Monday, December 27, 2010

Book Review: Incarceron

Incarceron by Katherine Fisher
Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood and is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Very few prisoners believe that there is an Outside, however, which makes escape seems impossible. And then Finn finds a crystal key that allows him to communicate with a girl named Claudia. She claims to live Outside- she is the daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, and doomed to an arranged marriage. Finn is determined to escape the prison, and Claudia believes she can help him. But they don't realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost more than they know.

Review: Incarcern is a unique mishmash of dystopian, historical fiction, steam-punk, and sci-fi with just a hint of fantasy thrown in for good measure. This one of a kind mix of genres makes for a fun, freaky, and sometimes downright terrifying setting - the prison itself is alive! The prison isn't the only interesting setting though, the "outside" is set sometime in the future, but modeled after medieval times. Both Finn and Claudia are stuck in a kind of prison; Finn literally, while Claudia is bound by the restrains of a medieval society and her station in life. The two parallel situations make for an interesting read.

Incarceron is incredibly plot driven with a lot of twists and turns and dozens of action scenes. Sadly, most of the twists are pretty easy to spot coming and because it's so heavily plot driven there's a lack of character development and I never really felt a serious connection to Finn or Claudia. The setting and style of the book make up for what it lacks in spontaneity and character development though. There's a little something for everyone in here and it's a good introduction to dystopian and sci-fi/fantasy.

Fun Fact: Taylor Launter (yes, of Twilight fame) has been tagged to play Finn in the film adaptation of Incoarceron.  
Loved Incarceron? Make sure to check out Sapphique due out end of December (but you get on the hold list now!)

Review by: Megan
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