Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Publication Date: January 2010 (May 2007)

One Word Review: Awesome

Author Website:

First Line: “Finn had been flung on his face and chained to the stone slabs of the transitway.”

Synopsis: 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 ... -GoodReads

Kathy’s Review: This is definitely a sci-fi/fantasy novel that focuses more on plot and characters than it does on romantic relationships or easy storylines, so if you’re not into that kind of book then you probably wouldn’t enjoy this.

I admit, a lot of times I was confused and had to re-read passages, but overall I was totally sucked into the story and had a hard time putting it down. I’m still confused over a few things, one of which is whether this world is completely fictional, or supposed to take place on Earth. There are a few random mentions of China or the Roman Empire, which threw me off when I was reading. I would get involved in the story and then some random slang or place was mentioned that would throw me off.

Fisher does a great job creating two different worlds though, the Outside and the Prison. Claudia lives in the Outside, although in a lot of ways she is in a prison herself. Claudia is a very likeable character, strong willed, clever and caring. I really enjoyed getting to know her and was rooting for her from the beginning. Finn lives in the Prison (Incarceron), at least he has for the past three years with no memory of his life before. I liked him as well, although since he is so unsure of himself it made me a little unsure as well. I was hoping for a little romance (and I guess it is kind of hinted at) but I was left wanting a little more. The other characters were all well developed from Claudies’s tutor Jared to Finn’s friends Attia, Keiro, and Gildas. The villains in the story were a lot of fun as well, if you can call villains “fun”. The book starts out exciting and stays that way throughout (well, there might have been a couple slow parts here and there), but there definitely was a lot of twists and turns and while the book ended on a cliffhanger I felt like I understood what was going on and can’t wait to read the sequel, Sapphique.

Bookworm Rating: 4.5
(because of confusion & lack of romance)
Reading Order:
Book One: Incarceron
Book Two: Sapphique


  1. I saw this cover on someone's blog and wondered what it was. Sounds really intriguing - like a sci-fi LOST or something.

  2. Mary- it's funny you mention LOST, because that's what I kept thinking while I was reading Incarceron. Although the story is different it kind of feels the same. I never know whats going on in LOST, but I still love it. Kind of like this book. =)

  3. I'm very glad to see you rate this one "Awesome," Kath. :) I've been meaning to get a hold of it for awhile. Will make it a priority now.

  4. This looks so good! I have it on hold at the library. Hopefully they will have it soon!

  5. Angie-I think this is one you would really like, I was actually thinking about recommending it to you! You'll have to let me know if you read it, I'm curious to see what you think.

    Chantele-I hope you get it soon, it was a fun read. I actually went on to and ordered the second book because I couldnt wait for the USA release in December!

  6. I really want to read this! Sounds great!

  7. I just checked this out the other day from the library. I'm going to have move to the top of the pile.

  8. I definitely think this book warrants rereading to get all the depth. I just finished and I already want to go back and see what I missed.

  9. I've been seeing this book all over the blogosphere, but have just passed it off as something that I wouldn't like. However, your review makes it sounds really exciting! I may need to give it a chance after all :)


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