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Scott Reads It!

I blog over at Scott Reads It! I'm a reader, a writer, a blogger, and a humanitarian. I'm prone to fanboying about the latest nerdy films and books on a consistent basis! I'm nerdy and I know it.


Incarnation - Emma Cornwall Seen at Scott Reads It"Who wouldn't be driven to find the one who stole your humanity, transformed you into a creature unlike any you had ever imagined, and abandoned you to deal with that as best you could?" Immediately Incarnation enticed me with promises of a paranormal steampunk retelling of Lucy Weston from Dracula's story. Emma Cornwall crafted an interesting retelling of Dracula that was okay. Incarnation is one of many vampire books I have read recently and unfortunately it doesn't really stand out in my mind. Incarnation is the story of Lucy Weston who is one of the characters of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Weston was portrayed by Dracula to be a seductress who preyed on the innocent. In Incarnation Lucy Weston is nothing like the character in Bram Stoker's novel. When Weston wakes up as a vampire, she begins on a journey to find out who turned her. Also Weston comes across a certain Bram Stoker novel and would like to know why he lied about her life. In a traditional sense, Incarnation is not a true retelling because it isn't a new incarnation of Dracula. Instead of retelling the tale of Dracula, Incarnation is really a retelling of Lucy Weston. The problem with retellings is that often I compare the original novel and the retelling. Incarnation is nothing like the novel Dracula at all. Incarnation is not a Gothic novel to my disappointment and it really lacks horror elements that Dracula had. I know it isn't fair to compare the two but my brain was constantly comparing the two. Another problem with retellings is that often tell the story from a different character's point of view. Truthfully Lucy Weston was one of my least favorite characters in Dracula. Weston was not that interesting in Dracula and she isn't that interesting in Incarnation either. I would have loved if some of the characters from Dracula such as Van Helsing, Mina Harker, or Dr. Seward made a cameo. I would have much preferred if Incarnation was told from a different character's point of view (maybe Stoker's). Incarnation had so much potential but it failed to live up to it. For instance Incarnation is supposed to be a steampunk novel yet it is such a miniscule portion of the novel. The 3rd word in the publisher's description is Steampunk and on the cover there is clockwork steampunk designs, yet steampunk is negligible in Incarnation. Steampunk elements are lacking in the entirety of the novel and Cornwall failed to do something extraordinary steampunk wise. To say Incarnation is a steampunk novel is kind of misleading. Incarnation takes place in Victorian England but that's where the steampunk factor ends. Sure Cornwall describes how the cities and people are covered with soot and Lucy says something like that times are strange but that's it. When I think steampunk, I think parasols, automatons, clockwork, steam engines, flying machines, funky goggles, but none of your typical steampunk ideas even bother making an appearance. Another thing that really bothered me about Incarnation were the supernatural species. Incarnation adds nothing new to the paranormal genre and everything feels like a lame rehash of books I have already read. I was excited when I read that there were trolls in this book but there were beyond ridiculous. Basically all the trolls did in Incarnation was ask Lucy to give them money. Are you freaking serious? What is the point of adding trolls to a book if they do nothing at all? The trolls on Goodreads are more lively and interesting than the trolls in Incarnation. When werewolves made an appearance in Incarnation I was pretty excited because I love vampire vs. werewolf action. Seriously it was pretty upsetting how small of a part the werewolves played in Incarnation. The werewolves were mentioned early on and made an appearance once and that was it. I thought the werewolves would make an appearance but they were never even mentioned again. The plot of Incarnation is nothing exciting and it moved at a relaxed pace. There were no plot twists at all in Incarnation and it was pretty predictable. It annoyed me how convenient everything turned out. Right as a conflict pops up, a solution just magically seems to appear which ruined all tension and suspense. There is also another ridiculous plot point where singing saves a character. Really? When has singing ever saved someone's life? A simple plot isn't always so terrible if the novel is enjoyable and has good writing. Cornwall's writing was nothing special at all, it was simply decent. The dialogue that Cornwall wrote didn't feel Victorian or British at all. If you have ever read a book takes place in Britain or during Victorian times, you know that the novel has a different atmosphere as opposed to an average paranormal novel. Incarnation lacked that tone and atmosphere that British and Victorian novels always seem to have. (If you don't understand what tone/atmosphere I am talking about pick up Clockwork Angel or Harry Potter.) Incarnation was a decent read but I am not sure I would recommend it. Everything in Incarnation was very average and Incarnation failed to stand out from all of the other paranormal books I have read. I really hoped Incarnation would add some spectacular to the paranormal genre but nothing like that ever happened. The writing was bland and was not compelling at all. If Cornwall writes any more books I doubt I would even consider reading them.