Friday, January 21, 2011

Review: Incarceron

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Age Group: Young Adult
Published: January 26, 2010 by Dial (first published May 3rd, 2007)
Format: ARC
Source: Gift


Incarceron is a prison unlike any other: Its inmates live not only in cells, but also in metal forests, dilapidated cities, and unbounded wilderness. The prison has been sealed for centuries, and only one man, legend says, has ever escaped.
Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, can’t remember his childhood and believes he came from Outside Incarceron. He’s going to escape, even though most inmates don’t believe that Outside even exists. And then Finn finds a crystal key and through it, a girl named Claudia.
Claudia claims to live Outside—her father is the Warden of Incarceron and she’s doomed to an arranged marriage. If she helps Finn escape, she will need his help in return. But they don’t realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost far more than they know.
Because Incarceron is alive.

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books I brought back from New York with me in May. It's been sitting on my shelf that long, and, yes, it is an ARC. I have a ton of books and not enough time to read them all as quickly as I would like. But I finally got around to this one a few days ago and was expecting to have my mind utterly blown. It didn't disappoint me there.

Catherine Fisher's world is crazy and twisted and incredibly cool. That being said, I need to say that it took me about 150 pages to really start caring about the characters and I guessed a major plot point in under 70 pages. (BUT she held quite a bit back that really did throw me.) I had no intentions of putting this book down though, let me be clear about that. 

It took me a while to connect with Finn and Claudia; I just wasn't getting enough of a feel for who they really were in the beginning, which also felt really slow to me. Not a whole lot happens except getting to know the characters and digging for clues in the beginning, and it was a chance for me to fall in love with these characters. But it didn't happen. I did grow to care about them though, and I think Catherine Fisher has an amazing book in Incarceron, though it had some flaws for me. 

The world building is amazing. My only complaint about it is that sometimes there are spots where I could have used more detail--especially in regards to the technology--that would have helped me visualize things. Other than that, the worlds Fisher has built are nothing short of spectacular. I think it's fascinating that a futuristic world could be stuck in the past deliberately to stifle growth and that at the same time there is new technology around every corner. And the prison. Oh, buddy. Incarceron is twisted and utterly brilliant. 

Catherine Fisher is an incredible author with lots of style and a crazy imagination. I look forward to reading the rest of the series and anything else she writes. 

Visit the author online.
Buy the book: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


Mara Nash said...

I started reading Incarceron several months ago when my son borrowed it from a friend, but didn't finish it before he had to return it. I've been so busy since then I haven't had a chance to find another copy and finish it, but what I read still haunts me and I want to finish reading it!

I don't write YA, but because I have YA's in my house I end up reading quite a bit of it. Can't wait to eventually get back to this story!

S. Kyle Davis said...

I totally agree with you, Amanda. I almost stopped reading/listening to it, but I'm so glad I stuck with it! By the end, the book totally rocks!

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Ooh, thank you for reviewing this book! I hadn't heard of it yet but it's right up my alley. In fact, it reminds me of a dream I had when I was in junior high. Creepy and claustrophobic. Can't wait to read it.

Kathryn said...

Doesn't it suck when life comes in between reading?

Whenever I read book that could be more elaborated on, especially technology, it's a big disappointment for me, so I can see how it would have left you hanging. Good to hear that it was a fun read otherwise, though. Cool review. :)

Anonymous said...

I've been wanting to read this since last year. I keep hearing good things about Incarceron.

Heather said...

I keep meaning to pick this one up and just haven't got around to it yet. After reading your review though it looks like I need to put it on my list of to buy books next time I visit B&N!


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