Character Concept Art from Incarnate: Essence

Four main characters from Incarnate: Essence, my new book coming out on April 18 (Kindle pre-orders available now). See the whole article for enlarged images plus character bios for all four characters. Spoiler alerts for anyone who hasn’t read Incarnate: Existence – the first book in the series – yet.

I commissioned some concept art for four of the characters in my upcoming novel Incarnate: Essence. I’m going to give a short bio for each of them. Book 1 spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t read it.



Eshe is the current incarnation of the main character, whose point of view the story is told from. In this lifetime, he was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where a proxy war between China and India was taking place. He is 18 years into this lifetime at the start of “Incarnate: Essence”. The protagonist, no matter what incarnation they are in, is introverted and sensitive, suffering PTSD from their experiences throughout human history. Because the world seems to be sliding further into tyranny and chaos, which he will have to life through due to his immortality, Eshe desperately wants to ensure that the future is a better place for humanity.



Sachi is the current incarnation of the other immortal being Eshe found in book 1 of the series. She was born in Japan after her previous incarnation, Mike, was murdered in book 1. She is currently thirty-two years into this particular lifetime. Unlike the protagonist, she is much more extroverted and willing to do what it takes to get things done – what she calls thinking about the big picture. Sachi was the leader of her and Eshe’s group of freedom fighters, called the forty-eights due to genetic upgrades that give them two extra chromosomes than normal people, in book 1. The events at the end of book 1 caused Eshe to split off from Sachi’s group.



Laura is not an immortal, but she has been dead before. Having died back in the 1990s, her eccentric father had her cryonically preserved, only to be resurrected by the Sovereign corporation about three years prior to the start of “Incarnate: Essence” so that she could be forced to sign over her father’s estate to the Sovereign corporation. Technically decades old, though having spent most of that time dead and frozen, she is effectively eighteen years old. She is German. Unfortunately, when Sovereign brought her back to life, they also implanted something in her brain that has taken away Laura’s ability to fall asleep – she remains perpetually awake, which wears on her psyche. Laura is blunt, deadpan, and sarcastic, which can be enjoyable to those who get her sense of humor, despite her nihilism and misanthropy.



Akira has never died before, but she has gone through extensive transformations. She was born male, the son of a high-ranking Yakuza boss in Tokyo. Back then, she was groomed to join the Yakuza, even acquiring many Yakuza Irezumi, or tattoos. Still hiding her true self at the time, she became good at computer hacking, using those talents to help the Yakuza. When one of her jobs got a lot of innocent people killed, she knew she couldn’t do it anymore, and so decided to live as her real self while resisting the Yakuza, along with her friend Masaru. In book 1, Masaru and Akira finally confess their feelings for each other. When the main character comes back as Eshe in book 1, fifteen years later, Akira has completed her transition, as well as getting brain implants that make her extremely intelligent. As a computer hacker, and a biohacker responsible for the creation of the chromosome treatment that add the two extra chromosomes to the forty-eights, she is indispensable to the forty-eight’s mission.

Artwork by Xuan Thai