

The loose ends slightly irritated me. One of the villains escaped when there were many opportunities to eliminate him. I wished Lucy showed some bloodthirst and kicked his ass to hell. I didn’t understand why at the very least no one thought to imprison him once they discovered his evil; the oversight amounted to a plot hole. Another loose end was the romance between Lucy and Marco. An optimistic part of me believed they would eventually work out their issues but things could easily fall on the breakup side, and I prefer certainty. I was displeased with the fact that the ending was intentionally left ajar for a potential sequel when everything could have neatly resolved with a HEA and have the book be a stand-alone.

In Conclusion

I rate Incarnation 2-stars for it was okay. It was an interesting read and devoid of big annoyances if nothing else.

Goodreads | Amazon

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