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Incarceron Paperback – February 8, 2011
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2010: The shifting landscapes, unexpected plot punches, and bold, brave characters found in Catherine Fisher's Incarceron are nothing short of thrilling: fans of Garth Nix and Suzanne Collins will take to this epic, twisty fantasy instantly, but it's also the kind of book that will draw in the most hesitant fantasy reader. The mysterious world of Incarceron—and its factions of daring Prisoners, led by an incorrigible team in Finn and Claudia, who are both searching for a means of escape—is wonderfully imagined, at once frightening and full of seduction, and marks the beginning of an addictive new series. --Anne Bartholomew --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
*Starred Review* The vast prison Incarceron, made of metal and cutting-edge technology, was designed as a grand experiment: all undesirables would be sealed inside and given everything for a model utopia. But the experiment failed as Incarceron grew self-aware and tyrannical, resources dwindled, and prisoners divided into factions. Centuries later, prisoners exist under Incarceron’s watchful eyes with one belief: no one from Outside enters, no one from Inside escapes. Finn, however, believes he’s from Outside, and after he finds a crystal key that opens any door, he embarks on a journey to escape. Outside Incarceron, Claudia, the warden’s daughter, is also looking for escape, from an arranged marriage and from her role in a plot to end Protocol, which forces inhabitants to live according to seventeenth-century norms. When she too finds a crystal key, she comes into communication with Finn, who she believes is the true prince of the Realm. This gripping futuristic fantasy has breathless pacing, an intelligent story line, and superb detail in rendering both of the stagnating environments. Fisher’s characters are emotionally resonant, flawed, determined, and plagued by metaphysical questions. With some well-timed shocking twists and a killer ending, this is a must-have. Grades 9-12. --Krista Hutley --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
Top customer reviews
This great story had aspects of an adventure quest, dystopian reality, and a fairy tale all seamless woven together to make a most enjoyable read. In the past year or so I've read several "prison" stories [Gordon Smith's, Lockdown and Solitary; Cory Doctorow's Little Brother etc.] but I felt that Incarceron has much more of an adventure quest feel to it than some of these others. This adventure-quest feel to the story may make it more appealing to readers who are not especially fond of science-fiction type books. A similarity Incarceron shares with Little Brother and books in the Hunger Games series is wonderfully resourceful and gutsy females as well as interesting male characters. This solidly told tale has enough action to keep a younger reader involved with the story but the reading level seemed to me to be a bit higher level than say The Hunger games or other similar books. I'll most likely be recommending this story to confident teen readers who don't mind the challenge of a longer story. One noteworthy gem of a quote popped out of this story [I probably missed others as I was pretty focused on just enjoying the story] "None of us have much idea of where we are. Perhaps all our lives we are too concerned with where, and not enough with who." Yep, it's all about relationships and this is a great story to read about some interesting ones.
Overall, I enjoyed the concept behind the book: There is a prison that is in a different dimension and the prison (the dimension itself) is a thinking, feeling entity. The "real world" is a pseudo-utopia, a prison too.
I even liked the characters (except for the main character, Finn).
However, after reading just a few pages I already could envision where and how the book was going to end. The ending was "inevitable".
The back-story was interesting enough to make me want to know more, but, in the end, I was disappointed with what I learned. I won't spoil the plot for you, but some things just did not add up.
I entertained the idea of purchasing the sequel, but I'd rather pick it up at the local library because I already can imagine how it will end as well. I would (with some hesitation) recommend this book, but it would be a long, long way down on my list.