Early Review: Incarnation by Emma Cornwall

September 13, 2012 Review 2

*This title will be released on September 18, 2012*

Cover Art: Tony Mauro


by Emma Cornwell

Genre: Paranormal Steampunk |
Excerpt: No | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Abigail | Source: Publisher

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books; Original edition (September 18, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1439190356
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439190357


Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.


Sexual Content

References to sex and attempted rape.


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.


A beautiful melding of time period and myth, INCARNATION drifts through the misty streets of an imagined London. Without bogging down in accent or details, Cornwall creates a new mythology of the Slayer, vampires, and werewolves, as well as the city itself. Lucy awakens to her second life alone and confused, but it is immediately clear that the usual rules that govern vampires do not apply to her.

INCARNATION is the story of Lucy finding her way in this new reality. Awakened with only hints of her past, Cornwall returned Lucy’s memories to her slowly. Lucy discovers the truths of her human past and her vampiric nature at the same time, which interwove nicely with details of the current plot. I never got the sense that Lucy’s experience with vampirism is meant to represent all vampires, but it did seem that her moments of emotional remoteness and calculation were due to her vampiric side. Though Cornwall balanced that with some human warmth, for much of the book Lucy is inscrutable (to herself as well as to the reader).  All of Cornwall’s world is one of tantalizing hints.  Some advanced technology and alternate history, hints of vampire and werewolf mythology, secret societies and mad scientists, all mixed together in a foggy, Gothic world.  INCARNATION struck the perfect balance between teasing details and leaving me wanting more.

Lucy is muted and restrained, but relentless in pursuit of answers.  I found myself not so much invested in her present state as in the possibilities of what she could become.  From a sheltered young woman constrained by parents and society to a solitary, powerful creature with infinite possibilities at her feet, Cornwall has recreated Lucy Westonra to wonderful effect.  In INCARNATION we see Lucy find her feet and navigate the immediate dangers of her world, and though not currently listed as a series, I would love to see where another book would take her.

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2 Responses to “Early Review: Incarnation by Emma Cornwall”

  1. Erin

    Sounds very different for an Urban Fantasy, a nice refreshing change. Will keep an eye out for it.