Saturday, June 12, 2010

Book Review: Incarceron


Incarceron -- a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology -- a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber -- chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison -- a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device -- a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn's escape is born...

--From Goodreads

Cover Inspection:
Absolutely stunning! I love how the key is a bit raised.

First Thoughts:
Whoa. This is intense.

***

My Thoughts:
Incarceron is one of the most beautifully written and descriptive books I have had the opportunity to read this year. The story is woven in a way that pulls you in so deeply, that even if you don't always grasp exactly what's going on at the moment, you still feel like you NEED to know what happens. In a world filled with so many predictable plots, Incarceron really glowed for me!

First off, I was enamored with the thought of a sentient prison. A prison that has a personality, one that can modify itself at a whim to keep its prisoners in check, what could be more horrifying? One of the things I love most about the genre of Speculative Fiction is the innate fear of technology that pervades it. Authors share with us worlds where technology is given so much leeway, that it ends up ruling us all. This prison is encompasses everything I love about the world of Speculative Fiction.

We follow Finn, a prisoner in this high tech prison, through his daily life and his plans for escape. I loved Finn. I felt so much more him throughout the entire story. A character capable of deep thought, constantly at war within himself to remember a life he may have had. A character who knows who he wants to be as a person, but is forced to mold himself differently in order to survive. Finn was the type of character that made me want to finish this story. I was invested in his fight, and I wanted him to succeed!

Completely different, but also so interesting, was the world of Claudia and Jared. "Protocol" brought an interesting spin to their world, trapping it forever in the Victorian Era. It was fascinating watching them play through this time period over and over each day, while around them technology was ever present in odd and hidden places. That, and I adore Claudia deeply! Her stubborn, stoic and intelligent demeanor really helped drive me through confusing parts of the book. I was always anxious to see what she would do next, since Claudia gets what Claudia wants.

Overall I think Incarceron is a fabulously written story! I admit at times it does get a bit heavy on description, and perhaps a little confusing, but in the long run the read is completely worth it. I found myself so immersed in vastly different worlds of Claudia and Finn that I was sad when the book ended. Long story short? I cannot wait for Sapphique!







Book Details
Title: Incarceron
Author: Catherine Fisher
Publisher: Dial
Pages: Paperback; 464
Source: Library

Final Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
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